Intentions aside, the Lady Tar Heel players aren't children—all of them, for example, were old enough to have voted in the recent presidential election, and they all met the entrance requirements of one of the country's most prestigious colleges. They should have known that the chant would have evoked painful memories for many Americans.
But if the players weren't mature enough to see their own insensitivity, their elders, specifically Swofford and coach Anson Dorrance, who gave explicit endorsement of the "Napalm!" cheer by having it printed on tournament schedules, should have pointed it out to them in no uncertain terms. The best that can be said is that the Lady Tar Heels won't be using the chant next year.
BENOIT BY A BOTTLE
Olympic marathon champ Joan Benoit ran through the streets of Manhattan two weeks ago holding a bottle of French wine by the neck. Late for a BYOB party? Hardly. Benoit, who is of French descent, was competing for the Maurice restaurant in New York's Parker Meridien Hotel in a race to see which U.S. eatery would be the first to serve this year's nouveau-est Beaujolais Nouveau. "It sounded like a fun thing to do," said the world's fleetest wine steward.
Not to mention tr�s chic. For you non-enologists, nouveaus are best when they're, well, new, which inspires all sorts of bizarre competitions. Race car drivers and hot-air balloonists have been speeding bottles of Beaujolais to French and English bistros since the 1930s. Even Oxford gets in on the act—every year carloads of students invade vineyards in Southern France on the eve of the wine's release and race to be the first to bring it back to the university.
Which brings us to Benoit, whose only recompense for her run was an expense-paid trip to New York from her home in Freeport, Maine. She won. Her bottle was the first uncorked on these shores. Here's the race recap. At midnight on Nov. 14, Anne-Marie Quaranta, France's first female Sommeli�re of the Year—sort of the MVP of wine stewards—picked up the bottle from the Georges Duboeuf vineyards in Romaneche-Thornis and drove it to Orly Airport in Paris. There it was tucked away in the cockpit of an Air France Concorde. The plane landed at New York's JFK Airport at 8:30 a.m. At 9:10 the wine cleared customs and was whisked off in a Rolls-Royce to United Nations Plaza. There, Benoit was waiting.
She took the hand-off at approximately 9:35 a.m. and began her 22-block anchor leg. She had to contend with the city's usual midtown headaches—red lights, construction, taxis—but two off-duty cops who ran with Benoit looked the other way the few times she jay-ran.
Benoit's time: 15 minutes for roughly a mile and a half. That's almost five minutes off her Olympic marathon pace, not that she even tried to come close to those 5:20 mile splits. "It's still a personal best running with a bottle of wine," she said. More important, the Parker Meridien edged out the St. Regis-Sheraton Hotel by 45 minutes. The St. Regis airport limo got stuck in midtown traffic.
SURF 'N' TURF
If you were among those who watched the Boston College- Miami game last Friday (page 22), it's possible that, what with all the excitement of the game, you didn't notice the condition of the field. It rained in Miami on Friday, rained hard. Yet there was none of the wild skidding you so often see on wet artificial turf when a player going full speed falls or is knocked off his feet. Nor were there any of the gooey swamps so common to grass fields during a heavy downpour. The Orange Bowl field surface seemed to remain in almost perfect condition, from the opening kickoff all the way to Gerard Phelan's catch of Doug Flutie's miracle pass at the final gun.