What did the first astronaut say to the football coaches?
Apollo 11 's Edwin Aldrin, addressing the American Football Coaches Association banquet in Houston, allowed as how "I've often thought of what it would be like to play football on the moon. They might have to lengthen the field. At first glance, it would save a lot of wear and tear on the quarterback. He can let the ball go and not worry about it for a while." Good point. "But on the other hand," Aldrin continued, "the ball might take so long to come down that every man on the other team might be under it."
And what did the second astronaut say to the coaches?
Michael Collins, same spaceship, same banquet, allowed as how it has been estimated that the average man speaks 25,000 words a day and the average woman, 30,000. "Thank goodness no women are football coaches," he said. Then he added: "Unfortunately, when I come home each day I've spoken my 25,000—and my wife hasn't started her 30,000."
January 25, 1971
Look out, Collins. Here comes the ball down. On your head.
Environmental Vote of the Week goes to Governor John Love of Colorado. Did he shut down a noxious factory? Stop some manufacturer from mucking up a river? Well, no. But he did obtain an air pollution variance before allowing a 19-gun salute to be fired at his inauguration. It's a start.
Well, it's back to the old job as assistant bell captain at Miami's Fontainebleau for Levi Forte. Who? Levi Forte, in case the name doesn't clang a bell, is the 30-year-old victim they put in there against Floyd Patterson, who won by a TKO in the second. As assistant bell captain, one of Levi's main duties is taking care of special requests from the guests. Like—sob—getting them fight tickets.
Short sports notes from Across the Sea:
Don't worry about Christopher Hudson of Sussex, England. No sir, 15-year-old Chris will have a new entry for the big worm race at Brighton this week. But it is a shame about his Whippy Willie, who was to worms what Whirlaway was to horses. A couple of weeks ago Willie won a warmup race in a stunning 2:15.0 over a two-foot course, and last week he set a world record in 1:45, uh, flat. Then this awful thing happened to Willie on a training run. He accidentally fell off the table to the floor. Christopher stepped up to look for him and....
Another great race involved Ian Trainis, who bravely sprinted after some robbers in London, knowing that the gang was armed with an iron bar and a sawed-off shotgun. According to the newspaper account, he almost caught the rascals, too, but they got away. Would have been a dandy fight. Trainis was armed with a beer bottle.
On the nifty gifts side, farmer Adam Lythgoe got a set of golf clubs for Christmas. Jolly good. In fact Lythgoe got so excited that he went right out and bought his own golf club, at Rhos-on-Sea, Denbighshire.
Columnist Russell Baker, writing under the headline Arteriosclerosis of the Heroes, views with suspicion the latest list of the country's 10 most admired men, who turn out to be Richard Nixon, Billy Graham, Teddy Kennedy, Spiro Agnew, Pope Paul, Ed Muskie, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Hubert Humphrey and Harry Truman. Stuffy, says Baker, and depressing. "Can it truly be that a people who once boasted that they admired John L. Sullivan, Honus Wagner, Jack Dempsey, Red Grange, Walter Johnson and Babe Ruth more than Presidents McKinley, Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge and Hoover have grown so solemn that they admire Agnew more than Muhammad Ali, Joe Namath, Brooks Robinson or Lew Alcindor?" That's what the poll said. Where are the sports figures of today? Say it ain't so, Spiro.
Scene: The Windham Mountain Club in upstate New York, a semiprivate ski area. Little Trade Hardart, 3, whose family is with the Horn & Hardart automat chain, is lost. Along comes this part-time skier who spots Tracie wandering out in the cold, scoops her up, returns her to the lodge and saves the day. Hooray for the skier. Nice job of detective work. He gets back into his limousine and heads off to New York City where, as Mayor John V. Lindsay, he finds his whole police force is on strike.
Why look! It's Sugar Ray Robinson getting a pretend-cut applied over his eye for an appearance on TV's Mod Squad. Nasty-looking cut. And the makeup expert ain't exactly Charles of the Ritz. It's Rocky Graziano. But, why not? Rocky probably figured it was his last chance to cut Sugar Ray.
The week's sporting free plug goes to Tokyo's Michio Kurokawa, 23, a waiter who is trying to make it as a singer. Michio wants publicity for his new ditty, Love on Shiga Plateau. So he puts an ad in the paper, right? Wrong. He athletically clambers out a sixth-floor window and hangs from a metal screen outside a Ginza department store. Nice stunt, but the cops haul him in. And Love on Shiga Plateau still hasn't made the Top 20. Well, keep plugging, Michio. Hang it all out, baby.
After 220 years of existence England's prestigious Jockey Club has finally done it: the board recently elected Sir Gordon Richards to membership. Nice touch, since Sir Gordon, 26 times a champion and retired from training at 66, is the first real jockey ever to get into the club.
This is not really a PEOPLE, as promised in the headline at the top of this page. This is Key Knight, a trotter, and Key Knight is trying out this swell new polyurethane foam nose cone to keep him warm while trotting in, say, 20° or less. Go ahead, snicker if you must. But just remember that Key Knight might win by a nose.