The Philadelphia Bulletin's Alan Rich-man, sentenced to cover the basketball 76ers (who lost their first 15 and 21 of their first 22 games), brightened the sports pages last week with an All-NBA football team, based on a poll of 76er players. Richman figured a team that has kicked away as many games as the 76ers should know a lot about football.
Most of the players were serious in their selections, although one anonymous voter listed the entire Philadelphia team as a suicide squad. He also picked Elvin Hayes of the Baltimore Bullets as quarterback because "he'd call his own play every time." The Most Valuable Player in NBA football apparently would be Dave Cowens of the Boston Celtics, picked as middle linebacker. "He's vicious," said one 76er. "He blocks your shots and then dives on top of you." Bob Dandridge of the Milwaukee Bucks received support as wide receiver because "he runs the down-and-out pattern in the Milwaukee offense." And Wilt Chamberlain was picked to hold the ball on all placekick attempts. "You'd never center the ball over his head," said a voter.
Here are the final selections. Considering that basketball players are generally recognized as better athletes than football players, and considering the size and speed of some of these men, maybe it wouldn't be a bad football team at that:
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
I LEFT MY HEART IN OAKLAND
On one side of San Francisco Bay is dull, stolid Oakland. On the other is glamorous San Francisco. For years Oakland was San Francisco's joke town (like Brooklyn for New York and Peoria for Chicago). Sophisticated San Franciscans liked to quote Gertrude Stein when the subject of Oakland came up: "There is no there there."
But with Oakland's determined rise in sports, San Francisco is growing uneasy. Oakland has the world championship A's, the conference-leading Raiders. It has taken the Warriors, it has the Seals. And now—this one really hurts—the sixth annual Cable Car Classic, San Francisco's annual collegiate basketball tournament, will be played in the Oakland Coliseum Arena this year.
Cable Car Classic? In Oakland? Next thing you know they'll be calling it Oakland Bay.
After Lee Trevino was fined $700 for abruptly quitting the Sahara Invitational at Las Vegas and another $150 for criticizing officials for not enforcing rules about slow play, the voluble golfer offered some suggestions to help pick up the turtlelike pace of most tournaments. The most workable of his ideas seems to be one that would stop tour golfers from crossing to the far side of the green to line up putts.