That $30 million authorization that a House Judiciary Subcommittee struck from the Olympic Sports Bill (SCORECARD, Aug. 28) was restored last week by full committee vote after intricate maneuvering. Given the fact that the Senate-passed version of the bill authorizes the same amount and that the House version now has the enthusiastic backing of Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino (D., N.J.) and Speaker Tip O'Neill, the funding looks promising.
But it wasn't all that easy. Rep. Thomas N. Kindness (R., Ohio), who led the move to strike the $30 million in the subcommittee vote, tried again in full committee. The motion was beaten back, but then, ironically, Kindness made the motion, which passed, to restore the funding. Kindness said he did this because he liked the wording of the amendment authored by Rep. Robert W. Kastenmeier (D., Wis.) better than that of the Senate bill, but the word from Washington is that Kindness switched to escape increasing heat from the public.
NO ONE HERE BUT US SCOUTS
When Barry Sides, an assistant football coach at the University of Houston for 10 years, was assigned to scout Memphis State two weeks ago, he checked the Memphis press guide, which said the game would be played "at Ole Miss." So on the morning of the Saturday night game Sides flew from Houston to Memphis, rented a car and drove down to the Mississippi campus at Oxford.
"I got down there real early, about two o'clock," Sides says, "and of course there was no one there then. So I just drove around the campus for a while, went and got me something to eat and sort of fooled around."
"It wasn't until six that I got a little concerned," Sides says. "I thought, 'Well, maybe it's an 8 p.m. game, but I wonder why some of the stadium employees aren't showing up.' "
More time passed.
"I was getting real worried," Sides says, "so I stopped and asked a student about the game." The student informed Sides that the game was one of those that Ole Miss plays down in Jackson, three hours away. Sides called it a night, because by the time he got to Jackson all he would have seen was part of the last quarter, at best.
To Sides' credit he did fess up right away to Houston Coach Bill Yeoman, who says, "Earlier in my career I might have become unraveled, but not this time. You need something like this, I guess, to tell your grandkids."
P.S. Last week Houston lost to Memphis State 17-3.
Rugby is under fire Down Under. So far nine players in Australia and New Zealand have died this year, and scores of others have been seriously injured, with a number maimed for life. At least four players are now quadriplegics.
The use of the head as a battering ram and the practice of scrums packing too low, thus increasing the risk of a player's head buckling beneath his armpits, are being blamed. But there is also the question of out-and-out violence. "Too many rugby players are suffering fractured faces from being punched or kicked," says Alton Macalister, an oral surgeon in Otago, New Zealand. "As a former player, I know there shouldn't be this incidence of fractured faces from legal rugby. The most common facial fractures are to the jawbone and cheekbone. I see premeditated violence and a worsening situation."
The tiny town of Hayward, Wis. (pop. 1,700) is the home of the biggest fish on earth. It is 143 feet long and 4½ stories high. It is not a live fish but a cantilevered 90-ton, steel and fiberglass replica of a muskie in which every scale has been cut by hand, and it is the setpiece of the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame. Formally dedicated this summer, the fish will be open to the public next spring, and the big attraction will be to enter through the belly and walk upstairs to the viewing platform in the mouth, which is studded with 3½-foot teeth.
Both the fish and the hall were dreamed up by Bob Kutz, 58, a former resort and restaurant owner, who woke up one night in 1960 with the revelation that Hayward, well known for its muskie fishing, should have a fishing hall of fame to match baseball's in Cooperstown. (Why Hayward and not some other fishing hot spot? "Because we live here, not someplace else," says Mrs. Kutz.)
Ever since then, Kutz and a growing army of enthusiasts have been turning the dream into reality. They have collected a mass of books and artifacts, ranging from fish mounts to ancient tackle to Ole Evinrude's first outboard motor. They have also raised more than half a million dollars, mostly "the hard way," says Kutz, by selling individual memberships for $10 a year. Kutz also talked Jim Beam, the bourbon people, into issuing 10 commemorative fish decanters, one species a year, for which the hall gets a $2 royalty on every case sold.
At present the Hayward hall also serves as "official keeper" of world records for 160 species of freshwater fish, and next year Kutz and company will start enshrining fishermen and others who have made outstanding contributions to angling. Besides the walk-in muskie, the grounds will eventually have seven buildings, including an aquarium and a library for research. "We had 30,000 visitors last year," Kutz says. "We had 60,000 this year, and we expect 100,000 next year. The whole thing is exactly as I dreamed it."
DOWN, NOT UP
Computer buff Bud Goode (SI, Sept. 4) disputes the NFL claim that the rule changes designed to help receivers and quarterbacks have hyped the offense, and in rebuttal he offers the following data. In 1977 the yards per pass attempt figure was 5.18; after the first two games this season it's 5.12, down 1%. The 1977 yards per completion figure was 12.7; this season it's 12.4, down 2%. "The preponderance of other evidence out of the computer," says Goode, "shows that the rule changes have really had no effect to date."
Last week the Los Angeles Dodgers became the first club in baseball history to draw three million fans at home. A crowd of 47,188 attended last Friday's night game against the Braves, pushing the season attendance to 3,011,368 with eight dates remaining.
At the end of the sixth inning, PA announcer John Ramsay told the crowd, "You are all part of baseball history." With that, the scoreboard flashed the figures. The fans, who always applaud the announcement of the attendance at Dodger Stadium, rose en masse to give themselves a standing ovation. The Dodger players thereupon stepped from the dugout to applaud the fans, who were still applauding themselves. Organist Helen Dell played You're The Tops, there was champagne in the press box and a fireworks display after the game, which the Dodgers won.
The front office picked Fan No. Three Million by a drawing from the ticket stubs. The winner was Jay Blood of Hermosa Beach, who received a lifetime pass and a car. Blood really isn't that much of a fan. His brother is, and Jay was using his ticket.
STRIKE IT RICH
The Mad Bomber has struck again, and this time it's oil. Daryle Lamonica, who earned that sobriquet as quarterback for the Oakland Raiders before disappearing into the World Football League and oblivion, says, "If a pro club came to me today and offered to triple my old salary, I couldn't afford to accept. I've made more in the last year than in 14 pro seasons."
After settling his contract with the WFL, the Mad Bomber did well enough with a trucking company, but then a golfing, hunting and fishing pal, Gordon Tabor, suggested he get into oil. Tabor put Lamonica in touch with Bobby J. Darnell, a geologist from Oklahoma who had played football behind Jerry Tubbs, and the result was the formation of the TaLa Gas & Oil Company, which began drilling in Oklahoma last year. "We've hit on 16 out of 19 wells," Lamonica says, "and my investors are pretty happy." The investors include such players as MacArthur Lane, Raymond Chester and Art Thoms.
"I'm a forthright guy," says Lamonica. "I believe in attacking the world every day. Things couldn't be better. My folks gave me an old jalopy when I was in high school in Fresno. Last Christmas I bought my mother the best Mark V as a slight repayment."
At the end of August, Viktor Korchnoi fled placid Baguio City for seething, steamy Manila. He was in a bad way in his match against world chess champion Anatoly Karpov of the Soviet Union, trailing 4-1 in the first-to-win-six series. Korchnoi was going through "a severe emotional crisis," as one of his seconds put it, after losing three games in just over a week, two of them in the space of a single shattering hour.
Was the feisty 47-year-old Soviet defector giving away too many years to the 27-year-old champion? Had Karpov's parapsychologist aide, the wild-haired, sinister-eyed Dr. Vladimir Zoukhar, actually been able to hypnotize Korchnoi, as the challenger claimed he was trying to do? Was it kurtains for Korchnoi?
Minutachku. After six days, having twice postponed the start of Game 18, Korchnoi reappeared in Baguio—looking relaxed, smiling broadly and flanked by a boy mystic and a girl mystic who wore tangerine-colored robes and turbans. In the playing hall, the mystic pair assumed lotus positions, bowed their heads and closed their eyes in apparent meditation, prompting a dozen Soviets to stomp out and Dr. Zoukhar to shift his seat a bit farther away from the stage.
What Korchnoi had brought back from Manila, it turned out, were two American-born Margiis, members of an Indian-based meditative sect called Ananda Marga. The interesting thing about the Margiis is that in recent years they have acquired notoriety for terrorist-style attacks on Indian diplomats stationed overseas; the interesting thing about this particular pair is that they were out on bail pending appeal, after having been sentenced from 10 to 17 years for stabbing an Indian embassy official in Manila last February. They are reticent about their backgrounds: Steven Michael Dwyer (whose Margii name is Dada Arisudan) is reportedly from Kansas; Victoria Sheppard (Didi Madhurii) is said to come from "a wealthy family." Both are in their early 30s.
Sinister reputation or no, Korchnoi's new "spiritual guides" are soft-spoken and serene, radiating the total assurance he had previously lacked. Installed in the challenger's comfortable resort hotel, the two put Korchnoi through long "yoga and meditation sessions," designed, says Dwyer, "to make him strong and independent and not fear outside influences."
How all this will work out remains to be seen. But in the first six games after the Margiis' instruction had made him "a new man," Korchnoi produced a solid win and five draws—two of them of the near miraculous variety from losing positions. Dwyer and Sheppard have been banned from the hall ("the presence of convicted terrorists is a grave security risk," argued the Soviets) but they seem to have Korchnoi tuned in to something.
A legal victory by the U.S. Wrestling Federation over the Amateur Athletic Union two weeks ago could have far-reaching effects. By a unanimous vote of a panel of three attorneys, agreed upon by both sides, the USWF displaces the AAU as the national governing body for amateur wrestling. The USWF is thus in charge of sanctioning all U.S. competition in international wrestling and will be responsible for the selection and training of squads for the Olympic, World and Pan-American Games.
Revision of the U.S. Olympic Committee constitution now permits challenges to the ruling body of any sport. The USWF won its challenge because the attorneys felt it had demonstrated the ability to do a better job of overseeing the sport than the AAU had been doing.
The USWF victory can only encourage other sports to go the same route.