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October 12, 1970
Sturdy Sport Fan of the New Season Is...
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October 12, 1970

People

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Sturdy Sport Fan of the New Season Is...

Donald Haas of Chicago was on his way to the Bears-Eagles game when a seven-car football special crashed into the elevated train he was riding. Fifty people were injured, but Haas brushed aside medical aid to get to the game, where he stuck it out till halftime. At that point "I couldn't stand the pain anymore," he admits, and he left for the nearest hospital. The Bears were ahead, 17-9, but there was no sweet smell of success for Haas, mainly because his nose was broken.

One quick tour through the new Paris Auto Show and France's President Georges Pompidou proved he can be just as outspoken as his predecessor, dropping these one-liners along the way: On Mercedes-Benz—too expensive. On big American cars—you could lodge a whole company of French state police in one. On small cars—annoying; they don't look like much but they always seem to pass you going very fast. On the average French motorist—a bad driver. Then Pompidou volunteered to try out a flashy new sports car at its top speed of 135 mph, but not near his home where "I wouldn't be able to open her up."

He is 65 now, a bit more jowly than in the days when he was winning 56 of his 71 pro bouts. But in the 32 years since he lost the heavyweight title in 1938 he has won enormous affection in Germany. He is a household word—his name even appears in German encyclopedias—and in a recent poll 90% of those surveyed associated him with things "fair, decent and successful." So there was beetle-browed Max Schmeling last week, receiving the Grand Cross of the Federal Order of Merit from West Germany's Minister of the Interior and then relaxing over an unaccustomed glass of champagne. "I never rest," he said. In fact, next month he hopes to visit in the U.S. with his good friend, the man who finally beat him for the title, Joe Louis.

Not So Silent Night Department:

Come November you can get a special recording of Jingle Bells sung by the NFL team of your choice. "We recorded every team and—believe me—we found no talent," says Mike Tatich, who produced the 26 epics, which will be called Holiday Halftime Albums. Each team sings a medley of musical gems, and each album will highlight All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth, sung by Merlin Olsen of the Rams, Vince Promuto of the Redskins and other dental cases. The recording sessions were risky business: Lou Michaels also soloed handsomely on the tooth song, but four days later was cut from the Colts. The star of the show turned out to be Travis Williams, the Green Bay running back. "Every time he opened his mouth, a choirboy came out," says Tatich. He admits all these guys aren't exactly the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but claims the result is better than everybody thinks. And why not? The arrangements were done by Jacques Urbort, of Mission: Impossible.

In Armenti�res, a pair of skin divers suited up and flip-flapped solemnly into the pool to the strains of Mendelssohn's Wedding March to be married 10 feet down by a skin-diving priest. The wedding party released a lot of air bubbles to celebrate Marie-Claude Requin's giving up her maiden name to become Mme. Joel Mony, as well a bunch of skin divers might. Her maiden name means shark.

Meanwhile, back in Nevada, world high-diving champion Ross Collins wed fianc�e Barbara Better, but not underwater. Please. None of that nonsense. Collins preferred the quiet dignity of a ceremony at the Circus-Circus Casino in Las Vegas—performed seconds after he had dived 64 feet into an eight-foot sponge.

And the final splashy news item comes from England, where Trades Union Congress boss Vic Feather agreed to inaugurate a convalescent-home swimming pool by taking the first dip. But he wouldn't go in until they assured him that 1) the pool was a comfortable 72� and 2) that they had just poured a bottle of gin into it.

Last week David Frost interviewed Edward Bennett Williams. Frost: "That [ownership of the Redskins] must be a terrific relaxation for you. Is it?" Williams: "Actually it isn't.... It really isn't." Frost: "Isn't it?" Williams: "No. I really haven't enjoyed watching football since I became associated with the Redskins. I really don't enjoy watching the game. I really don't.... It's a form of masochism for me to go." Frost: "Really?" Hard man to convince, that Frost.

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