Joe Namath reported in last week at war with the press ("Everything that's been written about me is a lie") but with a softer message for autograph seekers, who came away with:
At week's end there was no peace for the Jets, who lost 28-24 to the Giants with no Joe.
Meanwhile, in Milwaukee a small boy was asking Frank Robinson for his autograph, and Robinson told him to get a nearby mountain of a fellow in a goatee to sign, too. "Why? What does he do?" said the boy. "He used to play pro football," was the somewhat inadequate explanation of Rosy Grier's past. The boy asked Grier to sign up and added, "Would you please write 'football' above your name so I'll remember who you are?"
What if somebody gets that boy to ask Namath the same question he asked Grier?
Larry Winn Jr., a candidate for Congress in Kansas, asked five noted Republican members of the House to help him raise campaign funds by having local Republicans pay to play a round of golf with them. When the group couldn't make it Winn decided that one ace might beat five of a kind anyway and hired U.S. Open Champion Tony Jacklin as his feature attraction. Winn charged $125 for the privilege of lunch, one hole of golf and cocktails with Jacklin. Fourteen foursomes, or $7,000 worth, teed off simultaneously, and Jacklin roared around the course in a cart, playing one hole with each group and hitting a tee shot on the next hole for the foursome's high man. Fifty more people paid $25 apiece simply to watch the performance, eat and drink with Jacklin and see the presentation of such awards as Spiro Agnew watches and a Jack Nicklaus putter to the winners. Obviously a whole new fund-raising technique has opened up for politicians. How about $100 for free throws with Wilt or $1,000 to play the net for Pancho?
Chicago's placekicking specialist and free agent with a guitar, Mac Percival, is pleasing his teammates with his own version of Johnny Cash's San Quentin. The Bears, it seems, are not having a lot of fun in their Rennselaer, Ind. training camp this summer. As Percival sings it:
"You've hosted me since '63,
I've seen players come and go,
And I've seen 'em die, and long ago
I stopped asking why.
Rennselaer, I hate every inch of you,
You've bruised me and you've scarred me through and through."
Well, that sounds about right for a team that finished 1-13 last year.
The man meets That Girl! Wowee! Or sort of wowee, since in fact Stan (The Man) Musial has known Marlo Thomas for years, which is why he will turn up on her ABC network television show this season. The episode has already been filmed, and publicity types are hailing Musial's masterly portrayal of Stan Musial in a two-parter entitled There Sure Are a Bunch of Cards in St. Louis. "Calm, relaxed, gracious and at ease!" they are saying of his performance. But Musial should have been at ease. The setting was his St. Louis restaurant (Stan & Biggie's), and the producers had duplicated the decor of the place right down to the last T-bone on an old Paramount lot. The next question is, will the critics call Stan a hit?
Arthur Allyn, former owner of the White Sox, is a butterfly buff who once went all the way to Paris to buy part of a collection and has bid as much as $12,000 for a single specimen. So he took it pretty hard when he discovered that a collection he recently acquired, which he says was supposed to contain 120,000 butterflies, actually comprised no more than 50,000 specimens, and some of these a little moth-eaten. Bugged at the notion that he might have paid twice too much, Allyn has sued to recoup $16,000 of the $32,000 the insects set him back.
Whatever some people may think, both Abbie Hoffman and Muhammad Ali are appealing—their respective court convictions that is—and Ali has asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals how come he's been refused permission to go to Canada while Abbie Hoffman, of the Chicago 7, has been given an O.K. to romp off to Cuba. Hoffman said in his request to the court that he had research to do for an article for a Cuban magazine Rebel Youth. Not only was his request granted while Ali's was turned down, Hoffman's trip to Cuba will originate in, you guessed it, Canada.
Picking a horse is tough enough, but consider the problem of the Irish ratplayer. At the All Ireland Rat Race Championships held in County Cork the contenders were running in several heats under different names. The winner was a rat called, at that point, Ilsilinzio—a fine figure of a rodent, to be sure, but the same rat had been eliminated earlier under the far more promising name of Nijinsky.
President Nixon, fond as always of the sporting reference, explained last week that it wasn't so bad that the Senate had overridden one of his vetoes. "You know in baseball if you bat .500, that's better than anybody's batted since Ty Cobb. So we're doing better than Ty Cobb on vetoes." Fair enough, but some Washington Senator is sure to point out that .500 wouldn't be much of a won-lost mark. (Or some historian, that Cobb's best year was .420.)