THE ELECTIONS ARE just a week away, and you're still undecided? Perhaps a little insight into the athletic preferences of Michael Dukakis and George Bush will help the confusion.
Sources indicate that Bush has a tendency toward the glamor positions, while Dukakis is more the distance-runner type. As an undergraduate at Yale, Bush was the shortstop on the baseball team, where he was good enough for longtime USC Coach Rod Dedeaux to name him on his alltime all-opponent list. (Then again, Dedeaux is a Republican).Dukakis wasn't much of a team player at Swarthmore College, but being a true-blooded Bostonian he proved his mettle while in high school by entering the 1951 Boston Marathon and running it in 3:30 to finish 57th.
As for current conditions, Dukakis, although nine years younger than Bush, doesn't do any more running and instead - how shall we put this? - power walks. Bush tries to run three miles every other day and is an avid tennis player. He used to play a lot of golf but got the yips and won the vice presidency at about the same time and largely gave up the game.
**** ADD ELECTION: If you're wondering why Dukakis hasn't been stumping at any PGA Tour events, here's why: According to a survey revealed in this month's issue of Golf Digest, 93 percent of the golfers on the PGA Tour will vote Republican.
They're a bunch of Elephants out there on the greens.
"Things have been going pretty well for us lately, I don't want to see too many changes," U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange was quoted as saying - referring, apparently, to the country and not just himself. Jack Nicklaus said, "If I had five votes, I'd cast them all for Bush."
If Dukakis wins, he might turn Augusta National back into a nursery.
**** WE'RE NO. 2: In its preseason basketball issue, The Sporting News reveals its TENDEX ratings for the NBA from the 1987-88 season, and the Utah Jazz are well represented.
The Jazz's John Stockton was rated the sixth best player in the NBA last season, while teammate Karl Malone was rated 10th - and the Jazz as a team ranked No. 2 in the league behind the Boston Celtics.
The TENDEX system computes points plus rebounds plus assists plus blocked shots plus steals minus turnovers minus missed field goals and free-throw attempts. All this is divided by minutes played with a variable of game pace thrown in for good measure.
The Jazz team came out with a 105.8 team TENDEX rating, behind the Celtics' 106.4 but ahead of the third place Los Angeles Lakers' 105.1. Rated fourth were the Chicago Bulls, followed by Detroit, Atlanta, Seattle, Dallas and Denver.
WE'RE NO. 5: A recent survey in USA Today on the number of major college football players per state caught the computerized eye of Sterling Day of Salt Lake City, who took the figures and determined the most prolific college football-producing states in America.
"You might find it interesting that one out of every 13,282 people in Utah plays Division I-A football," he writes, "while only one in 103,894 plays football in New York."
With its 1-per-13,282 ratio, Utah rates fifth in the nation, exceeded only by Wyoming (1-per-4,743), Ohio (1-per-11,827), Hawaii (1-per-12,215) and Texas (1-per-12,535). Rounding out the top 10 states are Nebraska, Georgia, California, Louisiana and Alabama.
The least-producing states? South Dakota and Vermont don't have a single native son on a major college team this fall, while Maine's ratio is 1-per-562,515, Rhode Island's is 1-per-315,718 and New Hampshire's is 1-per-230,153.
Utah has 110 players on major college rosters, out of a population of 1,461,037.
**** WE'RE NO. 102: Utah State might have had more trouble than it wanted in disposing of 1-8 Pacific Saturday in a 23-20 win, but, still, the (hardly) Tigers came through with a weak-enough offensive output to get the Aggies out of some seriously bad company.
Going into the game, the Ags' defense ranked 104th, or dead last, in the nation, yielding 546.3 yards per game. That average was ahead of the all-time worst yards-per-game average posted in 1981 by the winless Northwestern Wildcats, who gave up 532.5 yards per game.
To break Northwestern's record, USU had to give up an average of 508.5 yards to each of its last four opponents, starting with Pacific.
But Pacific only got 328 yards total offense.
That not only lowered the Aggies' per-game yield to 519 yards but also moved them out of the defensive cellar into the 102nd spot. Kansas and Kansas State, after playing Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, respectively, took over 103 and 104. Both, incidentally, are now in Northwestern territory, Kansas at a yield of 530.6 per game and Kansas State at 545.0.
**** QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Former NBA star Lionel Hollins, reminiscing on the career of Maurice Lucas: "To Luke, basketball was a contact sport. All con and no tact."