THE GAMES PEOPLE DON'T PLAY
There has been no official announcement, but when the chairman of the Davis Cup Committee of Management says such things as, "We can't allow the competition to be disrupted" and "The Committee...has to take some action," one hardly need glance at the fluttering national flags to know which way the wind blows. Mexico has defaulted its scheduled match with South Africa, the current Davis Cup champion, Colombia has announced its intention of defaulting and Chile could follow suit. Four years ago, when a number of other nations threatened to withdraw from competition rather than compete against South Africa, South Africa was barred. It makes sense. Consider, for instance, the advantages of not playing the Oakland A's. Out they would go, and at long last baseball would have a new world champion.
The rambling wreckers from Georgia Tech have been at it again. It was just 59 years ago this fall that they thumped Cumberland 222-0 in college football's most lopsided game. Last week, after softening up little Earlham College of Richmond, Ind. 22-7 in a Thursday baseball game, the next day they dropped the nutcracker on the Hustlin' Quakers 41-0.
Oddly, the score was respectable through the first three innings. Although Tech's Jerry Bass was pitching a no-hitter—he finished it, striking out 19—and Earlham was booting the ball around as though the game were soccer, the score was only 5-0. Then the roof fell in. Tech scored three runs in the fourth, eight in the fifth, 11 in the sixth, four in the seventh and 10 in the eighth. Mercifully, the host Yellow Jackets did not have to bat in the ninth.
The Hustlin' Quakers contributed to their dismemberment with 13 errors, 15 bases on balls, and one wild pitch. Tech had only 28 hits (including seven doubles and three home runs), which was just fine by Coach Jim Luck, who spent most of the game trying to figure a way to keep down the score. A football assistant in the fall, he knows what you do in that game—punt on first down. Never did find the baseball equivalent, though.
THE HOUSE THAT TRUTH BUILT
Close observers of stadium construction will be shocked by what is happening outside of Detroit. Pontiac Metropolitan Stadium, roof and all, is being brought in on time and almost exactly on cost.
Contracts were signed two years ago and work began in October 1973. The architects and builders, local people who never tried a stadium before but who studied plenty of them before undertaking this project, are guaranteeing they will be ready for the opening event, an exhibition football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Detroit Lions on Aug. 23.
The stadium has the usual accouterments of modern arenas—electronic scoreboard, contour seats, private suites, dining club, massive parking lots fed and emptied by superhighways—but, in several instances, with a difference. The suites are on the middle deck and are closer to the field than in most other stadiums. So is the dining room, which affords customers a broad view of the field through a 250-foot-long, two-story-high glass wall. A railroad line passes next to the stadium and could, if necessary, become the main transportation to and from the park.
Pontiac will hold 80,400 and, with a majority of its seats along the sidelines in three tiers (no columns), is ideal for football though hopeless for baseball. The sidelines and end lines are only 40 feet from the nearest seats, which are raised seven feet above the field. The roof, if it holds up, is something every future arena builder should look into. It is made of woven fiber-glass fabric coated with Teflon and is supported by a latticework of steel cables and a system of blowers, up to 29 working during games and, say, rock concerts—many of which have been scheduled. Two blowers operate when the facility is idle. The design was used first for the American pavilion at Expo '70 in Osaka and more recently for a smaller stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The roof is comparatively cheap to install.