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The high school in Jim Thorpe, Pa., of all places, is having a hard time fielding a football team. The town in which the legendary athlete is buried (SI, Oct. 25, 1982) doesn't seem to have enough boys willing to play for the Olympians, who finished 3-8 last year. Coach Art Guth says he needs 25 players; so far he has only 22. Part of the problem is that many of them have jobs. When Guth asked them why they weren't coming out, some said, "Car payments." Others are reluctant, they say, because they don't get along with the coach.
For the past two years, Canterbury Downs in Shakopee, Minn., has run a "Filly for a Fan" promotional drawing in which a lucky racetrack patron wins an actual racehorse. The track pays all of the horse's training fees, and the contest winner keeps the horse's earnings through the end of the racing season, at which time the winner has to decide whether to keep the horse or sell it back to Canterbury at market value.
Last year Betty Ward of St. Paul won All Decked Out, a 3-year-old filly who had won only one of her six starts. But after Ward became her owner. All Decked Out won three races and placed six times in her next 12 starts. When the filly was claimed for $16,000 at Bay Meadows near San Francisco on Dec. 5, Ward's total windfall came to $37,600.
This year, on June 14, the winner was Lynette (Punky) Nelson, co-owner with her husband of a J C Penney catalog store in tiny Moose Lake, Minn. The "filly" she was given was actually a 3-year-old gelding, Brigand's Ballad, who hadn't won any of his five starts.
Since the drawing, Brigand's Ballad has had two wins and two seconds in five starts, earning $6,565. Says Punky, "I like this horse-owning game."
THE PARTY'S OVER