SI Vault
Edited by Andrew Crichton
April 08, 1974
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April 08, 1974


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What do Bing Crosby, Critic Lionel Trilling, Sportscaster Curt Gowdy and Nader Raider David Zwick have in common? Fish, and a very strong feeling that until now the estimated 45 million fishermen in the United States have had the collective political bite of a minnow. In New York last week Gowdy and Angler-Author Lee Wulff headed an impressive group of similarly minded sportsmen in forming The American League of Anglers. The ALA hopes to recruit four million members within two years at $10 a head, and for a change rattle around like sharks. Chairman Gowdy said, "We have to fight pressure with pressure. We have to get organized with legislation that will stop polluters, the real estate encroachments, the stream diversions and the foreign fishing fleets that are gobbling up the fish along our shores."

Organization of the ALA has been going on quietly for three years among representatives of major angling and conservation interests. Directors include Otto Teller, chairman of Trout Unlimited; Ray Scott, president of BASS; Charles Cadieux, president of the Outdoor Writers Association of America; Carl Lowrance of Lowrance Electronics; and Crosby, who has written the major fund-raising letter. The ALA has a slogan: "Fish don't vote...fishermen do." Politicians can expect to hear about that.


Al McGuire has little truck with people who would raise the baskets to lessen the advantage of the big man in basketball. "It's true it's only a matter of time before some team recruits two 7-footers who can play like Bill Walton," the Marquette coach says, "but raising baskets in every gym in the country is economically not feasible. You might as well lower the floor."

McGuire's solution? Well, two, the first serious. "Outlaw the tip-in," he says. "When a player gets an offensive rebound, make him get it back outside a circle as in playground ball on a rebound.

"Or, you could electrify the goal. When a guy turns blue you know he's got his hand in it."

There are signs in Britain, be they ever so slight, that the famed violence at football matches is abating, or soon jolly well will if the authorities have their way. F.C. Langworthy of Kent reports in a letter to the London Daily Express that "presumably because of the current shortage of toilet rolls not one such missile was hurled onto the field" in six games he watched over TV. For crimes worse than papering, two football grounds in Liverpool have special rooms with "security rings" fixed to the walls for shackling rowdy spectators. And in Birmingham, Magistrate Grahame Hands, taking exception to a brick that whizzed past his wife at a recent match, has called for the setting up of labor camps for spectators convicted of violence. Good show.


For the hockey spectator who thinks he has heard everything, he hasn't. It seems there will always be one more slap shot at rinkmanship. Take Vancouver, where Canuck fans, bored with booing and possibly with the court trials of ex-President Tom Scallen, have taken to bird calls. The fad started one night when the crazy cry of a loon was heard across the Pacific Coliseum. The following game produced a duck call and a goose call, presumably for the eggs the Canucks were laying. Last week, a good dozen sportsmen were echoing bird hoots back and forth in the upper reaches of the place and a downtown sporting goods store was getting in a supply of crow caws.

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