THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING???
The U.S. and the Soviet Union may meet in track and field again this year. Their annual dual meet, which began in 1958, was abruptly terminated in 1966 when the U.S.S.R. pulled out because of "American aggression in Vietnam." That year a hastily prepared competition between the U.S. and the British Commonwealth was thrown together as a substitute, and it has become an annual affair. The Russians have indicated that they would like to take part in this year's U.S.-Commonwealth encounter, which is scheduled for July in the Los Angeles Coliseum.
The Russian bid has created some interesting complexities. The
Los Angeles Times
, which heretofore has sponsored the meets, took a $200,000 bath in 1966 when the U.S.S.R. reneged. The Russians supposedly promised to give the Times a consoling $100,000, but no payment has been forthcoming. When the Times heard that the fickle Russians wanted in again this year, the paper, snatching its hand away like the once-burned child, announced it was withdrawing as sponsor.
Into the breach leaped a group called the Los Angeles 1976 Olympic Committee, which is trying to obtain the Olympic Games for Southern California. Unworried by the on-again-off-again Russians, the 1976 committee eagerly grabbed the opportunity to run a big international meet in Los Angeles, figuring that it could only help its chances of getting the Olympics.
Not quite so starry-eyed is CBS, which will televise the competition. CBS says it will pay $115,000 for TV rights if the Russians appear. If they don't, the ante drops to $55,000.
All clear? And the State Department thinks it has troubles.
NEW LOOK IN ODDS
According to Jimmy the Greek, the Las Vegas oddsmaker, the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants will play off for the National League pennant next fall, while in the American League the Detroit Tigers will meet—guess who?—the Oakland Athletics!
Odds for all clubs are:
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]