INCIDENT AT FORT COLLINS
A group of Colorado State students asked college authorities for permission to hold a protest demonstration against Brigham Young University at a basketball game between the two last week at Fort Collins, Colo. Permission was denied, the protesters demonstrated anyway, a fight broke out, police were called, there were injuries and arrests. It is difficult to determine whether the protesters were too aggressive, spectators too antagonistic or college authorities too shortsighted and unprepared for eventualities, but the ugly fact remains: sport is becoming more and more a part of the arena of social and political antagonism. It may be impossible and even undesirable to keep politics out of sport, but that does not mean that political violence—from either side of the fence—should be fostered.
TALE OF A TAPE
The Sunday night after the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl, a rerun of the game was telecast over KCMO-TV, the CBS affiliate in Kansas City. That seemed logical and innocent enough, but it turned out that KCMO had blithely ignored the admonition aired during the game that no reproduction of the telecast could be shown without permission from the football commissioner's office. When officials there heard about the unauthorized rerun, they quietly requested and got the tape from the station, which apparently realized that it might be vulnerable to possible legal action.
Time passed, and after awhile people in Kansas City began asking the station to run the tape of the game again and advertisers began lining up to buy spots on the show. But nothing happened. Finally E.K. Hartenbower, general manager of KCMO, went on the-air and explained that there would not be another rerun because the NFL would not give permission for it. The NFL, never terribly popular in AFL-oriented Kansas City, lost points, and Commissioner Pete Rozelle, even though he had not been involved in the affair (the player draft and the federal gambling investigation having prior call on his time), was being test-run as a potential villain.
Then things began to smooth out. The league office decided to give permission for a rerun when Kitty Clover potato chips, which paid a modest fee for the right to use the tape, agreed that no commercials would be used except for fund-raising appeals for Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. And KCMO said it would donate the time charges for the telecast to the hospital fund.
Everybody was happy. Kitty Clover had a nice dignified promotion, KCMO was on the side of the angels, Chiefs fans could relive their glorious victory and the NFL was back in the good graces of its new constituents. The mollifying rerun was scheduled for Feb. 15, and by happy coincidence Pete Rozelle was due in town Feb. 16 to speak at a dinner honoring the Chiefs.
YOU'D THINK I HAD...
There is a new fishing lure on the market that smells—on command. Made by the Woodstream Corporation, it uses a plastic impregnated with a fishy smell that is released when the lure becomes wet. When the lure dries, the remaining scent (there is enough for about 20 hours of continuous fishing) is sealed in till next time. You can test it for smellability by simply breathing on it. That's no reflection on you—the moisture in your breath brings out the odor in the lure—but it gives you an eerie feeling to breathe gently on an inoffensive bit of plastic and get back eau de lake bottom.
PROGRESS TO NOWHERE
It is difficult to ascribe to anything but greed the National Basketball Association's decision to add four new franchises to the 14-team league. The $14.8 million the owners will receive from the new franchises ($3.7 million apiece) will help several losing clubs climb out of the red this year. Next year, with four more losers, even more new franchises may be needed. And then the playing talent can be further diluted until some pro clubs become not much better than the top college teams—or perhaps not as good—a fact that could become apparent to spectators, live and on TV.
Sport in China, a casualty of the Cultural Revolution that began in 1966, seems to be reviving. More and more factory workers are again taking part in gymnastics, running, swimming, basketball and soccer, although the basketball and soccer matches are "played with profound class feelings," according to a Chinese newspaper article quoted in the Toronto Globe and Mail. "They would rather lose the game than hurt others," says the article. "They played not to see who was champion, but for unity, for sportsmanship. It was a sharp contrast with the champion-is-everything type of match advocated by Liu Shao-chi [now in disrepute] and his agents."