PLENTY CRUZEIROS FOR PELÉ
The $5 million that Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier will split after their coming heavyweight championship bout is very nice pay for an hour's work or less, but prizefighting is not a steady job. Consider the earnings of the Brazilian soccer king, Pelé.
Previously it had been estimated that Pelé drew down $500,000 a year. It would appear now that his take is quite a good bit higher. The Brazilian magazine Realidade, a highly responsible publication, calculates it at $720,000—year in, year out.
Realidade reports that Pelé gets a monthly salary of $12,600 from his football club, Santos. Prize money gives him another $5,600 monthly. He gets $600 for each exhibition game within Brazil and $3,000 per exhibition outside the country. Promotions bring him about $12,720 a month. Business interests earn him some $8,100 monthly.
Which all means that for playing soccer alone, on a regular basis, he makes approximately $218,400 a year. Promotion and business investments bring him $249,840 annually, for a total of $468,-240. The amount of money he has in stocks is not known, but Pelé admits that it is a "good amount." And he receives some percentage royalties that the magazine had to estimate.
Now, on top of that $720,000, Pelé has under consideration promotion offers that would increase his 1971 income by about $220,000.
Until last week it appeared that Buffalo had finally achieved a long-awaited big-league image, what with the addition in the past year of two major league teams—the Braves of the National Basketball Association and the Sabres of the National Hockey League. Then, suddenly, the city lost a college football team and next day learned that the departure of its beloved football Bills was imminent, or at least seriously threatened.
Ralph C. Wilson Jr., the Detroiter who owns the Bills, announced he was conferring with Seattle officials to make arrangements for moving his football club to the West Coast. Reason: he can no longer wait for Buffalo to come up with a promised new stadium. The city's 46,206-seat War Memorial Stadium, where the Bills have played since the American Football League was founded with Buffalo as a member, "is so bad that we are having difficulty scheduling future preseason games at home," Wilson said.
"The climate for a suitable new stadium in the immediate future does not exist in Buffalo," he went on. "This leaves the Bills no alternative but to move."
In 1968 Erie County adopted a bond-issue resolution authorizing $50 million for a domed stadium, then rescinded it when it was learned that the cost would exceed that amount.
Money was troubling the University of Buffalo, too. It has accumulated a deficit of more than $400,000 in its intercollegiate athletic program since 1967. So no more football for the University of Buffalo.
CURE FOR THE PURPLE PLAGUE?
The water hyacinth, a Latin American native, was introduced to Florida back in 1884 by a dear lady who thought it looked pretty, which it does. Since then the plants have multiplied to the point that they cover 80,560 acres of the state's waterways and, though fortunes have been spent in efforts to eradicate them, no way has been found. Even vegetation-eating manatees and tropical fish have been introduced, with no appreciable result. The waterways have remained choked with otherwise lovely purple flowers.
Now a 45-year-old Sarasota owner of an auto-inspection station, Duane Leach, and his son, Duane Jr., have spent more than $80,000 to develop what they believe is a foolproof hyacinth harvesting machine. They have even organized a company that they hope will be able to sell the ground-up weed as livestock food and, because it holds water so well, as a base to be placed beneath lawn sod.
The state agriculture department is very much interested, and Warren Henderson, minority leader of the Florida Senate, says, "I have been so impressed with the demonstrations and the results that I plan to do everything in my power to convince members of the State Department of Natural Resources that this machine is absolutely foolproof."
Which could be good news for Florida's freshwater boaters.
WITHOUT A SCRATCH
When 5-year-old Suzanne Stebelski of Los Angeles was about to lose her first tooth she was also learning to shoot rotation on her dad's newly installed pool table. Resourceful Suzanne used her own version of the old string-tied-to-the-doorknob routine. She fastened one end of a long piece of dental floss to the wobbly tooth and the other end to her cue, then took her shot. Out popped the tooth, followed by a magnificent, if somewhat altered grin. And she made the four-ball in the side pocket, too.
Troubled by a faulty putter, 74-year-old Lloyd Yost of Dunedin, Fla. quit the Belleair Seniors golf tournament after a bad morning round. Back home in the afternoon he got to wondering how the other fellows were making out, hopped into his Cessna, flew about 10 miles and, because the plane is equipped for short takeoffs and landings, was able to come down on a practice fairway.
While Yost checked the scoreboard, local police scurried about and someone telephoned the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA said Yost had broken none of its regulations, but the cops gave him a ticket—good for a fine of $500 or three months in jail—for flying at less than 1,000 feet over the town of Belleair.
Unperturbed by the prospect of punishment, Yost got back in his plane and took off for home. His flight log lists better than 14,000 hours compiled in more than 50 years of flying, and it is just possible that he might come up against a golfing judge.
SNOW USE TRYING
For the past four years the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland has been giving weekend courses in the art of survival during a winter storm. Students attend lectures and are taken to nearby Mount Hood, where they construct snow caves and stay in them overnight. They are taught signaling procedures, how to keep warm and appropriate exercises.
But last week the students got no farther than the museum's parking lot. Class was canceled because 15 inches of snow covered the lot.
Bob Asher, a rookie offensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys, took a dim view of the tremendous number of newsmen (about 800) covering the Super Bowl.
"All these newspapermen," he grumbled, "keep asking me the same question."
"What question is that?" asked Teammate John Niland, a five-year veteran.
"What's your name?" Asher sighed.
For $850 a vacationer who can stand the gaff will be able to spend a week 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle this spring following a trapper on his rounds. The week will be spent in the Mackenzie Delta, the first few days of it touring communities of the region and the last three days and nights on the trapline.
The tourist will not be permitted to hunt or trap, but will assist the trapper with chores along the trail. Travel from Edmonton to Inuvik and around the delta will be by aircraft, but along the trap-line it will be either by dog team or snowmobile. During the three days on the trapline the tourists will live off the land, just like their trapper hosts. They will sleep in tents or log cabins in a world free of smog and other urban problems.
The program will be carried on between March 1 and mid-April, the period when muskrat furs, a mainstay of the delta trappers, are in prime condition. Sponsored jointly by Travel Arctic, the territorial council's travel bureau, and Inuvik's travel agency, Mac Travel, the first program will be limited to 20 tourists (one to a trapper) who supply a doctor's certificate saying that they are in good physical condition.
When most people take a holiday they say it's to get away from it all. The trappers say they have some getaway.
Once more Gus Johnson of the Baltimore Bullets has established that basketball's glass backboards are not Bulletproof. He proved it again the other night in Milwaukee. It was, he said, his third smashed backboard.
But Johnson clearly preferred the two others—one in St. Louis in 1965 and another in Oakland in 1963.
"The one in St. Louis left a perfect circle," Johnson said. "It was beautiful. The rim fell off and hit one of my teammates, Sihugo Green, on the foot. The one in Oakland just shattered from corner to corner."
This time Johnson tore the basket loose from its moorings, put a jagged hole in the backboard and splattered glass over the floor.
"As soon as I hit it I knew the board was gone," he said. "I tried to run away and closed my eyes. I wound up with a head full of glass."
On the bench at the time, Lew Alcindor flung his arms above his head in glee. "It was a thrill," he said. "I've always been a fan of his. I saw him do it one time on television when I was in high school."
GREAT MINDS, SINGLE THOUGHT
A couple of weeks before the Texas game Notre Dame Coach Ara Parseghian got a phone call from a stranger, one Jack Dawson, coach at Westbrook (Maine) High School. Dawson proceeded to recommend to the Irish coach the very defense Parseghian was installing secretly for the Cotton Bowl game.
"I wondered if I was being scouted by a Texas sympathizer, or if Dawson actually had seen us at practice," Ara said.
The proposed defense was to be used against the Texas Wishbone T, which provides three running options for the quarterback and can be complemented by running or drop-back passes. The Parseghian-Dawson defense involved man-to-man coverage on Texas backs by linebackers who were positioned in an inverted Wishbone, thus enabling one or two linebackers to meet the play at the line of scrimmage no matter what the Texas option might be.
The defense worked, of course, as Dawson knew it would. His own team had used it successfully against a Wishbone attack.
CLERGY CASTS STONE
Curling is not Canada's national sport but it is up there somewhere and there are no more dedicated bonspielers than four Toronto clergymen who meet on the ice every Monday morning.
The Rev. Harold Burgess, minister of Bloordale United Church and former chaplain of the Ontario Curling Association, explains why the group chose Monday mornings for their meetings. "Nobody gets married on Monday mornings," he says, "and we have a deal with the funeral directors, so they try not to schedule funerals until early Monday afternoon. But sometimes they pick up a minister right at the club to take him to a funeral."
The Chicago White Sox will wear red socks next season.
THEY SAID IT
•Calvin Hill, Rookie of the Year and Dallas Cowboy running back, who was benched for much of the season: "The worst part of it is waking up on Monday morning and not aching. You feel you haven't done anything."
•Dave Williams, Houston golf coach, suggesting replacing four-year athletic scholarships with one-year agreements to reduce spiraling costs: "The only person I know working on a four-year contract is the President of the United States, and he can get impeached."