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Emprise, the Jacobs brothers corporation that runs concessions at sports arenas around the country and often lends money to sports organizations (SI, May 29), is under direct attack in Wisconsin. The state's attorney general has challenged the legality of the beer license granted Wisconsin Sportservice, an Emprise subsidiary, at Milwaukee County Stadium on the grounds that state law requires each officer and director of a firm holding such a license to be a citizen of Wisconsin. The Sportservice officers listed are Jeremy, Max, L. D. and G. B. Jacobs, all residents of New York state. Others dispute the attorney general's view, contending the stadium is exempt from the law because it is technically a restaurant.
The implication of the challenge is considerable. Emprise has used large long-term loans to cement its business relationship with various sports organizations. The Milwaukee Brewers, for instance, who play in County Stadium, have a loan of more than $2 million from Emprise. The money was loaned to the ball club when it was still in Seattle and Emprise received a 25-year concessions contract in return. When the franchise was transferred to Milwaukee in 1970 the new owners assumed both loan and contract. They also borrowed an additional $500,000 from Sportservice, although that loan has since been substantially reduced. But the Brewers are concerned about the status of the earlier, larger loan if Sportservice is forced out of County Stadium. And there is also a question of how amenable the Jacobses will be about future loans to sports organizations if their concessions contracts cannot be guaranteed.
A new way to stimulate a horse's performance in a race, and an apparently legal one, is to put rubber plugs in the animal's ears. Swedish harness horse trainers in France are experimenting with the idea. A lightweight cord is attached to the plugs, and when the horse comes into the stretch the cord is pulled. The plugs pop out, the horse suddenly hears the roar of the crowd and, because of fright or excitement, surges forward. Some trainers claim an unplugged horse can gain half a length on its rivals down the stretch.
Bettors will not be impressed. One can imagine a disgruntled loser muttering, "The bum pulled the plug too soon."
PRO SHOW STILL GO
MITTY ON THE TEE
Even middle-aged men have adolescent daydreams of running back a Super Bowl kickoff for a touchdown or hitting a grand-slam home run in the World Series. What happened last week to a 44-year-old Californian named Bill Flowers was less melodramatic, but it was good enough.