"We're not looking for patsies," Hefner says. "We want to play the best. But we want to play where the home victory record is at least slightly less than 100%."
Hefner was not referring to teams, like UCLA, which are just as good away as they are at home, but to those whose home and traveling records show remarkable contrasts. He pored over schedules and results for the past two seasons, and his research disclosed some fascinating extremes.
Utah, for example, was 7-18 in away games but 25-2 at home. Brigham Young, 9-20 away, was 18-2 at home. Colorado, 8-21 away, was 18-3 at home. These three mountain schools together had a dismal 24-59 record in road games but were a devastating 61-7 back home.
Such discrepancies were not confined to the Rocky Mountain area. Michigan State, 8-17 away, was 20-2 at home. Nebraska, 14-17 away, was 17-2 at home. West Virginia, 17-17 away, was 19-1 at home. Yet the high-altitude schools do seem particularly fond of home games. New Mexico State, 18-16 away, and New- Mexico, 17-12 away, were, respectively, 20-1 and 25-1 at home, and it is very hard for a visiting club to win in the Western Athletic Conference. When Arizona won a conference game away from home in January, tongue-in-cheek experts immediately named the Wildcats overwhelming favorites to win the WAC championship. It was only a joke, but a month later only one other conference game had been won by visitors.
SAY GOODNIGHT DICK
The Detroit Red Wings have a rookie forward named Eddie Hatoum. His nickname, naturally, is "Sock."
A disenchanted baseball fan, writing in Pittsburgh Weekly Sports on the possibility that major league baseball players may go on strike because of the pension-plan dispute, says, "If the baseball players, who are overpaid, overpampered and overpublicized, decide to strike, I think all of us should hold one big drunk.... If only the Little League players would decide to strike for more ice cream soda money, then the summer would be perfect....
"I have managed to live without baseball for the last few years and have found the feeling wonderful.... Maybe it is the same type of feeling one receives when he goes off dope or quits smoking. I felt like a free man. No longer did I lie awake to hear the scores. It mattered not if the Pirates won or lost....
"Of all the professional athletes, the baseball player is the most obnoxious, the most conceited, and the most boring.... The baseball player actually believes the Great American Society will evaporate and go away forever if the public doesn't have the chance to see at least one game this summer.
"If the players do strike, I hope President Nixon doesn't use the Taft-Hartley law.... I also presume that Congress will not call extra night sessions to look into the problem....