Gaines wears a size 52 extra-long suit and 14-B shoes, and he says, "I can tell you where every big-man store in the country is." He acquired his nickname as a youth when somebody told him, "I've never seen anything bigger than you but a house." Bighouse's own house is a modest six-room structure, but the Winston-Salem State board of trustees decided in 1975 that the school's new sports facility was grand enough—it has two gyms and a swimming pool—to be named after him. So his Rams play their home games in the C.E. Gaines Athletic Complex.
WRONG LEAGUE, PAL
Taking some pictures of the board chairman and president of United Technologies Corp., the Hartford, Conn. defense contractor, for the firm's annual report, a photographer listened attentively as the men discussed recent successes of the Rangers. "Yeah, they won last night, huh?" the photographer, a New York hockey fan, said, injecting himself into the conversation. A company publicist took him aside and gently set him straight. The two men had been referring to the U.S. Army Rangers in Grenada.
THE NATIONAL LEOTARD LEAGUE?
First there were aerobic exercises. Then there was aerobic dancing. And now, fitness fans, what do you suppose is next? Team aerobics, that's what. Conceived by the Amateur Athletic Union as a means of getting more people into shape, team aerobics is a sporting endeavor organized along the lines of synchronized swimming. Competition will involve men's, women's and mixed teams representing health clubs, schools, corporations and the like. The initial thinking is that teams will perform five-minute routines consisting of a one-minute warmup, a three-minute dance portion and a one-minute warmdown. According to Margaret Wan Forbes, a synchronized-swimming coach who is helping the AAU organize the new sport, routines will be judged on the basis of "style, intensity, choreography, degree of difficulty and synchronization."
With competition expected to get under way next spring, some details still haven't been worked out. Although at the outset teams will consist of eight members, the organizers are considering eventually holding individual and pairs competitions as well. Another possibility is that the dance portion of each routine will be divided into freestyle and compulsory segments, as in figure skating. In the interest of involving as many participants as possible, competition will likely be broken down by age groups and skill levels. In headier moments the organizers talk about team aerobics someday becoming an Olympic sport. "This could be a colorful addition to the Olympic family," says Bernard L. Gladieux, marketing adviser for the new sport. "I don't think it would require any long gestation period."
Quick, everybody, hide those Jane Fonda videotapes before the Russians and East Germans find them.
Larry O'Brien and David Stern
National Basketball Association
645 Fifth Ave.
New York, N.Y. 10022
Dear Larry and David,
We weren't sure which of you to address this to, so we're writing you both. We know that you, Larry, have announced your resignation as commissioner, effective Feb. 1, and that the owners last week named you, David, presently the executive vice-president, as his successor. Now we're hoping that together you'll have enough sense to end the current lockout of NBA referees before it does any more harm to the game.
It's done enough already. Why, just in recent days, 1) Don Nelson, the Milwaukee coach, was accused of elbowing one of your replacement refs, 2) Denver Coach Doug Moe threw a cup of water at a ref and 3) Houston Rocket President Ray Patterson vented his displeasure over officiating by all but tearing down the door of the referees' dressing room.