The mixed smell of grass and sweat lets you know spring and sports are in the air. But it's not just the skinned knees, twisted ankles, and getting hit on the head by a frisbee that makes springtime sports so much fun. There's also the challenge of putting on your sneakers, heading down to the river and wondering: Can I keep up a good pace through the house courtyard until I'm out of sight? Can I avoid being mowed down by over-zealous roller skaters? And can I hit the traffic lights at the right time so I can rest without feeling guilty?
While fair-weather athletes are just coming out, Harvard's varsity teams have been practicing for months in anticipation of the short spring season. In case you forgot some of what goes on behind the stadium and Business School, here's a refresher:
LACROSSE--The main purpose of this sport is to maim the opponent as severely as possible. Wailing on a player's head, however, is forbidden since it could result in a broken stick--and that would interrupt the flow of the game. You can easily spot a lacrosse player by his toughness and lack of knees.
TRACK--See the people run around the Charles with their walkmans. They feel great. See Bennett Midlo and Steve Ezeji-Okoye run the 400 and high hurdles, respectively. They throw up after their races. The funny thing is that they and the rest of the Harvard men's track team have more fun than the joggers, much to the credit of coach Bill McCurdy.
BASEBALL--Don't tell me there isn't anything sexual about grown men wielding huge bats. Just think about it. A player gets into position, looks at some curves and finally puts the wood into the ball. The only problem is that after a game, baseball players are too tired to do anything but sit around and drink beer.
CREW--Some say crew is an elite sport. That's outrageous! Everyone knows crew is a snob sport. Still, it's hard to imagine a more beautiful event, especially on a sunny afternoon when the river looks almost clean. But you've got to wonder. If crew jocks love to row so much, why do the coaches insist on tying their feet into sneakers implanted in the boat? Is Carrie Graves afraid her athletes will jump ship?
SOFTBALL--There is nothing soft about a ball when it's travelling at 40 m.p.h. The Harvard softball team may be the most spirited group on campus and perhaps the most practical since someday they'll impress their colleagues at the company picnic