Raise a cup to ESPN! Its coverage of the America's Cup through Monday's race (page 66) was smashing. With 11 cameras sending stunning pictures from Down Under, the live Cup telecasts lent boat racing a never-before-seen excitement. The camera-microphone rig on the mast of Stars & Stripes brought the salt spray—and the salty talk of the sailors—right into your living room.
The telecasts sold out their advertising space and earned good ratings. Even on the East Coast, where the starter's gun sounded after midnight, America's Cup parties were the occasions on some people's winter social calendars. ESPN was clearly riding a big wave, and looking good doing it.
NEW ATTITUDE AT AUBURN
Last month we told of Auburn coach Pat Dye's decision to play All-America tailback Brent Fullwood in the Citrus Bowl despite the fact that Fullwood hadn't attended a single class since October (SCORECARD, Jan. 5). Since the game, in which Auburn beat USC 16-7, there have been several developments. Wilford S. Bailey, former Auburn president and new president of the NCAA, called Dye's decision "embarrassing to the university." Then Auburn professor Ian Hardin introduced a resolution in the university senate demanding "responsible policies for maintaining the academic integrity of Auburn." The next day the school announced adoption of a rule that required "all student-athletes to have normal class attendance to maintain their eligibility." The announcement didn't mention the tailback, but on campus the new law was immediately dubbed the Fullwood Rule.
With the big game over, many of the 101,063 who were at the Super Bowl found safe places for their ticket stubs. Several dozen others sought very safe spots for their souvenirs: 18-karat-gold key rings that looked like Super Bowl tickets.
"We just create unusual things," says Sidney Mobell, a San Franciscan who bills himself as a "jeweler extraordinaire." Mobell has previously created such sporting extravagances as a diamond-studded tennis racket worth $8,500, an $18,000 Frisbee with a one-carat diamond in the center and a million-dollar chess set containing 1,171 diamonds, 1,033 rubies, 459 sapphires and 59 emeralds. He hasn't been able to unload that chess set. Mobell has also manufactured solid-gold fishhooks. How would you like to see a trout snap your line after striking one of those?
The Super Bowl key ring is a relative bargain at $3,500 for one of the limited edition of 100. Mobell is certain that football fans who had real tickets will want them just as much as those who looked at the game on television.
Why does he manufacture such fancy, frivolous jewelry? Says the modest Mobell, "I want to go down in history."