ASK MR. J
The week before the Virginia-Georgetown basketball confrontation (page 14), sportswriter George Vecsey of The New York Times got to wondering what Thomas Jefferson, who, among many other things, founded the University of Virginia, would think of the ballyhooed event, with its 19,035 spectators and $575,000 TV rights. Vecsey talked to Merrill Peterson, dean of the faculty at Virginia and author of several books on Jefferson, who said Jefferson would be "astonished. [Jefferson]...did talk about physical fitness as an extracurricular activity—he provided for a dance-master, for example, and, of course, young men belonged to the militia—but big-time sports would be out of his ken."
There's at least one antisports quotation from Jefferson to suggest that Peterson's judgment is too mild. In one edition of his Writings, Jefferson noted, "Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind."
When Dale Brown became LSU's basketball coach a decade ago, he formed a group called the Tiger Tykes, a bunch of youngsters, aged 3 to 13, who put on a sort of Globetrotter show to entertain folks at halftime of LSU games. The kids would do a lot of fancy dribbling and passing and shooting and got so good at it that they were invited to appear at other games and even on national TV. The Tykes put on their act all over the Southeast for four seasons.
Youngsters who can perform that well must have a lot of athletic ability, and time has proved it so. Among the Tiger Tykes were John Tudor, who's now a junior guard for LSU; Bobby Tudor, John's brother, a former Rice player; Derrick Taylor, who starred at guard for LSU as a freshman last year but is scholastically ineligible this season; Dana Moore, a football player at Mississippi State who beat LSU this fall with a 45-yard field goal with 25 seconds to go; Neal Dellocono, who'll be a starting linebacker for UCLA in the Rose Bowl; and Mike Dellocono, Neal's brother, a wide receiver at Louisiana Tech.
THE DOCTOR AND THE POSTER
The Philadelphia 76ers are doing nicely on court this season, with Moses Malone and Julius Erving making beautiful music, but they're not performing quite as well in the public relations area. Some picky 76er fans noticed that a 5½-foot-high poster of Dr. J given away to kids at a Philadelphia-Chicago game in the Spectrum didn't look right. For one thing, there was a Nassau Coliseum banner in the background. The Coliseum is where Erving played when he was a New York Net (1973-76). Erving had on a 76er home uniform, which he would not have worn at the Coliseum. And he was wearing his hair in an Afro, a style he discarded some time ago. It turned out to be an old photo of the Doctor that had been airbrushed to sub a Philly uniform for the Nets uniform he had on when the picture was taken years ago.
It seems a bit shabby, although the Sixers say they've had no complaints. Maybe Philadelphia fans, griping already because the club charges $50 for some seats and $16 for most of the rest, can't get too upset over a little thing like a poster. Even if it is 5½ feet high.