- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Smersh! A sudden sickening thud and there was James Bond lying prostrate on the ground. Agent 007 was defenseless, alone in an open field without bulletproof waistcoat, Beretta or miniaturized transmitter. Not to prolong the anguish of the faithful, Bond not only survived but picked himself up and scored a goal. Bond (or rather, Actor Sean Connery, below), in fact, scored the only goal for the Television All-Stars in a charity soccer match against the Showbiz Eleven at Wood Green, London.
Grandpa Johnny Longden, the 57-year-old jockey who has won more races than anyone else in the world, transferred his talents from Santa Anita Park to Pasadena for the occasion of the Rose Bowl Rodeo. In the featured race, Longden rode one furlong aboard Count Fleet, a burro, winning by an ear.
Remember Baby LeRoy of those old W. C. Fields films? Washed up as a movie star at the age of 4, he now lives in semiretirement in southern California as a 32-year-old lifeguard. "I go surfing, skin diving, skiing or hunting every day," Ronald LeRoy Overacker told an interviewer who had uncovered his carefully hidden identity. "I like being a lifeguard because I'm free."
For the first time in years, unpredictable Ted Williams appeared at a public dinner in Boston. Since "The Splinter" had been dragooned into attending his last one—a 1962 charity benefit—only by the personal pleading of Red Sox Owner Tom Yawkey, it was all the more amazing that he should show up at this dinner, a banquet for sportswriters. Ted laid down three ground rules before coming: 1) no necktie, 2) no speech and 3) no assumption that a precedent was being established. Astonishingly, Williams then: 1) borrowed a tie and wore it, 2) made a brief speech and 3) even implied he might come again sometime. It is perhaps germane to note that the newspapermen were outdoor writers—not baseball types.
"I've found joy in anonymity," says Pierre Salinger, movie flack and golf dubber. The formerly corpulent former press secretary has also found a better way to lose weight than hiking 50 miles or riding Texas cayuses. He has lost 20 pounds since returning to private life, possibly caused by worry over the $225,000 debt run up in his Senate campaign.
Stanley Mathews, 50, not only has been honored by his Queen—he is the first English soccer player ever to be knighted—but also by the Water Rats. At a dinner given in honor of "The Wizard of Dribble" by the Grand Order of Water Rats (a theatrical charity group) Brother Rat Prince Philip said, "He has become a legend in his own lifetime, a distinction only for really great men."
Mississippi Quarterback Jim Weatherly, the Southeastern Conference's next best passer, was spurned by pro football check passers, but he may yet bank more than Alabama's wealthy Joe Namath. Weatherly has just signed a contract with the record division of 20th Century-Fox and cut his first two discs. One is a Weatherly-writ-ten ballad titled When You Get What You Want (presumably not a New York Jet contract). The other is a rock 'n' roll number, I'm Gonna Make It (clearly not referring to $400,000). Said Gordon Stokmer of The Jordanaires, "Jim has an amazingly good voice, good looks and a nice smile. He may be Elvis Presley without the wiggle."
A visit by Queen Elizabeth (below) to an Ethiopia so well-prepared for her arrival that even the pet lions in Emperor Haile Selassie's gardens had been washed and flea-powdered turned out to be a sports festival. The Queen viewed a mass gymnastic exhibition by Ethiopian schoolgirls, met Olympic Marathon Star Bikila Abebe and witnessed a gongs match (an ancient sport akin to jousting). Not least sporting was the chestnut stallion presented by Elizabeth to Selassie, an ardent horseman who owns more than 100 mounts. Son of a Derby winner, Robespierre—oddly named for a gift from one monarch to another—quickly showed revolutionary spirit: he broke out of the RAF plane that was to fly him to Addis Ababa and was subdued only after hours of effort by the Queen's finest.
The one thing Boston Celtic Coach Red Auerbach has never been called is a diplomat. So, guess who addressed Tufts's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy last week? "Some of our State Department officials abroad are good, but most look and act phony," said Auerbach, who has headed several overseas basketball clinics. "One time we were assigned an aide whose specialty was art. We had more language barrier with him than with the natives." Auerbach himself, according to Auerbach, does speak the natives' language: "The only thing they understand is force and ability. In Yugoslavia I demanded they put up an American flag. Somebody mentioned protocol. 'Protocol my eye,' I said. 'No flag, no game.' The flag went up." The flag—or at least the balloon—usually goes up when Red is around.