YANKEE STAY HOME
The German Olympic Organizing Committee has established an interesting set of rules for Americans who wish to purchase tickets for the '72 Games. First, all tickets must be obtained through the American Automobile Association, which assumed the position of exclusive U.S. agent after the Diners-Fugazy Travel Agency lost the contract in a dispute a couple of months ago.
Next, tickets must be fully paid for by July 1971, more than a year before the Games begin.
But here is the real kicker. It is impossible to buy just a ticket. You must also buy hotel rooms at the same time—even if you own a villa in Munich. Your only guarantee on housing is that you will be located somewhere within a 75-mile radius of Munich—and all accommodations within the city limits are already taken. Also, you must buy blind; not even the AAA knows what kind of rooms you will be assigned.
May 30, 1971
Finally, less than 2% of the 115,000 tickets allotted the U.S. are for the glamorous opening and closing ceremonies. Even if you should win one of these prizes, the odds are about 2 in 5 that you still won't have a seat. The Munich Olympic Stadium holds 80,000 people—but has only 45,000 seats.
It looks like the Germans are making their marks.
HEADLINE OF THE WEEK
From The Swimming Times, a British magazine:
In England, it seems, "fixed" is a synonym for "scheduled."
The biggest payoff stemming from New York's off-track betting on the Kentucky Derby and Preakness has been enjoyed by CBS. Proving that people want to watch their money, the New York Derby television audience increased by almost 25% over last year, and the Preakness ratings by two-thirds.
The Indianapolis 500 auto race is moving to ABC from the theaters for the first time in eight years, but it will be shown in the U.S. only on a delayed basis. This may be the first time that a local blackout has covered a whole country. If you want to see the 500 live on TV, you can catch it in Canada, and parts of it in France and England.
Y'ALL HURRY BACK NOW, Y'HEAR
Governor George Wallace has appointed Joe Louis, who was born in Alabama 57 years ago, as a lieutenant colonel in the Alabama militia, which means that Louis has an honorary position on the governor's staff.
In the game of survival, it was a busy week. In Washington, witnesses before congressional subcommittees suggested that mercury levels in fish are rising so high that the whole American fishing industry—not to mention the whole fish-eating American population—is threatened. Still another type of fish, the striped bass, has been found to have a dangerous level of mercury content in its flesh. Autopsies performed on many of 22 bald and golden eagles found dead recently near Casper, Wyo. showed that they were killed by thallium, a poison officials used in the past to work against coyotes and other predators (SI, March 8, 15, and 22, 1971).
Now for the good news.
Elephant-feet umbrella stands, lion-skin spectacle cases, ostrich-skin billfolds, gazelle-leg lamp standards and all other such "ghastly gewgaws of the tourist trade," as they have been called, are to be banned from the thousands of curio shops in Kenya. It is part of the nation's new antipoaching policy.
For the first time in 11 years, brown pelicans have reproduced in Louisiana, reversing the state bird's trend toward extinction. Nine baby pelicans have survived two weeks since hatching on a precarious perch on the coast at Grand Terre, and eight of them appear in good shape.
And at Cornell, ornithologists did the pelicans one better by hatching themselves a red-tailed hawk from an artificially inseminated egg. This is the first time men have made their own bird of prey, and could be the initial step toward assembly line production of endangered birds. At least until the laboratories get polluted.
BOSS TRUCK OF AMERICA
When we last left Jerry Malone (SI, Aug. 11, 1969) he was traveling the country with Little Irvy, his 20-ton frozen whale. At the time, he had revealed that his plans for the future included designing the first drag truck in history, which he would take along with Little Irvy to display (for 35¢) at fairs and shopping centers.
Today, Jerry Malone's Boss Truck of America is a reality, and Jerry plans to take it to the Bonneville Salt Flats this fall, when the U.S. whale-exhibiting season is over, where he will try to establish a diesel-truck world speed record. At present there is no such thing, though Jerry says a fellow named Dana Fuller took a car with a diesel engine 159 mph in 1953. Jerry, who used to drive in stock-car races, says his Boss Truck can top 200 mph. Do not laugh at the boast; many people also said he would not be able to freeze a 20-ton whale either, but Little Irvy is still as solid as a rock after almost four refrigerated years.
The Boss Truck is 10 tons of red, white and blue, and chrome. It has a V-12 engine, 13-speed transmission with a 1.85 gear ratio, dual rear end and five-inch drag pipes. The interior, done in Jerry's favorite tuck-and-roll upholstery, includes two private sleeping compartments and a "cocktail lounge." Jerry says: "It's some kind of tricky truck, a real classy chassis." The Boss Truck is so special, in fact, that Jerry won't let it travel the highways on its own steam. It is towed by what Jerry calls the Mama Truck. Little Irvy resides in Old Blue, a handsome truck in its own right. He plans to have them all at the Salt Flats for his Diesel Derby.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Should Canonero II win the Belmont he will become only the ninth horse—and the first since 1948—to take the Triple Crown. If he does, two good old boys down South will be the only ones around to really share in his glory.
They are Count Fleet, who won the Triple Crown in 1943, and Assault, who took it in '46. Since Citation, the '48 winner, died last August, they are the only Triple Crown survivors. Canonero should be spurred, however, by the fact that Triple Crown winners tend to live to a ripe old age.
Only Whirlaway, who died at 15, had a lifespan shorter than the average thoroughbred, which is around 18 years. Sir Barton lived to 21, War Admiral and Citation to 25 and Gallant Fox and Omaha to 27. Assault, who lives on the King Ranch in Texas, is now 28, and Count Fleet had his 31st birthday this year.
The Count lives out his days at the Stoner Creek Stud in Paris, Ky. He is swaybacked and 300 pounds underweight, but considering he is almost 100 years old by human standards, he is in pretty good shape. Assault is a bit senile, yet thousands of people still come every year to visit the old boy. He has had a less strenuous retirement than his Triple Crown colleagues, too. He is infertile and has been spared the demands of female companionship.
THE HOCKEY PUBLIC BE DAMNED
Local TV blackouts of sports events are nothing new, but the Chicago Black Hawks' refusal to let their fans see even a delayed telecast of the final game of the Stanley Cup sets something of a record for high-handedness in this regard. The reason for the Black Hawk blackout is fairly obvious: Arthur Wirtz, who controls the team, also happens to have an ownership interest in some of the theaters and owns the hotel where closed-circuit pay TV was being shown. The profit motive—or greed, to be direct about it—was the Hawks' prime consideration.
Chicagoans bombarded CBS and the newspapers with protests, but to no avail. Nonetheless, not even Wirtz can be labeled as the real villain. That honor must be reserved for the National Hockey League and its president, Clarence Campbell, who countenances such treatment of fans. Certainly, any team should be permitted to make basic TV policy decisions about the regular season, but playoffs and the championships should be the sole province of the league. No owner or team owns the rights to a championship. In baseball and in the NFL, the league determines championship policy—even, as is well-known in the case of the NFL, with regard to the Super Bowl blackout. Right or wrong, this is as it should be. It is the National Hockey League which let its game be taken from the people of Chicago.
BRING BACK THE '50s
Nostalgia is moving on to the decade of the 1950s. So far, attention has been mostly directed at the clothes, music and TV of that era, but—look sharp, feel sharp, be sharp—now it is open season on '50s sports nostalgia. The National Nostalgia League has issued the list of nominations for champion athletic nostalgics of the era, and the nominees met last week on the deck of the Flying Enterprise for the awards ceremony. Your itty bitty buddy, George Gobel, was M.C., with music by Billy Vaughan and his orchestra. All male contestants wore duck-tail haircuts and were dressed in short-sleeved shirts (cuffed), pegged pants and shoes with taps; the ladies were all wearing Peter Pan collars, bobby sox and plaid pleated skirts with cinch belts.
The first award was in football. Nominees were: Cloyce Box, J. C. Caroline, Hopalong Cassady, Dick Kazmaier and Dickey Moegle. The winner, of course, was Cloyce Box, since he was always the star of the annual Thanksgiving morning Detroit-Green Bay game, a veritable nostalgia bath. Cloyce had it made in the shade.
Unfortunately, the Flying Enterprise, which had been cruisin' for a bruisin', began to sink at this point. How's that grab you? Everyone escaped safely, but there was no time to disclose the other winners. Nevertheless, here is a complete list of the nominees:
BASEBALL—Chico Carrasquel, Don Larsen, Dale Long, Wally Moon, Herb Score.
BASKETBALL—Charley Eckman, Bevo Francis, Chet (The Jet) Forte, Tommy Kearns, Jack Molinas.
GOLF—Al Besselink, Jack Fleck, Porky Oliver, Harvie Ward, anybody with a Jr. after his name.
OLYMPICS—Roger Bannister, Tenley Albright, Toni Sailer, the Rev. Bob Richards, Murray Rose.
BOXING—Chuck Davey (unanimous; no other nominees except one write-in for Dr. Joyce Brothers).
MISCELLANEOUS—the O'Brien twins, Paul Giel, St. Louis Browns, Kid Gavilan's Bolo Punch, Nancy Chaffee Kiner, Jim Shoulders, Toughie Brasuhn, Syracuse Nationals, Elroy (Crazy Legs) Hirsch in Unchained, Ernie Harwell's poem about baseball.
Unless it's a fake-out or you're out to lunch, it should be easy to pick the winners. Big deal.
THEY SAID IT
•Bobby Unser, the winner of the 1968 Indianapolis 500, discussing the financial benefits of victory: "It didn't make me the million dollars people said it would, but it sure made my ex-wife happy."
•The Rev. Walter Jessup, after winning his second straight clergyman's golf tournament: "I prayed this morning, but I didn't pray to win. I just thanked God to be alive. You know, the everyday stuff. I've never prayed to win a tournament. I don't think that would be fair. Why should He show partiality toward me?"
•Woody Allen, the movie and stage comedian, on Howard Cosell's role as a sportscaster named Howard Cosell in Allen's new movie Bananas: "Cosell was crazy about being in the movie. He's a tremendous ham, a cartoonlike character. He comes across that way on television, too. He's the same way if you're eating dinner with him—he broadcasts the meal."