TWO ON THE AISLE, PLEASE
When last we left the Olympic construction site in Montreal (SCORECARD, June 2), the word was that the 1976 Games would go on as scheduled despite labor troubles. The next problem involves obtaining the tickets that will get one into the stadiums, and Montgomery Ward, the exclusive distributor in this country, advises that now is a good time to make your move.
Ward's computer ticked off the latest totals June 12, and print-outs show that while tickets for every sport are still available, all gold-medal events are already sold out in basketball, gymnastics, swimming and diving. Taking in everything from early rounds to finals in 21 sports and including ceremonies at both ends, Ward figures that there are 334 Olympic events that one might attend. The U.S. allocation was 700,000 tickets. More than 225,000 are gone, and tabulations to be released this week show the pattern of main spectator interest: eight out of 27 basketball events are sold out; two of 25 in boxing, one of eight in cycling, eight of 10 in equestrian events, four of 18 in fencing, six of 12 in gymnastics, one of 19 in handball, 17 of 36 in swimming, diving and water polo, 18 of 24 in volleyball, two of 17 in weight lifting, 15 of 21 in wrestling.
Scratch the opening ceremonies, says the computer, but if carrying out the torch interests you, seats for the closing rites are still available—with the equestrian Grand Prix jumping team finals as a bonus, since they'll be staged earlier in the same stadium.
As outlined in an earlier report (SI, April 21), seats are sold on a first-come basis and sales close Aug. 15. After that, if you like field hockey you'll love the Olympics.
On the theory that it isn't enough to merely sing the national anthem at sports events in this bicentennial year, here came a U.S. Army detachment trundling two 75-mm cannons into New York's Shea Stadium. The crowd of 31,809 on hand for the Yankee-Angel game was asked to stand, and the strains of The Star-Spangled Banner rose on the night air. So did the 21-gun salute from the cannons in the outfield. And when the smoke cleared, everybody saw that our flag was still there—but there was a hole in the left-field fence and the right one was afire.
Enter the grounds crew to put everything back together and exit the Army artillery. The rest of the shelling that night was confined to Angel Pitcher Nolan Ryan, who gave up five runs and lost the game.
The class was over and 71-year-old Silverio Mazzella started strolling home—but not far away a knife-waving assailant stopped him and demanded all his money. So Mazzella kicked the robber in the stomach, grabbed him by the neck, took the knife and returned to the Bronx classroom for a bit of show-and-tell. Lord knows, the teachers were pleased: subject of the evening had been a police-sponsored physical defense course for senior citizens.
The comforting golf report of the week comes from Elephant Hills Country Club in Rhodesia. The rule book says that players may take a free drop with any ball that lands in a hippopotamus print.