1973 A. B. (AFTER BRUNDAGE)
Practically everybody who has anything to say about the Olympic Games was at the 10th Olympic Congress in Varna, Bulgaria, the first such Congress since 1930. Usually, the 74-man International Olympic Committee (or its nine-man executive board) meets to decide matters of Olympic import, but at Varna the IOC was joined by representatives from the 131 national Olympic committees and the 26 international sports federations. Much of the proceedings consisted of people from the lesser groups telling the IOC what it ought to do.
Thomas Keller, a Swiss who is chairman of the international sports federations, argued for a clarification of the complex rules dealing with Olympic eligibility. "Everyone knows that the entries for the Olympic Games have become largely an open exhibition of lying," he declared. He said each federation ought to assume responsibility for determining the amateur status of athletes in its sports, relieving the IOC and the national Olympic committees in this area. He also criticized host country organizing committees for the overabundance of glitter and ceremony during each Olympics. "Propaganda for politicians and gratification of human vanity," he called such displays. With other federation people Keller asked that the IOC yield to the federations a greater share of the administrative control of the Games.
Lord Killanin, the urbane Irishman who succeeded Avery Brundage as IOC president in 1972, said archly that he might subscribe to many of Keller's views if the language in which they were couched were more restrained. In this diplomatic way, Killanin opened the door to change, a startling concept in Olympic circles long used to the dogmatic rule of Brundage. The eligibility rule will be rewritten, the Olympic ceremonies will be reviewed, the size of the Olympics will be controlled (at Varna, over the objection of some of the federations, the IOC eliminated 10 events from the Olympic program, including three swimming races). Of the IOC itself, which has often been accused of being an antiquated, self-perpetuating hierarchy, Killanin said, "Under my presidency the IOC will not be the exclusive club it may have been some years ago."
The weekly Dallas football paper called Bob Lilly's Pro Report made no bones about its opposition to the congressional action banning blackouts of local telecasts of sold-out pro football games. This is what might happen, it said, if Congress ran pro football:
Vendors would be paid not to sell peanuts.
Garo Yepremian would be recognized as a foreign power and would be sent foreign aid and an ambassador.
Martha Mitchell would do the half-time show.
Philadelphia would be declared a disaster area and be granted 16 first-round draft choices for next season.