SI Vault
Edited by Robert W. Creamer
February 07, 1972
A MATTER OF RESPONSIBILITYThe swift suspension for the season of two Minnesota basketball players involved in the shameful brawl with Ohio State (page 18) is to be commended. But what about the coach, whose philosophy generated the tension that exploded into violence? What about the high university officials, whose bumbling in handling athletic matters (SCORECARD, Jan. 10) was earlier evident and who tolerated and even fostered the coach's ideas because of an unseemly hunger for victory at all costs? The greater guilt—and Minnesota's disgrace—lies with them.
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February 07, 1972


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"When foreigners ask me about the terrible racial situation in America, I tell them it ain't so terrible like it was. Nixon is doing all he can. The North is forcing the South to respect blacks. Our people have more jobs and money than they ever had. Schooling is better. In fact, if this country keeps going in the next few years like it has been, all those problems people heard about in America are gonna seem like nothing but dreams."

About the dumbest thing in sport is the practice of collecting autographs. For every serious collector, there are 50 idiots of all ages who thrust scraps of paper at athletes for no logical reason except to bask in the sun of the celebrity. The Montreal Canadiens' All-Star Goalie Ken Dryden, who dutifully signs when asked, says, "Signing autographs is a complete waste of time for everyone concerned. An autograph is supposed to indicate a closeness between the signer and the collector. But in most cases you never even see the face of the person you're signing for, since you end up signing one autograph after another, like an assembly line."


Skiers have long had a reputation for being ardent drinkers. Indeed, critics say some skiers force themselves to make one run down the slopes just to be eligible for the apr�s-ski snort. It seems only right then that Sapporo, where the Winter Olympics are getting under way, has turned into a ski drinker's paradise. There, in the somewhat demimonde Susukino section, which is less than a quarter of a mile square, there are an estimated 2,500 taverns and 60 high-rise drinking establishments known as "bar buildings."

The largest of these, the Green Building, is nine stories high and contains 187 separate and distinct—at least for a time—pubs. The pubs compete with one another, with each having its own staff and its own entrance inside the building. Some have go-go girls or topless waitresses; others are more sedate. Because of this hopefully universal appeal, the Japanese entrepreneurs confidently expect as many as 25,000 people to visit the Green Building each night.

It all seems very efficient. But pub-crawling indoors is a different sport. The welcome blast of cold fresh air as one leaves Bar A for Bar B will be missing, which could be upsetting for skiers who have always assumed that ingestions of well-chilled oxygen help keep them relatively sober. Perhaps it would be wise for Sapporo visitors to begin at the top of a bar building and work their way down to the comforting norm of street level.


Man, who has loved victorious underdogs ever since David put Goliath down for the count, has seldom, if ever, had a more successful member of the breed to love than the University of North Dakota. Last March, in the first round of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs, North Dakota went against powerful Michigan Tech, ranked No. 1 in the country at the time. Dakota won 6-4. This past October, North Dakota's football team met North Dakota State, which had won 29 in a row, had been unbeaten over 35 consecutive games and was ranked first in the AP and UPI college-division polls. North Dakota stunned North Dakota State 23-7. Last week Eau Claire State's basketball team, which had won 13 straight and was No. 1 in the AP, UPI and NAIA college-division rankings, played North Dakota. Almost inevitably, it was upset 73-70.

Not bad. Or are you aware of some other school that in a year's time has beaten the No. 1 team in three different sports?


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