"Actually I was never keen on selling them," said Malcolm Lyell of Holland & Holland, who flew over for the dinner and sale. "I just wanted to make them for the hang of it, because we were making history." When the guns were finished this year the King of Nepal expressed interest and so did Saud of Arabia, but Earle K. Angstadt Jr., president of Abercrombie, had already spoken for them.
After coffee and champagne the guests settled back, waiting for Angstadt to announce they were free to inspect the guns in their undraped cabinet at the end of the room. When he did, there was a gentlemanly rush forward. The guests had 45 minutes to decide whether to buy. Should more than one be willing to part with $50,000, Angstadt would select the lucky purchaser by a drawing. At 11:30 the room hushed, and Angstadt announced that the guns were sold. "I cannot divulge the name of the buyer," he said, "for they have been bought as a Christmas present."
There is a sports angle to the worst-tasting new discovery we have ever heard of. Not that a new way to treat gallstones—feeding the patients special cookies made with lecithin, a substance that dissolves the stones—is any more important to athletes than to anyone else. But when Dr. Robert M. Zollinger of Ohio State University discussed the new treatment before a recent medical gathering, he admitted that it had one drawback. The cookies taste, he said, "like a greasy tennis ball with hair on it."
The English football world is in something of a flap over the possibility of American intervention. The Atlanta Braves, Inc., referred to in the English press as a "dollar-loaded American organization," certainly didn't get loaded by its recent investment in soccer, the Atlanta Chiefs (SCORECARD, Sept. 23). But the Braves have been talking to shareholders of the Aston Villa team of England, for which former Chiefs Coach Phil Woosnam once starred as a player. And English Football League President Len Shipman fears "a black day for the game if the foreign syndicates get hold of it." Aston Villa once filled its 60,000-seat stadium, but currently draws only around 14,000. All it needs now is an infusion of good old American soccer expertise.
NO FANS, NO O.J.
" O.J. Simpson," says one of the agents who would very much like to negotiate his contract, "is worth 10,000 more fans for some pro teams." Last Sunday the Philadelphia Eagles had plenty of room to put those fans in—but they may well have lost O.J. The Eagles beat the New Orleans Saints, leaving the Buffalo Bills with the worst record in pro football and therefore with the inside track on drafting Simpson. And a boycott by Philadelphia fans (notwithstanding the official announcement of 57,128 tickets sold) left some 15,000 seats empty in 60,658-capacity Franklin Field.
The boycott was instigated by the Committee to Rejuvenate the Philadelphia Eagles, or CRPE (pronounced "crepe"?), recently organized by Main Line businessman Frank C. Sheppard. The idea was to let the Eagles know that Philadelphia will not support a horrible football team. "When they field a team like this," said Sheppard before the game with the Saints, "one touchdown in the last three weeks—and it came against the Browns' scrubs with three seconds left—well, that's not pro football."
Since the Eagles' computer gave O.J. a .5 rating in the spring—".1 better than a superstar," according to a scout—he can be expected to lend a team a certain amount of professionalism. But just because a man is good enough to gain 1,709 yards rushing in a year does not mean he is good enough to save a city the size of Philadelphia, or even Buffalo. And at any rate he may never be burdened with either challenge. O.J. is not likely to sign with anybody in the near future. He is going to preserve his amateurism long enough to run on the USC track team this spring. That would give the team that drafts him plenty of time to sell negotiation rights to some other team—perhaps in Los Angeles, San Francisco or Dallas, where O.J. has said he would prefer to play—for a princely package of players or cash. Such a deal would surely have tempted Eagles Owner Jerry Wolman, locked as he is in a struggle against bankruptcy. And some prosperous franchise might even have thrown in a few thousand fans. If there was ever a Pyrrhic victory, the Eagles won it Sunday.