Bowman The Showman

Has anyone who has ever seen that program forgotten it? "Woolly Bully." By Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. Wild and woolly exhibition. Dismissable as a cute little number. (So was he, if you didn't know skating.) And, quite frankly, one of the greatest programs in the history of American figure skating.

He literally took yellow and black "Caution" tape and tied it around his head. That flashing yellow-and-black effect had the Soviets terrified. Had the Yanks finally figured out their optical judge-blinding techniques? (I don't think he really knew what he was doing. Just seemed like a cute idea.) Bounced around the rink, mugging like a wild man. And occasionally blowing out even the great Peg Fleming's jump style.

I had the good fortune to see Chris perform this program in person. Afterwards, I was grilled by Wildcat friends for at least three days. "How did he hit the edges?" "What can we learn from this?" "Was that jump really as good as it looked on camera?" Bowman had Wildcats jealous. Nobody made Wildcats jealous. They were screaming. Sleeping with videotape under their pillows. Snagging rolls of "Caution" tape. Anything. Anything. They loved this guy.

Watch his turns. Watch his edgework. Has anyone ever popped better choctaws? Hah. You're dreaming. Nobody could hold a solid edge better than he could. It didn't even look like he was doing it. Just skating or something. That's all.

Go dig you out a tape of "Woolly Bully." It's instructive. How to do a show program and not blow your edges. Tough work.

However Many Minutes It Is To Ice Time...

Just do whatever you want to do. You always do anyway....