INCIDENT AT FORT COLLINS
A group of Colorado State students asked college authorities for permission to hold a protest demonstration against Brigham Young University at a basketball game between the two last week at Fort Collins, Colo. Permission was denied, the protesters demonstrated anyway, a fight broke out, police were called, there were injuries and arrests. It is difficult to determine whether the protesters were too aggressive, spectators too antagonistic or college authorities too shortsighted and unprepared for eventualities, but the ugly fact remains: sport is becoming more and more a part of the arena of social and political antagonism. It may be impossible and even undesirable to keep politics out of sport, but that does not mean that political violence—from either side of the fence—should be fostered.
TALE OF A TAPE
The Sunday night after the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl, a rerun of the game was telecast over KCMO-TV, the CBS affiliate in Kansas City. That seemed logical and innocent enough, but it turned out that KCMO had blithely ignored the admonition aired during the game that no reproduction of the telecast could be shown without permission from the football commissioner's office. When officials there heard about the unauthorized rerun, they quietly requested and got the tape from the station, which apparently realized that it might be vulnerable to possible legal action.
Time passed, and after awhile people in Kansas City began asking the station to run the tape of the game again and advertisers began lining up to buy spots on the show. But nothing happened. Finally E.K. Hartenbower, general manager of KCMO, went on the-air and explained that there would not be another rerun because the NFL would not give permission for it. The NFL, never terribly popular in AFL-oriented Kansas City, lost points, and Commissioner Pete Rozelle, even though he had not been involved in the affair (the player draft and the federal gambling investigation having prior call on his time), was being test-run as a potential villain.
Then things began to smooth out. The league office decided to give permission for a rerun when Kitty Clover potato chips, which paid a modest fee for the right to use the tape, agreed that no commercials would be used except for fund-raising appeals for Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. And KCMO said it would donate the time charges for the telecast to the hospital fund.
Everybody was happy. Kitty Clover had a nice dignified promotion, KCMO was on the side of the angels, Chiefs fans could relive their glorious victory and the NFL was back in the good graces of its new constituents. The mollifying rerun was scheduled for Feb. 15, and by happy coincidence Pete Rozelle was due in town Feb. 16 to speak at a dinner honoring the Chiefs.
YOU'D THINK I HAD...
There is a new fishing lure on the market that smells—on command. Made by the Woodstream Corporation, it uses a plastic impregnated with a fishy smell that is released when the lure becomes wet. When the lure dries, the remaining scent (there is enough for about 20 hours of continuous fishing) is sealed in till next time. You can test it for smellability by simply breathing on it. That's no reflection on you—the moisture in your breath brings out the odor in the lure—but it gives you an eerie feeling to breathe gently on an inoffensive bit of plastic and get back eau de lake bottom.
PROGRESS TO NOWHERE
It is difficult to ascribe to anything but greed the National Basketball Association's decision to add four new franchises to the 14-team league. The $14.8 million the owners will receive from the new franchises ($3.7 million apiece) will help several losing clubs climb out of the red this year. Next year, with four more losers, even more new franchises may be needed. And then the playing talent can be further diluted until some pro clubs become not much better than the top college teams—or perhaps not as good—a fact that could become apparent to spectators, live and on TV.
Sport in China, a casualty of the Cultural Revolution that began in 1966, seems to be reviving. More and more factory workers are again taking part in gymnastics, running, swimming, basketball and soccer, although the basketball and soccer matches are "played with profound class feelings," according to a Chinese newspaper article quoted in the Toronto Globe and Mail. "They would rather lose the game than hurt others," says the article. "They played not to see who was champion, but for unity, for sportsmanship. It was a sharp contrast with the champion-is-everything type of match advocated by Liu Shao-chi [now in disrepute] and his agents."
Before the Red Guards began their upheaval, China's most popular sport was table tennis (more than 70 million table tennis balls were manufactured in 1965), and Chuang Tse-tung, world champion from 1961 through 1965 and since rumored dead or in jail (SI, May 5, 1969), has reemerged as a sports hero. He was the prize attraction a few months ago at a sports evening in Peking attended by 18,000 Chinese and 2,000 foreigners. If such renewed emphasis on sport means that China is going to return to international competition, its impact on sport will be considerable, and not just in table tennis. With a population of 700 million to draw on, the Chinese can become powers in track and field (Ni Chih-chin leaped 7'5¾" in 1966, best high jump in the world that year), speed skating, soccer or almost anything else they choose to concentrate on.
SORRY ABOUT THIS
Three somewhat indigent British lords, unable to compete with a neighboring duke in the estate-touring business, pooled their resources and bought a lion. A publicity photo of the three owners standing behind their tourist attraction duly appeared in the newspapers, though, unhappily, the photo was not as clear as it might have been. "Is that you on the end there?" one of the three was asked by a friend. "No, no," he replied. "I'm the middle lion backer."
A Hovercraft, that interesting boat that rides not on water but just over it on a cushion of air, has had its versatility dramatically demonstrated. A 10-ton Hovercraft carrying 26 scientists, writers, photographers and crewmen from six different countries recently completed a 5,000-mile, 85-day journey up and down rivers and across lakes in 11 countries in west and central Africa. It zoomed over miles of previously impassable water, including the unnavigable Stanley Rapids of the Congo River, and went into remote areas where no Europeans had ever been The serious purpose of the trip was to explore Africa's rich potential, but it is hard not to let your mind drift to the past and wonder whether Stanley wouldn't have found Livingstone in a week if he had had a Hovercraft.
ONE FOR THE BETTORS
A provision of the new tax law no longer excludes gambling winnings from income averaging. This means that if a bettor wins big during one year, he now can average that exceptionally high income with other income over a five-year period. It does not mean that he can average losing years with winning ones, because in any given year gambling losses that exceed winnings are not deductible. It simply means that he can spread his winnings out to reduce the tax bite.
Some gamblers hold that losses should be deductible, but the Government does not agree, partly because food, rent, clothing and other such are not deductible and partly because checking out the validity of wagering losses could be a job of nightmarish proportions. Other gamblers concede that losses should not be deductible but argue that winnings should be tax-free. They say that legitimate gambling is under close state supervision and that a bet at the racetrack, for example, is taxed heavily to begin with.
Don't bet they win the argument.
The implication was made here a few weeks ago that the Western College Hockey Association was in danger of falling apart because the Big Ten schools within the association were thinking of forming their own league. But that gloomy prognostication apparently was ill-founded. What the Big Ten schools probably will form is their own division within the WCHA, while the rest of the league, Denver, Michigan Tech, North Dakota, Colorado College and the University of Minnesota at Duluth, will become another. Far from being left out in the cold, this latter group will comprise one of the strongest college hockey circuits in the country.
CHECK THAT SCORE
Odd scores keep popping up in sport, but seldom do you get a parlay like this: in the same week, late in January, Beaverton beat Burien 37-2 in an amateur hockey game in Oregon, while in high school basketball in Kansas, Jackson Heights defeated Dover 4-0. Sounds as though the goalies got on the wrong bus.
Pat Livingston of Pittsburgh takes umbrage at the comment (SI, Feb. 9) that "Pittsburgh has never seen the likes of Terry Bradshaw." Bradshaw is the superlative quarterback from Louisiana Tech whom the Steelers made their No. 1 pick in the pro football draft. Livingston makes the point that while the Steelers may not have fielded a quarterback like Bradshaw, they sure have seen the likes of him. Though, he hastens to add, the club has also shown a remarkable propensity for letting such brilliant prospects slip through its fingers. The Steelers in their time have had and given up on several championship quarterbacks—Sid Luckman, Frank Filchock, Tommy Thompson, Jack Kemp, Len Dawson, Earl Morrall, Bill Nelsen and Johnny Unitas, any one of whom might have helped bring Pittsburgh the NFL title it never won. Now Bradshaw (or Terry Hanratty, who as a rookie in 1969 led the Steelers in throwing touchdown passes even though he played less than four full games) may guide the club to an American Conference championship—unless the Steelers see another good trade in the offing.
Stanford University is sore. Or, at any rate, its sports publicity man is. Bob Murphy says he is tired of the artificial-grass people yakking all the time about how much safer their stuff is than the real thing (Stanford uses plain old grass in its stadium). He claims that Stanford's football team had only one knee injury all last season, and that was in an away game on artificial turf. "What really burns us," Murphy cries, "is the way some coaches will tell the mothers of kids they are trying to recruit, 'You wouldn't want your boy to break his leg playing on ordinary grass, would you?' "
THEY SAID IT
•John McKenna, VMI football coach who quit to become assistant athletic director at Georgia Tech, on why he would not return to coaching: "I wouldn't go through the business of recruiting again, of fawning on teen-age athletes."
•John (Beans) Reardon, former umpire, on receiving the Bill Klem Award at a Houston banquet: "I'm very glad to receive the Klem Award, but I'll tell you the truth. Klem hated my guts and I hated his."
•Dr. Harold E. Kenney, former Illinois wrestling coach, on karate: "It's a form of Oriental offensive grunting. If a man using karate has laryngitis, he is disarmed."
•Jack Hurley, veteran boxing manager, on his decision to sell heavyweight Boone Kirkman's contract for $150,000: "It's better to have something in the pocket in case the police come."