HERE WE GO AGAIN
The Olympic Games are still taking a beating. Avery Brundage, the 81-year-old president of the International Olympic Committee, was blasted by Johann Westerhoff, a 53-year-old Dutchman who last January abruptly resigned as secretary-general of the IOC because, says Westerhoff, " Brundage cannot tolerate strong people around him...he wants to do everything himself. So he looks for dependent, servile people." Then Adidas and Puma, the feuding German track-shoe manufacturers (SI, March 10), got together for the first time in 20 years to announce that neither of them would produce the all-white, trademark-free track shoes that amateur athletes are henceforth supposed to wear, or else. And, finally, the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa warned that proposed West German participation in the "racist" South African Games in Bloemfontein represented a grave threat to the 1972 Games in Munich—in other words, if the West Germans competed in South Africa, black Africans might not go to Munich. The West German entry eventually withdrew. SANROC (the South African Non-Racial Open Committee for Olympic Sports) was also calling for an African and West Indian boycott of next year's Commonwealth Games in Scotland if British athletes did not pull out, too.
HELL ON ICE
Football referees occasionally get wiped out on running plays, and baseball umpires take their share of foul tips, but their lives are serene compared to that of a hockey official. This season's casualty list in the NHL includes: Linesman Neil Armstrong, 19-stitch cut across back of hand; Linesman Pat Shetler, splinter in eye from broken stick; Referee Wally Harris, broken collarbone; Referee Vern Buffey, severe leg injury, torn rib cartilage; Linesman Matt Pavelich, broken ribs; Referee Dave Newell, injured tendon in foot; Linesman George Ashley, cut hand; Referee Bill Beagan, back injury; Linesman Malcolm Ashford, severe bruises.
And this list does not include the indignities suffered by Referee Bob Sloan, who was punched by Boston Center Phil Esposito, and Referee Bruce Hood, belted by Los Angeles General Manager Larry Regan.
BID AND ASKED
National Industries has dropped its bid to gain control of Churchill Downs. The conglomerate, which was trying to buy at least 50% of the 383,292 shares outstanding, had upped its offer to $37.50 a share in the face of opposition from the Kentucky Derby Protection Group, which included several members of the Churchill Downs board of directors. The Protection Group offered to buy up to 100,000 shares of the stock at $35 and in a full-page ad in the Louisville Courier-Journal had urged stockholders not to sell to the conglomerate.
The board of directors, which, as a group, originally held only about 12% of the stock, comes out of the dispute in a much stronger position, but it was an expensive victory: after National Industries' withdrawal, the over-the-counter stock dropped to $22 bid, $25 asked.
WELL, YOU'RE ANOTHER
John Hadl, whom Joe Namath called the best quarterback in the American Football League, becomes a free agent on April 1. Hadl played out his option with the San Diego Chargers last season, and chances of his signing again with the Chargers seem remote. Relations between Hadl and Charger President Eugene Klein are bitter, to be gentle about it. Klein said recently, "John is an excellent quarterback, but he is no Joe Namath by any stretch of the imagination." Hadl retorted, "I may not be a Joe Namath, but then he's no Sonny Werblin." Klein said, "With the offense we have, any reasonably good quarterback can spur us to a championship." Since the only quarterbacks the Chargers have at the moment are Marty Domres, a rookie, and Jon Brittenum, a two-year veteran who operated the sideline telephone last season, Hadl declared, "It's obvious Klein knows nothing about football. If he thinks he can win without a quarterback, he might be right—but he'll be the first to do it."
All this leaves Commissioner Pete Rozelle with a headache: if Hadl signs with another team, Rozelle must decide how the new team will compensate the Chargers for a quarterback who in 1968 led the AFL in touchdown passes, yards gained passing, completions and—well, nobody's perfect—interceptions.