MY OLD KENTUCKY SCORNED
Calumet Farm's Sunny Tim established himself as one of the best 3-year-old colts in the country when he won the Bay Shore Stakes in New York last Saturday, but don't start thinking of him as a likely choice to win the Kentucky Derby. He won't be there. Calumet's owner, Mrs. Gene Markey, refused to nominate Sunny Tim to the Derby after stating in 1968 that she would never again run a horse in Kentucky until the Forward Pass-Dancer's Image mess was cleared up (the winner's share of the 1968 Derby is still in escrow, though it is two years since Calumet's Forward Pass was awarded the purse three days after Dancer's Image, supposedly dosed with Butazolidin, beat him). Mrs. Markey not only won't race in Kentucky, she will not even visit her house in Lexington during the spring meeting at Keeneland. "I shall miss the dogwood," she said the other day, "but not the racing."
The Calumet boycott is significant. The stable has won the Derby seven undisputed times—Sunny Tim's sire is Tim Tarn, Calumet's 1958 Derby winner—and its deliberate absence from Louisville this Derby Day will be a telling blow to the race's prestige.
IN LIVING BLACK AND WHITE
Louisiana Tech, home school of Terry Bradshaw, No. 1 pick in the pro football draft, is virtually all white, while Grambling College, home school of a host of pro football stars (nine were drafted this time), is just about all black. Yet the two institutions, located five miles apart in the rolling hills of northern Louisiana, appear to be a stimulating example of interracial harmony. The schools cooperate academically and athletically. They exchange classes and professors, and a student of one can enroll in a course at the other for no additional fee. The baseball and basketball teams practice against one another, and Louisiana Tech's president, F. Jay Taylor, says, "We're going to play each other formally soon, though right now they'd be pretty strong for us in football."
Grambling's president, who has held the post for the past 34 years, is Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones, known as Prez to students and teachers on both campuses. Prez was Grambling's first football coach and remains its first and only baseball coach. He initiated Grambling's now impressive athletic program, started its nationally known marching band, taught math, physics and chemistry, served as registrar and dean of men and even wrote the Grambling school song. The other day Louisiana Tech honored President Jones by awarding him the fourth honorary degree the school has conferred in its 75-year-old history. As the ceremony was ending the Grambling president could be faintly heard singing Louisiana Tech's school song. His counterpart, President Taylor, said, "Sing out, Prez. This is your alma mater, too, now."
Before his case gets into court, Curt Flood might check into the revised labor laws in Mexico, which become effective on May 1. Under them, a baseball player cannot be forced to switch clubs without his permission. And, if he wants to, a player can take one day off a week.
READ ALL ABOUT IT
A new publication called Earth Times, militantly outspoken on ecology and conservation, is upon us. It is fairly ugly in itself (cheaply printed, it favors jammed-up layouts and a sickly green ink on its cover page), but in its defense of the environment it is beautifully blunt and tough. If there is a lingering stereotype of the conservationist as a falsetto-voiced birdwatcher, Earth Times dispels it with headlines like IF THEY TRY TO SPRAY, WE'LL SHOOT THEM DOWN and SEWAGE IN THE SURF AT WAIKIKI and GEORGIA UNDERGROUND RAISES STINK. A few of the items mistake bombast for fact, and the prose gets a little confused at times—"It's becoming more clear (it always has been)...," says an editorial—but most of the material is briskly written and impressively documented, particularly a report on the effect of helicopter-borne defoliant sprays in Arizona. You might take a look at Earth Times. It is published in San Francisco, but in a very real way it's your local paper.
Now don't take this one too seriously, but we are told that at the University of Chicago recently a group of 147 men and women calling themselves the Students for Violent Non-Action took over the university pool for a nude swim-in. James W. Vice (interesting name, that), assistant dean of students, came by to observe. "I just walked over to see what was coming off," he is reported to have said. "It was all very good-natured." Asked if any school regulations had been broken, the assistant dean replied, "We never thought of making a rule against anything like this."
IN PLAIN SIGHT
Maybe Chicago isn't too concerned about free-form swimming, but New Mexico is. Officials of the Santa Fe National Forest have been receiving complaints from tourists, campers and fishermen that "hippie types" have been bathing nude in plain sight of New Mexico Highway 4. A forest ranger has dutifully met with leaders of the Hog Farm Commune and asked them if they could talk to the swimmers and persuade them to cease and desist, at least when tourists are around. A statement read, "The Forest Service recognizes your people as ordinary citizens. You are entitled to equal privileges and benefits under the law. You have no additional privileges and benefits over other citizens, nor do other citizens have privileges that you do not have.... It is our desire that you communicate with your segment of society and help us govern their acting in order that clashes with other segments may be avoided."
It seemed a fair and reasonable approach, but it could lead to an embarrassing future for the Forest Service. If combating nude bathing becomes a prime duty of the rangers, that shaggy, fire-fighting symbol of forest life may have to be renamed Smokey Bare.
The Irish are in a bit of a flap. Sir Ivor, the winner of the 1968 Laurel International as the representative of the Ould Sod, is an American-bred colt that was sold as a yearling to Raymond Guest, then the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. Guest took the horse abroad with him and raced him in Europe with signal success. After Sir Ivor's victory in the International, the Ambassador announced that the horse would be retired and would first stand at stud in Ireland, rather than in the U.S., as a gesture of Guest's appreciation for the splendid treatment he and Sir Ivor had received over there.
It was not entirely a gesture, of course. Sir Ivor's stud fee this year is 8,000 guineas ($20,000), nearly three times the highest previous European stud fee. Still it was a boon for Ireland and for European racing, and the first crop of foals seems exceptionally promising.
But now American interests, reportedly headed by A. B. (Bull) Hancock Jr. of Kentucky's highly successful Claiborne Farm, are after Guest to pack it up in Ireland and bring Sir Ivor back to the U.S., which he had originally promised to do after one year. Guest, busy watching another prize of his, L'Escargot, win the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in England, has said nothing publicly, but the Irish fear that the horse will be leaving in July, at the end of this stud season, and they bitterly hate to see him go. The breeding and exporting of thoroughbred horses is an important part of the Irish economy.
"We need him badly, whereas he will be only one of two dozen stallions with Hancock," said one Irish horseman, and added wistfully, "If we could keep him here for another five years it wouldn't be too bad. His foals are so lovely."
DEFINING THE SPECIES
A New Mexico football fan proposes that the restructured National Football League forget its two conferences and realign itself into five groups, as follows:
COWBOY-AND-INDIAN DIVISION—Cowboys, Broncos, Colts, Chiefs and Redskins.
BLUE-COLLAR DIVISION—Oilers, Packers, Steelers, 49ers and Bills.
WAR-AND-PEACE DIVISION—Raiders, Patriots, Vikings, Chargers and Giants.
ANIMAL DIVISION—Lions, Rams, Bears, Bengals, Dolphins and Browns.
AIRBORNE DIVISION—Jets, Eagles, Falcons, Cardinals and Saints.
COLD ICE WAR
The news that Russia beat the Czechs 3-1 in the World Hockey Championship at Stockholm last week was routine enough. In fact, all it seemed to prove is last year's ideological battle is this year's no-no. When the Czechs won a year ago, the victory touched off wild anti-Russian demonstrations in occupied Prague, but this time that beleaguered city was firmly buttoned down to prevent new violence. As any Communist politician might have predicted, the game stirred up no trouble in Prague.
At Stockholm, although partisans in the crowd did their bit with catcalls, boos, taunts and overloud singing, the game itself was almost polite. Swedish Columnist Sven Delblanc found it all too ironic. "The match was so lacking in ideological interest that it degenerated into just another duel between two teams," he wrote. Then Delblanc suggested that since Russia now seems to be accepted as just another tough opponent in world hockey, maybe a team of Maoists is needed to stir up the scene and put new zest into the game.
Hockey is zesty enough at Bowdoin College in Maine, where the school's arena was filled to the brim well before the big game with Colby (Bowdoin won 4-2, to the utter delight of its fans). More than 500 ticket seekers were turned away, and the disgruntled among them smashed windows and broke into the generator room in an effort to worm their way into the arena. The most unreconciled ticketless fan was a middle-aged woman who was discovered climbing through a broken window in one of the dressing rooms. If she were in Prague, she'd still be throwing rocks at tanks.
STRIKE BY MAIL
The U.S. Post Office wasn't having enough trouble last week, so John Jardine, new football coach at the University of Wisconsin, announced that he was asking postal and law enforcement authorities to investigate a mail campaign "obviously intended to prevent young football players from attending Wisconsin." Jardine said seven high school players had received letters about student unrest at Wisconsin, along with comments like, "You ought to be careful about thinking of coming to the university," and, "if you come to Wisconsin, you're going to be sorry."
The letters were believed to be the work of one man, but Jardine had no idea of his identity. "Whoever it is," he said, "is a little sick." And whatever the odd letter-writer's reasons were, his ploy was not successful. "Every kid who got one of those letters has signed with us," Jardine said.
THEY SAID IT
•Bob Gibson, St. Louis Cardinals' star pitcher, who speaks his mind: "Too many people think an athlete's life can be an open book. You're supposed to be an example. Why do I have to be an example for your kid? You be an example for your own kid. The newspapermen come around and want to know about your private life. They say the public wants to know. Hell, I think just they want to know. You might get 100,000 people out to see a game someday, but you wouldn't get 15 come to hear what I did last night."
•Toni Beckham, pretty girl basketball player, after receiving more than 20 recruiting letters from colleges: "I don't understand how anyone could mistake me for a boy, unless it's because of my long hair."
•Stan Musial, asked how he would have done against the yellow-tinted baseball used experimentally in spring training: "You'd wonder where the yellow went."