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That's a rather large pot. Obviously, the men being dealt cards at football's big table don't want people they consider to be kibitzers making up the rules of the game.
HEY, GETCHA COLD WINE
California, which has more people, more vineyards and more big-league baseball and football teams than any other state, has decided to parlay these elements. A state law, effective next year, permits the sale of wine by the glass at professional sporting events in stadiums with a capacity of 40,000 or more. While this means that folks watching the auto races at Ontario Speedway can call for a nice dry Chablis as the cars zoom by, the new law is really aimed at football and baseball crowds. It was the brainchild of Bob Lurie, co-owner of the San Francisco Giants, who plies the press with wine at pre-game meals. The bill was sponsored by San Francisco Assemblyman Willie Brown, locally famous for his classy lifestyle, and was pushed hard by Guild Wineries, one of the biggest of California wine makers. A Guild spokesman says, "We have nothing against beer at ball games. There are simply some people who don't lean toward it. We would like to provide an alternative."
Wine is the big alternative in the Golden State. Americans in backward, non-California parts of the country consume about 2.7 gallons of wine a year per adult. The average Californian knocks off more than 4� gallons. Now he can quaff it at his stadium seat or at concession stands from elegant plastic cups.
About the only severe criticism of the legislation comes from people pained by the really terrific jokes that have arisen—a fan sending his wine back because it doesn't complement the hot dog and sauerkraut; a sommelier leaning unctuously toward a fan and murmuring, "I think you'll find this Cabernet Sauvignon an amusing little—wow, did you see that catch!"
Now that the professional track tour has been canceled, partly because some top athletes can earn richer prizes as amateurs (SCORECARD, Sept. 6), a somewhat sad and plaintive note is being sounded by the erstwhile stars of the professional circuit. They want their amateur standing back.
"We're up against the wall with pro track no longer operating," says John Smith, the world-record holder in the 440. "I have to look out for myself, and I'm doing that by trying to get back into amateur track. We'll do anything the International Amateur Athletic Federation wants, including giving back the money we made as pros."
Burly, outspoken Brian Oldfield, the best shotputter in the world, says, "We'll probably have to get our hands spanked a little for being naughty—that is, financially. We'll have to find a way to pay back the money we made. I'll need a sponsor to pay back my money."