"How about us talking about you standing in the corner?"
"Why don't I go over and stand in the corner for you?"
GOOD HIT, NO PITCH
A somewhat different lament about the changing nature of the modern athlete emanates from the training camp of the Green Bay Packers, a team that, by hoary tradition, makes rookies sing their college fight songs each evening in the dining room. According to longtime Packer watchers, this year's crop of rookies is the worst ever insofar as carrying a tune is concerned. "It's terrible, terrible," moans Wide Receiver John Jefferson, who's beginning his third year with the Packers after having spent three years with the San Diego Chargers. "We haven't got anybody who can sing." In addition to being dismayingly short of vocal talent, some first-year men are accused of increasing the affront by failing to give 110%. As Tight End Paul Coffman, a six-year Packer veteran, ruefully puts it, "They're supposed to sing for our enjoyment, but they get up there like it's a big joke."
NO BATH WITH THIS POOL
Jay Flood, the swimming commissioner for the 1984 Olympics, has kept busy lately defending the McDonald's Swim Stadium, the new $4 million outdoor pool on the USC campus that will be used for the Games. Ever since the pool was inaugurated last month for an international meet (SI, July 25), Flood has had to listen to griping by foreign swimmers and coaches that the facility doesn't have enough showers or warmup space and that the absence of a roof puts competitors too much at the mercy of the elements; covered pools have been used at every Olympics since 1964. Noting that the pool was built by the McDonald's restaurant folks, one critic objected that competing in it was like "swimming in a French fries box."
Flood says that additional showers and other amenities will be added for the Games, and points out that the pool appears to be "fast," witness Vladimir Salnikov's world record in the 800-meter freestyle in the inaugural meet. Flood concedes that weather can adversely affect performances in an outdoor pool but implies that this was the price organizers were willing to pay to keep their pledge to put on a "Spartan" Olympics. Invoking the memory of previous Games, which were burdened by huge costs, maddening construction delays and, ultimately, tremendous deficits ($1 billion for Montreal in 1976), Flood says, "We're not building a monument. That's our motto. And we got done a year ahead of schedule."
Which brings us to Flood's deft squelch of one of the pool's most outspoken critics, Dave Johnson, coach of the Canadian men's Olympic team. Told that Johnson had complained that the new pool "sets Olympic swimming back 30 years," Flood unflinchingly replied, "We hope so."
BOO BOO WEIGHS IN
Because the scale at the Minnesota Vikings' training camp in Mankato, Minn. only goes up to 300 pounds, club officials were unable to accurately weigh the team's mammoth guard, Curtis (Boo Boo) Rouse. So they loaded the 6'3" Rouse into the team van and rumbled off to a local grain and feed store, where they hoisted him onto a platform scale. The needle stopped at 318. Of the rather unusual weigh-in arrangements, Rouse said equably, "It's cool in the van."
GOING 56 IN A 55 ZONE
The USGA's decision two weeks ago to ban the Titleist 384 Tour ball, the overwhelming favorite of golfers on the PGA Tour, has been the subject of considerable misunderstanding. It was widely reported that the 384, so named by its manufacturer, The Acushnet Co., for the number of dimples it has, was banned because it played too long and straight. In fact, the 384 carries a long way but not any longer than the allowable limit—291.2 yards, as tested by "Iron Byron," the USGA's amazingly consistent mechanical man. The part about it being "too straight" isn't quite right, either. The real reason for the 384's ban was its failure to meet the requirement that balls play as though they were perfectly symmetrical. This failure meant, in theory, that a player could control the ball's course as desired—draw, fade, straight or whatever—by the way he oriented it on the tee. However, there was no indication that any tour player had been able to master the aerodynamic subtleties involved and actually achieve such an advantage.