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Original Issue


The Montreal Canadiens were sitting around the lobby of their Detroit hotel when who should walk in but Wilt Chamberlain. "Put a pair of skates on him and you'd have quite a hockey player," someone said to Canadien Coach Scotty Bowman.

"How tall is he in inches?" Bowman asked tersely.


"Then he would be 90 inches with skates?" Bowman asked.


"He couldn't play," Bowman said.

"Why not?"

"A league rule says you can't use a stick more than 55 inches long."

World pursuit cycling champion Hugh Porter can afford a carriage, but he decided to pedal to Buckingham Palace to receive his Member of the British Empire award from Queen Elizabeth. He dismounted for the investiture and left in high style, his bike stashed in the back of a car.

The Craig-Meyer-Yarbrough gang is causing Texas a lot of trouble. Identical twins Ricky and Randy Yarbrough run the mile and three mile for the University of Texas track team. Freshmen John and Paul Craig run the half mile. And for a while Karl and Kirk Meyer pole-vaulted for the Longhorns. Coach Cleburne Price has learned to tell the Yarbroughs apart by the mole on Ricky's forehead, but the Craigs are a worse problem. "One of them has a chipped front tooth," Price says. "I have to tell them to open their mouths when I talk to them." But the Meyers. They are so identical that when publicist Jones Ramsey called them into his office to identify photographs, they couldn't tell. "They argued about who was who," Ramsey-says. "So I wrote Karl's name on half the pictures and Kirk's name on the other half." Fortunately, their identity crisis is solved. Kirk dropped off the track team. Or was it Karl?

Mayor Wyeth Chandler landed in a swamp after riding a hot-air balloon over Memphis. "Oh, I'd go up again, but I need work on the landings," said Chandler as he sipped champagne afterward. Chandler's flight began in downtown Memphis, continued four miles westward in a stiff breeze, skimmed some power lines and ended abruptly with a muddy splashdown, which is what a politician depending on hot air could have expected.

In Baltimore you don't need a program to know who's not playing for the Colts. A simple billboard will do. This one seems to have real drawing power, too, at least where unemployed football players are concerned. Johnny Unitas (19) and Tom Matte (41) have found jobs—in San Diego yet. Now, San Diego, what Baltimore really wants to know is can you use a good steam fitter?

A controversy simmers concerning the world record for the 50-yard dash. Does it belong to Derek Noether of Hanford, Calif. with a time of 22.5 or is it Ossie Thoreson of Santa Barbara, who ran a 22.1? Track and Field News currently lists Noether as the record holder, but Thoreson's father—accomplished decathloner Dave Thoreson—has just now submitted his son's time for official consideration. If it isn't accepted, Ossie Thoreson has blown his chance because he turned 2 years old shortly after his 22.1 run. Obviously that disqualifies him from further attempts at T&FN's record for 1-year-olds. In any case, Noether's coach is hopeful. "I don't think we've even tapped Derek's potential," says Malvin Noether, a former San Jose State hurdler. "He ran his 22.5 on a cold day wearing his parka and street shoes. And he doesn't turn 2 until April 21."

The Dodgers were shutting out Houston 6-0 in an exhibition game when an Astro fan noticed something untoward. "No wonder we're losing," she yelled, pointing to Dodger Pitcher Eddie Solomon and Outfielder Yon Joshua. "It's Sunday and they've got Solomon and Joshua on their side." Yes, but Houston had Jesus Alou.

Steve Davidowitz, who handicaps for radio station WLMD in Baltimore, had an almost unbelievable streak with the horses. He started by picking Narkiss in the seventh race at Bowie eight days before the track's season ended. He touted 11 more winners in a row, including a daily double with Plenty of Talent and Star Viking, until his selection on the last day ran out of the money. On an initial $2 bet a parlay on the 12 wins would theoretically have netted $106,997. Unfortunately Davidowitz, whose real purpose on the show is to explain handicapping theory, did not bet the parlay. But he did win five in a row as Maryland racing shifted to Pimlico. In all, since he began in October, Davidowitz has averaged 50%. Keep the faith, Steve Baby.

Ed Nixon, brother of the President, has joined a syndicate attempting to obtain a National Football League franchise for Seattle. This raises some very serious questions. For instance: Will Ed promise not to suggest any plays?