That well-known sporting masochist, George Plimpton, author of Paper Lion and Out of My League, had a bad day Sunday before last. He pitched for a Softball team which won. The cast of a New York revue, The Mad Show, enlisted a few ringers such as Yankees' President Mike Burke and Plimpton (below) and successfully challenged New York Mayor Lindsay's Lancers in Central Park. It may have been some comfort to George that the team he defeated was a feeble one that has lost all of its previous games. And by week's end he should have felt quite himself again after a proper drubbing by 1964 Olympic swimming champion Don Schollander in the Yale pool. Schollander spotted George 20 yards out of 50 and churned past to beat him by seven full seconds.
The London Weekend Telegraph revealed recently that English Actor Tom Courtenay is a feverish soccer enthusiast with a habit of rising early to practice penalty shots in the park across from his house. He crouches over the ball in an imagined penalty area, the Telegraph reports, announcing, "This is the way Pelé does it," and, "Moving to his left in a kind of attentive ecstasy he'll shout, 'This is how Eusébio smashed Hungary!' " Well, O.K., except that the same article earlier says of him, "His body is curiously superfluous and works only in conjunction with his face. His body seems capable of only moderate motion, whereas his face continually falls away into new and subtle configurations." Unless he is planning to hypnotize the opposition, perhaps Courtenay should leave the smashing of Hungary to Eusébio.
Los Angeles residents who lack the time or money to make it out to Indy for the 500 this month might just go and stand around Lady May Lawford's garage, because Actor Peter Lawford's mother (74 according to Los Angeles Times clippings, 66 by her own reckoning) is where the action is. On April 1 Salesman Robert D. Franks sold Lady Lawford a convertible Ford Fairlane GT. On April 5 she backed it out of her driveway at 40 mph—across the street, over a sapling and into a parked car. It was an exciting performance but, dissatisfied, Lady Lawford shot forward with undiminished speed into the concrete wall of her garage. The car was a total loss and so might have been a lesser woman than Peter's mother, who had to have nine teeth surgically removed from the back of her throat. She was still under her doctor's care on May 10th when Salesman Franks brought over a shiny, brand-new six-cylinder Ford Mustang. On May 11 Lady Lawford backed the Mustang—at 40 mph—out of the garage and into the house across the street, and then roared into Franks's parked car. Damage to house across the street: $700. Damage to Mustang: $1,500. Damage to Mr. Franks's car: $1,000. Damage to Lady Lawford: negligible. She is feeling very well, thank you, but is thinking of giving up driving.
"I don't think my association with writers has hurt me," José Torres said recently to New York Columnist Larry Merchant, and writers everywhere felt warm all over. Torres is known to be a good friend of Novelist Norman Mailer, and Mailer turned up, like a good friend, for Torres' fight with Dick Tiger last week. The end of the fight found Torres loser and still ex-champion. Mailer was looking fine.
Tottenham Hotspur won England's Football Association Cup last week with an easier victory over Chelsea than the 2-1 score indicates, and had the foresight to have prepared a little something for their exultant fans to rush out and buy. On May 10 the Spurs got together in a London recording studio (below) and, with the aid of a few crates of beer ("for lubrication rather than inebriation"), recorded such disparate numbers as I Belong to Glasgow and Hello, Dolly! The record, to be entitled The Spurs Go Marching On, will be unleashed in a few weeks, and an official of the recording company could only say of it that Terry Venables' voice was fine but "Jimmy Greaves and the rest had better stick to soccer."
If there is anything the coach of a champion hates it is to have his tiger go off to do something for fun that involves the risk of a pulled ligament or, heaven forbid, a broken bone. So, consider the feelings of Honore Bonnet, coach of the French ski team, when Jean-Claude Killy climbed into a Porsche 911S recently to gamble the whole shooting match, parietal bone to metatarsus, in what is considered the world's roughest road race, the Targa Florio in Sicily. However, at the end of the race Bonnet could safely come out from under the covers. Only 25 of the 63 cars entered in this year's Targa Florio finished, but the seventh of them, and the first in its class, was Killy's.