Commenting on the high turnover of star running backs in the NFL, Allen said the reason was obvious. "It's the constant beating the running backs take. They get tackled so much more than receivers or quarterbacks. If a wide receiver averages four catches a game, he's having a hell of a season. That means he gets tackled four times a game. A back carries maybe 20 times—and is frequently hit by more than one defender."
HULL LOT OF MONEY
For years Australians have been racing sailboats in Sydney Harbor for money, mostly supplied by companies whose trade names, such as " Toyota" or "Century Batteries," are emblazoned on the hulls and sails of the competing boats. To add to the professional tone, bookies handle bets from spectators on the ferries that chug out to watch the races.
But that's Australia. Such commercialization of the pristine world of yachting, in which you race your boat for the sheer fun of it, could never happen here in the States. Right? Wrong. Two weeks ago America's first formal professional sailboat races took place in the waters around Montauk, N.Y., at the tip of Long Island. Approximately 90 vessels, ranging in size from striking 68-foot trimarans down to 12-foot windsurfers, competed for prize money totaling $6,000. Skippers came with their boats from as far as Florida in pursuit of the cash, which was put up by GD Productions, a New York film company that shot footage of the races for a projected movie.
Headquarters for the competition was the palatial Montauk Yacht Club & Inn, where one member of the old school was heard grumbling, "Is nothing sacred? This is like putting blue trim on white tennis shorts." Sacrilegious or not, the skippers at Montauk were heartily in favor of the idea of racing for money. Al Constantine, owner and helmsman of a $270,000 trimaran called Spirit of America, said, "Sailing is a wealthy man's sport. But cash prizes, corporate sponsorship and, eventually, a pro circuit will make it possible for the average guy to compete."
Eric Eastman, a 31-year-old Long Island high school teacher who conceived and promoted the pro racing idea, called the inaugural meeting a distinct success and said, "Next year I'm inviting multihulls from every maritime nation." Apparently well aware that Maryland is yachting territory whereas Kentucky is not, he added, "My Montauk event will be the Preakness of sailing."
BETTER THAN TEA LEAVES
The pennant playoffs had only just begun when this item was written. Now, as you read it, they should be well along and perhaps even over, which means that the predictions here are wide open to the second guess. Ignoring the probability that this forecasting system has been proved fallible already, we push on bravely to inform you that the Phils should wallop the Reds, the Royals should beat the Yankees, and the Phils should then edge the Royals in the World Series.
This intelligence—even if wrong—is based on cold, hard fact: every winner of the World Series since 1970 has been the team with the most ex-Little Leaguers on its squad. A study of this year's rosters shows that the Phils have 15 ex-LLers, the Reds only eight; the Royals have 14, the Yankees 12. Quod erat demonstrandum: the Phils will win it all.
If it hasn't worked out that way, send your complaints to Little League Headquarters, Williamsport, Pa.