TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE
Pro football fans around San Francisco are beginning to steam a little because the Oakland Raiders apparently will not allow their big game next Dec. 20 in Oakland with the San Francisco 49ers to be telecast. Despite the NFL policy of blacking out local telecasts, the New York Jets will televise their game next fall with the New York Giants, and the Los Angeles Rams will do the same with their game against the San Diego Chargers. Both are local rivalries like the Raiders and 49ers, and the games, like the one in Oakland, are sellouts.
The decision to televise is up to the home club, but the Raiders say a local telecast would be unfair to those who have gone to the trouble and expense of buying season tickets. That is the standard NFL position, but the 49ers argue that the game should be shown on TV because their season-ticket holders are being shut out. They can't see the game in Oakland and they can't see it on television, even though it is technically an away game which should be televised back to San Francisco.
The issue even got to the California legislature, where two assemblymen, in a joint resolution, urged the Raider management to change its mind and lift the local blackout.
Two of the girls on the women's pro golf tour, Jane Blalock and Jan Ferraris, blissfully ignore one of the bugaboos of the competitive athlete when they ride from tourney to tourney in Jan's Jaguar. Its license plate reads: CHOKE.
The West Coast is having a little trouble winning championships in professional sports. The Dodgers' last World Series victory was five years ago and the rest—Padres, Chargers, Angels, Rams, Kings, Giants, Warriors, Raiders, Athletics, SuperSonics, ad infinitum—have been consistent also-rans. But don't let that blind you to the perennial truth that in collegiate circles the Golden West is the absolute king of the hill. During the 1969-70 academic year, Pacific Eight Conference colleges won national collegiate championships in basketball ( UCLA), baseball (USC), track and field ( California), crew ( Washington), tennis ( UCLA), volleyball ( UCLA) and water polo ( UCLA), and in football USC knocked off Michigan in the Rose Bowl (all right, all right, Texas was voted No. 1). Pacific Eight athletes also won individual national titles in cross country ( Gerry Lindgren of Washington State), gymnastics (Yoshi Hayasaki of Washington), and tennis ( Jeff Borowiak of UCLA), won nine of 18 individual events in the NCAA swim championships and seven of 21 individual events in NCAA track.
Now if there were only some way of instilling that winning spirit in the also-ran pros.
A WORLD THAT WAS
Harold S. (Mike) Vanderbilt, who died last Saturday, two days before his 86th birthday, was unique in sport. A fabulously wealthy man, he had an acute, perceptive mind and the reflexes and drive of the superb athlete. In the 1920s he developed the now universal game of contract bridge from the static old form called auction bridge and displayed remarkable prowess at the game he had invented. He later achieved even greater international fame as the skipper who successfully defended yachting's America's Cup against three successive challenges—in 1930, 1934 and 1937—in the days of the majestic J boats.