- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
"Just because the networks wave a check at us is no reason we should stage a game for them. I think the TV double-header, two NFL games back to back on Sunday afternoon, is a mistake. You already have the husband watching the college game all Saturday afternoon. Add six hours on Sunday afternoon and, if we are not careful, we'll have the strongest union in the world against us: the housewives."
THE GENTLE KILLER
When Namu, the killer whale, was being ferried south from the fishing town where he was captured, a lot of naysayers predicted disaster (SI, July 12 et seq.). Namu, it was confidently claimed, would die of shallow water, of polluted water, of starvation or of loneliness. Well, he didn't, and now things are looking up. After two months in which he has entertained more than 125,000 visitors to Seattle's waterfront, Namu has been moved to winter quarters on the southern tip of Bainbridge Island 12 miles across Puget Sound. There he is protected from winter storms and has cleaner water. His new home is a small (about four acres) cove in which he has plenty of room to exercise and 35 feet of water for sounding. Since Namu is 22 feet long and weighs an estimated four tons, that is far better than the 60-foot-by-40-foot pen in which he has been confined.
During the summer Namu refused food, but with the coming of cooler weather his appetite picked up to the extent that he is now 400 pounds overweight. He consumes 370 to 400 pounds of fresh-caught salmon daily and will eat no cheaper fish.
For a killer, Namu has turned out to be extremely docile. Owner Ted Griffin, Seattle Marine Aquarium director, has taught him to roll over and respond to what Griffin terms a "whale call"—a high-pitched, whirring sound. He also has a trick of his own—pushing Griffin's small rowboat, occasionally coming up on it from underneath and partly carrying it on his back. Griffin has been a frequent cohabitant of Namu's old pen, climbing in to exchange "whale calls" and chirpings and to pat the whale affectionately on the nose. To date Namu has not opened his jaws in anger but, says Griffin, "he sometimes likes to butt me around with his snout.
"He's pretty powerful," Griffin noted, "and there's always the danger of getting a broken rib."
This winter Griffin hopes to build a larger pen with a better view, but estimates on its cost range from $150,000 to $300,000, figures which leave the owner a bit shaken. Still, the answer may be at hand. Television producers, impressed by the success of the Flipper series, have been dropping by. Namu may yet have his own show.
THEY SAID IT
? Paul Wiggins, 6-foot-3-inch defensive end of the Cleveland Browns: "When I came up nine seasons ago I was one of the tall ones who stood in the back row when they made the team picture. Now I'm in the third row."