SI Vault
Edited by Robert H. Boyle
June 15, 1970
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June 15, 1970


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Packed into Madison Square Garden last Sunday afternoon was a huge, seething collection of summer street people—young Latins in white, short-sleeved shirts, long-haired European types in bell-bottoms, Spanish-speaking mothers with a baby in each arm. A fat man in iridescent blue, originally from Ecuador, stood up and roared, "Bra-sil!" A cop sharply blew his whistle and yelled, "Siddown." Yellow-shirted ushers rushed from row to row chasing fans from seats they didn't belong in. All were there to watch the closed-circuit satellite showing of the England- Brazil World Cup soccer game in Mexico. When Brazil's Jair Filho Ventura scored the only goal of the game, a group of frenzied West Indians tore off their shirts with joy.

Elsewhere, much the same scenes occurred. The general manager of the Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal was startled to find he had to turn away 1,000 people after filling to 5,200 capacity. In the San Francisco Cow Palace, a mainly Latin crowd of 10,000 let out a war whoop when Brazil scored, and in Detroit spectators leaving the Masonic Temple auditorium watched a tooting caravan of cars pull away with Brazilian flags flying.

To most Americans, soccer is an unimportant game. To the rest of the world it is the game, with the World Cup the grand climax. Indeed, by the time play ends in Mexico, an estimated one billion people will have watched it, including those delirious fans in the U.S. and Canada last Sunday.

Southern California, the home of Hula-Hooping, skateboarding and other activities, has given birth to a new pastime—windsurfing. The sport is done with a 12-foot surfboard equipped with a universal joint, a double-hinged gizmo that allows a 14-foot mast to hold a 56-square-foot sail. The sail has a window in it so the surfer can see where he is heading at 20 mph. Windsurfing boards cost $300 and up. The sport is the brainchild of Hoyle Schweitzer of Pacific Palisades, a computer analyst, who simply wanted to be able to surf when the waves weren't up.

As our Charles Goren anticipated, no member of the famous Blue Team will represent Italy at the world bridge championships in Stockholm later this month. No Blues even participated in the trials to select the Italian team, and all the players chosen are relatively unknown in international competition. This vastly enhances the chances for the Dallas Aces (SI, March 23) to win the title and bring the Bermuda Bowl back across the Atlantic for the first time in 16 years. Indeed, the Aces are now heavy favorites in the tournament.


In Washington for a game against the Senators, Manager Charlie Metro of the Kansas City Royals saw something unsettling: a TV camera and cameraman in the deep center-field mezzanine boxes in Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. The camera was not there for the game telecast, and Metro did not believe it was there to help the Senators analyze their batting problems on film the next day. No siree, Metro charged the camera was there to steal the signs of the Kansas City catcher. "I've seen quite a few things in my time," he says, "and I make it a practice when I come to a ball park to look around and check things out. I had no idea Washington was using a camera. I just was looking around and saw it." Metro protested the game early, but his protest became moot after Kansas City won.

Metro, who says that other spy cameras are being used in the majors, has asked American League President Joe Cronin for a ruling. "They had one in Chicago when I was with the Cubs," Metro admits. "It was a closed-circuit camera, and its receiver was kept in a little room behind the Cub dugout that was always locked until the game started. The picture was so clear you could see the cuticle on the catcher's fingernails." Metro claims that he had the camera removed when he became head coach. "I didn't like the device," he says, "and besides, our batters were so poor they couldn't hit the ball even if they knew it was coming. Once when we were using the camera against the Cards, they beat us a doubleheader, 9-0 and 11-0."


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