Publish date:



And now, ladies and gentlemen, The Great Earl Monroe is going to whip the scarf off that table and reveal—a bowl of water! Zowie. At halftime during a Bullets-Philadelphia 76ers game, Monroe, who has been a magic nut "all my life," showed the crowd some sleight of hand. He highlighted the routine by waving his hand at the electric scoreboard and presto! The score changed from a 47-50 deficit to a 57-50 lead while Bullet fans cheered. End of show and they went back to playing basketball. And lost, 119-107. Nice try, Earl. But the act still needs a little work.

Since the end of the Series Johnny Bench has 1) fulfilled a Reserve commitment to the Army 2) made his debut as a nightclub singer 3) served as grand marshal at the University of Cincinnati's homecoming parade 4) contracted to host a syndicated talk show 5) been named to President Nixon's Advisory Council on Physical Fitness and Sport and 6) agreed to accompany Bob Hope on his annual Christmas tour to Vietnam. With a schedule like that, the 2,475 gallons of gas the Marathon Oil Company gave Bench for his 45 homers won't get him halfway through the winter.

Little Known Moments in Sport No. 1:

There is Raymond V. (Inky Dink) Banks, standing on a Baltimore street corner with bat and softball. A friend approaches and police observe Banks open the softball, take something out and hand it over. Ah, the old hollow-softball gag, eh? So the lawmen check and, sure enough, that's not stuffing in there, that's heroin. Great detective work? Well, for one thing. Inky Dink wasn't anywhere near a softball field. Just for that, he's now out of the game for two years.

Little Known Moments in Sport No. 2:

Meanwhile, over at D.C. Jail in Washington, the gang is out playing touch football. They break from the huddle, fade 'way back and scramble over the security fences, dodging shots from a tower guard. As we go to press, three of the players, Nos. 584332, 382241 and 363641, are still out there somewhere. One more thing: the numbers have been changed to protect the guilt

Cheered by shouts of "Way to osculate!" from loyal fans, Horace Francis and Beverly Hallmark of Eastern Washington State held a kiss for 12 hours to establish what they claim is the new world's record. And then some cynic had to murmur, "Sure, she kissed you once. But will she kiss you again?"

Henry Cooper's gone and returned the European heavyweight title to Britain, but Britain, says Cooper's manager, is not doing right by 'er 'Enery. "There's not much point any more in being a fighting hero," fumed 74-year-old Jim Wicks. "Look at Wellington. The nation gave him $12,000 a year for winning a few fights and a lump sum of $960,000, and that was when bread was a penny a loaf. Look at that geezer Nelson: not only $12,000 a year to himself, but to his successors. And 'Enery's got two sons to support." What bugs Wicks is that master footballers and all-star cricketers have tax-free benefits—but a boxer, "What does he get? Twenty-seven cents out of every $2.40 after tax, and permission to buy one dinner suit a year tax-free...! And charge you interest, they do, if you hang about. Wanted $1,680 from us. Said they'd charged what was owing at 6%. I was arguing all day with a lady inspector, if you please. Catch Wellington or Nelson doing that!"

Those poor (in all senses of the word) Orlando Panthers tried to jazz things up with a little fun before the game with the Pennsylvania Firebirds by challenging fans to contests in running, placekicking, passing and punting. So Al Rogers wins the footrace, by default. No fans challenge. Karl Kremser manages to win the placekicking with some modest nudges, explaining, "I'm saving 'em for the game." Jackie Holmes wins the passing—but loses the punting. Not too bad—Panthers 3, Fans 1. Then comes the game. Holmes fumbles the snap, virtually handing Pennsylvania its first touchdown. The kicks Kremser said he was saving turn out to be the wrong ones—he blows two potential winning field goals in the final 3½ minutes. Not too good—Firebirds 14, Panthers 12. Conclusion: Panthers are better at the fun than the games.

Grandfathers of the world, arise:

Wasn't that an old 1952 Ferrari vrooming past the Casino at Monaco? It was, indeed. Moviemakers are doing a documentary on the life and times of Juan Manuel Fangio, who drove 'em wild in the '50s when he was winning the world championship five times. And who was that at the wheel? It was Fangio himself, almost as fast and every bit as glamorous—at 59 years old.

The traditional Quorn Hunt was at it again (they have been at it since 1698), galloping all around Leicestershire in full cry. Then—tallyho: down went Mrs. Mimi Van Cutsem (a broken right ankle), to be followed by Mrs. Ulrica Murray-Smith (damaged vertebrae), Mrs. Nancy Weller-Poley (more damaged vertebrae) and Mrs. Anne Elton (brace of cracked ribs). A very bad show. As Honorary Hunt Secretary Jonathan Inglesant observed gloomily, "We didn't catch a fox all day."

In 1965 the Packers beat the Colts three times, remember? In 1966 they beat the Colts twice. Then, in 1967, Green Bay let Center Bill Curry go to New Orleans, whence he was picked up by Baltimore. And the Colts have beaten the Packers in their last four meetings. So here comes the moral: the score is now Packers 5, Colts 4. But Bill Curry wins 'em all.