Ever since December when Houston Sportswriter Jack Gallagher compared the management of the Oilers to that of the slipshod Cuban government, Owner Bud Adams has nursed a grievance. "Hello, Skinhead," was Adams' greeting, for example, when the bald-headed Gallagher and a photographer dropped by a Houston hotel to get a picture of the AFL executive committee and the league's new commissioner, Al Davis. Presently Adams, standing tall in tooled cowboy boots, became somewhat more specific about his contempt for the writer and, as those things go, Adams and Gallagher suddenly were embroiled in a rolling slugging match on the floor. So, with the help of Buffalo Bills Owner Ralph Wilson, Commissioner Davis, his first day on the job, asserted his newly invested authority (below, center) and broke it up.
He looks as fit as he did the night eight years ago when he decked Floyd Patterson and was, by his reckoning, "champion for five seconds." But Olympic Boxer Pete Rademacher, 37, hears another drumbeat these days. Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, he showed up at a firemen's convention in Memphis to peddle a line of exercise equipment for fighting flab between the blazes—$250, complete with Pete's program for strength, endurance and "muscle flexibility." Flexibility has long been Rademacher's virtue, and so he is now able to see the humor in his challenge to Patterson's world heavyweight title. "For me, the chance to fight Patterson was a fantastic opportunity," said Rademacher. But boxing had to be in a sorry state to allow it to happen. Said Pete: "I hope it never gets to that state again."
Whatever became of Bob Feller? "Actually, I haven't been away," says Bob in an advertisement he places now and then in The Sporting News. The old fastballer's pitch is that somehow between his busy insurance business in Cleveland and his hobby of managing amateur teams he still has time (call direct, no middleman) for nationwide speaking engagements. Depending on circumstances, fees are adjustable, Feller said, but the messages available are pretty much stock. "Sports in the American Democracy" is about the mingling of the virtues of teamwork and self-sufficiency; "Strike Out Story" is an anecdotal account of Feller's happy childhood on a farm in Van Meter, Iowa where Rapid Robert threw some early pitches in his indulgent mother's living room.
At the age of 15 he besieged Santiago de Cuba with Teddy Roosevelt, at 20 he was "sporting" editor of the now-defunct St. Louis Chronicle, at 30 he was elected lieutenant governor of Illinois, and last week, two weeks this side of his 84th birthday, Congressman Barratt O'Hara was campaigning hard for his ninth term as the iron-man Representative of Chicago's Second District. "Do you believe, Congressman, your health is up to a ninth term?" a reporter asked at a press conference. Said O'Hara (who once—years ago—wrote a history of boxing called From Figg to Johnson): "I wouldn't challenge my opponent [who is 40] to a fight, but I will put on gloves with any of you gentlemen and guarantee to go six rounds." Nobody present lifted a finger.
The way the excitement was building up—an eight-week sellout in Moscow's Variety Theater, the installation of an open telephone line to Erivan, 1,100 miles away—who could blame Armenia's Tigran Petrosian, the world chess champion, for being fit to pop? The Tiger, accordingly, swore off chess completely for a full month before the 24-game world championship match that began in Moscow last week and devoted all his waking energies to skiing and billiards. "It is important to save nervous power, to forget the competition," said Petrosian. "And in the course of a billiards game you walk around the table several kilometers—an excellent means of active rest."
Although Dizzy Dean is out of work after 25 years of broadcasting major league baseball, brother Paul Dee (Daffy) Dean has just signed on as athletic director of Texas' bite-sized (100 students) University of Plano. Coaching baseball will be a cinch, said the Gashouse pitcher, and as for other sports, all they demand is "common sense." Track? "Just make the boys run straight and not too slow." Football? "Try anything—three laterals if it works." Paul, at one time or another the owner-manager of four minor league teams, sets much store by common sense—to the point of demeaning his current employer. "I'll take it 100 to 1 over the other kind," he says, "because the best education in the world is money." How does that work out, practically speaking? Explains Daffy: "I don't believe in doing something for nothing when I can get paid for it."
Despite his 74 years, Francisco Franco's taste for the outdoors still runs to such taxing exertions as charging up hillsides in pursuit of mountain goats or enduring for hours hip-deep immersion in an icy trout stream. Last week, on a more subdued holiday, Franco nosed his yacht Azor into port to take a crack at the splendid new Sotogrande golf course in Càdiz (below). The Generalissimo shot his cuffs and plopped his first drive into a water hazard, and never recovered his form. Seven over par after three such harrowing holes, he called it quits and beat a retreat to the Azor.