HAVE THEY EVER
A final note from the World Cup ski circuit. As members of the U.S. women's team wended their way by car from Lake Placid to the next World Cup race site at Waterville Valley, N.H., they stopped for lunch at a restaurant in Hanover, N.H. named Peter Christian's Tavern. In their sweaters and jeans they looked not the least bit exotic—but there was that color. "Hey," said the waitress, not recognizing the likes of Olympians Cindy Nelson and Christin Cooper. "Great tans! You guys been skiing?"
THE UGLY OPEN
Eight members of the U.S. Olympic water polo team were recently treated to a whirlwind tour of Manhattan by one of the team's sponsors, Levi Strauss & Co. The athletes stayed at the Parker Meridien, met Gertrude Ederle, put on a demonstration at the New York University pool, held a press conference, ate dinner at the Sumptuary on the East Side and then hit some late-night spots for dancing. A splendid time was had by all.
Well, not quite all. In the interest of keeping the entourage to a manageable size for public-relations purposes, eight other members of the U.S. water polo squad, which is made up entirely of Californians, weren't included in the New York visit, and these unfortunate fellows weren't told exactly why they were spurned. But they quickly came to their own conclusions. "We figured they were taking only the good-looking guys East and leaving the ugly guys at home," said John Siman, a 31-year-old defenseman who didn't get to make the trip. "We figured we just weren't very good-looking dudes."
To pass the time while their teammates were enjoying themselves in the Big Apple, Siman and the other stay-at-homes decided to hold a golf tournament at a municipal course in Long Beach. They dubbed it the Ugly Open. Participants had to forswear shaving for three days before tee-off and were encouraged to wear their scruffiest golf garb. Jody Campbell, a two-meter man on the water polo team, showed up in a pair of plaid Bermuda shorts that were judged by acclamation to be the ugliest. Only ugly golf shots were applauded, and there were plenty of them. Defenseman Peter Campbell was the ugliest golfer, with a score of 122. The low score was Siman's ugly-enough 100.
A happy postscript. After their brief separation, the eight self-described uglies were reunited with their teammates for a 16-day playing tour of Europe, and Siman expressed confidence that bygones would be bygones. "The team can come together," he said. "I think we all realize there are more important things than looks."
BURSTING HIS BUBBLE
It happened during spring training at the Reds' camp in Tampa. The Topps baseball-card people were in town, and pitcher Mario Soto, who last year led the league in giving up homers, for some reason started picking out photos of players who had taken him deep.
"Mario," said Cincy vice-president Jim Ferguson, "who's going to help you carry them?"
On his radio call-in show, Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight was asked by a young girl if the Hoosiers' star guard, Steve Alford, used anything to keep his hair so neatly in place during games Knight replied, "I think what he does, sweetheart, is put his hand on his hair to keep it in place when he should be applying defensive pressure."