- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
It was not a good election year for sportsmen. While the voters did send old AFL Quarterback Jack Kemp and ex-Olympian Ralph Metcalfe back to Washington, Wilmer (Vinegar Bend) Mizell, the onetime Cardinal pitcher, and Olympic decathlon champion Bob Mathias got their unconditional releases. So did the nation's first conservationist-turned-governor, Francis Sargent of Massachusetts (SI, April 22). Baltimore rejected a stadium improvement bond issue and, perhaps most interesting, the New Jersey electorate went heavily against casino gambling.
Many factors beat the casinos. The amendment was poorly drawn, its proponents weak and disorganized. Garden State sports personalities like Bowie Kuhn and Bill Bradley spoke against it. So did the churches, including the Roman Catholic, which raises considerable revenue through bingo. Mostly, though, New Jersey citizens went for the scare argument that the presence of casinos in Atlantic City must also mean underworld domination.
Perhaps they are right and the state cannot enforce its laws. It is a sad admission, but sadder will be the further deterioration of that once grand watering spot, at about the time some other Eastern state—New York, Florida, Maryland, Rhode Island—gives casinos a chance to prove they can be run in as civilized a fashion in this country as they are in, say, London. Casinos don't have to be bad medicine.
If one man should be able to get an international bet down he is John Schapiro, who as president of Laurel Race Course promotes the Washington D.C. International. He did not, and he is still trying to figure out where he did wrong.
Three weeks ago he went to Toronto to scout Dahlia, the fine filly that came in a disappointing third in this year's International (page 80), and paused for what he thought was going to be a moment to venture $300 on the horse for a friend. Before placing the wager, his U.S. currency had to be exchanged for Canadian, for which there is a 2% charge. He approached the exchange clerk and gave him the $300 plus $10 and said, "Give me $300 Canadian and take the 2% out of the $10."
"Can't do that, sir."
"If I accept the $10, I will be exchanging it also and will have to charge exchange for that."