Opening Day attendance figures don't really mean much. They temporarily cheer or sadden management, or they provide local sportswriters with something to speculate about on a slow day, but usually they say more about spring weather than they do about the state of the pastime.
Nevertheless, the following numbers from the San Francisco Bay Area caught the eye. Opening Day, World Champion Oakland A's, 17,477. Opening Day, San Francisco Giants, 17,649. Opening Day, San Jose Earthquakes, North American Soccer League, 18,347.
BELTING IT OUT
"It's pretty good, I was surprised," said Tom Bladon, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman. "It's amazing what they can do with all that electronic equipment," said Bobby Taylor, reserve goaltender. "It's the worst record I've ever heard," said Flyers Assistant Coach Barry Ashbee.
So ran the in-house reviews of Dave Schultz' new tune, The Penalty Box, which goes, in part:
Love is like an ice hockey game—
sometimes it can be rough,
Girl you've got me so all aflame—
I never never get enough.
You got me chargin' and cookin',
holdin' and hookin',
Then you blow the whistle on me—
when you gonna let me go free?
A Philadelphia newsman suggested that Schultz kept time by rhythmically punching the orchestra leader.
THE OLD COLLEGE CRUNCH
It is almost 10 years since Walter Byers saw a need for controlling the runaway costs of collegiate athletics. An NCAA study made under his direction revealed that in the decade preceding 1969 costs rose 112%. It is estimated they went up another 70% in the next five years, yet it was not until last January that the membership of the NCAA became sufficiently alarmed to act. It ordered another study.