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Now for the news from Credibility Gap, Colorado—

Here is Bill Ringsby, the trucking tycoon and owner of Denver's ABA Rockets, responding to rumors that he is about to hire NBA Coach Alex Hannum: "He wanted to hire out as our coach and general manager. I wouldn't hire him because I frankly believe I can get a better man. Any man who can't make the playoffs with a super-player like Elvin Hayes isn't much of a coach in my book."

And here is Ringsby, next day, after hiring Hannum as club president, general manager and coach: "We've courted Hannum for two years and we finally landed him...we want to win a championship and, given a reasonable length of time, he'll do it. He's a champion."

Well, it is always nice to know where one stands. Lots of luck out there, Coach Alex. If that was Ringsby's idea of a two-year courtship it ought to be one heck of a marriage.

Question: Who is this creature?

Answer: This is Bruin Goalie Gerry Cheevers.

Question: Wha...

Answer: Perfectly simple, really. Gerry has been painting those stitches on his mask to represent all the actual sewing-up he would have needed if he had not been wearing it every time he was whapped in the head by an incoming shot.

Question: Boy, he's smart, huh?

Answer: Sure he's smart. You thought he was just another pretty face?

And in the Sporting Arts Department we have:

Mike Reid, the Bengal tackle, who finally got to perform as solo pianist with the Cincinnati Orchestra. Back in Chapter One (SI, Sept. 21, 1970) you will recall that Reid was having trouble practicing for his guest appearance because he dislocated an index linger in an exhibition game. So now the big day arrives, Reid plays Liszt's Funérailles, an untitled work of his own and a few pop numbers, and the critic for the Cincinnati Enquirer writes: "I think he made a wise decision in choosing spoils as a career."

Plus Greg Cook, Bengal quarterback, a serious painter in his spare time. Cook is currently learning to paint with his left hand while he waits for his right shoulder to heal following a little surgery.

And how about Herbert von Karajan, the great Austrian conductor and equally great sports nut? Seven hours before the premiere of the Fidelio he was producing and directing himself at the Salzburg Easter festival, von Karajan took his $25,000 Ford fast back 500 hp GT 40 coupe for a relaxing little spin. Zipping around a curve, von Karajan met a heavy diesel truck coming at him on the wrong side of the twisting mountain road, managed to avoid it but skidded, rolled the car a couple of times and landed in a ditch. Saved by his seat belt, the conductor clambered out of the wreckage, called his chauffeur from a nearby farmhouse, told him to bring the Rolls-Royce and made it back to Salzburg in plenty of time to conduct his Fidelio on schedule. After which he cabled his dealer and ordered a new $25,000 Ford fast back 500 hp GT 40 coupe.

Three Sporting Notes from Across the Sea:

I: Over in England we have Mrs. Diane Cotterell, owner of a wholesale bacon firm, who runs a tight ship. "I am loyal to my employees and I expect them to be loyal to me," she says briskly. "I will not have people playing about when they are supposed to be working." And that's why she tired her husband, John. According to the London Daily Express, Mrs. Cotterell began to notice John's "marked reluctance to get out of bed at 5 a.m.," and when he took to playing golf on company time, that was it. She has said she'll give him a second chance, however, if he starts getting out of bed early and confining his golf to weekends, terms which sound O.K. to John. He says, "I was a lousy golfer anyway."

Oh, yes. Mrs. Cotterell added, as she prepared John's lunch, "I love my work, but don't get the wrong idea. In this house my husband wears the trousers, and even when I sacked him he still paid me my housekeeping money and the household bills, even though I knew it came out of the firm. I don't want equality for women," she said. "I just don't believe in that sort of nonsense."

II: Mrs. Joan Wilkes, for all we know, doesn't believe in all that equality nonsense either. Mrs. Wilkes is the English lady who won $801,446 on the soccer pools and rushed right out to buy a new bulldozer. Her line of work is running a six-man demolition team, which explains why, upon hearing that she'd won, she bubbled prettily, "I'll get more thrill from buying a bulldozer than splashing out on new clothes or a holiday."

III: Actor Robert Morley has declined an invitation to become vice-president of the Reading press football team. "No," Mr. Morley said. "I am afraid I absolutely hate football and everything to do with it." And then, just in case somebody somewhere might have missed the point, he added later, "I'm sorry, but I think it's degrading to the human spirit to kick a ball. In fact, I think it's degrading to the human spirit to kick anything."

Which brings us to this picture of that well-known human spirit, Raquel Welch, kicking a ball. Now really, Morley, what is so degrading about that? In fact, Morley, one might even say it is uplifting.