New York politicians have been whiling away the dog days of summer nattering about what a fine thing it would be if the 1984 Summer Olympics were held in New York City. They have raved about the psychological boon the Games would be to the people and the financial boon they would be to the economy and the obvious boon they would be to the construction industry. Not once have they mentioned any benefit that would accrue to the Games from being played in New York. It may be going too far to say that a politician would not know a balance beam from a basketball, but it is safe to say the appreciation of New York's politicians for the Olympic tradition is primitive at best.
Finally, however, one of them has raised his voice, if not in behalf of brotherhood and pure sport, at least on the side of reason. Congressman Herman Badillo, one of six candidates in the Democratic Party's primary for Mayor Abe Beame's job, called a press conference last week and told the five reporters who showed up that to bring the Olympics to New York would be a "joke," that "this is not the time for bread and circuses in our deeply troubled city" and that "it's hard enough to get money [from Congress] without squandering it."
Not many cities, least of all New York, are in easy enough circumstances these days to contemplate a fling of Olympic dimensions. If any of Badillo's colleagues need reminding of what is entailed in playing host to the Games and how many things can go wrong and what can happen to unrealistic financial forecasts, they need only address a query to Jean Drapeau, l'H�tel de Ville, Montreal. Better include a self-addressed, stamped envelope, however. Montreal may not be able to afford the postage.
If a pro football bettor were shipwrecked on a desert island with no information available to him beyond this season's NFL schedule and last season's won-lost records, and if, in spite of this handicap, he were planning to get his bets off to his bookie—by bottle, presumably—he could do worse than to jump on the New England Patriots as the year's surest thing.
Based on the 1976 record of their opposition, the 1977 Patriots will play the NFL's easiest schedule. The won-lost record of the Pats' opponents is 52-88, a .371 percentage. That is 200 percentage points lower than the winning percentage of the teams facing Kansas City (88-66, .571), which has the toughest schedule. Only three times all season will the Patriots have to play a team that had a winning record last year.
By the same reasoning, division titles would go to the Pats (of course), Cincinnati and Oakland in the American Conference, and to Washington, Chicago and, get this, New Orleans, in the National.
The system isn't foolproof, but desert islanders can't be choosy.
WINNER LOSE ALL