WHERE THERE'S SMOKE
A couple of days before last weekend's big horse race, a sports announcer on WCBS in New York did something he probably should not have. He informed his listeners that Saturday's feature at Belmont did have a name, but that he wasn't allowed to speak it into his microphone. So, because cigarette advertising is banned from the air, the Marlboro Cup, an authentic sporting event, remained simply The Cup on CBS air. The Virginia Slims series of tennis tournaments has had the same sort of identification, or non-identification, problem.
The small cold logic involved is de-pressingly clear; perhaps it should be carried forthwith to its logical end. To avoid any possible ambiguities, let there be no more on-air mention of the late Sir bleep Churchill or to his speeches in the British bleep; no chatter in this bicentennial season about early colonists like Sir Walter bleep; no references to the bleep witch trials. And in the future, no coverage of the America's Cup off bleep, R.I. That, however, might just be the straw that breaks the bleep's back. Meanwhile, WCBS, keep your bleep.
All that bleep notwithstanding, there is a way to beat the system, if your name is Zenya Yoshida and you are one of the four owners of Wajima, the colt that won the Marlboro Cup by a nose from favored Forego (page 16). The TV cameras were focusing in on Yoshida and the other owners of Wajima at the victory ceremonies when the Japanese industrialist, grinning ever so slightly, took a pack of Marlboros from his pocket and held it up in front of him. The camera gulped, blushed and hastily looked away. It peeked again—after all, TV could not ignore the ceremonies—but each time it did the smiling Yoshida held up the villainous cigarettes and the camera had to run and hide again.
The TV camera should have stayed with him. It was only a Lark.
Some people don't know when to quit. John Blakeman came to the University of Missouri five years ago as a promising young football player, but mononucleosis and a broken wrist kept him out of all but two games his freshman season. The next year he was redshirted. The year after that he sat on the bench most of the time, seeing only a few minutes of playing time in two games. Last year he injured his knee in the first preseason scrimmage, underwent surgery and was out for the entire season.
"I thought of quitting several times, I can't remember how many," Blakeman says. "I was ready to pack up and go home. But my parents told me to stick it out."
In spring practice this year Blakeman, who in his unhappy career at Missouri had been used as a running back, a slot-back and a tight end, asked for a chance to try out at fullback. He began about as far down in the depth chart as you can get, but when the spring was over he was the No. 1 fullback. And, as you may recall, a couple of Mondays ago on national TV he was a prime mover in Missouri's 20-7 upset of Alabama, carrying the ball 16 times for 78 yards (an average of almost five yards a try) and bulling over from the nine for his team's second touchdown.