FUN AND GAMES OR WHAT?
Here is a thought-provoking comment by a professional athlete on the reaction of fans to his sport. Montreal Expo Pitcher Mike Marshall said recently, " Montreal has some of the most extreme fans of any city I've ever been in. When the team wins, they go berserk with excitement. When it's losing, they are the quickest to boo, hiss and complain.
"I wish a good sociologist would make a study of it. In my opinion, it indicates something is seriously lacking in their lives to put so much importance in their teams' winning or losing."
World Team Tennis, the new rich kid on the pro court, held its first player draft recently, and some of its picks were heavy with territorial imperative: favorite daughter Chris Evert to Miami; John Newcombe to Houston, near his T-Bar-M tennis ranch; California resident Rod Laver to San Diego; ex-Northwestern star Marty Riessen to Chicago. Philadelphia, trying to avoid another loser, grabbed Billie Jean King.
Star players seem receptive to World Team Tennis, but questions keep popping up. Will Evert, a loyalist in the battle between the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association and the Virginia Slims tour, buck the USLTA now? The USLTA is under the umbrella of the International Lawn Tennis Federation, and rumors persist that the ILTF will suspend anyone who competes in the WTT. Further, will members of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), who boycotted Wimbledon to gain voice in the administration of the game, sign WTT contracts that would commit them to a subordinate position? WTT apparently thinks not, for ATP leaders Stan Smith, Cliff Drysdale and Arthur Ashe were drafted 43rd, 53rd and 74th. Finally, where in the crowded pro tennis schedule can WTT fit its proposed three-month season? World Championship Tennis (WCT) controls play from January into May, and under the tennis peace treaty the remaining 7� months of the year belong to the Davis Cup and ILTF-sanctioned tournaments.
WTT has not only brought more initials into tennis to compete with ILTF, USLTA, WCT and ATP (not to mention WITF and WTA, the women's groups), it may bring back WAR
MOUTHS OF CHILDREN
Bill Mazeroski, now a coach with the Pittsburgh Pirates, has a 2-year-old son named David, who sits in the dugout and watches while the club takes batting practice. One day last week when the Pirates, who have been stumbling along below .500, had finished practice and were leaving the field, Mazeroski came and got David and began walking to the clubhouse. As he did, David looked up and asked, "Did we lose again, Daddy?"
It used to be that the NFL rated passers only on their comparative performances in a given season. But the league has come up with a measuring rod that rates a passer against men of all seasons, even himself a year or more earlier. The NFL has explained in a press release, or tried to explain, what the new standard is and how it was arrived at, but after reading passages like this—"The 2.375 figure in average yards is 12.50, compared with the NFL record of 11.17, while to earn 2.375 in percentage of touchdowns a passer would have to achieve 11.9"—it is easier to nod your head and mumble, "mm-hmm, I see," even if you don't.