ONCE MORE, DEAR FRIENDS
Man, you can't keep those chickens down. They win one when a rooster rips up an eagle (SCORECARD, NOV. 15), they lose one when that battle turns out to be hokey (SCORECARD, NOV. 22). But they hang in there, and now comes a story from Farm Journal about a 16-year-old California boy named Grant Sullens who has climaxed a cross-breeding experiment by producing a giant chicken "that's as mean as a hornet in your hip pocket." A prize 23-pound rooster has ripped bits of metal out of his feed bucket, bitten off the tip of a visitor's ringer and shattered an intruding TV camera lens. Young Sullens says, admiringly, "I've kicked this rooster, hit him with a bucket, slugged him when he got me down. But I haven't hurt him one bit." The females are just as tough. Three cats were killed when they innocently walked into the hen coop.
Now, where's that eagle?
WHAT'S UP, DOC?
There must be moments when Denver hopes it's all a horrible dream. The joy felt when the city was awarded the 1976 Winter Games has changed to a kind of desperate insistence that things will be O.K., things will work out. When the International Olympic Committee gave the Games to Denver, it was on the assumption that all events would be staged within 45 minutes of the city, where the Olympic Village would be located. Overlooked was the meteorological fact that snow is so sparse on the nearby eastern slopes of the Rockies that people sometimes pick wild flowers there in February. Environmentalists protested that the proposed venues, with their big crowds and heavily traveled roads, would destroy Colorado's natural beauty. The prospect of having to settle for artificial snow and running Nordic ski races through school yards and houses was not a happy one.
"Obviously, we did not have the money to do a full-scale site planning while we were bidding for the Games," says Ted Farwell, technical director of the Denver Olympic Committee, which is known locally as the DOC. The DOC has now reevaluated things and will recommend to the IOC that the downhill and cross-country events be shifted to the western side of the mountains. This makes sense, because there is plenty of snow out there and a number of established ski areas, but it negates the basic reason why Denver was given the Games in the first place: its accessibility to the action. One site being considered for cross-country skiing is in Steamboat Springs, 150 miles of road and two mountain passes from Denver. There might have to be as many as three widely separated Olympic villages, linked together by helicopters and small planes. The remoteness of the venues would certainly cut down crowds. "To a certain extent, the spectators may have to be sacrificed," says Farwell. "They may have to rely on closed-circuit TV."
Things will work out eventually—they always do—but meantime, anti-Olympic forces in Denver are taking a perverse delight in the city's difficulties. Vance Dittman, head of Protect Our Mountain Environment, says, "We're glad to see the DOC moving the Games. We hope they keep right on moving them until they end up in Switzerland."
Athletes who take drugs justify the use of greenies, lidpoppers, jelly babies, bombidos or L.A. turnabouts to get themselves up for maximum effort, and zonks, goofballs, red devils, blue angels and barbs to bring them back down from a high shelf of excitement or anticipation. The obvious danger is that an athlete will get into erratic dosages with unpredictable results. But now Dr. Donald L. Cooper, Oklahoma State's team physician, has told a conference on medical aspects of sport that studies indicate drugs apparently give the competing athlete little or no help in improving his performance.
In fact, said Cooper, "There may well be a greater correlation between drug use and losing." One instance cited was a bicycle race in Canada (cyclists have a long-standing reputation for drug use). Tests showed that none of the first six finishers and only one of the first 10 had used drugs. But those who finished seventh, 11th, 14th, 18th, 20th and 32nd had. The studies seem to show, Cooper declared, that "far more losers use drugs than winners."