The crackdown on hockey violence (SCORECARD, Nov. 11) continues, this time in the place where most observers think it is long overdue, the National Hockey League. For their disgraceful conduct during a game in Oakland on Oct. 23, the Philadelphia Flyers' Mad Dog Kelly and Don Saleski were suspended for six games without pay by League President Clarence Campbell.
Earlier, the Ontario Hockey Association, which supplies the bulk of the amateur players to the pros, voted stiff penalties for fighting, including 10 minutes in the penalty box for starting a fight and a misconduct penalty and automatic two-game suspension for a player receiving a second major penalty in a game for any combination of infractions.
Penalizing the players will help to cool off the bully boys but it will not stop them. Eleven days after the Oakland incident, in which Kelly and Saleski invaded the penalty box to assault California's Mike Christie while the Flyers cordoned off the area, Philadelphia was in another Pier 6 brawl, this one with the New York Islanders. The Flyers' Moose Dupont drew a double game misconduct, meaning he was kicked out.
Flyer Coach Fred Shero, who, incidentally, supported the amateur rules changes, is directly responsible for his team's behavior, but the ultimate responsibility has to lie with management, which for the time being is profiting royally from the Flyers' deliberately rough tactics. If somebody does not knock sense into some team officials' heads, one of these days a riot on ice is going to spread to the stands with tragic consequences. There is a difference between hard play and outrageous roughness and if the Flyers cannot see this the league should, and impose far harsher sanctions than any so far.
DON'T LOOK NOW BUT...
It is early yet, but last week the No. 1 major league city in the country was tied for first in the American Conference East of the National Football League, first in the Adams Division of the National Hockey League, first in the Atlantic Division of the National Basketball Association. Place named Buffalo.
WHAT A WAY TO GO
Every section of the country has its own version of the nation's No. 1 football fan, but until a more dedicated one comes along the title will have to sit on the throbbing brow of Charlie Winkler, who lives—and is planning to die—with the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Charlie is given to the usual extravagances of genus extrovertus—the 200-mile round-trip drive between his home in Grand Isle and Lincoln for scrimmages, years of perfect attendance at home and road games, the red wardrobe, the visits alone to empty Memorial Stadium just to sit—the whole bit. It is what he has planned that sets him apart. Charlie, who is 52 and takes tranquilizers before games to steady his nerves, has told everybody that if he has a seizure at a game he wants them to take him down to the respirator and roll him over so that he is facing the field.
"That way maybe I can see one last touchdown," he says. "Then I want a helicopter to drift slowly over the stadium, spreading my ashes. People can look up and say, 'Hey, cover your Cokes and hot dogs. Here comes old Charlie floatin' down. Ain't he a prize.' "