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PLAYING IT SAFE
Wide-eyed and possibly trapped, National Hockey League owners may have bought themselves more trouble by agreeing to settle the World Hockey Association's monopolistic-practices suit for $1.75 million and other considerations, such as interleague preseason exhibition games. Through its lawyer, Alan Eagleson, the NHL Players' Association may throw a wrench into the deal by refusing to permit its players to engage in the exhibition games, even though the league says it will sweeten the players' pension fund with $150,000. It hardly seems likely that Eagleson will consider the sum adequate compensation for the players' potential loss of power to keep two leagues bidding for their services.
The NHL owners, who left the entire WHA negotiations to their lawyers—League Presidents Clarence Campbell of the NHL and Dennis Murphy of the WHA never met—no doubt consider the settlement the lesser of evils. They have not said so publicly, but they were in no mood to take chances with the suit. At least half of the WHA clubs are in need of immediate infusions of money. Had one or more of them failed before the settlement, the WHA could have used that fact as evidence of restraint of trade and perhaps have won the $16 million suit. With treble damages, this could have amounted to $48 million. Even dealing with Eagleson is cheaper than that.
For years Ohioan Warren Wells has been studying anglers. Now, from his lofty perch as chief naturalist of the Hamilton County Park District, he delivers his opinion: some of the breed are strange fish indeed.
There are the spitters, for instance. They expectorate into the mouth of their first catch, for luck. Not good enough, claim others. For best results you must spit on the bait, not once but three times.
Some fishermen keep a well-stocked goldfish tank handy. If the carp are gorging, the atmosphere is right and stream and lake fish will be biting. Then there is the gravity school. When gravity is drawing the fishes' blood toward their heads, they're not biting; but watch out if the gravity starts flowing tailward.
So, any hints from the coolly scientific Wells himself? Well, yes. Watch the family cat. If he is friendly, you'll have a full creel because the cat figures he'll cut in on the feed for good behavior. And watch your language. Fish are not hooked on profanity.