WITHIN THE LAW
The next time a hockey writer refers to mayhem on the ice, he may have to take care that he is choosing his legal terms precisely. For the first time in the history of the sport, players involved in hockey violence have had charges pressed against them by police.
Boston Defenseman Ted Green and St. Louis Left Wing Wayne Maki fought a fine old traditional stick duel during an exhibition game between the Bruins and the Blues in Ottawa Sept. 21. Green's skull was fractured. Now Ottawa police have charged the two with assault causing bodily harm. Somehow it seems a reasonable sort of case.
Years ago Peter Beard left New York's high society to live among the wildlife of the East African bush. While becoming one of the world's most renowned photographers of the elephants, antelopes, giraffes, zebras, rhinos and hippos there, he grew to despise—immoderately, as it happens—the poachers and hunters who are slowly killing them off.
Eighteen months ago Beard found a dead antelope in a poacher's trap near his home outside Nairobi. Enraged he set out to catch the poacher, and when he spotted an African approaching another trap nearby, he jumped him. With the help of his Somali servant, Beard beat the man up, stuffed a glove in his mouth and used wire from the traps to tie his hands to one tree and his feet to another. Then he walked off and left the suspected poacher hanging there. Eventually the man—who turned out to be the servant of one of Beard's neighbors—was found and freed by passersby. He reported Beard to the police, and last May Beard was arrested.
When Beard came to trial a fortnight ago, his attorney admitted all the charges and appealed to the mercy of the court, after portraying Beard as a passionate defender of wildlife. The court found that portrait insufficient mitigation of the defendants' "barbaric and outrageous deed." Beard and his servant each were sentenced to 18 months in prison and 12 lashes with a rhinocerous-hide whip—in Kenya a relatively lenient sentence.
An appeal has been filed, but it probably will not be considered until after the December elections—no Kenyan politician wants to face the voters when he might even remotely be thought to have rescued a white man who strung up an African.
In the meantime Beard had his head shaved and was put into a filthy cell in Nairobi prison before being released on bail last week. His 18 African cell mates treated him "like an officer," according to a friend who visited, and Beard's spirits are high. His main concern is not the prospect of prison and the whip but the threat of being deported—away from the threatened animals he loves and took such inhumane measures to protect.
SO WILL WE
Not since journeyman Pitcher Robert (Ach) Duliba broke in with the Cardinals in 1959 has there appeared on the sporting scene a better—or if you prefer, a worse—nickname. It is owned by a forward for the semipro basketball Orangemen of Albany, N.Y. He is Richard (Albie) Damm.
BOMBS AND BOMBS
Jerry Smith, the Washington Redskins' tight end and a District of Columbia National Guardsman, showed better hands playing before President Nixon Nov. 16 than he did serving the Commander-in-Chief during the antiwar march in Washington the day before.
Smith played without a full night's sleep—he was released from Guard duty that Sunday morning and walked across the street to Robert F. Kennedy Stadium for a brief nap in the dressing room. Then he awoke, dressed, and showed the form that has made him the league's top receiver among tight ends. He caught seven passes, three for touchdowns, and bobbled none against the Dallas Cowboys as Mr. Nixon became the first President to watch a regular season game. (Not only did the Chief Executive stay until the end, according to an AP dispatch, "he occasionally rose to his feet on exciting plays.")
Smith had not been so sure-fingered the day before. While being instructed on the use of a tear-gas bomb, he dropped it and it went off at his feet, gassing him and several fellow Guardsmen. "Hell, I might as well admit it," he said last week after suffering considerable ribbing from his teammates, who had been informed of the mishap. "I dropped the ball. But it wasn't funny then."
Coed Carol Smith was busily cheering Memphis State University to its 37-7 victory over old rival Southern Mississippi week before last, when she discovered both her thumbs were caught securely in the handles of her cowbell. Stadium attendants had to file it off.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
When Texas Tech's cross-country team went to Fort Worth for a meet with TCU recently, Tech's runners took a wrong turn on the unfamiliar course and loped off toward parts unknown. The Frogs stayed on course and won the meet. That week Tommy Love, a writer for the Texas Tech student newspaper, said it best: "TCU pulled the old hidden-road trick on Texas Tech...."
National Basketball Association Commissioner Walter Kennedy last week took an almost unheard-of action—he reversed a referee's decision. Kennedy upheld the protest of the Chicago Bulls, who insisted they had scored a tying basket at home against Atlanta Nov. 6 with one second to play. The chief official present had ruled that the goal was scored after the buzzer, although one second was clearly left on the clock. When the floor was cleared with Atlanta declared the victor 124-122, the timekeeper restarted the clock, it ticked the remaining second off and the buzzer sounded over the empty hardwood. The Hawks insisted that they had heard a previous buzzer and that the clock was malfunctioning. Kennedy ruled that the basket was good. Play will be resumed at a later date with the score 124-124 and one regulation second to go.
Traditionally commissioners accept the judgment of referees on the scene. But officiating in the NBA has aroused considerable protest this year. Maybe the NBA would do well to stage a raid on all those officials the ABA took away during the off season.
We don't often feel obliged to inform our readers of impending pregnancies, but this one may well affect the whole future of an international sport. Roquepine, undoubtedly the greatest trotting mare in history, has been brought from France to the Hanover Shoe Farm in Pennsylvania to be mated with Star's Pride, whose sons have already won seven Hambletonians, including five of the last six. Their children and children's children should be supertrotters.
Since the French studbook has been closed to American blood since 1937, Roquepine brings to the union something special—an outcross, or lineage not in Star's Pride's immediate breeding. (Her great-grandfather, The Great McKinney, was bred in Ohio.) She won 51 races over a six-year career—23 straight in one period—two consecutive Roosevelt Internationals, and more money, $956,161, than any other trotter. As for Star's Pride, 14 of his progeny have broken 2:00 for the mile, and his son Nevele Pride is the fastest trotter in history.
It's a good bet that the bidding for the first yearling colt by this pair will start at $100,000.
In Salvador the previous Sunday the fans had hoped he would lead a carnival procession through the city to the ancient church of Nosso Senhor do Bomfim, where he would offer his boots to the Church. But Pelé of Santos did not score his 1,000th goal that day. He was blanketed, as he had been ever since that milestone came into view, by opponents who did not want to be remembered forever for something they yielded. It fell to the Vasco da Gama team—which had as many as five men on him at once—to suffer on Nov. 19 the monumental goal (a world record, almost twice the next-highest career total) of the world's greatest soccer player.
With 12 minutes to go before the game ended, Pelé looked sure to score, when a Vasco player tripped him. For five minutes Vasco da Gama argued against the penalty free shot, and at first Pelé refused to take it. But the fans would not leave him alone, 90,000 of them, chanting "Peh-leh, Peh-leh...." Finally he picked up the ball. There was a hush. Pelé placed the ball, stepped back and, after hearing the referee's whistle, ran methodically, took his characteristic brief halt and then with his right instep shot the ball low, just inside the left goalpost and into the net. The Vasco goalie, shamed so publicly, fell on his face. Pelé dashed right after the ball, past the goalie, into the net, picked up the ball and began to kiss it. The press—139 reporters in all, one behind Santos' goal and 138 behind Vasco's—-rushed right into the net with him, snapping pictures, jamming mikes into his face and pounding him with questions. Sobs racked Pelé's muscular, soaking-wet body and tears streamed his face. Perhaps haunted by his extremely humble origins, the world's best-paid athlete blurted into the mikes:
"I only ask one thing: think of the little poor children, think of them during Christmas for the love of God."
The newsmen carried him on their shoulders to midfield, where his teammates and foes were lined to shake his hand. Then he jogged around the field as the fans roared, holding up the game for 12½ minutes. President Emílio Médici of Pelé's Brazil, who watched the historic game on television in a corner of his lonely Palace of the Dawn in the hinterlands capital of Brasilia, sent Pelé a telegram saying, "I embrace you" and invited him up for lunch at the palace.
THEY SAID IT
•Glenn Doughty, Michigan tailback who hobbled for a month with a sprained left ankle, asked why he had both ankles heavily taped during Michigan's 51-6 victory over Iowa Nov. 15: "I taped a pad to my left ankle because it hurt; I taped the other ankle as a decoy so they wouldn't know which one is injured."
•Don Haskins, Texas-El Paso basketball coach, after he was told his team received one vote as high as first place and a vote as low as last in a poll of Western Athletic Conference sportswriters and sportscasters: "We'll finish somewhere in there."