BENDED KNEE AT INTERSKI
All over Europe it had been spring since Christmas and nobody in Bavaria's Garmisch-Partenkirchen could remember such a mild and almost snowless winter. Still, the show must go on, so the tri-annual Interski congress was held there, as scheduled, last month.
Interski congresses bring together teams of ski instructors from a number of countries to give each other demonstrations of their latest refinements of styles. This year, while a crew of 40 worked day and night to keep a thousand-foot-long T-bar hill passably covered with snow, 22 teams took part. It quickly became obvious, however, that nobody was going to make the kind of splash that Austria's skiing guru, Professor Stefan Kruckenhauser, made at the 1955 Interski when he introduced Wedeln.
Although they all have different names, the skiing styles of the early 1970s promise to look pretty much the same in every country. In Garmisch the Austrian demonstrators squatted low and called it "retraction," the French squatted low and called it "letting down," the Germans squatted low and called it "absorption" and the Americans squatted low and called it "Phase II." One piece of advice came out of all this for ski instructors. No more talk about shoulder or arm positions: now it's all in the legs. Please to bend ze knees—more than ever.
The Interski ended with a 15-kilometer cross-country race for everybody. Nine hundred skiers took off in four mass starts on tracks that looked like Bavarian cow paths. In addition, the racers had to stop for trains, tractors and—sure enough—cows being led to pasture. It was the wrong time for an Interski congress in Bavaria.
There were those who felt sorry for George Allen when he was fired from the Los Angeles Rams. But the terms of Allen's new contract with the Washington Redskins have come to light in Melvin Durslag's syndicated column and it would seem that the only items George wasn't promised were the Lincoln Memorial and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Here's what he got:
"A $25,000 bonus for signing.
"A salary of $125,000 a year for seven years.
"A home for which the club will pay up to $150,000. Payments on the principal will be made each month by the club. Interest will be paid by Allen. At the time the home is sold, any appreciation will go to Allen. Depreciation will be sustained by the club.
"Incentive bonuses each year of $5,000 for getting to the divisional playoff, $10,000 more for getting to the conference championship and $15,000 more for getting to the Super Bowl.
"A car and a driver.
"A $250,000 life insurance policy during the tenure of his contract.
"A generous expense account.
"Traveling expenses for visiting his family in Los Angeles until June, when the family will move to Washington.
"Hotel expenses in Washington until June.
"Moving expenses for family and furniture from Los Angeles to D.C.
"Six weeks of vacation.
"Permission to keep all revenue from radio, TV and advertising endorsements.
"Complete supervision of the team, answerable only to the president and the board of directors.
"An option to purchase 5% of the stock for $500,000 pending the outcome of litigation brought by the heirs of the late George Preston Marshall against the club. (This option would be voided if the heirs are ruled entitled to the Marshall stock.)"
When Billy Casper bought a fishing-tackle business in San Diego a friend advised him that every time he goes fishing it will add a day to his life—an adage that old fishermen firmly believe. That seemed a bargain to Casper, who reasoned: "Every time you play a round of competitive golf, a day is subtracted. It's a tie."
Latest to join the cycle set are the seamen aboard the 250,000-ton Cambria, a supertanker owned by Jersey Standard's British subsidiary, Esso Petroleum.
The vessel is 1,140 feet long, which is about 4‚Öì city blocks. Since the crew's quarters are in the stern and the working part of the tanker is forward, the seamen bike to work, especially when needed in a hurry.
Not as much exercise as jogging, but better than waiting for a bus.
ANATOMY OF AN ATHLETE
Anyone who ever watched a pigeon run might disagree, but Tommy Prothro, who resigned recently as football coach at UCLA to take charge of the Los Angeles Rams, has revived the old theory that pigeon-toed athletes make superior runners.
"When I see a boy walking onto a football field who is pigeon-toed or who walks off a wide base—by that I mean there's a foot or so between his feet in a normal walking stride or perhaps more when he's running—then that boy gets a long look," Prothro said the other day. "In fact, I look for those types and I've told everyone who has ever worked with me to look for those types. I've even been known to stop a boy on campus if he has that characteristic and I haven't seen him on the football field.
"When you look at most runners, the feet go out a little bit and they're really gripping the ground only with the big toe and the one next to it.
"The pigeon-toed guy toes his foot in and all five toes are dug in, giving him a strong base, more strength in running, greater power and also more speed. Now if you couple a pigeon-toed runner with a man with an extra wide base you have something going for you."
Then there is the matter of necks. In Prothro's first season at Oregon State, the late Slats Gill was head basketball coach.
"I remember when Slats was talking about a prospect," Prothro says, "and someone told him that a boy was so tall. 'Does he have a long neck or a short neck?' Slats asked, and then he pointed out that a basketball player who was tall with a long neck wouldn't play as big as a boy who was equally tall with a short neck."
Now, if we could just breed for boys who are tall, short-necked and pigeon-toed, records will fall all over the place.
RELATIVITY IN THE SNOW
Starting a fire with a $20 bill is not necessarily an extravagant gesture. Few men can command insouciance when they are confronted with freezing to death.
What happened was that two Minnesota Viking pals, Defensive End Jim Marshall and Tackle Paul Dickson, went on a snowmobiling expedition at Bear-tooth Pass, Wyo. under extremely adverse conditions. Somehow the group of 16 decided it was all right to set out while a blizzard threatened.
Hugh Galusha, president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, died of exposure and fatigue. All snow machines conked out. Among those who started walking were Marshall and Dickson. From noon on Saturday until 2:30 a.m. Sunday they walked. Then they stopped in a tree-sheltered spot. Marshall started a fire with five $1 bills, added some candy wrappers, his billfold and checkbook. To keep the fire going, Dickson tossed in some $20 bills.
"Money didn't mean anything," Marshall said. "You can't beat nature with money."
Earlier in the trip Marshall's machine had gone over a cliff and almost rolled on top of him. He fell about 30 feet, then was able to grab a rock just in advance of a 2,000-foot drop. He was pulled back to safety. Eventually, teams found and rescued them.
A veteran parachute jumper, sky diver and scuba diver, Marshall found the experience "the toughest thing I ever encountered in my life."
Who would argue?
LANGUAGE BARRIER BREACHED
Around the Western Athletic Conference they say that Brigham Young's big new center, Kresimir Cosic, responds to foul calls in an outspoken way. But since Cosic, the all-world center from the Yugoslavian Olympic team, lets off steam in his native tongue, no harm is done.
Except that the conference has an official named Rudy Marich, a stockbroker from Greeley, Colo. When Marich called a foul on Cosic recently, and Cosic shouted something that might have been, "Aw, your mother wears Serbian army boots," Marich came right back at him in Yugoslavian.
Serbs him right.
NO LONGER ONE WAY
Students nowadays, as those before them, are addressing themselves to courses pertinent to their personal interests. Well, Paul Pfau of St. Mary's College in California may have found a little more than he bargained for. As part of a psychology class project designed to measure stress conditions in an environmental and psychological context, he ran 120 miles through Death Valley. In another part of the experiment the 21-year-old senior apparently became the first to run Death Valley from north to south, a feat others have avoided for excellent reasons. By the route Pfau took, the last 15 miles is all uphill, going from 200 feet below sea level to 3,000 feet above. The outcome was that Pfau satisfied his course requirements—as well as some personal ones—and may have set a course record to boot, except that records for the run are not kept. Not bad, though, even if it was not a physed class.
MULLIGAN ON THE MOON
By slamming a couple of golf balls on the moon and thereby becoming the first lunar golfer, Astronaut Alan B. Shepard picked up a couple of extra awards. For missing on his first swing and taking a mulligan, Shepard won a lifetime membership in the U.S. Duffers Association, headed by Bailey Root of Newport, Ky. Root also awarded Shepard the presidency of the Duffers' moon chapter.
Some college football coaches have long advocated a national collegiate championship each fall and Earle Edwards of North Carolina State was one of the originators of the idea. Now he has become president of the American Football Coaches Association. He has not dropped the plan but has given it a new twist.
Why not, he asks, have something like Notre Dame vs. Nebraska on national television on the first Saturday of each May?
"It would be fine for football, coming in on a slack period of the sports schedule," he says, disposing casually of the Kentucky Derby, NBA playoffs, Stanley Cup and major league baseball, not to mention assorted golf tournaments and track meets. "You would take two teams that wound up the previous season with strong support for the national championship," Edwards continues. "Penn State and Texas a year ago, Nebraska and Notre Dame this past year. You'd play the game at the end of spring practice on one of the campuses. Graduating seniors would not be eligible, freshmen would."
In other words, you would start a whole new season. As for the reason, it's money.
"The competing teams would share the money with the coaches association," Edwards explained.
THEY SAID IT
•Billy Cannon, Heisman Trophy winner and former LSU great, on old pro George Blanda: "If you could cut up his heart and distribute it among 11 rookies, you'd have the best team in the country."
•Jimmy Carr, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coach, who went into the pros from Morris Harvey College, on how much easier it is now for a small-college player to get a reputation than in his day: "When I went to the pros and asked for a tryout, they thought Morris Harvey was a cafeteria like Horn & Hardart."
•Peter O'Malley, president of the Los Angeles Dodgers, asked what he would do if he could do anything he wanted to: "I would talk Sandy Koufax out of retirement."