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On Sept. 18, when the International Olympic Committee chose Atlanta to host the 1996 Summer Games, Athens, long the sentimental favorite, finished second in the voting. An Atlanta couple visiting Athens at the time believe they know why. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the hotel in which the couple was staying distributed to guests a notice that read, in part:
The hotel will suffer from periodic power cuts. Should you need candles, ask housekeeping. National and private banks in Athens are not in operation. You will be experiencing difficulties when you dial due to the Greek Telephone Co. not operating. Any mail will be delayed reaching its destination until the Greek Post Office strike is over. We have no way of knowing in advance which flights will actually materialize, international or domestic.
The Ivy League's three-year contract with ESPN ended on Nov. 10 with the telecast of the Princeton-Yale game. The cable company, which had paid the league $175,000 for broadcasting five games this year, said last week that, while it might air two or three Ivy League games next season, it will give priority to the Big Ten.
One reason for the switch no doubt was that the Ivy games drew just 25% of the viewers that the Big Ten games did this season. But Loren Matthews, ESPN's senior vice-president of programming, also cited the Ivy League's reluctance to adjust kickoff times to suit the network's programming needs. Indeed, ESPN had previously said it would continue to broadcast Ivy games if the league would play some games on Thursday nights. Ivy officials refused.
This year a number of schools have shown themselves to be all too ready to adjust kickoff times at the 11th hour if it means getting on TV. Late switches for the Auburn-Tennessee game, which was originally scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. but actually began at 6:30, and the Texas-Houston game (switched from 1:00 to 6:30) are just two recent examples. Making concessions to the tube may boost TV revenues, but it also inconveniences fans who have made plans based on announced kickoff times. The Ivy League is to be congratulated on its refusal to compromise.
'TIS THE SEASON
AND TWO JUGS OF SNAKE OIL
On page 94 of the new Street & Smith's College/Prep Basketball guide is an ad for two products: one called Body Ammo Super Juice and another referred to as both Male testosterone 1000 and Testerone Plus. The ad boasts that these "powerful anabolic" products increase strength and endurance. Given the claims and the placing of the ad in a magazine that will be read by many young athletes, it might seem that the ad is pitching anabolic steroids to impressionable young hoops players and fans.
But no, the distributors aren't selling steroids—or much of anything else. The main ingredient in Super Juice is Smilax, a genus of plants that is the source for sarsaparilla, and the two in Testerone Plus are Urtica dioica, a nettle with mild stimulant properties, and Avena sativa, a cereal. These miracle ingredients aren't totally useless: They'll add bulk, all right, but to your diet more than to your body.