SI Vault
 
THE SLOP AND HUSTLE TAKE OVER
Pat Putnam
February 06, 1978
They were dancing in the aisles when Franklin Jacobs set a high-jump world record and Dick Buerkle kept Bayi at bay
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
February 06, 1978

The Slop And Hustle Take Over

They were dancing in the aisles when Franklin Jacobs set a high-jump world record and Dick Buerkle kept Bayi at bay

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4

His campaign for the dignity of little men closed for the night, Franklin Jacobs collected his high jump trophy and, with his coach and a friend, stepped out into the cold New York City night. It was after midnight. The three decided to eat before driving back to New Jersey, and with Jacobs lugging the three-foot trophy, they went into a nearby restaurant. The kitchen was closed.

"We can still serve you booze," said the bartender.

"No thank you," said Jacobs.

"Say, do you want to trade that trophy for a case of Schlitz?" the bartender asked.

Jacobs left, clutching the trophy. The next restaurant they tried, across from the Garden, was full of track fans. As Jacobs walked in, the people there gave him a standing ovation. For nearly an hour he signed autographs. "I guess my life is not going to be the same anymore," he said.

The eight-foot college kid who looks only 5'8" had a glass of orange juice while the others had beer and hot dogs. Then they climbed into their car and headed home. As they passed through the Lincoln Tunnel, Jacobs kept saying, "My dream is fulfilled. Imagine, me a world-record holder."

But by the time they reached Rutherford, Jacobs was working on a new dream, this one the outdoor world record of 7'7�" held by Vladimir Yashchenko of the Soviet Union. As he stepped from the car, Jacobs said, "I guess I won't really be satisfied until I have it all."

Which makes sense. What's another half-inch to a giant?

1 2 3 4