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Real No Brainers

A look at the day that was and at what lies ahead at the Summer Games

July 30, 1996|BILL DWYRE

At times during these Centennial Games, you get the feeling that somebody has passed a law banning common sense and good taste in the Atlanta area. Call it the what-were-they-thinking-Olympics. Some samples:

--Olympic corporate sponsors: They have these little vending carts at the tennis stadium at Stone Mountain, selling Dove ice cream bars and Minute Maid lemonade. Umbrellas over the carts carry the products' name. Monday, Coca-Cola types had strips of tape put over all the Dove signs and put Coke umbrellas over all the Dove carts. Minute Maid was left alone because it belongs to Coca-Cola, a major Olympic sponsor.

Now, how an ice cream product competes with a soft drink is fairly mystifying. But what happened when people started asking about the tape on the signs and hearing the answer was gratifying. The lines to buy Dove bars increased measurably.

--Olympic security: Perhaps the mildest-mannered player on the ATP tour is Todd Woodbridge, the Australian currently living in Orlando, Fla., who ranks No. 1 in the world in doubles and who, with Mark Woodforde, has won the last four Wimbledon doubles titles.

A few nights ago, Woodbridge was being dropped off at the Olympic village by his wife's parents. They pulled their car over, apparently at a place designated for terrorists only. Woodbridge got out and was loading a couple of tennis bags over his arm when a female security guard ran up to him and grabbed the credential hanging around his neck. Woodbridge, somewhat startled, brushed the guard's hand away.

Woodbridge was carted off to jail, where he was allowed to plead no contest to a charge of disorderly conduct and where he agreed to a fine of $1,000. He did all this so he could get back in time to play singles in the Olympic tournament the next day. Woodbridge is hoping the various Olympic Committees and tennis federations can get this charge off the books after the Olympics is over.

Maybe if he agreed not to eat a Dove bar . . .

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