There comes a time before every Olympic Games when the stories emanating from the site are full of gloom. The stadium will not be finished in time—which is fine since the approach roads won't reach it anyway—the athletes will be sleeping in tents and unexpected costs will leave the city in penury for a hundred years.
Last month it was Montreal's turn, and despite Mayor Jean Drapeau's protestations of "balderdash and balderall," it suddenly seemed that the people the mayor has normally been able to convince with his adept combination of eloquence, double-talk and sleight of hand were not so sure.
Enter from Munich Willi Daume, vice-president of the International Olympic Committee. After inspection of facilities he gave Montreal his vote of confidence. "There could be a general world recession and the sale of Olympic coins could drop off," he admitted. 'It is possible, too, that there will be a considerable increase in building costs, or that technical problems will swell the costs or that unemployment in Canada could reduce the sale of lottery tickets, but Canada is a great Olympic nation. It will not leave the IOC in the lurch."
Well and good. Olympic Games have a way of always coming off. But then there were a few nervous moments that Mayor Drapeau could certainly have done without. At a separate press conference, Roger Rousseau, president of the Canadian Olympic Organizing Committee, snapped at reporters, "We're not lying to you. We're just not telling you all the facts."
Clang went the starting gate at Atlantic City Race Course and they were off, all except Basic Witness, who pawed frantically at the dirt but never moved. After a review of films and a talk with the starter, Steward Sam Boulmetis believed that he had the answer. "I think he got his tail stuck in the rear of the gate," he said.
This recalls what happened to Santo Domingo in a 1969 race. He left his tail in the gate. The loss never seemed to bother him, though. He continued to win for a couple of years, proving, perhaps, that if you have the means you can justify your end.
OF GOD AND MAMMON
After selecting 6'11" Virginia schoolboy Moses Malone in the third round of the ABA draft last April, the Utah Stars made no serious effort to sign him. So two months later the nation's leading college prospect accepted a University of Maryland scholarship.
Last week, just as the 19-year-old Malone was about to enroll for the fall semester, Utah reentered the picture with a new owner, Jim Collier, waving a fistful of dollars. Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell immediately asked Washington, D.C. Attorney Donald Dell to examine the offer. "If I have to lose him," a disappointed Driesell said, "I want him to get what he's worth and not be taken advantage of."