SLAP SHOT ON THE WRIST
Hockey people put down the movie Slap Shot-not so much for its artistic shortcomings (SI, March 7) as for what they feel is its unfair emphasis on violence. Such sanctioned or at least semi-approved rage, they say, does not exist in real life—that is, on real ice.
Maybe not. But last week John Ferguson, coach of the New York Rangers and therefore a leader of men, became enraged at the officials. He used "abusive" language, made obscene gestures and hurled a plastic water bottle 80 feet across the ice that hit Linesman Swede Knox. He was eventually tossed out of the game and later fined $500 by League President Clarence Campbell, who said he was "completely satisfied that Referee Bob Myers was justified in ejecting Ferguson from the game."
That sounds as though Myers, not Ferguson, was on trial. And a $500 fine for, among other things, hitting an official with a thrown object? Ted Williams was once fined $5,000 for spitting in the general direction of the crowd. And that was before inflation. Maybe we'd better take another look at Slap Shot.
MAN IN A HURRY
At the Marion State Correctional Institution in Ohio, where Don King was staging the quarterfinals of his U.S. Boxing Championships, a resident spectator demanding action shouted: "Come on, I've only got 20 years!"
Because America the Beautiful was played before the Super Bowl instead of The Star-Spangled Banner, Raymond A. Dypski, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, has introduced a bill to that body which would urge the television networks to play only the national anthem before sports broadcasts. "I think we ought to continue the tradition of playing our national anthem," Dypski argued. "Playing other songs will confuse patriotic people. We've been teaching them for almost 200 years that it's The Star-Spangled Banner."
Dypski's facts are a bit off. Francis Scott Key wrote his poem in 1814 during the British bombardment of Baltimore's Fort McHenry, but the words were not put to music until some years later and it was not until 1931 that Congress made the song the national anthem (SI, Jan. 3).
"I didn't know that," Dypski said, and conceded that his greatest concern was that the shift away from The Star-Spangled Banner could affect tourism at Fort McHenry, which just happens to be in his district.
OH SAY CAN KATE SING?