THE RED SHIRTS ARE COMING
Although the merger of the NFL and AFL merely awaits a flourish of President Johnson's pen, all won't be quiet for long on the pro-football front. In December both leagues will have to deal with the red shirts, the 35 college seniors drafted as futures last winter. Despite the merger, there will be competitive bidding for them and it won't be pat-a-cake.
The two players likely to command the most money are Notre Dame Halfback Nick Eddy and USC Flanker Back Rod Sherman. Eddy was the No. 1 choice of both Detroit and Denver; Sherman was selected first by Oakland and fourth by Baltimore.
Another item of unfinished controversy is the rule book for the supergame. For example, in the AFL you can go for the two-point conversion, while all extra points in the NFL are worth one point. May we suggest the 1½-point compromise, which has the added advantage of confounding the bookies, who in the past have gotten away with such fanciful spreads as 7½ points? Would they dare make a number of 7¼?
OFF AND GUNNING
The hunting season is here again, and the trigger-happy pinheads are out in force. In Nevada, for instance, they're using helicopters to chase deer from their beds. "There's really not much we can do about it," says Mike Toone, chairman of the Washoe County Game Management Board. "We don't believe our present laws are adequate."
In Colorado, when Mr. and Mrs. Alva Ormsbee of Montrose packed their pet donkey Jenny for an elk-hunting trip, they took no chances. Suzanne Ormsbee covered Jenny with a red sheet and tied bright red streamers on her tail, neck and halter. While Mrs. Ormsbee was setting up camp on a plateau called High Mesa, Jenny grazed 10 feet off. A hunter from Mississippi, who was on a guided pack trip, got Jenny with his second shot from 75 yards. "It was a gut shot," Mrs. Ormsbee says. "I knew she didn't have a chance, so I made the man shoot her again to put her out of her misery. He shot her in the neck, turned away and left. But after he had gone Jenny started to get up, so I had to shoot her again because my husband was off hunting. The man said Jenny's ears looked to him like the spikes of a young elk. I never saw any kind of elk that looked like Jenny."
And in San Francisco the local optometric society, in a test case, sent Bob Sutherlin, an executive of the Lighthouse for the Blind, to a sporting-goods store for a hunting license. Sutherlin paid $4 and got his license. He has 20% vision.
NO ZIP, NO LIP
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country, and you won't find a more patriotic bunch of fellows than the Miami Beach City Council. Learning that the Beach was going to be imperiled by a closed-circuit telecast of the Cassius Clay-Cleveland Williams fight, they put the kibosh on it. Fortunately such yahoos are now in the minority: 40,000 fans are expected to watch the fight in the Houston Astrodome on Nov. 14, and 125 locations in more than 100 cities will be showing it on TV.
"No one is happier than I am to be fighting in my own country," Clay said the other day from Miami Beach, where, paradoxically, one may still watch him train without being investigated. "I don't think the real fans ever wanted me to leave the country. It was just a few pressure groups who made things tough. I was always acceptable to the masses."
The Williams fight will be Clay's fifth title defense this year. Of the heavyweight champions, only Tommy Burns (in 1908) and Joe Louis (in 1941) had more—seven apiece. But although Clay is fighting more, he is enjoying it less. "I'm tired," Clay said. "And I'm getting bored. Training and fighting. Training and fighting. I guess I'm just not like I used to be. When I fought Liston I was hungry, full of zip. I wanted to show everybody how great I was. I don't ever feel like talking up the Williams fight, shooting off my mouth. In my last four fights it's been like fighting an old movie of Muhammad Ali. My opponents have all the zip. Maybe—well, maybe—the Ali who fought Liston would have taken out the Londons, Coopers and Mildenbergers bim, bam, boom. Then, too, the Ali of two years ago didn't have this bad right hand. It's not broke or nothing. It's just a bad bone bruise and it usually heals, but I keep hurting it again during the fights. It just seems like fighting for the title is no longer the most important thing in the world."
"This is something I don't expect to happen again," Norman Krumeich says about catching his 41-pound striped bass, and he is probably right, it probably won't. He caught the bass with his bare hands after one of the fairer fights a man has entered into with a fish.
Krumeich, a Port Monmouth, N.J. plumber, was diving for lobsters off New Jersey's Shark River Inlet when he saw the big bass lurking on a shelf at 25 feet—18 inches of line and a sinker hanging from its mouth. Krumeich grabbed for the line and got it, but for three minutes the bass seemed to have caught Krumeich. Krumeich weighs 195 pounds and was carrying 20 pounds of lead, but the fish towed him down, up and in circles. Krumeich's air was limited, so he didn't want to go down; on the surface, fishing beats were heading in, so he didn't want to go up. But when the bass rolled and shed the hook, setting Krumeich free, he didn't want that either, so he grabbed for the vanishing tail. The fish, by this time, was tired out from playing the man, and on the third try Krumeich got it. With one hand in its gills and the other in its mouth Krumeich crawled up on a nearby jetty.
Krumeich is having the fish mounted. It will be smaller than the 57-pound striper—caught by more conventional means—already hanging in his office, but there will be a good deal more to be said about the 41-pounder.
ROOM FOR ONE MORE
The Michigan State-Notre Dame game Nov. 19 has been a sellout for weeks—or it was until MSU Ticket Director William Beardsley received a letter from Richard S. Paisley of Cleveland.
"I am wondering about the following," Paisley wrote. "If President Johnson phoned or wrote you asking for a ticket I'm sure you would be able to send him one. Well, President Johnson will not be there, I'm certain. So why not send me the ticket you would have had for him?"
In the face of such logic what could Beardsley do but mail Paisley his ticket. Although Lynda Bird, J. Edgar Hoover and Soupy Sales won't be there, either, forget about it. Says Beardsley: "This will be the only exception."
ALL-WORLD, I GUESS
When the U.S. finished 11th out of the 22 teams in the World Volleyball Championships in Czechoslovakia it was something of a surprise—the U.S. had been figured no better than 18th. Even more surprising was the composition of the All-World volleyball team picked after the championships. It was made up of two Czechs, a Russian, a Hungarian, a Red Chinese and Smitty Duke, who teaches Texas history at Bowie Junior High School in Irving, Texas.
Duke, 24, is no stranger to "all" teams; at the University of Dallas he was a three-time NAIA All-America baseball player, but his heart wasn't in it. "I was never satisfied with the conventional sports," he says. "I was always trying to find something else. It seems as though I've always been guided by a sort of master plan—one that inevitably brought me straight to volleyball. I've asked myself a dozen times what makes me so passionate about volleyball. Well, it's magnetic. Also, it's a 'down' sport. Once it gets a hold of you, you want to get it out in the open for everybody to know. People who are connected with it are fanatics. I'm fanatical about my conditioning, but I also get a lot of help. I mean that. It's true, believe me. When I don't want to run my wife makes me run at least a mile. She simply says, 'If you don't run you don't eat.' I run."
Becoming All-World hasn't gone to Duke's head. For one thing, hardly anyone knows about it; to date, no Texas newspaper has spread the news. In fact, Duke can't quite believe he is All-World. "There was a lot of confusion over there," he explains. "I heard all kinds of descriptions of what I'd won, mostly by sign language. I got a very nice solid-crystal decanter that says 'Volleyball World Championship' on it in Czechoslovakian, I guess. You think you might be able to let the Associated Press know about me being All-World? I'd sure like my old friends to know about it."
TRUE TO FORM
A horse named Cautcheetin finished first in a race at Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio but was disqualified for interfering and placed second.
According to the old contest gag, first prize is a week in Philadelphia, second prize is two weeks in Philadelphia. This comes to mind because Birds Eye is running the National Football League Sweepstakes. As one of the first prizes, your kid's favorite NFL football player will visit you and your family for a day. There are 4,945 other prizes. According to the latest gag, the 4,945th is a two-week visit by Joe Don Looney.
WHERE'S JOE MUNDO?
Notre Dame is famous for its subway alumni, who are largely New York Irishmen feeling no pain who never went to Notre Dame, or near there, but who boisterously identify. For the past three years Ripon (pronounced Rippin') College of Ripon, Wis. has had its subway alumni, too—the Pennsylvania Subway Alumni Club. The club has 33 members, most of whom work for Michael Baker Jr., Inc. of Rochester, Pa.—a consulting-engineering firm—and none of whom had gone to Ripon or, for that matter, had heard of Ripon until the 1963 Ripon-Coe game was included in an office football pool as a gag. Ripon (which they mispronounced Rip-on)won, the club was straightaway founded and its members have been imbued with the Old Ripon spirit ever since.
They wear Ripon sweat shirts, wave Ripon pennants, paste Ripon decals on their windshields and Ripon stickers on their bumpers, and cover their books with Ripon book covers. Each week during the football season they send Ripon Coach John Storzer an inspirational telegram, and the club has held the Ripon Munch-On (a Girl Scout cooky raffle), the Ripon Chip-On (a golf tournament) and the Ripon Bowl-On (a bowling tournament) to raise funds for all the sweat shirts, pennants, decals, etc.
The club president is Joe Mundo, and before this year's Ripon-Coe game the membership talked him into driving the 650 miles to Ripon to see it in person. Mundo arrived unannounced, but his fame had preceded him. No sooner had he hit town than the cry was raised: "Where's Joe Mundo?" He must have been found, for he was the guest of honor at the Ripon Alumni Association reception, he got five guided tours of the Ripon campus and he met everyone from the Ripon president, Dr. Bernard S. Adams, down to Mrs. Aleen Bruce of the Ripon College Bookstore—the source of the sweat shirts, pennants, decals, etc.—with whom he had dinner. Mundo sat on the Ripon bench during the game (Ripon won again 42-0) and returned to Rochester with snapshots of the Ripon campus and two game films, which will be shown at the next meeting of the Pennsylvania Subway Alumni Club.
THEY SAID IT
•Jim Boeke, Dallas Cowboy tackle, on big bonuses: "I wasn't exactly a bonus baby. I went to coffee with the scout, and when he offered me $6,500 I not only signed, I paid for the coffee."
•Jackie McCoy, fight manager, on his new lightweight sensation, Mando Ramos, who has won 12 straight: "Don't call him a second Golden Boy. We had one; that was enough. There was nobody like Art Aragon. He was a perfect combination—showman, fighter and rat."
•Bill Veeck on Michael Burke, new Yankee president who was formerly general manager for Ringling Bros, and Barnum & Bailey Circus: "I'm glad to see Mr. Burke has a circus background. When you're in 10th place having been with a circus gives you a better appreciation of clowns."