SI Vault
July 24, 1967
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July 24, 1967


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Anarchists we are not, but this is a call for revolution. For the fourth time in eight years the International Lawn Tennis Federation has rejected a British proposal for open tennis. Though the other two nominal tennis powers, Australia and the U.S., supported the British, open tennis was voted down by 129-83, the dissent coming from the Communist bloc—which hardly makes a distinction between amateurs and pros—and nations like Burma, Iran, Sudan and Israel. It is obvious that 100 years from now the vote would be the same, for what is it to these countries that the fraud of amateur tennis is killing the game as a first-class spectator attraction?

It is now time for Britain, Australia and the U.S. to defy the ILTF and establish open tennis on their own. England has the tournament, Wimbledon; Australia has the players; the U.S. has the wealth of latent spectator interest and purse money.

The three nations should rally what support they can and then set out on their own. If Poland and Burma decide to pass up an open Wimbledon, or an open Forest Hills, well, too bad.

Cloudcroft, N. Mex., the southernmost ski resort in the U.S., has been looking for a way to extend its season. For a while the resort considered offering skiing on sawdust, but the idea did not kindle much enthusiasm. Now Cloudcroft has covered its practice ski run with pecan shells, and skiers who have tried the slope say the idea isn't so nutty after all. An El Paso enthusiast declares, "It is like skiing on heavy, wet snow." Another skier likens it to "spring corn snow. It even feels like it when you fall." Which, perhaps, is the ultimate test.


Unsuccessful in his attempt to get a pro football broadcasting job in either St. Louis or New Orleans, former Eagle End Pete Retzlaff charged recently that NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle is calling the signals behind scenes. All TV announcers and analysts for NFL games must be approved by Rozelle. Retzlaff claims Rozelle has blacklisted him, because, "I have not kept my opinions to myself regarding player relations with the league. I was head of the players' association for two years, and there were times when Rozelle and I were on opposite sides of the fence. I had to disagree with Rozelle. He had to disagree with me. I also knocked the merger publicly." At the time Retzlaff denounced it as "a disgrace," saying its purpose was "to further line the owners' pockets with all the money that has made pro football so lucrative."

Retiring after last season Retzlaff worked for WIP in Philadelphia and became one of the most popular sports-casters in the area. He hoped to sign with CBS to do color for either the Cardinals or the Saints, but he says the network did not even submit his name for approval to Rozelle, "because CBS knew he would reject me."

NFL publicity man Jim Kensil denies the existence of a blacklist, though he confirms Rozelle's right of refusal. Kensil says, "He has the right to disapprove broadcasters for a reason, but I don't know of anybody who has been turned down."


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