TERROR IN MUNICH
The murder of the Israeli athletes in Munich is a disaster of a kind that must not be repeated, and one way to ensure that is to abolish the Olympic Games.
If the organizers of the Games cannot prevent them from becoming a political arena, there is no sporting sense in holding them. Recent evidence is that the organizers are unable to do just that. The Olympics represent too attractive a forum for political action, ranging from the parade of national prejudice to blackmail of nations deemed undesirable, from the cynicism of small-time politicking to its most extreme extension: war and terrorism.
The object of a demonstrator, rioter or terrorist is to draw attention to himself or his cause, and how can he better achieve that than by choosing as his turf the Olympic Games, which now must be the most widely covered, regularly staged event in the history of the world?
A less drastic solution would be to sectionalize the Games. World track championships could be held in one place, world swimming elsewhere at another time, and so forth. Each championship would be a briefer and less important affair, consequently less of a temptation to exploitation. Another approach might be to revise the nationalist structure of the competition so that athletes no longer primarily represent their countries.
The International Olympic Committee has a new president, Lord Killanin of Ireland, and the IOC's first order of business must be reform of the Games, if not their abolition.
SEA CHANGE IN THE BIG EIGHT
A startling change of opinion about the Big Eight football race and national rankings has taken place. In July regional media people voted Nebraska the preseason favorite for the conference championship. Nebraska got 40 first-place votes, Colorado was second with 29 and Oklahoma, picked for third, got 19.
Since then another poll of writers and broadcasters has been announced, this one undertaken after 34 of them had visited all eight training sites. Now Oklahoma has been given 24 first-place votes, Nebraska only nine and Colorado three. Kansas State was chosen fourth, Iowa State fifth, Kansas sixth, Oklahoma State seventh and Missouri eighth.
This poll, in turn, is at variance with the national Associated Press poll, which put Nebraska first in the nation, Colorado second and Oklahoma sixth.