TV OR NOT TV
Here's another instance of television finagling with a sports schedule and inconveniencing local fans. In Tempe, Ariz. 57,000 ticket holders as well as restaurant and hotel owners have had to change their plans for this weekend because ABC got Arizona State and Arizona to switch their football game from this Saturday night to Friday evening to accommodate TV. The kickoff time also has been moved up to 7 p.m. from 7:30, further annoying more fans who will be hard pressed to get to the stadium on time after work. Moreover, Arizona State's basketball opener has been moved from Friday to Saturday, disrupting the plans of still more locals. For knuckling under to TV, Arizona State, Arizona and the Western Athletic Conference divvy up $357,200.
By contrast, Dave Nelson, the athletic director at the University of Delaware, doesn't go for such shenanigans. ABC asked Delaware to delay last Saturday's football game against Colgate so it could be telecast as the regional follow-up to Ohio State-Michigan, but this was impossible because Delaware Stadium lacks lights. ABC then suggested moving the game to Philadelphia, 40 miles away. Nelson demurred, saying, "That would have been totally unfair to all the people who bought tickets."
After Southern newspapers reported last week that the Reverend S. L. Wheatley, the 67-year-old minister of the Fort McCoy Baptist Church in Ocala, Fla., had sighted a mysterious hairy creature at least VA feet tall, but perhaps eight feet tall, maybe animal, maybe human, lurking in a bunch of palmettos in the Ocala National Forest, the reverend got a letter saying, "In case you see this eight-foot creature again, I would appreciate it if you would have him call me collect." It was signed by Dale D. Brown, the LSU basketball coach.
Golf fans yearning for a nostalgic look at Ben Hogan, Jimmy Demaret, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead and other celebrated oldtimers will get a chance next April, when a 54-hole tournament called Legends of Golf will be played at the Onion Creek Country Club near Austin, Texas. The purse will be $400,000, the richest in the history of golf. The tournament is limited to players age 50 or more, except for one younger golfer who will be invited each year to round out the 16-man field. Arnold Palmer has been invited to fill this role next spring. Says oldtimer Demaret, "That purse represents all of the prize money that we played for over the entire 25 years of our careers."
Doug Weaver, the athletic director at Georgia Tech, is upset about football. Not the college game, but peewee football for kids. "I know of instances of things that happened in the Atlanta area you wouldn't believe," Weaver told Al Dunning of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. "I think it's safe to assume the same things are going on in Memphis and everywhere else little kids are playing.
"I know of cases where they've given kids diuretic pills to make them lose weight so they could get under a certain pound limit. I've seen 8-year-old kids wearing six pounds of equipment running around yelling 'Kill!'
"My own son's coach wouldn't let his team walk across the field and shake the other team's hands after a game. I don't think that's the way the game ought to be taught to little boys.
"I love kids' soccer," Weaver went on. "You want to know why? Because the parents don't know anything about it yet, that's why. They don't know enough to foul it up, but give them time. In five years, kids' soccer won't be any fun."