"A fast-moving featherweight with a marvelous jab who never gets his left out of your face, but he'd never knock anybody down," said Norman Mailer recently. Has Norman discovered a new fighter? No, he was merely describing Judge Julius Hoffman as he presides over the trial of the Chicago 7. "You're too high-priced a writer to give us all that detail for free," Hoffman had told defense witness Mailer, in an effort to confine the author to the point. "Just answer the question." And Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Schultz said desperately, "Make him stop using all those adjectives he used in his book!" "Yes, we're simple folk here," Hoffman agreed. "Just tell us what you said and he said." "He's never been very strong on dialogue," observed Defense Attorney William Kunstler, sneaking in the unkindest jab of all.
What do Willie Mays, Lance Alworth, Tom Seaver, Ray Nitschke, Joe Namath, Ernie Banks, Jerry Koosman and Denny McLain have in common? Until recently they were all amateur golfers. No more. Along with some 90 others, many of them pro athletes, they have been stripped of their amateur standing for having played, however ineptly, in one or more of the last three American Airlines Astrojet Classics or in the 1966 All-Pro Classic. They can be reinstated if they file the appropriate forms with the USGA and abide by its rules for two years. "Golf, unlike some other sports," says the USGA's Frank Hannigan, "is, we like to think, enlightened. And don't call them 'disqualified,' as if they were disqualified as human beings." The principal effect of the—well, reclassification—is that the group is now ineligible for pro-ams. However, the fact that they're no longer amateur golfers doesn't mean they're pro golfers, Hannigan points out. "Tom Seaver was quoted as saying that we had declared him a professional, so he couldn't play in the Crosby. He hasn't written us about it yet, but if he does I'll just refer him to his old man who, after all, was a member of the Walker Cup team."
"I put him over a jump...a sizable jump, and he took advantage of that moment when he had his head going over the jump and I was a little forward—and he added a few ideas of his own," said Ronald Reagan to a newsman asking about his limp, the result of a fall from a new horse. "No one had mentioned this particular characteristic of the horse, and I discovered it for myself," the governor added. "You might say that what happened to me was that I simply dismounted involuntarily." "Did you get bucked off, governor?" another reporter inquired. "I got bucked off," Reagan conceded.
Rich McGeorge, a tight end from Elon (N.C.) College, was a first-round choice of the Green Bay Packers in the pro football draft. "That's good," as they would say in the ancient tradition of the cross-talk joke. "No, that's bad~. His birth date, Sept. 14, was also No. 1—in the draft lottery." "That's bad all right. But his apartment number in Elon is 4F." "That's good. But not good enough."
February 9, 1970
Bill Dickey has always been a wing shooter, a man who used to prattle at such length about bird hunting that Babe Ruth called him "Partridge" (pronouncing it "Pittridge"). He never had much interest in the rifle, but a recent outing near San Antonio may have changed his mind. Dickey was just along for the ride with some friends who were hunting when one of them lent him a .270. With his first shot Dickey got a buck through the heart and took a doe standing behind it when the same bullet hit her between the eyes. The following day he downed another buck, from a distance of 300 yards, and a turkey—which adds up to three deer and a gobbler with three shots.
"Now I can do wheelies," reports George Hamilton, adding modestly, "Evel can do them at 100 mph, but I'm not in that class yet." Hamilton has become such a fan of Motorcyclist Evel Knievel (SI, Feb. 5, 1968) that he is going 50-50 with Executive Producer Fred Niles of Chicago to produce a film, The Evel Knievel Story, with himself in the title role. "We're about the same height and weight," Hamilton says. "I've had racing leathers made to match Evel's, and I'll tint my hair to match his." Hamilton has always been one for getting around in a Rolls-Royce, but when he entered his Knievel phase he took to cycling all over the place. It was rather a shock to discover that Evel himself favors a maroon, chauffeur-driven Rolls, followed by a station wagon hauling his motorcycle in a trailer.
British clairvoyant Maurice Woodruff has been predicting things again. For example, Mario Andretti, according to Woodruff, is going to break a world speed record this year in a jet-powered car, Barbara Jo Rubin will announce her engagement before September and the next America's Cup race will be won by England. "But by fluke," prophesies Woodruff, "as the Americans will be leading most of the way." It will have to be some fluke. England is not a contender in the next America's Cup race.