After a short but busy stay in New York, where a host of drinking companions accompanied him home, drank with him till he fell asleep and then relieved him of $16,000 in cash and belongings, Actor Richard Harris was understandably anxious to get out of town last week. But on the way to the airport a friend told him about this rugby match going on over at Randall's Island, so Harris, who played a hot-blooded rugger tough in This Sporting Life, diverted his car, missed his plane and watched Australia beat the Eastern Rugby Union of the U.S. 22-3 (page 73). The Aussies then toddled off for a few drinks. Harris, once burned, headed for the airport.
The Dodgers' Wes Parker, one of the best at stopping baseballs at first base, has recently turned to stopping football action. Parker covered the USC-UCLA game as a free-lance still photographer but says he has no plans to develop his hobby into a second career.
The Antique Auto Museum Ltd. of Niagara Falls, Ontario is going out of business. At a recent auction, collectors snapped up the following interesting bargains: a 1910 Rolls-Royce, once owned by the Duke of Windsor when he was Prince of Wales, for $20,000; Charles Lindbergh's 1927 Packard, for $17,000; Nazi Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's 1939 Horch convertible, for $12,500, and Mussolini's 1939 Lancia Astura limousine, $15,000. The car that brought the highest bid was Al Capone's bullet-proof 1928 Cadillac, a cool $37,000. Proving crime does pay—if you wait long enough.
Only one man at the Heisman Trophy Award dinner last week did not dwell at length on the accomplishments of trophy winner Pat Sullivan. Guest of honor John Wayne, who played college football himself, made like a comic and got most of the night's laughs. Concerning the Army-Navy game: "It was nice to see the Army winning something for a change." On Joe Namath: "Joe was out of action for a long time...the hell he was! Why, he completed seven passes in the lobby of the Warwick Hotel just last Sunday."
Every time Connecticut's Governor Thomas J. Meskill Jr. gets introduced at an out-of-state function, the band plays the Yale pep song, Boola Boola, for lack of something official. The Eli tune is driving the governor up his trees, however, and he is thinking of sponsoring a competition so that Connecticut, like other states, will have an official song of its own. It can be called anything, presumably, except Yale to the Chief.
Intelligence agents please note: Those rubberoid spheres that have begun to bob up mysteriously in international waters in the western Pacific probably come from the Navy's U.S.S. Passumpsic, just back from a top-secret mission. Some hot new type antimagnetic mine? Nope, just the flotsam from the basketball games the sailors play on the helicopter deck. "Our greatest problem," says their coach, Lieut. (J.G.) P. V. Brinkley, "is the balls that go over the side."
Willie Mays played host on The Dick Cavett Show a few nights ago and bravely answered questions from the audience. "Have you ever thought about being a manager?" asked one member of the audience. Willie looked appalled, pointed lo his head and said, "You see those gray hairs? Well, I ain't aiming to go bald."
Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin, who took time out for a hockey interlude on a recent visit to Canada, made the sport scene again last week in Copenhagen, where he visited a metal trades school and came to grips with skittle pool.
Just before kickoff at the Oakland-Baltimore game the other Sunday, the band struck up the national anthem. But when Singer Rouvan started the familiar refrain, "Oh, say can you see...?" all that Bill Klem and his friends watching on TV saw was red Complained the commander of the Los Angeles County Council of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, "The Oakland players and coaches wandered all around the sidelines talking and were generally inattentive and disrespectful during the anthem." He fired off letters of protest to the press, both coaches and Commissioner Pete Rozelle. "They should have been fined 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct," Klem said.
Not long ago Ohio State Representative Richard Reichel from Massillon organized a charter bus trip for local high school football fans to the Steubenville game. The round trip would cost each couple $13, and Reichel threw in what he intended as a facetious alternative. In lieu of the $13, he said, couples could buy their way aboard with three cases of beer. Heh, heh. A few days later a truck drove up and deposited 33 cases of suds in Reichel's driveway, meaning he had to lay out $143 for the 11 boosters who paid in liquid assets. It put him a little out of pocket, but if you've got the time, he's got the beer.
Everyone's favorite television Nazi, Arte Johnson, formerly of Laugh-In, has been after Commissioner Walter Kennedy for a chance to become a referee in the National Basketball Association. Johnson made his request on the grounds that he had played sports "all the way through the sixth grade." It was Kennedy's view that Johnson's 5'4" height might be a hindrance. "Reluctantly, I have come to a conclusion that you are too short to join our officiating staff," he said. Johnson then threatened a lawsuit charging the NBA with discrimination on account of height. Verrry interesting. But dumb.