The stunning rejection of pro football's player draft in federal court last week was a dramatic vindication of Ed Garvey, executive director of the Players Association. Garvey had come under considerable criticism earlier this month (SCORECARD, Sept. 13) for disagreeing with Players Association President Dick Anderson, who wanted to accept the owners' latest contract offer. At the time, Alan Page of the Minnesota Vikings, a Garvey supporter, said criticism of the executive director was unfair, declaring that all Garvey had done was raise "some questions that couldn't be answered." That is why, Page said, the player representatives decided to table the offer.
If the players had overruled Garvey and accepted the contract, under its terms they would have been obliged to join with the owners in any legal defense of it, including an appeal against the court ruling outlawing the draft. They would be fighting against things they previously had been fighting for.
In view of the succession of legal defeats the owners have suffered, it is obvious that they must recast their thinking. Pro football's structure has to be changed, perhaps radically. But surely a system can be worked out that will recognize what the players have won in court and still protect the huge investment the owners have in the game.
At Forest Hills, where her frenetic husband Ilie had created controversy on the tennis court (page 10), Dominique Nastase told Tony Kornheiser of The New York Times: "I married two men. There is the man I see at home, and that other man I see on the court. I love the two parts—the good and the bad.... He is like a child, I guess. He just cannot keep it inside him. It must come out when he feels it. I think how many times I want to run on court and say, 'Ilie, come on, shut up.' But he cannot stop, and I cannot stop him. I hear him curse, and I think how many times I say to him, 'Ilie, you speak five other languages—French, Romanian, Italian, Spanish and Russian. Why in America you curse in English?' "
RULES WITH TEETH
A tennis fan's reaction: "O.K., Nastase is wrong. Kodes was wrong when he held up play for five minutes to argue a decision. All these prima donnas are wrong when they curse officials and abuse opponents and antagonize the crowd. But what can tennis do? Throw them out? That's too drastic—it hurts them too much, it diminishes their opponents' accomplishments, it cheats the crowd of a match it came to see. Why not put in a simple system of penalties? Spell out the exact extent to which a player can complain. When he goes past that, call a technical: the point goes to the opponent. More serious violation: game to the opponent. Repeated serious violations: set to the opponent. Do that for a couple of tournaments and you'll see those bad actors shape up in a hurry."
Not for nothing does New York Yankee broadcaster Phil Rizzuto enjoy the reputation of a man who can find something cheery to say about practically any bleak situation. The Scooter added world-class luster to his Pollyanna credentials last Friday night after the telecast of a Yankee game was interrupted briefly for a bulletin saying the TWA jet that had been hijacked had just landed in Montreal. "Well," said Rizzuto on regaining the air, "it's better than Cuba."
When two middle-aged men get together the odds are good that before their conversation ends they'll be telling each other how much weight they've taken off, or intend to take off, or wish they could take off. But Luis Tiant, the portly, venerable pitching star of the Boston Red Sox, goes the other way, as befits a man whose throwing style is to turn his back on the batter. Tiant has let his weight climb to more than 200 pounds this summer, and he says his effectiveness has improved proportionately. After a somewhat desultory early half of the season he spun off seven wins in a row and lifted his record to 18-11. "I lost some weight earlier in the year," Tiant says, "and I didn't have the strength I wanted. Now when I win, no one says a thing. When I lose, they all tell me I'm too fat."
The price of renting camels has risen dramatically. You may think this of no moment, but folks in Virginia City, Nev. would hardly agree. It meant they had to cancel the National Camel and Ostrich races this year.