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Commercials have been running on Philadelphia's WTAF-TV, the station that will telecast Phillie games, pushing season tickets. Players have appeared on the spots, and one that aired last week featured Pitcher Mike Krukow saying how great it has been for him to play baseball. One of his lines: "I'm living a dream."
So, apparently, is everybody else. A month ago Krukow was traded to San Francisco.
Ralph Sampson looms very large on the campus of the University of Virginia, and the pun, if it is one, is intended. Not only has the 7'4" Sampson led Virginia to the heights (it's hard to avoid these words) on the basketball court, but his presence also permeates the lovely environs of The Grounds in Charlottesville. RALPH bumper stickers are everywhere. Basketball Coach Terry Holland has referred to University Hall, the school's sports arena, as "the house that Ralph built." Sculptor Michiel van der Sommen, who has a studio at the McGuffey Art Center in town, has worked up a preliminary study in clay for a life-size bronze of Sampson. ( Edgar Allan Poe, a Virginia student of considerably earlier vintage, had to settle for a local tavern, called Poe's, as his monument—and Poe's closed down in 1981.)
Sampson's impact on the college community may have come to a head in an on-campus dispute that boiled up in November. One of Virginia's traditions is Easters, a huge party weekend held each April that seems to occupy the thoughts and energy of every student on campus. Dean of Students Robert T. Canevari recommended that Easters be banned from The Grounds, and student leaders reacted negatively. In an effort to forestall the demise of Easters, all sorts of proposals and counterproposals were made. One of the more interesting was a suggestion by three students in a letter to The Cavalier Daily, the college paper, that Sampson go on strike, refusing to play basketball for Virginia unless Easters was retained. That would force the administration to change its tune, the students argued.
The administration refused to change its position in the face of such massive, if hypothetical, retaliation. "Our decision remains," Dean Canevari said. "This whole thing is bigger than any one person." Even if he's 7'4".
MAYBE YOU COULD LOOK IT UP
Speaking of the Cavaliers, Lefty Dreisell, Maryland's colorful basketball coach, sounded a little like Casey Stengel the other day as he discussed the reasons for little Chaminade's startling upset of Virginia, then No. 1 ranked, in Honolulu during the Christmas holidays. The Cavaliers were on their way back from Japan when they stumbled over Chaminade, and Dreisell explained their defeat this way: "Well, you know, they probably went over there to Japan and ate a lot of squid. Then the kids went in those bath houses and let those girls walk on their backs. Then they got to Hawaii and lied out on the beach and got all tan and ate a lot of pineapple."
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