The big question at last week's NFL owners' meeting in New Orleans was, naturally, Who will replace Pete Rozelle as the commissioner? The owners narrowed the field to 11, though few of the names have been officially revealed. The candidates will be screened in the next two weeks, and the owners will vote in late July.
The leading candidate is Jim Finks, the president and general manager of the New Orleans Saints. Finks, a former Pro Bowl quarterback, is an excellent administrator who is well regarded throughout the league. The only knock against him is his age, 61, though he's considered a youthful 61. Several politicians have been mentioned: Jack Kemp, the former NFL quarterback who's now the Secretary for Housing and Urban Development; Pete Dawkins, the former All-America halfback at Army and a retired general who recently lost a U.S. Senate race; and New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley. Two prominent blacks, Vernon Jordan, the former president of the National Urban League, and Lowell Perry, a former flanker with the Steelers who now heads NFL Charities, have been proposed, and that brings up the possible irony of a black commissioner for a league that hasn't had a black head coach in modern times. Perhaps the most intriguing name was that of Roone Arledge, the president of ABC News. He would certainly be an asset negotiating television contracts.
Or the new commissioner may be none of the above. After all, Pete Rozelle was a surprise compromise choice 30 years ago.
THE COOKIE CRUMBLED
The Franklin & Marshall baseball team had long been planning a two-week trip to China, with a departure date of May 25. But because of the unstable political situation there, the tour was postponed until next year.
Before the postponement, though, the school's public relations staff had a send-off lunch in a Chinese restaurant in Lancaster, Pa. Director of public relations Paul Brawley opened his fortune cookie and found this message inside: DON'T TAKE ANY UNNECESSARY GAMBLES. Two hours later Franklin & Marshall announced the cancellation of the trip.
WAKE UP THE ECHOES
Irish eyes were drooping on May 20. Still, Notre Dame swept four games that day to win the Midwestern Collegiate Conference tournament and advance to the Far West regionals of the College World Series, from which they were eliminated on Sunday.
Notre Dame was forced into the quadruple bill because it was in the losers' bracket of the tournament and because of a lengthy rain delay on the night of May 19. The first of their four games began at 1:38 a.m., against Dayton, and ended at 4:21 with the Irish winning 20-4. The second game, against Evansville, began at 2:30 p.m. and ended at 4:54 with Notre Dame on top 11-2. Then, in a game that started at 5:35 p.m. and ended at 7:57, the Fighting (Fatigue) Irish dispatched Detroit 4-1. They had to come right back a half hour later to play Detroit, and this time they won 21-10.