SY'S SWEET SOMETHING
We have long been awestruck by the contortions press agents go through to get a mention for their clients, but the following release, which was batted out by a PR man name of Sy Presten, nearly struck us dumb:
"Greek athletes carrying flaming torches 2,000 years ago were dispatched by Royalty to carry messages and gifts of perfume hundreds of miles to their Royal sweethearts. For the chore they had to train hard. Now on the double millennium anniversary, most athletes are still training hard....
"In order for athletes to cut down on their romancing time, a new service has been created. It saves hours of whispering sweet nothings, thinking of clever ways to make up after an argument, or contriving explanations of why they sign autographs for gorgeous, blue-eyed blondes. They can now spend more time and effort on their career.
"Perfume-by-Wire is the service, which, via telephone call to Western Union, can bring promptly coast-to-coast perfume and specially designed confidential telegram whispering sweet nothings or somethings. This will take the place of thousands of words and tens of hours when the star athlete should be studying plays or sleeping."
THE RED SHIRTS ARE COMING (CONT.)
The first NFL-AFL draft, which will be held next month, would make a capital editorial cartoon for The Worker: fat, cigar-smoking owners lolling on feed sacks stuffed with money, imperiously showing the poor, downtrodden college boys where to play with one ringed hand, while dispensing small change with the other. Of course, despite the merger and the common draft, pro football isn't about to become a sweatshop. Good players will still command $100,000 and up, but the days of extravagant bonuses are over, and owners who have been in the hole should start making a profit.
But not so fast already. The red shirts drafted last year still have to be dealt with (SI, Oct. 31). And just how much of a headache these hangovers will bring was not realized until recently. The owners knew they were going to have to go high for the Nick Eddys, Pete Durankos and Jack Clancys, but now they've learned that the price tags on the 54 red shirts drafted by both leagues may well be in a class with the bonuses paid Donny Anderson, Jim Grabowski and Joe Namath.
For instance, Bob Windsor—you know, Bob Windsor, 218-pound end from Kentucky—is reported to have agreed to a $250,000 contract with the 49ers. And one red-shirt quarterback, who is equally unsung but whose stats are impressive, could end up with more money than Steve Spurrier. Says the red shirt's lawyer: "I may just put my client up on a box after the East-West game, and invite the NFL team, the AFL team and the Canadian team which own the draft rights to look him over and bid. 'Look at that strong, supple arm,' I'll say. 'Those good, quick legs, that noble, intelligent brow. Note that there's not a surgical mark on his body. Now, gentlemen, let's begin this auction—and we'll try $300,000 for openers.' "
THE ART IN IT