It is understandable, in the current emotional context, that black American athletes, angry over the International Olympic Committee's decision to allow apartheid South Africa to compete at Mexico City, should seriously consider boycotting the Games. But insofar as the U.S. itself is concerned, such a boycott is illogical. We have never refused to compete in sports with countries that do not subscribe to our political or social principles. On the contrary, the official theory behind our encouragement of competition with the Soviet and other Communist nations has always been that this exchange should benefit our side in the long run. The notion that we should become dropouts if someone else does not do things the way we do them contradicts the democratic spirit. Political and social sentiments aside, sport provides a middle ground for the intermingling and understanding of diverse beliefs. This has been true since Athens played Sparta.
The old Madison Square Garden has closed after a series of sentimental lasts—the last horse show, the last Knick game, the last hockey game, the last wrestling match—and last of all the lasts, the last Westminster dog show.
By the time the dogs arrived the dismantling of the building had already begun. The scoreboard was gone, and the signs had been removed from the rest-room doors, making it something of a sporting proposition to open them. Only one pay phone was working.
In the minimal space, 2,850 pedigreed dogs barked and whined, and their owners did likewise. The biggest fuss was caused by the fact that for the third year in a row the judges chose a British dog as best-in-show, and for the fourth straight year a terrier.
After hearing all the bitching, someone came up with the suggestion that the dogs be judged by computer. Their height, weight and various dimensions would be fed into the machine and out would come the name of the most perfect dog.
But the owners wanted no such breed of judge. As the handler of a bloodhound said: " Westminster is like the Atlantic City beauty contest. Do you want to put the girls through a computer? No! If a girl's got the legs, she hopes the judge is a leg man. If he isn't this year, next year's judge may be. But lose once to the computer, and she'll lose every time. There would be no sport."
And that was the end of sport at the old Garden.
GREAT BARRIER GRIEF
Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the extraordinary shelf of multicolored coral that lies off the country's northeast coast, is being destroyed by giant starfish.