George Steinbrenner's name came up the other day, prompting thoughts of another George S.—Santayana. Steinbrenner is expected to return to active duty as owner of the New York Yankees, who are wooing free-agent pitcher David Cone. When Dave Winfield, a Toronto Blue Jay teammate last season, warned Cone about the perils of playing for the Boss, Cone, according to The New York Times, said he "respected Winfield's sentiments but believed that it could be different for him."
Santayana, of course, was the philosopher famous for the dictum, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
Temple of Doom
First came the rumors, then the newspaper stories, but as too often happens with end-of-the-season firings, Temple made football coach Jerry Berndt twist in the wind before sacking him last week. His dismissal came three days before the Owls ended a 1-10 season with a 35-10 loss to Rutgers and almost two weeks after Temple officials and old grad Bill Cosby reportedly flew to South Carolina in Cosby's plane to interview Clemson assistant Ron Dickerson for the job. If, as expected, the well-regarded Dickerson is hired this week, he'll be the only black football coach in Division I-A. Temple will deserve credit for that, but certainly not for its failure to play straight with Berndt.
In announcing Berndt's dismissal with a year left on his five-year contract, Temple president Peter Liacouras lauded him as "honorable and decent," and, indeed, Berndt had earned a reputation for running a clean program. Too bad Liacouras's school didn't exhibit the same class.
A recent help-wanted ad in The New York Times offered employment to two boxers who "must have 4 yrs prof'l or amateur exp.; must be capable of engaging in pro boxing matches of up to ten (10) rounds; must have excel amateur & prof'l win/loss record." The ad specified that one of the pugilists had to be a junior welterweight, the other a light heavyweight. Advertising for pugs in the good, gray Times—what in the name of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. is going on?
It seems that the ad was placed by promoter Dan Duva's outfit, Main Events, to comply with U.S. labor regulations holding that foreign job-seekers can obtain work permits only if qualified Americans aren't available. In sports, as in show business, the requirement doesn't apply to headliners, but it does to lesser lights like Nick Rupa and Egerton Marcus, two Canadians Duva had lined up to fight on a Dec. 1 card in Virginia Beach, Va. Duva chose the Times at the direction of John Fullmer, an official in the New Jersey Labor Department, and when no boxers responded, Rupa and Marcus got their work permits. Well, wouldn't an ad in The Ring magazine have brought better results? "Ring magazine?" says Fullmer. "I never knew it existed."
The Foot Locker athletic-shoe chain and Nike have helped bail out Chicago high school sports. Electronic Data Systems Inc. has rescued the U.S. Olympic Education Center in Marquette, Mich. New York Telephone has thrown a lifeline to the 1993 World University Games in Buffalo. Merrill Lynch is providing financial succor to the Heisman Trophy folks. Logos at center ice at NHL games promote the Starter Corp. ( L.A. Kings), Champs Sports and Volvo ( New Jersey Devils) and Boatmen's Bank ( St. Louis Blues). And newly backed by 17 local Pontiac dealers, the former Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association are now the Capital Region Pontiacs.