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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Los Angeles Ram Fullback Dick Bass, who is a bail bondsman during the off season, sometimes hires private eyes to track down errant clients. The most satisfactory of these detectives, says Bass, was one called Deputy Dog. "Deputy Dog would always get his man," Bass fondly recalled, "if it took him 40 years. Once he trailed this fellow to Detroit, then to Chicago and finally to Arkansas. Then he brought him back. That's what I wanted, of course, except that he brought back the wrong man. I can't use Deputy Dog anymore. He's serving a three-year term in Arkansas for kidnaping."
Back in the dressing room after a hard day's shooting, it is fitting and proper that Chuck Connors, present western star and onetime Dodger and Cub first baseman, should take his turn ministering to kindly old Doc O'Malley. In the NBC-TV episode of Branded that has just been filmed, Walter O'Malley patches up Connors after a bullet wound, radiating humor, cigar smoke and good cheer all the while. Connors, who accidentally provided real torn ligaments for Walter to mend, has only himself to blame for giving O'Malley—an engineer by education, an attorney by profession and a dabbler in advertising, construction and baseball by whimsical inclination—the chance to practice medicine (and acting) on him. If O'Malley wields a scalpel the way Connors handles that powder puff, i.e., approximately the way the Dodgers swing a bat, the experience could hurt worse than being traded.
Cassius Clay was a new, more philosophical Muhammad Ali after his trip to Sweden. "My old stunts don't work no more," he said. "Now when I holler, Tin the prettiest,' the crowd turns away. It was all kind of a joke when I was nothing, but now I am a big man and it isn't funny anymore. So I can be myself now—quiet, humble."
Lineman Roosevelt (Rosie) Grier, one of the Los Angeles Rams' Fearsome Foursome, seldom has much trouble on the field, but at the table—well, he'll never make any money writing a book on how to diet. Alarmed by his ballooning to 330 pounds last year despite shaking off occasional pounds on Shindig, Grier went on a crash diet at the start of the season. Roosevelt progressed nicely down to 299, then shot back up to 312. His explanation: "I kept taking that Metrecal and I got to liking it so much I started drinking it with all my meals and even with a few snacks."
The night man at the Sands Hotel in San Diego told the gent who had just dived into the pool that he couldn't swim without a lifeguard on duty. It wasn't until the nocturnal swimmer obediently climbed out of the pool that anyone recognized Johnny Weissmuller.
As football coaches' internal temperatures go, John Bridgers' is known to be on the icewater end of the scale. Baylor partisans, therefore, are only moderately astonished to see an unruffled Bridgers sitting in the stands 'most every game. Last fall one Baylor student even encountered him down at the concession stand during a crucial series of downs. "Boy, coach, you sure have cool," the student said. Well, maybe, but then this Bridgers has the advantage of not being the coach. Actually, John Bridgers' impish twin brother, Frank, who often escorts John's wife, Frances, to the games to further confuse the fans, can get as excited as any Baylor fan.
William Harrah, who operates casinos in Reno and Lake Ta-hoe, also operates a museum full of cars in Reno. He owns classic, vintage and antique cars by the hundred. Recently, however, Harrah scaled down his interests enough to acquire an exact working miniature Bugatti, complete with tiny electric motor. There are only 10 such models in existence, but this time the car did not go to the museum. It was Harrah's first gift to his adopted and only son, John Adam Harrah. Young Harrah will be allowed to drive his own Bugatti in 1971—when he turns 6. While their fathers train at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., the sons of Kansas City Chief Guard Ed Budde, Defensive End Jerry Mays and Quarterback Len Dawson have been doing their own scrimmaging. The youngsters follow their dads' routine—blocking dummies, scrub games, showers and all. "Gee," says 7-year-old Brad Budde, "I don't see why Daddy is so tired at night. This is fun."
Dennis Weaver, no longer in Gunsmoke or Kentucky Jones but with a stable of four racehorses to show for his television roles, was offered a choice spot in an episode of Slattery's People. He had to give it up. Reason: a commitment to coach the Encino ( Calif.) Little League All-Stars. The boys repaid him by winning five straight games in their playoff series.
St. Mary's College campus near San Francisco is often used for nonscholastic purposes during the summer. Right now, for example, it is being used by the 49ers as a training camp and by the Quakers as a summer encampment. The other morning 49er Coach Jack Christiansen was stopped at the door of a dining room by an attendant, who asked for identification. "I'm a football coach," said Christiansen. "Oh," said the attendant, "then you aren't a Friend, are you?" and nonviolently directed him to another mess hall.
Poor Nellie. The flashing, exploding, opponent-baiting scoreboard in the Houston Astrodome emblazoned the embarrassing news in front of 41,732 spectators. "Sorry, Nellie," it signaled Coach Nelson Fox on the Houston bench. " Texas All-Stars 26. Pennsylvania All-Stars 10." Fox, a native of Chambers-burg, Pa., who had made numerous bets on the football game, afterward refused to reveal how much he had lost. "I'm using the same excuse the Texans did last year," he grumbled. "We didn't put our best team on the field."