Talk all you want about SuperSonics and Fighting Saints and Expos, Astros and Mets, the best team names in sport are usually found on the backs of shirts worn by Little Leaguers or bowlers. Our current favorites, from Washington, D.C., are teams in the Robertson's Crab-house Ladies' League (not a bad name in itself). A recent dispatch from the RCLL reports: "Raw Oysters defeated Maryland Crab Cakes 2-1 and took over first place. Mabel Schatz led Raw Oysters, and Nancy Skidmore had high series for Crab Cakes. Other high scorers included June Hillock of Oyster Platter, Donna Stevens of Deviled Crab, Peg Staake of Crab Soup and Ann Ontko of Soft-Shell Crabs."
Meanwhile, in the Parkland Ladies' Metro League, Marge Wells had high series for Sanitation Excavating Aardvark Septic Service. How about a cheer for Sanitation Excavating Aardvark Septic Service? Gimme an S....
New York City's Off-Track Betting program has received the publicity, but a comparatively little-known operation in upstate New York may prove the making or breaking of the OTB concept. Other states toying with the idea of having friendly, neighborhood bet shops are watching closely, for the OTB people in Schenectady, N.Y. have run head-on into truculent Ernest Morris, president of Saratoga Raceway, a harness track. Morris is totally opposed to OTB in its present form, which he says is damaging business at his raceway. Because betting at OTB shops is done from the lists of entries released each day by the track, Morris began to play tricks with the information, such as making last-minute changes in the races that comprise the daily double and lumping all horses entered that night into one big alphabetical list. Only bettors who came to the track and bought the official program had a clear idea of who was racing in what and when. Ray Blanchard, executive director of the Schenectady OTB, had to send a representative to the track to buy a program, duck back out (you can't make phone calls from the track) and phone the proper entry lists back to the OTB high command.
"In spite of Morris' shenanigans," Blanchard said, "we have done in nine weeks what New York City took nine months to do: make money. We are way over the break-even figures and are climbing every day. I project we'll gross $7 million next year and I think that is conservative." OTB "profits" are split 80-20 between Schenectady and the State of New York.
"That's just great." Morris said. "As they go up, we go down. Last year we had a record handle but this season we've fallen off $200,000 a week and are still dropping. We're doomed unless we stop them. In time, every small track will die, and then OTB will devour the big ones. And then there will be nothing. No tracks. No OTB. No money going to the city or the state."