KNOWING THE SCORE
From now on, as you sit before the television set on Sunday wearing your official NFL slacks and Pete Rozelle sweatshirt, think "scores" and you will be amazed at how angry you can get. The television boys, bless 'em, have come up with another neat little trick, which, of course, has nothing to do with advertising or anything like that.
What happens is that during the final quarter of the televised game the announcers give fewer and fewer scores of other games around the league, even though they have the scores right there in the booth. Recently the people tuned into CBS-TV's game between Washington and Atlanta heard the announcer say: "Well, there's one real shocker of a final score!" And that's all he said. The network thus failed to report the biggest news story in the NFL thus far—Minnesota's upset of Green Bay.
The reason for the no-score policy is simple enough. It will force the viewer to stay tuned in for the postgame score shows—and all the attendant commercials. Last week Variety had a rather crisp remark about the whole thing, "Where video is concerned...sports is just another commodity."
With that in mind, we have another idea that television might try. It could black out all the good plays and put them on after the game as a separate show. Then in the last quarter the announcer could say, "Stay tuned right after this, because you ain't seen nothin' yet!"
Football half-time shows have become increasingly intricate in the Ivy League, abandoning the oompah of old to comment on sociological developments of our times. A measure of how far bandsmanship has come—or gone, depending on your view of this antic art—was provided by Columbia at a recent home game. The subject of the half-time show at Baker Field was birth control. The band dedicated one number to the Vatican—I Got Rhythm—and its formations included the Pill and a shotgun, precisely shaped to the indelicate tune of Get Me to the Church on Time.
The Columbia band had actually prepared the show for last year's game at Dartmouth, but officials in Hanover vetoed the script as unsportsmanlike conduct. It was a hit at Columbia.
THE BORE TESTER
The next time you are at a cocktail party and want to get a conversation started (or stopped for that matter) bring up the fact that there are currently 102 major league professional teams functioning in the U.S. in the sports of soccer, baseball, basketball, football and hockey. Ask anyone to give you the cities the teams perform in and the nickname of each club. If the person cannot name 75, walk away. If he names over 90, run.