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Officials toyed with the idea of adding a sudden-death plan if the game ended in a tie but then decided they did not want too many gimmicks. The ones they are playing with seem quite enough for the time being.
ALI ALAS ALOT
Your average sports fan is not likely to grab a copy of the Vatican publication Latinitas for late news from the world of fun and games, partly because Latinitas operates on a leisurely deadline but even more so because it is written in Latin. However, if that ancient language were the only one the sports fan had, and he wanted to find out what happened in the Ali-Frazier fight in 1971, Latinitas has the scoop for him in a story headlined SIC VINCIT CASSIUM CLAYUM IOSEPHUS FRAZIER (Thus Did Joseph Frazier Conquer Cassius Clay). It begins with a lively "O constantium pugnatorum inusitatam inauditamque firmitatem et omni laude decorandam!" which may not sound like Jim Murray, but gets the job done. In fact, the English translation of the story has an antique grandeur that is seldom evident in straight sports reporting. Consider the ending:
"Here now is Cassius beaten down by destiny, here he is shamefully laid out on the ground. The referee counts the seconds while by his side Joseph, himself groggy, remains standing.... Here is Cassius slowly raising himself on his elbow and rising to his feet, his knees hardly carrying him, reeling, staggering, lurching. 'I cannot see, I am wounded, broken up, smashed to pieces, vaporised.' The public roars deafeningly.... One minute Joseph cuts him to pieces with his gloves, another minute he seems to spare him. But the last seconds run out and the gong sounds to put an end to the fight of the century."
ANOTHER MAN'S MEAT
One man's poison is another man's meat, so to speak. Sailing, for example, is on top of a wave for the moment, its people serene in the realization that the only power they need is wind. Yet even in sailing there are problems. A week or two ago the U.S. syndicate that was to build the new America's Cup yacht, Courageous, asked unsuccessfully for a postponement of the 1974 races because of the energy crisis. It soon turned out that it was not a lack of fuel that was hampering the syndicate; it was a lack of money because of the precipitous decline in the stock market.
The elimination of Courageous leaves one new U.S. boat, Mariner, owned by the Kings Point Foundation of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, which presumably is less sensitive to Wall Street's setbacks than the Courageous group. And the 1967 and 1970 winner Intrepid is still around, ready for a third straight America's Cup appearance. But it seems likely now that the challenge presented by Australia's bright new boat, Australis (SCORECARD, Nov. 12), will be a very strong one. If, for the first time in history, the U.S. loses this most famous of international sailing races, you can blame it on oil.
Stars of the French national ski team have been griping at coaches and feeling terribly put out by one thing after another for a couple of years now. At one event last season, upset by infelicitous weather, they ran the course like recreational skiers, dawdling their way from top to bottom. Last week, after the team's embarrassingly bad debut in this season's competition, the French national ski federation fired six top racers, all of them noted complainers. In getting rid of them, France in effect was writing off this season and next and beginning to rebuild toward the 1976 Olympics.
Cries of anguish echoed through the French Alps. Skiing success in Europe's Alpine countries is directly tied to national pride and tourist dollars; the average ski buff likes to go where the champions are. When World Cup stars Jean-No�l Augert, Henri Duvillard, Patrick Russel, Ingrid Lafforgue and Britt Lafforgue, along with also-ran Roger Rossat-Mignod, were summarily dismissed, there were outraged reactions, many inspired by the equipment manufacturers and resort operators who have a big investment in Alpine skiing.