It has been more than a year since Patriot Wide Receiver Darryl Stingley suffered a paralyzing injury during an exhibition game between New England and Oakland. For most of the time since then, Stingley has been undergoing rehabilitative therapy at a Chicago clinic and has shied away from the attentions of the public. That is, until last week.
Arrangements were made by Patriot owner Billy Sullivan to bring Stingley to New England's opener Monday night against Pittsburgh at Foxboro, Mass. Before the game Sullivan announced that he had named Stingley executive director of player personnel, and that the job was his for as long as he wanted it. The team would also continue to pay his sizable medical expenses.
Though no formal ceremony was held, Stingley's presence was announced to the crowd—not before the kickoff or at half-time, as is the practice, but after the second quarter had begun. The ovation by the 60,978 fans lasted seven minutes.
At halftime ABC-TV aired an interview with Stingley in which Howard Cosell asked about Jack Tatum, the Oakland Raider who had hit Stingley on the paralyzing play. Stingley said that he had never heard from Tatum. That exchange led to an interview with Tatum later in the week. He was asked if he had anything he wanted to say to Stingley. Lamely, he wished him a "speedy recovery."
Obviously, neither man was eager to discuss the other. Tatum still plays for Oakland, and Stingley is trying valiantly to meet the challenge of reordering his life. What happened the last time they met should not be forgotten, especially by those charged with regulating conditions under which a violent game is played. But it is time for these two men to be granted surcease from repeated public discussion of a tragic occurrence.
MARS BAR BARRED
After No Bombs, the 2-to-1 favorite, won the Sean Memorial Handicap Hurdle last April at England's Worcester Racecourse, the standard postrace urinalysis revealed trace amounts of caffeine and theobromine, two forbidden substances. No Bombs was disqualified and first place was awarded to Albion Prince, who had finished second by eight lengths. The stewards' decision cost trainer Peter Easterby his share of the winner's purse.
Easterby appealed, claiming that the drugs had been administered unknowingly. It seems that on the way to the start the playful gelding had snatched a Mars bar from his stableboy's pocket, and the trace chemicals were from the chocolate. With the help of scientists, Easterby persuaded Jockey Club officials to waive what might have been a heavy fine, but the final result of the race was unchanged.
There was a lesson in all this, said a Jockey Club spokesman, echoing the sentiments of generations of complexion-conscious teen-agers: "Sugar lumps and peppermints are fine...but anything with chocolate is hell."