John B. Connally, the former Secretary of the Treasury, a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980 and a man touted for his fund of knowledge, has been lecturing at colleges across the country. While at the University of Pittsburgh recently, Connally was being escorted around the campus when he suddenly saw Pitt Stadium and exclaimed, "The Pitt Panthers! Joe Paterno!"
As columnist Roy McHugh of the Pittsburgh Press says, "There are gaps, quite obviously, in his knowledge of football."
POLITICIANS AND BOXING
A couple of governors, Milton Shapp of Pennsylvania and Hugh Carey of New York, have some explaining to do.
Shapp will be facing a potentially explosive situation if the state athletic commission, whose members serve at his pleasure, grants a manager's license to Frank (Blinky) Palermo, one of the most vicious hoods ever to have disgraced any sport. Former promoter Jackie Leonard, who was badly beaten in 1959 after he testified against Palermo and his crony, Frankie Carbo, last week recounted in SCORECARD how he still lived in fear of Palermo, despite the passage of years. Now Tom Cushman of the Philadelphia Daily News says he knows several people who have information about Blinky but are scared stiff about even having their names get out. "This reinforces the point as dramatically as anything I can say," says Cushman. " Palermo is simply something that boxing can't tolerate."
Instead of wasting time considering whether or not Palermo should get a license—of course he shouldn't—the commission should be trying to ascertain whether Blinky is indeed the undercover manager of Jimmy Young, the heavyweight contender, as has been the talk for months. But any mention of Jimmy Young's name might make the commission chairman, Howard McCall, twitchy. Last year McCall attended the Young- George Foreman fight in San Juan, Puerto Rico, plane tickets courtesy of promoter Don King. Governor Shapp might want to ask McCall about that.
In New York, Governor Carey, who took a sanctimonious stance when he learned that his commission chairman, James Farley Jr., had also been serving as chairman of King's scandal-ridden U.S. Championship Boxing Tournament, has now appointed a new chairman. He is Jack Prenderville, who has no qualifications whatever for this important position other than that he is a crony of Carey's and once ran his congressional office in Brooklyn. Prenderville says he was a fight fan years ago but that he really knows more about basketball. He coached basketball at St. Francis ( N.Y.) College for two years, and his overall record was 19 and 32.
When a 12-foot-long, 300-pound bottle-nosed dolphin known as "Mr. Spock" swallowed a pointed three-inch bolt that a worker had accidentally dropped in his tank at Marine World/ Africa USA, south of San Francisco last week, it looked like curtains for the dolphin. Veterinarian technician Ron Swallow (no kidding) tried to extricate the bolt from the first of Mr. Spock's three stomachs, but his arm was too short. The dolphin was taken to Peninsula Hospital, where a $5,000 piece of equipment known as a fiber optic scope couldn't get at the bolt either. Attendants ruled out surgery because recovery was doubtful.