Looking like the cast of The Mummy's Revenge, NFL players wind themselves each season in enough adhesive tape to stretch from Maine to California. Moleskin and fiber glass, Masonite and pliable thermoplastic underpin the wrappings to provide more support against the hard knocks of combat, as well as to supply a bit more clout when knees and elbows start flying in the pileups. Off the field, ultrasonic "ray guns," Electrogalvanic Stimulators and Neuromod Pulse Generators aid in relieving aches and pains. As to the most famous knees in football (above), they are protected by Lenox Hill Derotation Braces. How well they work may tell how well the Jets work.
Rigid ankles, tautly wrapped elbows and knees, the masses of pulped padding and bloodstained tape that are removed after the day's action all bespeak the armored nature of modem football. The average NFL squad uses 125 miles of tape each season, with 75 miles devoted to the much-abused limbs, wrists and ankles of linemen. Taping also makes it tough to guzzle your Gatorade.
MARVIN E. NEWMAN