ONE STEP FORWARD
It matters less whether Boston Bruin Leftwinger Dave Forbes is or is not convicted for his attack on Minnesota's Henry Boucha (SI, Jan. 27) than that the incident occurred in the first place. League rules and tradition should have been of such stringency and moral suasion that personal attacks of that nature would have been unthinkable. If, in a moment of stress, an attack was made, the league would have had precise and effective machinery to deal immediately with the offender long before anybody thought to bring him before a court of law. This is said with full appreciation for the firm measures taken by National Hockey League President Clarence Campbell.
The NHL Players Association, which in the past has been remarkably indifferent to violence on the ice, ignoring occurrences quite as serious as the Forbes-Boucha affair, seems now to have recognized the necessity for action. Through its director, Attorney R. Alan Eagleson, the association recommended last week that any player penalized for deliberate injury or a deliberate attempt to injure be automatically suspended pending a hearing. It asked further that the hearing take place as soon as possible after the incident.
It is a start, but not until players and fans react with the same shock and disbelief that, say, baseball people do on those extremely rare occasions when a bat is raised in anger will hockey get the monkey of thoughtless brutality off its back.
DEPTHS AND LOWER DEPTHS
Cleaning up, it is often enough observed, can end in a mess. A nice little case in point is New York Harbor. When it was bank-to-bank garbage, at least the shipworms—those bivalve mollusks that in their larval stage make vermicular lacework of wooden piers—stayed away. But with a gradual flushing out of the lower reaches, the shipworms are back dining away merrily on dock underpinnings and the bottoms of wooden barges.
This could be trouble, but the prospects are nowhere near as bleak as those envisioned in the latest story making the conservationist rounds. It goes: First, the good news. By 1985 we'll all be drinking sewage water. Now the bad. There won't be enough to go around.
HE LOATHES THE DEAR SILVER
About midway through the season, the Puerta Vallarta Dolphins of the Northwestern Mexico Winter League were living up to the sleepy image of their coastal village, best known as the sometime winter stopover of Elizabeth Taylor. Figuring anything in a calm, the manager of two years, Minnie Minoso, agreed to Pitcher Javier Reyes' suggestion that, like Oakland, the team make a clean break with the past and grow beards and mustaches. Happy to say, it worked. Puerta Vallarta hared through the rest of the schedule and into their division title. That would be the end of the story, except for what happened to Minoso, who at 52 is just five pounds over his major league playing weight and a bit vain about his youthful appearance. His beard grew out snow white.
NERVE THEY'VE GOT
Call it cheek, call it chutzpah. It is always in plentiful supply, but if two cases reported recently are a bellwether of the generation coming up, head for the Alps.