MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN
The NFL players' strike established one thing: everybody in pro football is greedy. Read what the players had to say about the owners and the owners about the players. Arguments by both sides were remarkably persuasive. But whenever owners and players bicker, the fans are the ones who get it in the neck. When a strike is on they are threatened with no pro football. When it is settled they pay the added cost, since all pro football revenue comes, directly or indirectly, from those who follow the game. What the owners and players were fighting about, then, was the money in the wallets and checking accounts of people whose only connection with the game is emotional. If someday the fans were to become disenchanted, if in an involuntary display of unity they all suddenly decided to go on strike themselves and neither buy tickets nor watch pro football on television, where would that leave the owners and the players?
It can't happen, of course. At least, not all at once.
Bobby Orr, the Boston Bruins' hockey star, spends more than $15,000 a year to send autographed pictures to his fans. And. because he lives in his native Canada, the money is not tax deductible. This intelligence was offered to the finance committee of the Canadian House of Commons by Alan Eagleson, executive director of the NHL players' association, in the hope that proposed changes in Canada's tax laws will allow such deductions. Eagleson told the committee that current regulations prohibiting write-offs of various expenses are encouraging Canadian players to move to the U.S., where they can retain a larger percentage of their gross income. Last year, he said, a California accountant sent letters to all NHL players advising them that they would do well to pick up their gear and move south. About 25%, of the Canadians in the NHL have moved from Canada, Eagleson added.
One legislator argued that the Boston club should pay the cost of Orr's autographed pictures. Eagleson said he agreed but added that he had been unsuccessful in getting the Bruins to agree.
A gentleman in Greenville, S.C. has advised us that a game in the Greenville Minor League (for 8-, 9- and 10-year-olds) was won by Holy Rosary over Southside Baptist 28-9. The five-inning game took three hours and 15 minutes to play, he added, and said he thought the following might be a record: Holy Rosary made its 28 runs on two hits, the Baptist pitchers walked 26 men and the catcher had 64 passed balls.
John Reaves, University of Florida quarterback who had the most completions and the most passing yardage among college passers last season, was indignant when one of the football magazines listed the 15 best quarterbacks in the country and did not include him. "I'd be a liar if I said it didn't hurt my pride," he said, and then went on to comment on those who did make the list. Of Southern California's Jimmy Jones, Reaves said: "A real good runner but a lousy passer." Of Ohio State's Rex Kern: "All Ohio State quarterbacks seem to make that list." Of Notre Dame's Joe Theismann: "All Notre Dame quarterbacks seem to make it, too." Of Oklahoma's Jack Mildred: "All he did last year was hand off to Steve Owens." Of Vanderbilt's Watson Brown: "Heck, when we played Vandy last year he didn't even start against us." Of Boston College's Frank Harris: "I never heard of him." Of Arizona State's Joe Spagnola: "Joe who?" Of Southern Methodist's Chuck Hixson: "He's real good. He led the nation in passing the year before I did." Reaves was approving, too, of Alabama's Scott Hunter ("He's a good passer"), Mississippi's Archie Manning ("Just tremendous. I believe he'll earn the Heisman Trophy") and Kansas State's Lynn Dickey, UCLA's Dennis Dummit, Duke's Leo Hart, Michigan's Don Moorhead and Stanford's Jim Plunkett ("They're all good quarterbacks. They should be on there").
The Florida quarterback was also bothered by the omission of teammate Tommy Durrance from the list of outstanding running backs. "You'll notice that Curt Watson of Tennessee made the list," Reaves said. "He couldn't carry Durrance's chin strap."