Another acronymic protest group is STAB, which is purportedly composed of Sportsfans Totally Against Blimps, but seems more to be a product of the fertile mind of Eddie Andelman, another disturbed Bostonian. Andelman (SI, Sept. 4, 1972), a real estate salesman by trade, is a Don Quixote who is forever tilting at what he considers the idiocies and injustices of big-time sport, and in so doing has incurred the wrath of owners, athletes and the press. He has had a radio talk show, been a TV commentator, written a book, had one written about him and traveled to Australia in an abortive effort to find football talent for the New England Patriots. He has criticized Bobby Orr and been sued by Joe Namath. Andelman's stock in trade is obviously not generating goodwill.
Now he has taken on a famous symbol of goodwill, the Goodyear blimp. Andelman is adamantly against it. "There are actually four of them," he claims, "and they've all got to go. The blimp has become bigger than the game. It even receives fan mail. Would the Super Bowl count if the Goodyear blimp wasn't there, hovering overhead? I understand the pecking order of the college bowl games is determined by where it decides to go. There are blimp bowls and non-blimp bowls. Will the Bicentennial be a failure if the blimp doesn't fly over the Liberty Bell next July 4?"
Andelman is preparing anti-blimp cheers, anti-blimp buttons, anti-blimp button stickers. He wants to rally what he calls Blimp Busters around him in the ominously named STAB. "It is a highly organized, well-heeled and select society," he says darkly.
There is no truth to rumors that Goodrich is funding the organization.
LONG AND SHORT OF IT
While the unbeaten Minnesota Vikings were trouncing the Atlanta Falcons 38-0 a couple of Sundays ago, Fran Tarkenton put on one of his ball-control shows in the third quarter, an 18-play series that moved the Vikings to the Atlanta 46, from which point they punted to the Falcons' 10. Over the press box PA system came the announcement: "Time of possession, 10 minutes and 41 seconds."
Then, on Atlanta's first down, Quarterback Kim McQuilken dropped back to pass, was sacked, fumbled, and Minnesota's Jim Marshall recovered on the five. The announcer couldn't resist another report: "Time of possession, three seconds."
The question put to the President's Commission on Olympic Sports last week by Howard Cosell, one of those invited to appear before it during a two-day hearing in New York, was: Why another commission? Cosell's point was well taken. In past years we have watched groups presided over by Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Theodore Kheel and Bobby Kennedy try to mediate the problems and achieve hardly a modicum of solution. And the legislation that has been proposed and sometimes passed has all too often been watered down to nothing.
Why then one more apparently meaningless invasion of the battlefields on which the AAU and the NCAA muddle about, self-righteously sniping at one another? The AAU and the NCAA each want to rule U.S. amateur sport and each wants the U.S. Olympic Committee to be its own creature. What can another commission do about it?