THE GUESSING GAME
NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle started the game last week with an announcement that his league will add two new teams by 1967. AFL Commissioner Joe Foss leaped in with a statement that his league will add two teams in 1966 and two more in 1968. The game, of course, is to guess which cities will get all those new pro football teams. About the only town not mentioned is Red River, N. Mex., because it is hard to play football on the side of a mountain.
Both leagues would like to move into Atlanta, where a new stadium awaits. One NFL owner feels his league has Atlanta sewed up, despite that city's prominence in AFL discussions. The other new NFL city probably will be Houston, New Orleans or Seattle. In the case of Houston—the leading contender after Atlanta—there is an occurrence that may be more than coincidence. The Houston Oilers of the AFL balked at rental demands made by Judge Roy Hofheinz for the Astrodome and have signed a five-year contract to play at Rice Stadium. That leaves the Astrodome open for the NFL and, as the baseball Astros have proved, whoever plays in the dome plays before large crowds.
The AFL, on the other hand, is talking about moving into Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland or Detroit, all of which already have NFL teams, and Atlanta, New Orleans, Miami and Seattle. One thing the expansion talk has done is shove aside rumors that the two leagues might merge. Ralph Wilson, owner of the AFL's Buffalo Bills, told the Buffalo Evening News that the leagues were "on the one-yard line" in merger negotiations, but the NFL's insistence on indemnity payments killed the deal. "Now," said Dallas Cowboys Owner Clint Murchison Jr., "we're farther from a merger than we were in 1960." And so the guessing game goes on.
THE PERILS OF PAR
Golfers take heed. Accidents on the fairways, which reached a high of 18,000 in 1962, then leveled off, seem to be on the increase again. The following advice, from the Institute for Safer Living, is published in the interest of those golfers who would like to play without being carried off on their shields:
Look out for flying golf balls. About 10,000 players, caddies and grounds-keepers are hit by balls in a year, and another 1,600 are struck down by clubs.
Take it easy and do not fight the elements. Lightning, commonly considered a major risk, only fells about 500 golfers a year, but heat prostration gets about 2,000 and overexertion another 1,200.
And be careful with those dang fool golf carts. They are a growing menace. Before the year is done about 1,500 golfers will overturn carts, fall out of them or be run down by them.
For years the brewing industry has brooded over the public relations implications of beer cans and bottles littering roadsides, picnic grounds, beaches and the banks of streams. By association beer has been blamed for what the heedless beer drinker has been doing.
Colorado's Adolph Coors Company has been doing something about it. Since 1959 it has been offering 1¢ for the return of each discarded aluminum can or bottle used to hold its beer. The drive has been so successful that return of cans is running 85% of those sold and bottle returns have hit 75%. Coors officials expect to buy back 35 million cans and bottles this year in their war against litterbugging.
HELP WANTED: MALE
The Newfoundland Wildlife Department had a problem on its hands. The 100 square miles of lonely Fogo Island, off the east coast of Newfoundland, seemed to be perfect moose habitat, but somehow the scanty moose population was not growing. A month ago biologists were dispatched to Fogo to find out why, and in no time at all they had the answer: all the moose on the island were females.
Apparently, in a recent bitter winter, cow moose trooped over ice from the mainland to Fogo, but bulls were reluctant to follow. The Newfoundland wildlifers have now corrected the imbalance. Last week a young bull moose, dangling in a sling, was airlifted by helicopter from St. John's and set down on Fogo. At first the young bull kept rushing back to the helicopter, but when rocks were thrown at him, he finally ambled off into the brush. Hopefully, he is now somewhere within bellowing distance of the lovelorn.
QUEEN IN CHECK
Back in the good old carefree days of the 5¢ beer and the two-ocean navy, a beauty contest usually was won by the most beautiful girl in a bathing suit. Life was that simple. Today, to become a beauty queen a girl must also be able to sing, folk dance, finger-paint, recite free verse or otherwise prove there is more to her than fills a bathing suit. Darlee Hassmann of San Diego, a pretty, blue-eyed blonde, who measures 36-23-36, is one of those girls who could win a contest under the old rules or the new. In the finals of the Miss San Diego contest, Darlee's 11 rivals did the usual things: they tap-danced, read dramatic parts, twirled batons and such as that. For her talent act Darlee threw her 175-pound judo instructor, Al Holtmann, around the stage. Her seoi-nage (over-shoulder throw) and her o-uchi-gari (violent back throw) brought oohs and ahs from the audience. There is no doubt that Darlee deserves a crack at the Miss America title in Atlantic City this fall but, alas, she may not get it. Darlee must first win her state crown, and the California officials have ruled that she cannot wrestle onstage. Darlee plans to try anyhow, substituting a dramatic reading from Cyrano de Bergerac, but her heart really isn't in it.
THE MOTORIZED MORAL
After every Indianapolis 500, there are enough untold stories around to last until the next year. One from this year's race has the stern stuff of which Bible Belt sermons are made, and we introduce it here as proof that even in auto racing there will always be a moral.
It was two days before the race. There was Rufus Parnelli Jones angry over the way his race car was handling, gloomy over his chances in the big race. He had crashed in practice and smashed the car, had suffered a hairline fracture in his neck; and had been grouchy with his mechanics. While he was driving home, on the radio a local preacher was sermonizing, and Jones began to half listen. "Sometimes the reason things don't work," the preacher said, "is because you have a negative attitude. Take a positive approach. It will solve your problems."
Back to Gasoline Alley went Jones. He apologized to his crew for his curtness and told them of the sermon. And as one of the mechanics said, "By damn, we've tried about everything else; we might as well give her a little positive thinking." The gloom lifted.
As everyone knows by now, Parnelli raced into second place and a prize of $64,661. On the last lap he roared past the stands, grimly fighting a car that seemed to be bursting out of control. "Two morals here," explained Jones back in the garage. "You got to think positively. And when your car is running out of gas, you got to positively yank that blanker back and forth to slosh the remaining few drops into the engine."
THE WIN POOL
Thoroughbred trainers are generally agreed that the massaging action of water is good for a horse's legs. Now. thanks to a California trainer, Jack Clifford, and a swimming-pool contractor, Bill Kirkpatrick, there is a whirlpool bath for Thoroughbreds.
The bath, called the Winner-Whirl, is an outsize version of the hydrotherapy machines used by humans, except that there are 12 water jets in all, each aimed at a trouble spot on a horse's legs. Clifford has just finished testing the Winner-Whirl at San Francisco's Golden Gate Fields, a venue that attracts an ample supply of listless 3-year-olds and ancient claimers. In his first three times out after a few baths, Banco II, a 9-year-old claimer, got a win, a fourth and a second. A bad-acting 10-year-old, Blue G, unplaced in four months, came back with two seconds and a fourth. Among the 29 horses that were whirlpooled, there were, of course, some who disappointed. King's Patty, a 3-year-old also-ran, took 24 baths and apparently got nothing from it but clean legs.
Co-inventor Clifford does not claim that Winner-Whirl is a miracle machine. He has been in the game long enough to know that with horses it is blood, not water, that counts.
RACING AROUND THE CALENDAR
Having extended harness racing so that it now covers all but three weeks of the year, New York State legislators are now considering adding to the current 234 days of Thoroughbred racing.
There are already so many days of racing in New York that it is impossible for tracks to get enough respectable horses in the beginning and at the end of the season. These extensions will, we predict, result not only in a poorer quality of racing but in danger to jockeys and drivers, and discomforts for bettors. But it is the gluttony of the tax collector that regulates the game. If Herodotus were a New York racing fan, he might have written: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night can stay these bureaucrats in the swift extension of their greedy hands."
A SAILING YARN
The history of the America's Cup has been one of monotonous success. The defender of the cup, the New York Yacht Club, has loosely interpreted the rules from time to time, giving some misbegotten challengers a break so that the races would have a semblance of competitive equality. But now, faced with a second challenge from Australia, the club has gotten tough, placing an even stricter interpretation on the original rule that requires a challenging yacht to be constructed in its native country. As the NYYC now interprets it, a challenger may not even use a basic American-made material such as Dacron, the synthetic fiber from which the best sails are made. It would take the Australians almost as long to duplicate and weave Dacron properly as it would to grow their ship's timbers from seedlings. On this one technicality alone, the Aussies' chances are truly dim.
Sir Frank Packer, who heads the Australian challenge, does not object at all to the NYYC's overall interpretation, but he does feel the embargo on materials like Dacron is unreasonable. He points out that "the textile industry in America is far more advanced than in pastoral Australia [which grows sheep, not synthetics]. The limitation on Dacron gives America a great advantage unrelated to the skills of designing, building, sail-cutting and crewing. The fate of the America's Cup rests not on sailors, or even sails, but solely on industrial technology." The way Sir Frank sees it, a yacht race should not be won in a test tube.
We second Sir Frank's very logical notions.
A dam spanning a river often is a thing of beauty, a testimonial to the ingenuity of man. About two years from now, in the Pennsylvania Dutch country, the waters of the twisting Susquehanna River will be impounded by one of the ugliest dams you ever saw. When completed, it will look like a giant strand of sausage. In essence the Susquehanna dam will be composed of inflatable sections of coated fabric which, when fully inflated, will back up 3,000 acres of water for boating, fishing, swimming and water skiing.
There is a possibility that the local population of muskrats, accustomed to having their own way around the river, might gnaw at the sausage sections, but the engineers are not worried on that count. It is a tough fabric. Bullets bounce off it, and it will take a lot of gnawing.
THEY SAID IT
•Jim Myers, assistant coach of the Dallas Cowboys, discussing pass protection: "We specialized in the Look Out Block last year. The tackle raises up and says, 'Look out, here he comes.' "
•Barbara Romack, on being named president of the Ladies Professional Golf Association: "It's the second time I have ever been president of anything. The other was when I was the president of the Sacramento Junior Golf Club. Thirty-five boys and one girl—me. We didn't get much business done but we had great meetings."