Worried about the economy? Sit back and relax until World Series time. Then the economy is due to take a big upswing and business will have a banner year. That is the word from Elrick and Lavidge, Inc., a Chicago market-research firm retained by the National Sporting Goods Association. According to Elrick and Lavidge, both the general economy and retail sales of sporting goods will soar to record heights by the end of 1970. Specifically, sporting goods sales should hit $4.5 billion, up 10% over 1969. Hockey equipment, up 21.4%, is expected to lead the way, followed by winter sports equipment (sleds, skis, etc.) 19.5%; fishing equipment 12%; and golf supplies 11.6%.
The economist who does all the figuring for Elrick and Lavidge is Professor Irving Schweiger of the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago and editor of the Journal of Business. Looking beyond sporting goods alone, the professor predicts the 1970 Gross National Product will total about $985 billion, a 5.7% increase over 1969, with much of the jump coming in the last quarter of the year. When it comes to forecasting the economy, sporting or otherwise, the professor bats with the best. He predicted the 1969 GNP would be $933 billion; it turned out to be $932.1 billion.
The Great Barrier Reef of Australia, a 1,250-mile-long chain of coral, has long been acclaimed as one of the biological wonders of the world. Now it is the subject of Australia's No. 1 national controversy. The government of the state of Queensland, where a boomer mentality holds sway, wants to allow oil companies to drill on the reef. Leading the clamorous opposition are a number of conservation organizations and the federal government, headed by Prime Minister John Gorton. They do not want the reef to become Australia's version of the Santa Barbara Channel, and the fighting back and forth has been so heavy that early last month Gorton almost fell from office over a bill that would have wrested control of offshore mineral development from the individual Australian states.
Conservationists have succeeded in forcing the appointment of a royal commission to examine the entire reef controversy, but now, according to the Brisbane Courier-Mail, the commission's inquiries "are so worded as to infer that the governments want the reef drilled and are asking the commissioners to say just where and how."
Nor does the argument stop there. The powerful Queensland Trades and Labor Council has reaffirmed its total opposition to any oil drilling on or near the reef, in spite of the jobs that might become available. The probable consequence is that no union man would even think of lending the oil companies a hand with a screwdriver, much less a drill, regardless of what the royal commission finds.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are not admitting it, but they apparently have found a way of keeping Terry Bradshaw, their prize rookie quarterback, out of two All-Star Games. Bradshaw underwent surgery last week for removal of a calcium deposit on his right thigh, and he will be sidelined for six to eight weeks. Recuperation will keep him from playing in the Coaches All-America Game June 27, and he may well miss the College All-Star Game July 31. Bradshaw came down with the ailment last January, but by scheduling the operation for last week, the Steelers will be able to keep Bradshaw in training camp learning plays.
Sven (Tumba) Johansson is a Swedish sports hero who played hockey for his country in four Olympics and who was good enough to be given a tryout with the Boston Bruins in 1958. Tumba—he recently had his surname changed legally from Johansson to Tumba—is in the U.S. to help promote a pro golf tournament in Sweden next October. When he was visiting the Colonial Invitational in Fort Worth he talked about his try-out with the Bruins. "I don't think they liked me because of a joke I played on them," he said. "Before practice all the players would remove their false teeth and put them in glasses marked with numbers. This one day I thought I'd have some fun, so when they all were out on the ice I switched the teeth around. I was careful about it—if someone had four teeth in his plate, I'd switch it with someone else who had four teeth. After the workout they came in and went to the tooth glasses and tried to put their teeth back in. None of the plates fit, of course, and I sat in a corner and laughed like crazy. I was just trying to be funny, but I hadn't realized that this was a serious thing with the players. They were mad as hell. They looked around and saw me laughing, and that's when I realized it was no joke to them. A few days later I was on my way back to Sweden."
A COLOMBIA GEM
The British election campaign began last week, but seemingly most Englishmen could not have cared less. Harold Wilson and Ted Heath went unnoticed as the nation awaited the fate of Bobby Moore, captain of England's World Cup soccer team. The English team had been uneventfully touring South America preparing for the World Cup matches in Mexico City; but when the team plane set down in Bogotà, Colombia police were there to arrest Moore. The charge: that on a previous visit he had shoplifted a $1,400 emerald bracelet from a hotel jewelry store. The accusation was brought by a salesgirl, Clara Padilla, who told the London Daily Express, "Mr. Bobby Moore came in. He stand by the case where the bracelet was. While he was standing there two of the team, whose names I don't know, came in and spoke to me. I saw him put something in his pocket. Then I looked at the case and this bracelet was gone."
The rest of the English team flew off to Mexico while Moore was detained in Bogotà. An investigating judge visited the scene of the alleged crime, listened to all involved and then let Moore go on condition he report to the Colombian Embassy in London when he gets home from Mexico. Moore's attorney has appealed this decision on the grounds there is no case against his client, and English fans have already issued their verdict: a put-up job to upset England's cup hopes.
ESCAPE IN THE SUN
Looking for a peaceful campus? Like to play in the sun? Then enroll at the University of Albuquerque. According to an ad on the sports pages of the New York Daily News, the University of Albuquerque can offer freshmen and transfer students "degrees in 25 fields at low cost in the beautiful sunland capital of America." Skiing and golf are only "15 min. from Campus." Just to make sure no undesirables apply, the ad warns "No Hippies, No Violence Allowed."
Emil Zatopek, the Czechoslovakian Olympic hero who fell from official favor after the Russians moved into his homeland, is well and happy, according to a slightly unconvincing interview in France's L'Athlétisme magazine. Said Zatopek: "I'm freer now. During the past few years, I was a man who belonged to society. I had thousands of meetings, thousands of appointments. Now I work as a laborer with a geological team. We bore into the earth to look for water. It's a little difficult but also interesting.
"I have never considered leaving Czechoslovakia. My future will be that of an average citizen who has the pleasure of seeing others around him. I believe it was Einstein who said, 'Only a life lived for others is worthwhile.' I agree with him. Life is beautiful, and I love it very much. In poor countries I have seen men die of hunger. I am happy to live where one does not die of starvation, where one can learn.
"The qualities I like to see most in a champion are ambition, courage and will. Those are the qualities of a real man. What I dislike most is indifference, the lack of interest. That is the same thing as death."
For Dick Barney, now back home in Portland, Ore., the coast-to-coast-to-coast trip in his 1916 Model T Ford was a breeze. Barney, a musical instrument and camera dealer who is described by friends as "either a great mechanic, an optimist or a nut," set out in his Ford last April for Portland, Maine. Water tanks and spare gear lined the running boards, and up front was a portable organ for musical accompaniment. Singing the song of the open road, Barney made the 4,000 miles in 27 days, and, according to him, "It was an unbelievable trip all the way." Because of minimum speed laws, Barney passed up the superhighways and chugged along back roads at 25 miles an hour, making friends all the way. His journey was almost free of those nasty little annoyances that plague motorists. He had only one flat tire, one breakdown and a minor collision—with a Baker Steam Engine. "The accident occurred in Ohio," Barney reports. "I saw a man working on the streamer and asked if I could photograph the two cars together. When I backed in, I got a little close and—crunch!"
Sherry Robertson has to be the only $50,000-a-year vice-president who has ever gone back to a baseball bullpen for more money. Now 51 and a veep of the Minnesota Twins, Robertson played 10 years in the majors, mostly for his uncle, Clark Griffith, owner of the Washington Senators. He hit only .230 as a utility in-fielder, and his major personal achievement probably was staying in the game long enough to qualify for a player pension. Recently Robertson discovered he could get his pension increased by $650 a month at age 60 (from $450 to $1,100) if he could get back into uniform for 86 more games.
This was easily arranged, and VP Robertson is now suited up as a bullpen coach. The Twins have a regular bullpen coach, Bob Rodgers, so Robertson's duties are not exactly onerous. His biggest chore is answering the phone when the dugout calls. By next month Robertson will have completed his quota of games and be back in his swivel chair in the front office directing farm operations, all the richer for the experience.
In case you missed it, Robert Greault, executive chef at the Jockey Club in Washington, beat out 17 fellow chefs for top honors in San Francisco's second annual North American Crab Cooking Olympics. Greault won the title of Master Chef de Cuisine by taking firsts in the Crab Imperial and Crab Américaine cookoffs and placing second in the freestyle salad division. For those of you who summer on the shore—or near a good seafood store—here is the gold medal recipe for Crab Imperial:
In a saucepan, sauté one pound of blue crab meat with shallots; add salt and pepper to taste, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, a touch of lemon juice and one cup of fish sauce velouté made with a lot of cream. Add two tablespoons of green pepper chopped and sautéed. Remove from stove, add two tablespoons of hollandaise sauce and one tablespoon of whipped cream without sugar. Pour the mixture into a serving dish and bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Remove and serve over rice pilaf.
THEY SAID IT
•Wilt Chamberlain, Los Angeles Laker star, said to be paid $250,000 a year, on the recent economic news: "What I made in 10 years of playing basketball, I lost in 10 days on the stock market."
•Tom Thacker, the first player to be on both NBA and ABA championship teams, on whether he would try to protect his Indiana Pacer guard position next season against the challenge of Rick Mount: "I'm going to try to come back. I might grow ugly, but I'll never grow old."
•Mrs. Cecily Bishop, 71, dropped from a British golf championship in which she had last competed in 1937: "My handicaps are gin and old age."