SI Vault
Edited by Robert W. Creamer
September 10, 1973
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September 10, 1973


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Criticism of the Soviet Union for the ugliness that pervaded the World University Games is justified, yet it is almost certain that the International Olympic Committee will award Moscow the 1980 Olympic Games. The IOC really has no choice. No other city appears to be seriously in the running for 1980 and, in any case, Moscow's selection seems logical if only because the Soviet Union has been a dominant factor in the Games since its return to the Olympic fold in 1952.

But it is idle for the Russians or the IOC to assume that Moscow or any other city is ever again going to put on an Olympics that will be all sweetness and light. Tight security may prevent a repetition of the insane violence that ruptured Munich in 1972, but inevitably at Moscow—and at Montreal in 1976—there will be political demonstrations of one sort or another no matter what the Russians—or Canadians—try to do to prevent such disruptions.

This is because the Olympic Games are slowly sinking under their own weight. Ideally, they are supposed to be an athletic competition among the youth of the world. In fact, the sporting aspect has been all but drowned under quasi-religious panoply, nationalistic fervor and commercial tie-ins. The Olympics, by virtue of the interest they have generated, have become an international political stage, a living theater occupied by all sorts of hangers-on, and there is nothing the IOC can do about it except reduce the size of the Games or abolish them.


Lots of football players tape their wrists, but the Dallas Cowboys' Billy Joe DuPree, a tight end from Michigan State and the club's No. 1 draft choice, does it differently. Team Trainer Don Cochren, who supplies the tape, says, "I saw he was wrapping his wrists with the tape inside out, with the sticky part away from his skin." DuPree explained to Cochren that his method of taping helped him hold onto the football, particularly after a difficult catch when he was trying to bring the ball into his body while the defensive back was trying simultaneously to break him in two and take the ball away.

"Most of our other receivers are trying it, and it seems to help," says Cochren. "Just imagine. I not only learned something new about football, I learned it from a rookie."


In its continuing war with the infant World Hockey Association the National Hockey League went all out to sign every team's No. 1 draft pick from the Canadian amateur leagues. The NHL did not worry as much about subsequent choices, but it wanted the propaganda success of signing the top draft picks. Money was spread around ankle deep ("Pay any price," was the theme), and the NHL achieved its coup.

But the victory rang a bit hollow when the young player generally acknowledged to be the best untapped amateur in Canada, Dennis Sobchuk, signed a 10-year, $1 million contract with the WHA's new Cincinnati franchise. ( Cincinnati doesn't swing into action until next year, but Sobchuk probably will be assigned to another WHA team in the interim.)

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