A week ago Army was looking forward to accepting a bowl bid for the first time, but then the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Johnson, reportedly voiced his now-famous view that football "hardly gives a picture of a peace-loving nation" (SCORECARD, Nov. 20). So any military man could probably have anticipated what was going to happen next. No bowl, said the Pentagon. The Secretary of the Army had decided that "accepting an invitation to play in a postseason game would tend to emphasize football to an extent not consistent with the basic mission of the Academy, which is to provide Army career officers." Or, as the statement was abbreviated in press and radio accounts, Army is supposed to train officers, not football players.
That Navy has played in four bowl games in the past 11 years and the Air Force in two is of no particular consequence. What is interesting is the fact that Army has been striving hard to build its prestige in order to attract top Academy candidates and that part of this image-lifting has been done through its football team. Army was aware, presumably, that applications to the Naval Academy quadrupled in the years immediately following Navy's first bowl appearance.
It also might be noted that Army All-America Don Holleder was killed in action last month. Doc Blanchard is now on his way to Vietnam; Bill Carpenter has recently come back with a Distinguished Service Cross, and Pete Dawkins is back with his bronze star. It may be a small issue, but we don't see anything mutually exclusive about training officers and football players.
When it comes to service-academy football we prefer the 1966 view of Lyndon Johnson, as expressed in a message to the Midshipmen and Cadets in the Army-Navy game program last year: "The courage and the confidence of this gridiron battle are the same courage and confidence which win our common battles on foreign fronts.... May today's spirit pave the way to tomorrow's triumph."
In short, if there were other reasons for keeping Army out of a bowl game, they should be stated. If not, let 'em play.
The word in Las Vegas last week was that the "short, chubby man from Connecticut" who made 50 straight passes at a Dunes crap table not long ago (SCORECARD, Oct. 30) and collected $25,000 might have been using dice coated with cobalt-60—a radioactive substance—along with a small electronic device that would control their fall. The cobalt-60, it was said, could have been rubbed on existing dice during the game without knowledge of the pit bosses, and the small electronic mechanism could have been concealed in a vest pocket. But the Nevada Gaming Control Board, after making an investigation, declared there was no truth to the tale. The dice used by the chubby man were micro-metered for defects and other abnormalities and were found to be perfect and exact cubes. They will be displayed in a specially built case outside of the casino, and The Dunes says it will offer $250,000 in cash to anyone who breaks the Connecticut man's record.
A STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE
The U.S. Lawn Tennis Association has decided to vote on three questions at its annual meeting in February: 1) Shall Americans be allowed to play in the open tournament at Wimbledon? 2) Shall there be an abolition of the distinction between amateurs and pros? 3) Shall an attempt be made to bring the administration of pro tennis under the USLTA?
There is a good chance American players will be allowed to participate at Wimbledon, but apparently the country's top tennis stars intend to appear no matter what the official decision is. Arthur Ashe told SPORTS ILLUSTRATED last week: "I will play. I hope saying this will not get me banned from the Davis Cup team, but I'll risk it. If I'm declared a pro I guess I'll just join the pros when I'm discharged from the Army in February 1969. An open Wimbledon is a move against tennis hypocrisy. I've been speaking out for this kind of tournament for a longtime, and so has Billie Jean [King]. It would be hypocritical of us not to support our beliefs by failing to enter."
Accompanying the Arizona State football team to Salt Lake City for its game with Utah were a number of high-spirited Sun Devil boosters and one man who kept his enthusiasm well in hand. He did not, in fact, even have a seat at the game. When he purchased space on the charter flight he told school officials he was going to Salt Lake to sell his house and "your charter is $11 less than the regular fare."
But others on the plane more than made up for this display of frugality. One Sun Devil fan bought a flower girl's tray of mums for $100 and pinned the pompons on people who looked friendly. Another tried to buy a spectator's fur coat to take home to his wife.
In the third quarter ASU'S Curley Culp intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown. Utah makes a big noise when the team scores, firing off a howitzer that is mounted on a tank. The Arizonans felt that Curley Culp deserved a similar salute. They pooled $500 and dispatched one of the group to bribe the ROTC youth in charge of the tank. The boy looked at the money and gulped, "No. I'd be court-martialed."
It would seem that the Sun Devil fans got a big bang out of the game anyhow.
Not long ago we heard of a group out in Washington called the We Love Rain Society, whose goal was to give their state a soggy image so that tourists would stay away. The members said they were attempting to "rainwash the world" in order to keep enough space in the Pacific Northwest for the natives. Society members kept their homes filled with umbrella stands, sent photographs of themselves taken in the rain to out-of-state friends, and if a stranger asked about Mount Rainier, the proper reply was. "What mountain? Oh, I've never seen it It's always cloud-covered."
Apparently the trend to discourage tourists is spreading. Charles Adams, the board chairman of Massachusetts' Raytheon Company and a great-great-great grandson of President John Adams, has urged New Englanders to shut their doors to vacationers. In a recent speech Adams said: "Does it add to the contentment of gifted people whom we would like to attract here to have to stand in line at a ski lift behind a group from Indiana, to have to wade through the clutter of a Cape Cod beach that was deposited by citizens of Kentucky and to breathe the exhaust gas generated by cars from 44 other states while they park in a traffic jam? I submit that it does not. In my opinion, New England should belong to New Englanders."
The same day that Adams was speaking in Boston, Maine Governor Kenneth Curtis was meeting with his executive council to consider raising state park camping fees. One councillor declared: "Sebago Lake State Park is full all summer It is only a two-hour ride from the crowded areas of Massachusetts. I don't see any reason why a family should be able to come up from Boston and stay there for two bucks a night."
Notre Dame supporters going to Miami this weekend to see the Irish play the Hurricanes are being offered a sporting proposition by the Roney Plaza hotel. The going rate for rooms is $10 a day, but if Miami loses to Notre Dame the visitors will only have to pay $5.
The hotel has offered similar deals for Miami's other home games, and so far it has not been an unprofitable gamble. Miami's only loss at home was to Penn State.
Unfortunately, the hotel got carried away with local fervor and thought the AFL Miami Dolphins were a good bet, too. "We started off the season with the same cut-rate policy for the Dolphins," Hotel Manager Sandy Slater says, "but they lost their first exhibition game, and 30 or 40 guests got out for half price." Not only that, Slater saw what kind of team the Dolphins were. "I decided to withdraw the offer," he says. A little dabbling in gambling water is O.K., but no hotelman likes to take a bath.
A Canadian chemical firm is marketing a body spray for deer hunters. The product, called G66 Deer Lure, makes a man smell like an apple or, rather, like an orchard. A deer is able to pick up the scent two miles away.
Colonel George Wigg, who has been the watchdog for scandals and security leaks in Harold Wilson's government and a close confidant of the Prime Minister (he helped win the election for the Socialists by exposing Profumo), became the No. 1 man in British racing last week. On taking over as chairman of the Horserace Betting Levy Board, Wigg declared, "I have a profound hatred of new brooms, and I honestly see my job as a member of a team." But by the end of the first week it was obvious that Wigg had intentions of setting England's horseracing house in order. Wigg had said, among other things, that "the Jockey Club's discipline is so soft that the rules are ignored and derided;" that "jockeys have developed the business of "covering up' or disguising an attempt to lose into something close to an art;" that "bookmakers, as a profession, are not very intelligent—neither was the dinosaurus and the dinosaurus got stuffed; if they are not careful so will the bookmakers, for the same reason;" and that jockeys "are not as fully developed as the average young male of the same age, so it is quite likely that if their bodies are not fully developed, then their IQs will not be very high, either."
Indignant jockeys and horsemen demanded a retraction, but George Wigg was taking back little that he had said. "If I have wounded anyone in anyway," he told reporters, "on grounds of courtesy alone, I am sorry."
Lawrence Zeidel's new book won't make the movies. The book is too short (10 pages) and the title too long for the marquee. Nevertheless, a Resumé with References and Testimonials of Larry Zeidel, Professional Hockey Player, Sales Promotion and Public Relations Executive appears to be a bestseller of sorts. It landed Zeidel a job with the Philadelphia Flyers in the expanded National Hockey League. "When expansion came I figured I'd better let people know I was available," says Zeidel, who has spent most of his 16 years as a pro playing in minor league rinks from Seattle to Hershey, Pa. So last summer he got out his scrapbooks and newspaper clippings and sat down to write his autobiography. He included pictures, too. "The one of me sitting behind the desk was to improve my image," he says. "Too many people had the idea I was a bad guy who got a lot of penalties."
Zeidel had his work printed (for $150) and mailed a copy to each of the 12 teams in the NHL, informing them that he was available.
It was during training camp in Cleveland that he received a letter from Bill Putnam, president of the Flyers. A few days later Zeidel was playing major league hockey.
THEY SAID IT
•Charlie Tate, Miami football coach, on the noise in LSU stadium: "It's the kind of place that if the visiting captain wins the coin toss, he elects to take the crowd."
•Dan Tehan, longtime NFL official and now a league observer of games, when asked if there is a difference between NFL and AFL officiating: "There isn't any at all, except the AFL lets its men get a little fat."
•George Van Niekerk, one of Zambia's representatives in the recent world senior amateur golf team championship, on being introduced to one of the U.S. players, Ray Palmer, "Oh, yes, I've heard of Palmer."