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Size Matters?

I’m not a basketball fan and I know next to nothing about it. But I was fascinated by this 1972 photograph of Pete Maravich in the Sunday New York Times Book Review, which came with my Saturday Times today.

The most astonishing thing to me is how scrawny he looks. Today’s athletes, probably even basketball players, are pumped. Maravich seems to have no significant upper body muscles and skinny arms. Even his legs don’t look impressive. And yet he was apparently the world’s best. Maybe it’s a deceptive photograph.

I saw the movie Goodbye Columbus in the early Seventies, starring Richard Benjamin and Ali McGraw, and at the time Richard Benjamin looked perfectly OK as a movie star. Then, about ten years ago, I caught it on TV and was similarly shocked at how unpumped he was relative to today’s male stars.


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