This may be the end of tailgating as we know it. Two weeks ago Los Angeles Rams season-ticket holders were informed in a letter that "consumption of alcoholic beverages on the parking lot is prohibited by Anaheim City Ordinance," and that " Anaheim police shall actively enforce this ordinance." The ordinance has been on the books for years, but an increasing number of drunken incidents inside Anaheim Stadium and the threat of lawsuits as a result of alcohol-related accidents led the city to step up enforcement.
In the Long Beach Press-Telegram, an Anaheim police captain, Martin Mitchell, characterized tailgate participants as follows: "There are three kinds of tailgaters. First is the large organized groups. They cause some of the greatest problems. Second is what I call the party animal. This is the small group that has a cooler, parties, throws a football and runs around in the parking lot. They're pretty well plastered by the time the game starts. The third group is the man and woman who share a bottle of wine with sandwiches before the game." Mitchell said that for now his people won't bother with the third group, although in time they, too, will be affected.
Given the growing awareness of alcohol abuse, it is probably only a matter of time before Anaheim's policy is adopted nationwide. Some stadiums, though, will be more reluctant to follow suit than others. Asked what would happen if Tampa Stadium suddenly prohibited tailgating. Rick Nafe, the director of operations at the Tampa Sports Authority, said, "Did you see the original Frankenstein movie, when the angry mob gathered outside the castle? That's what it would be like."
BRAINS AND BRAWN
Congratulations to New England Patriot rookie offensive tackle Bruce Armstrong. According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, of all the NFL first-round picks who took the Wonderlic Personnel Test this year, Armstrong, who attended Louisville, scored the highest—37 of a possible 50. The test, which is administered by the BLESTO scouting combine to help determine a player's mental capabilities, contains 50 questions involving logic, math, geometry and semantics. Sample: "Which two of these sayings have similar meanings: (a) A stitch in time saves nine; (b) A rolling stone gathers no moss; (c) A penny saved is a penny earned?"
The average test score for all occupations—doctors, lawyers and Redskin centers—is 22, two more points than the NFL's very first pick, Vinny Testaverde, received. Seattle's newest linebacker, Brian Bosworth, scored a relatively high 29. The lowest scores belonged to Green Bay and former Auburn running back Brent Fullwood (9) and Roger Vick (6), the New York Jets' running back from Texas A & M. But as Billy Wilson, a scout for the San Francisco 49ers, points out, the Wonderlic score is not the only measure of how a player will perform on the field. "Some guys have had trouble reading the playbook, but on the field, they've had no trouble at all." On the other hand, he adds, "the highest score I ever recorded was a 44 by a guy who didn't make it."
Jackie Sherrill, Roger Vick's coach at Texas A & M, recently let fly with this explanation as to why such measures as the Scholastic Aptitude Test is unfair to athletes: "The tests historically discriminate against those not in the mainland or streamlined."
JOHN MCENROE, PLEASE NOTE
The handbook distributed to each of the 37,000 volunteers working at the Pan American Games in Indianapolis (page 18) contained this interesting item in a list of protocol dos and don'ts:
"Realize that gestures can be significant. Hand motions which are innocent in one culture may be offensive in another. Keep your hands relatively still and refrain from pointing—instead use wide arm motions, turning your head in the desired direction. Avoid scratching your nose, indicating the number two by holding up two fingers, or making the thumbs up or the 'O.K.' sign."