Last winter we interviewed the champion jockey of Iran, 85-year-old Khodagholi Agh (SCORECARD, Dec. 5), who has been race-riding for 66 years. About a month ago our man in Teheran informed us that Agh had fallen from his mount in a race and had been crushed by his horse. Doctors said that he would never ride again.
When Agh regained consciousness in Reza Pahlavi Hospital, he pointed to the foam-rubber mattress on which he was lying and announced, "I must die on horseback, not on these uncomfortable things." A week ago he was released from the hospital, and last Friday he rode in five races at the Kharghoush-Dareh track. He was third with two of his mounts but petulant as a Hartack because he had failed to come up with a winner; he refused to talk to the press and complained it had not reported his accident correctly. "I never fell off the horse," Agh said. "The horse stumbled and fell on me."
TIME OUT FOR SPORT
A constructive measure to reduce television's inordinate influence on sport was taken in the House of Representatives last week. Richard L. Ottinger, Democrat from New York, introduced a bill that would 1) prohibit any network from owning an interest in any professional football, baseball, basketball or soccer team or in any person or organization engaging in the promotion of professional games; 2) prohibit the selective blackout of any professional sports event except in the city where the event originates; and 3) prohibit the interruption or suspension of football, baseball, hockey, soccer, golf, wrestling or boxing matches to permit broadcasts of advertisements.
We have in recent months deplored the manipulation of sport—its regulations, traditions and ethics—by the television industry. We have said that television should simply follow the basic rule of journalism: report what happens, don't arrange what happens. Strong legislation, like that which Representative Ottinger has proposed, is needed to set things right.