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December 01, 1969
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December 01, 1969


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Jerry Smith, the Washington Redskins' tight end and a District of Columbia National Guardsman, showed better hands playing before President Nixon Nov. 16 than he did serving the Commander-in-Chief during the antiwar march in Washington the day before.

Smith played without a full night's sleep—he was released from Guard duty that Sunday morning and walked across the street to Robert F. Kennedy Stadium for a brief nap in the dressing room. Then he awoke, dressed, and showed the form that has made him the league's top receiver among tight ends. He caught seven passes, three for touchdowns, and bobbled none against the Dallas Cowboys as Mr. Nixon became the first President to watch a regular season game. (Not only did the Chief Executive stay until the end, according to an AP dispatch, "he occasionally rose to his feet on exciting plays.")

Smith had not been so sure-fingered the day before. While being instructed on the use of a tear-gas bomb, he dropped it and it went off at his feet, gassing him and several fellow Guardsmen. "Hell, I might as well admit it," he said last week after suffering considerable ribbing from his teammates, who had been informed of the mishap. "I dropped the ball. But it wasn't funny then."

Coed Carol Smith was busily cheering Memphis State University to its 37-7 victory over old rival Southern Mississippi week before last, when she discovered both her thumbs were caught securely in the handles of her cowbell. Stadium attendants had to file it off.

When Texas Tech's cross-country team went to Fort Worth for a meet with TCU recently, Tech's runners took a wrong turn on the unfamiliar course and loped off toward parts unknown. The Frogs stayed on course and won the meet. That week Tommy Love, a writer for the Texas Tech student newspaper, said it best: "TCU pulled the old hidden-road trick on Texas Tech...."


National Basketball Association Commissioner Walter Kennedy last week took an almost unheard-of action—he reversed a referee's decision. Kennedy upheld the protest of the Chicago Bulls, who insisted they had scored a tying basket at home against Atlanta Nov. 6 with one second to play. The chief official present had ruled that the goal was scored after the buzzer, although one second was clearly left on the clock. When the floor was cleared with Atlanta declared the victor 124-122, the timekeeper restarted the clock, it ticked the remaining second off and the buzzer sounded over the empty hardwood. The Hawks insisted that they had heard a previous buzzer and that the clock was malfunctioning. Kennedy ruled that the basket was good. Play will be resumed at a later date with the score 124-124 and one regulation second to go.

Traditionally commissioners accept the judgment of referees on the scene. But officiating in the NBA has aroused considerable protest this year. Maybe the NBA would do well to stage a raid on all those officials the ABA took away during the off season.


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