At the Meadowbrook pool in Mount Washington, where Olympian Anita Nall trains, coach Cathy Proutt Lears yesterday was leading some would-be future Nalls through a hard practice and putting in perspective Anita's winning silver and bronze medals in Barcelona -- instead of the gold medals the Towson girl had hoped to win.
"A disappointing silver and bronze?" said Lears. "I'd like to have a disappointing silver and bronze." Enough said.
Disappointments or no, life goes on even among those closest to Nall. Her North Baltimore Aquatic Club coach, Murray Stephens, is enjoying a reunion at the Olympics with one of his former swimmers, Guy Babylon of Westminster.
Babylon, now 34 years old, is the percussion man for Elton John, who is appearing this week in Barcelona.
* By now it should be obvious to everyone that the NBA players don't belong in the Olympics. They're much too good for the rest of the world and it's not much fun watching them. It's certainly not good sport.
They remind me of NBA guys having fun at practice. Having Charles Barkley represent our country is a disgrace.
Chances are we won't see the NBA stars back in the Olympics. They were only allowed to go there to market their game and the products they endorse world-wide.
Injuries that have sidelined Magic Johnson and John Stockton at Barcelona send chills through NBA owners. They're not likely to risk their multimillion-dollar chattels in another Olympics.
* Mike Flanagan, who joined the Orioles in 1975 when the club drew 1,002,157, is as flabbergasted as anyone by the sellout crowds at Oriole Park.
With the O's on schedule to draw 3.5 million this year, Flanny says accurately enough:
"We're at a point now where they can't have a rainout. What would they do with 45,000 rainchecks for a future game when every seat is already sold? Where would they put 45,000 people? They'd have toschedule a doubleheader with separate admissions."
* Ben McDonald's brilliant pitching from the fourth through eighth innings against the Yankees two nights ago proves once again the talent is there, though the consistency is not. I'm betting Johnny Oates and pitching coach Dick Bosman will bring out the latter.
* With several local coaches having applied for the lacrosse job at Brown, there's unusual interest in that appointment, which is expected to come down this week. The word now is that it's likely to go to Peter Lasagna, who has been an assistant at Brown for 10 years to Dom Starsia, now moved on to Virginia.
* The University of Maryland lost a great friend and alumnus (Class of '40) yesterday with the death of Ralph Tyser. Among his many generous gifts was $1 million (accompanied by a $1 million matching gift) for the new press box at Byrd Stadium. The building, which towers over the stadium and opened a year ago, is already named Tyser Towers.
* Baltimore's switch from the now defunct Major Soccer League (the Blast) to the National Professional Soccer League is being taken in stride by local fans.
Typical is the response of York Road produce dealer Tim Resch, who was a Blast season ticket holder: "It'll be good to see some new players and new teams. You get tired of seeing San Diego win it every year."
Not so fast, Tim. San Diego may yet wind up in the new league. Former MSL member Cleveland is expected to join the NPSL today and St. Louis also is considering it.
* When Al Davis enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday they will say he started in the NFL as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Chargers in 1960. Actually, Davis started with the Baltimore Colts in the '50s.
Davis at that time was in the Army, stationed at Fort Belvoir, Va. He contacted the Colts' Keith Molesworth and asked if he could be the team's military scout. When Molesworth told Davis there was no money in the budget for such a position, Al said that was OK, he would do it as a volunteer (Al was thinking of the resume). Moley accepted and Davis submitted some scouting reports.
In '60, when Davis applied to the Chargers' Sid Gillman for a job, Gillman called Molesworth and asked what kind of job Davis had done for the Colts. Snapped Molesworth: "Davis? We don't have anybody named Davis. Oh, you mean that kid at Fort Belvoir? He did all right."
And thus Al Davis, now owner of the Raiders, got his first paying job in the NFL.