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Although a reaction against artificial turf has occurred in football—the Orange Bowl is replacing its well-worn rug with PAT, the natural grass system developed at Purdue—in hockey the trend may be the other way. A plastic surface called Suntec has been installed in the Albie Booth Memorial Boys' Club in New Haven, Conn. and has received an enthusiastic response from skaters who have tried it. A thin layer of waxlike conditioner lubricates the Suntec for skating (dry, it can be used as a gym floor). Obviously, no refrigeration is needed, which means the "ice" can be used all year round, indoors and outdoors.
Even professionals have been impressed. "At first I thought it was a little slower than ice," says Tom Colley, a forward with the New Haven Nighthawks of the American Hockey League, "but after a while I didn't notice the difference. I like it. I wish we had it when I was growing up in Canada. The little kids always got the worst ice then, all rutted. This doesn't rut."
"Southwestern at Memphis and The University of the South (Sewanee) have one of those rivalries so important to college sports," writes Arthur Kellerman of Southwestern. "After recent defeats by Sewanee in varsity football and basketball, Southwestern's intramural basketball champions decided to take matters into their own hands. A challenge was sent and accepted, and the team took to the road to play the first annual South-western-Sewanee Extramural Basketball Championship. In all, seven players, four girl friends and three varsity football players (as bodyguards) made the trip. Fortified with a free meal and several pregame beers, Southwestern's athlete-students gunned Sewanee's champs off the floor 75-38. Total expense for the trip (gas, food and beer), $25.
"Given time, it is said that history repeats itself. Intercollegiate sports were born from such challenges, and the satisfaction of such competition is still keen. Lest anyone doubt the players' academic credentials, three of Southwestern's starting five are Phi Beta Kappa."
A DRAWBRIDGE TOO FAR
Maybe Canada will get some fun out of the Olympics, after all. Last week listeners to radio station CJAD in Montreal felt their hackles rise as Broadcaster Andy Barrie reported that in casual conversation in London with "Mr. Basil Ormsby-Jones, Keeper of the Queen's Person," he had been told that a small castle was being built on the banks of the St. Lawrence to house Queen Elizabeth and her entourage this summer when she visits Montreal to open the Olympic Games. The castle, complete with moat and drawbridge, would cost $4 million, Barrie said, and the expense would be borne by Canada. He said CJAD had contacted Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau's office for confirmation.
Phones at the station began ringing almost instantly. "About half of those who called were really upset," says Barrie. The other half enjoyed the April Fools' spoof.