Eagleson is a tough bargainer, too tough to have around. He is, for instance, barred from the Toronto Maple Leafs' dressing room, and Punch Imlach has threatened to fine any player who mentions the attorney's name, except derogatorily. One rookie who consulted Eagleson last year regarding his contract is rumored to have been exiled to an AHL team for his indiscretion.
Despite these measures, and perhaps because of them, Eagleson's influence in the sport continues to grow. He is now the legal adviser to the NHL players' association and has numerous AHL and junior players under contract. In the next few years, he says, "The best hockey players will be getting $100,000 a year. It is not our intention to bankrupt clubs. That would be foolish. But I think most players are entitled to a better deal than they have been getting."
A friend of ours received the following letter from a 69-year-old acquaintance who is a track buff:
Since I've started training again for long runs, I've managed to toughen my will faster than my legs. Mentally I'm ready for 35 (miles), but my legs can't take it yet. Between 27 and 30 miles they tighten, and Eve not been able to make 35 without risking a charley horse. However, I'll have to get up to 37 since I'm going to enter a 32-miler the first week of 1968. I'm also thinking of the February 50-miler. Since it'll take me eight hours to finish, I'll have to run two or three 8�-hour stints before attempting it. I'm running between 120 and 150 miles a week—depending on how much quality running I do. An occasional day off relieves the tootsies and wards off a strain, but it leaves a mental void. It also disrupts my eating schedule. The reason for the mental void is that there is nothing like a three-or four-hour run to relieve the mind of the humdrum."
Have you had too many humdrum thoughts lately? Well....
STILL ON THE OFFENSE
It would not be surprising if the saturation coverage that television is giving to football eventually results in a waning of public interest. Already it is diluting the enjoyment of the sport. But figures provided last week by Broadcasting Magazine, a radio and television trade paper, suggest that sponsors and programmers feel football fever is still rising. Radio and TV stations and networks will pay $48.8 million this year (a 5.8% increase over 1966) for the broadcast rights to the games of 25 professional and 124 college teams.
Since last October when the Crown imposed a 2�% tax on bookmakers, the British government has had a staff of 200 men playing the horses in its interest. The idea is to try to catch bookmakers evading the payment of the tax by not recording bets in their account books. The government stakes its men and allows them to back any horse they fancy, but it takes back their winnings as well. "I would be very surprised if we come out ahead," said a government spokesman. "If our men were capable of that, why would they be working for us?"