Manuel Benítez, otherwise known as El Cordobés, was in New York to promote a show in which he will fight a closed-circuit bull. It was his first visit, and the matador gave the city a big olé. "I have seen much of the world," he said, "and this is the most fantastic!" Looking down on Manhattan from the Rainbow Room, he mused, "I have fought many times, but in a small terrain. Who knows what would have happened if I had fought here?" We know. For one thing, Manuel, the air pollution would have dropped that old bull long before you got to him. Unless you tripped over the garbage and he got to you first.
British boxers are not allowed to prorate their taxes, and Champion Henry Cooper's manager, Jim Wicks, is pretty mad about it, remember (SI, Nov. 23, 1970)? Well, the matter was finally brought up in Parliament, and Wicks and Cooper were on hand when the written question was submitted: Could professional boxers be allowed to spread income over several years for tax purposes? It was a quick decision. "No," said Treasury Minister Terry Higgins. Treasury Minister Terry Higgins, by the way, happens to be a former Olympic runner. Avery Brundage would have been proud of him.
Meanwhile, back in the U.S. we've got Brooks Robinson. He is pretty mad because he's being taxed on the value of the Hickok Belt, estimated at a quick $10,000. "It should be tax free," Brooks says indignantly. "Like the Nobel Prize."
Playwright Arthur Miller lives in Roxbury, Conn. and when public hearings were held on the Connecticut Light and Power Company's proposal to string 70 miles of 345,000-volt transmission line across western Connecticut's unsullied highlands, Miller was right there to read a statement. They didn't have time for him. Next day, however, he did get to say, "The question, I think, is how much landscape you are ready to destroy for how much progress. The hills of Connecticut, the soil and trees, took many hundreds of millions of years for nature to create. Is it too much to ask that more than four months be set aside to consider before we irrevocably destroy what took millennia to build? It is bad enough to see the ruin of beauty when the life of the people makes it necessary, but it is unpardonable when it is done because not enough time and money and passion went into its avoidance." Miller concluded, bowing to another author, "Let planning take on the vision of Emerson's most practical observation. 'The sky,' he wrote, 'is the daily bread of the eyes.' "
That hefty gentleman all suited up to work out with Mike Epstein of the Senators turns out to be Eugene McCarthy, an ex-Senator himself (from Minnesota). "He's got a chicken arm," pronounced Ted Williams, after watching the former Great Soo League first baseman in action. American League President Joe Cronin also got into the act. "Cronin went back and looked up my batting average," says McCarthy, "and pointed out that I wasn't much of a hitter." Unruffled, McCarthy observed, "For one thing a man expects you to take his word when he says he was a good hitter. And besides, there's no way he could have looked up my average. The Great Soo League handles its records much like the Senate handles election expense statements: after two years they are burned."
No, officer, don't arrest that funny-looking fellow sprinting through the gates of Ottawa's Government House. He is none other than Pierre Trudeau. Prime Minister of the place, and a recent bridegroom, as everyone knows. That figures. Only a wife could talk a man into wearing a cap like that one.
World Cup Champion Gustav Th√∂ni seems to be in no immediate danger from Clint Eastwood, the fastest gun—and slowest ski—in the West. The movie cowboy signed in for this very important race called the Benson & Hedges 100's Celebrity Pro-Am International Ski Racers Sanctioned Dual Challenge meet (Janet Leigh, Hostess) and, quicker than it takes to stumble through the name of the thing, he stumbled through the thing in the giant slalom. Eastwood set a new world record by falling 50 times. But he finished fast, standing up—and then wiped out a snow fence and a couple of spectators.
This week's best job opening is the presidency of Brigham Young University, where peppery little Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson has just resigned. His will be a tough act to follow: Wilkinson is a faithful Cougar fan and expects his successor to be the same. No problem. But he also has let word out that he expects any red-blooded president to be able to match his age in daily push-ups. In fact, Wilkinson spontaneously jumped into a recent basketball halftime show and did just that, while the student body counted them off: 71. Now, then, if the applicants will just remove their coats....
The Week's Sporting Divorce:
In Seattle a husband proposed a $300 monthly alimony settlement, but his wife got it increased after she submitted an affidavit describing hubby's ski-resort home. "The sunken master bedroom has a small but deep bathing pool," she said. "There is a trout pool in a corner of the room fed by a natural stream. The bedroom even has wine and beer on tap."
Case closed. Alimony boosted to $450 a month. Husband retains custody of the trout.