Denver's continuing trouble over the 1976 Winter Olympics may be coming to a head. A citizens' group opposed to the Games has petitioned to have a proposal put on the ballot in November that would prohibit the state of Colorado (though not counties or cities within the state) from appropriating funds or making loans for the purpose of putting on the Olympics. Governor John Love said, "I'd be very ashamed if the people of Colorado backed out on a deal. I don't think they will."
But they might. And if they do, it will mean the Denver Olympic Committee will have to scrounge around elsewhere for the money needed to stage the Games. Denver expects $40 million in federal funds, including $21.5 million for housing that will be converted after the Olympics into medium- and low-income units. "If the people vote against the Olympics," said one official, "there is no way the federal money is going to come through. At least, not enough of it."
In the wings watching is Lake Placid, N.Y., which staged the 1932 Olympics and which seems increasingly willing to take on the 1976 renewal. Already, Lake Placid is poised to put on the bobsled and possibly the luge events, for which Denver does not expect to have facilities, and there is talk of installing a new speed-skating rink. Nothing serious, Denver. It's just that if you drop the ball, Lake Placid would kind of like to pick it up.
In most places where baseball is played, a rain check means you get a free pass to another game if the one you hoped to watch is rained out. In Houston's Astrodome, which has sprung a few leaks here and there, a rain check means you get a free pass to another seat if the one you're sitting in gets rained out.
Mickey Lolich of the Detroit Tigers wore a blue glove in the first inning of his recent victory over the Baltimore Orioles and a more traditional brown leather glove thereafter. Manager Billy Martin explained, "A sporting-goods guy told Mickey if he wore the blue glove the first inning he'd get a new set of golf clubs. I'd have done the same thing."
It was a Game of the Week telecast, which helps explain things. The precedent is interesting. Can't you see an alert, money-conscious base runner, well aware that the zoom lens is coming in as he steals second, turning to the camera and holding up a) a razor, b) aftershave lotion, c) a tube of toothpaste or d) a whole 'nother smoke?
Women's tennis, with old lady Billie Jean King fighting off young upstarts like Evonne Goolagong and Chris Evert, seemed far more interesting at Wimbledon than the men's matches. However, male chauvinists can take heart in a report that the NBC telecast of the Ken Rosewall- Rod Laver final in the World Championship of Tennis back in May attracted 21.3 million watchers, the largest television audience in tennis history, topping both the 1971 telecast of Forest Hills and the 1970 coverage of Wimbledon. According to the poll, more people saw the Rosewall-Laver match than the finals of either the NBA championship or the Stanley Cup playoffs.
When television rights to the upcoming hockey series between Russia and Canada were put up for sale, MacLaren Advertising Company Ltd., which controls Canada's weekly "hockey night" from Montreal and Toronto, put in a bid of $500,000. Everyone assumed MacLaren had a lock on the show. Then a second bid of $750,000 popped up, this one the joint effort of Harold Ballard, president of Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens, and a vigorous young organization called Bobby Orr Enterprises.