"I signed Bobby Orr to his longest contract yet—till death do them part," noted the Rev. Robert A. Crooks, coach and manager of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Bobby's hometown, Parry Sound, Ontario. For a man who draws big crowds if he so much as feeds a parking meter in public, Orr's wedding to Fort Lauderdale schoolteacher Peggy Wood was almost lonely. Only the bride and groom, the Rev. Crooks, Bobby's sister Pat and her husband Jerry were present for the 8 p.m. ceremony on a Saturday night. Miss Wood's parents could not get to the church on time; Bobby's parents accordingly decided they should not attend. After a two-day honeymoon, Orr showed up at Boston Garden for the closed-circuit telecast of the Ali-Norton fight—alone. Probably not in the contract.
Novelist Jimmy Breslin is an ex-columnist, ex-politician and, most emphatically, ex-sports-writer. Reminiscing about his sportswriting days, Breslin declared, "You find yourself covering the Kentucky Derby for the third time and you realize there's nothing new to write. You gotta sit through a Sunday doubleheader and you want to kill yourself. You get extra innings and you're ready for an observation ward. And football is the worst of all. They're killing the game with this phony mystique, telling people a guy needs the abilities of a brain surgeon to play left guard for the Colts. Football is a game designed to keep coal miners off the streets." Right on, Jimmy. Keep attending those exciting literary cocktail parties!
That fine Old West sport of saloon shuffleboard loses something when transplanted to Scotland. John Daly, a Glasgow laborer, sent a mug of beer sliding along the bar just the way it is done in Western movies—but not with the same precision. The bar was lined with other people's drinks, and Daly's mug hit most of them. Beer, whiskey and broken glass spattered the customers and next day Daly paid a $50 fine for breach of peace.
It's been a hapless, bootless year for the left big toes of Southern Methodist cheerleaders. Nancy Neiman broke hers in yell practice and Alice Emerick dropped a dresser drawer on hers. Despite the injuries, neither girl will be red-shirted.
Southern Methodist also has a 240-pound offensive guard named D. Nady. No first or middle name, just the initial. His father's name is X. Nady, and his brothers are J. Nady and X. Nady Jr. This is all brought to mind by the fact that D. has just bought a car—a Datsun Z.
Those young Swedes do have a light approach to life. Maybe it is all that midnight sun. Take hockey players Inge Hammarstrom and Borje Salming, a winger and a defenseman recruited by the player-poor Toronto Maple Leafs. When the Swedes came winging into Toronto at 3 a.m. Stockholm time, Leaf General Manager Jim Gregory was at the airport to take them to training camp—them, as it turned out, and an added starter who had come along. She was a winsome lass named Margretta Wendin, and her main role at the foreigners' first workout was to smile radiantly and make the photographers perk up. Something that Salming said had a similar effect on Gregory. Tired, yet able to laugh about being up and about so late, Stockholm time, the Swede observed, "It's not too bad for me. I'm used to the nightclub life." The general manager did not smile radiantly.
Boston Celtic Captain John Havlicek found the Celtics' preseason training camp at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy on Buzzards Bay an entirely suitable place to practice. He showed up at the opening session with a pail containing two 10-pound bluefish he had just caught in the nearby Cape Cod Canal.
It was a big deal when Olympic heavyweight wrestler Chris Taylor took his new bride down the steps at the First Christian Church in Dowagiac, Mich. Mrs. Taylor, the former Lynne Hart of Muskegon, will be at a severe handicap if she ever has to go to the mat in a dispute with 450-pound Chris over the draperies or dinner. And speaking of draperies, think of the problem of finding that wedding suit.
The star of the Great Six-Day Bike Trip across Iowa was Clarence Pickard of Indianola, who pedaled the 483 miles on his green 10-speed Schwinn wearing a silver pith helmet. How could an 83-year-old man hold up so well and why would he want to? "I'm not all that phenomenal," said Pickard. "It's just that I've always worked hard—farming, cutting trees, gathering trash—and I'm in good shape. The trip came at a good time for me. The wife left today to have surgery for a knee she hurt falling at the Tulip Festival in Pella."
Carrie Dixon and her four children will be watching the pass routes of a 5'10", 165-pound Fairleigh Dickinson freshman receiver with extra vigilance. No. 32 will be 43-year-old husband and father Mai Dixon. "The other players haven't made a big deal of it," Dixon says. "They just do things like help me off with my shirt."
There are man-made waves for surfing and man-made grass for football. Now comes crack amateur athlete Calvin MacCracken with an infernal process called Icemat that will turn tennis courts and swimming pools into ice rinks, will freeze a slushy ski slope or create a toboggan slide. The Icemat is a labyrinth of plastic tubes through which antifreeze is pumped from a refrigeration plant. The company has built one toboggan slide and 26 skating rinks, including a conversion of the outdoor swimming pool at the Playboy Club in McAfee, N.J.