"Well, I believe I have devised a plan that will allow hunters to enjoy their hunting without having to destroy either coyotes or deer. I propose that instead of going after deer, the hunters stalk each other. Instead of live ammunition, they would be provided with rubber bullets that might sting a little but not kill. Each hunter would keep count of how many of his fellows he bagged. There would be no limit. At the end of the season the hunter who has the most would be awarded a trophy acclaiming him Hunter of the Year. Nature would work out a proper balance between deer and coyotes, and the whole thing would prove a boon to the state's economy. The publicity alone would be worth almost as much as is now brought in by the hunting season, and this is not even considering the television rights."
YET ANOTHER CHALLENGE
Protests go on that the Superstar decathlon in Florida (SI, March 5) was an inadequate test of an inadequate field, and Jim Palmer, the Baltimore Oriole pitcher, leads the chorus. Palmer, three times a 20-game winner, is one of the best all-round athletes in baseball. He won seven games last year with his own hitting, is probably the best basketball player on the Orioles' off-season court team, is always near the top in baseball players' golf tournaments and was an all-state football, basketball, and baseball player in high school. "I would have put up $5,000 just to be allowed to compete," he says. Palmer says his remarks could be considered a challenge "from me and 100 other guys I could name," although the hundred diminishes to four or five when Palmer is pressed to name them. He picks John Havlicek for one. "He was a good baseball player, was seventh-round NFL draft choice and can run faster than Elvin Hayes, who won the Superstar dash." And Jim Brown. "Great all-round athlete. Good tennis player, All-America lacrosse player in college." And the Dodgers' Willie Davis. "A five-or six-handicap golfer, and fast. He'd win the dash if Havlicek didn't." And Merv Rettenmund. "I've seen him lift more than 170 pounds. He's better in tennis than I am and he might beat Laver in table tennis."
And Jim Palmer? Unabashed, the Oriole star says of golf, which was won in the Superstar contest with a score of 41 for nine holes: "I could handle that. I regularly shoot 38, 39." Bowling, with 131? "In my first game in 10 years, at a benefit in Atlanta, I had a 191." The 100-yard dash, won in 11.5? "I ran 10-flat in high school in baseball shoes." Tennis: "It's impossible to determine the caliber of play from scores, but I know I'm better than Johnny Bench." Half-mile run: "I used to run the 440 in the 50s. It's a matter of conditioning. I'm in good condition." The 100-meter swim, won in 1:18.2? "I've never been timed, but I'm probably faster than that. I used to win everything as a kid." Table tennis, won by Rod Laver? "I'd like to go head-to-head with Laver. I played in a lot of Los Angeles County tournaments, and when I was an Oriole minor-leaguer I was the champion of Thomasville, Ga. I mean, what else is there to do in Thomasville?"
Palmer says he would pass on weight lifting but, even so, by his reckoning he and not Seagren would have walked off with the winner's share of the $122,000 prize money.