SI Vault
Edited by Robert W. Creamer
October 22, 1973
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October 22, 1973


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Football Coach Billy Joe of Cheyney State College in Pennsylvania does not have the problems that beset a Darrell Royal or a John McKay, but then Royal and McKay don't have the problems that beset a Billy Joe. Earlier this season Joe began to load his team and its gear onto a bus for the 250-mile trip to California, Pa. for a game with California State College. The coach had expected a 52-seat bus, but the company sent a 46-seater. It was too late to get a bigger bus, and the coach had to lop six men from the traveling squad, which did nothing for team morale. En route, the bus caught fire. The driver pulled off the highway and put out the fire with an extinguisher, but the vehicle was no longer operable. The driver hitchhiked back to the bus depot and after a two-hour delay a replacement bus arrived to pick up the team. Ten minutes before the sorry troupe reached California State, the door of the second bus fell off. In the game Cheyney was hit with 12 penalties, missed a field goal and was beaten 3-0 when a California State kicker booted the school's first field goal in 35 years.

"We know we're not Ohio State," said a disconsolate Joe. "We're used to our downtrodden situation and we try to deal with it. But what are you going to do?"

The citizens of Burlington, Vt. have won their battle with the Montreal Canadiens (SCORECARD, Oct. 15). Despite the Canadiens' objections that Burlington telecasts of Boston Bruin games violated Montreal's territorial rights, 25 Bruin games, plus the Stanley Cup playoffs if the Bruins are involved, will be televised in the Vermont city. This is eight games fewer than last year, but at the rate of about one a week perfectly satisfactory to Burlington. A motor cavalcade scheduled to carry a 3,000-signature petition of protest against cancellation of the broadcasts to the border between Vermont and Quebec was called off by the jubilant Vermonters. "What it boils down to," said one Burlington resident, "is that we wanted the right to watch what we want to and not what some outside power decrees."


The first news break came from the world of finance: the strictly profit-conscious board of STP had deposed Andy Granatelli, its chairman and one of the most flamboyant figures in auto racing. Hardly had that shock settled when the next item came from London: world driving champion Jackie Stewart had decided to retire. Both departures, for better or worse, will affect the game of motor sports for some time to come.

There was, sadly, a tendency among some U.S. racing officials to smirk when Granatelli was ousted; after all, he was hyperflashy, and his penchant for getting publicity sometimes irritated people. But sober second-thinkers could not help but realize that STP under Andy poured an estimated $20 million a year into auto racing, spreading it around lavishly in a manner that benefited drivers and fans alike. Granatelli's innovative cars and promotions brought vibrancy to the sport. The STP board will be much more conservative in racing budgets.

Stewart's retirement, on the other hand, marks the end of a different sort of era. The diminutive Scot won a record 27 Grand Prix races and three world titles during his career, displaying through it all a charm and �lan that made him one of the gentlemen of the game. But he had lost a number of close friends in racing cars, and the death of teammate Fran�ois Cevert two weeks ago at Watkins Glen seemed to mark the breaking point.

Both men hope to remain on the sidelines of racing. Stewart is a TV commentator and writer. Granatelli will pop up, although he is not sure himself just where. Their opposing styles do not matter; introspective gentleman and slam-bang salesman—both would be missed if they went away. Racing has room and a need for them both.


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