"Look, if you knew how many times Puerto Rico has been brought up in public since the Pan Am Games, you wouldn't believe it," he told McCallum. "I've been the roaster and the roasted and a banquet speaker hundreds of times since then, and Puerto Rico always comes up. Everyone from President Ford to my wife has gotten on me about Puerto Rico. I'm at a golf tournament and Chi Chi Rodriguez comes up and starts kidding me about it. At dinners everyone mentions Puerto Rico to me. I've heard it 300, 500, a thousand different ways."
Last week Knight apologized for the joke and added, "I have no problem with Puerto Rico in general, only with those certain people," apparently meaning the authorities with whom he had his legal problems in San Juan. Knight also pointed out that after the Pan Am Games he wrote Barcelo an apology for his behavior in San Juan, but he said that the governor never replied, a fact that Barcelo confirmed.
The joke Knight chose to tell in Gary and elsewhere came as yet another reminder that the Hoosier coach, who insists on total discipline on the part of his players, is himself disconcertingly undisciplined. It can be argued that so tempestuous a figure should never have been selected as Olympic coach; ideally, that man should be something of a diplomat. Yet with last week's apology, Knight was acting, at least for the moment, very much the diplomat. It should also be noted that although his remarks in Gary were tasteless and insensitive, Knight evidently intended them to be taken in good fun. Of course, there are only so many times that Knight can be given the benefit of the doubt, and close friends have accordingly urged him to mind his manners between now and next year's Games in L.A. He would do well to heed their counsel, because even if he survives the latest imbroglio, another serious misstep will almost certainly cost him his Olympic job.
SUPER SUNDAY AND MIGHTY MONDAY
People who like to figure out their social calendars well in advance should note that the next presidential inauguration will take place on Jan. 20, 1985, the same day that Super Bowl XIX is scheduled to be played in Palo Alto, Calif. The inauguration date is mandated by the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which provides that presidential terms begin at noon on Jan. 20. As for the Super Bowl, the NFL arrived at a Jan. 20 date by deciding that Sept. 1, 1984 sounded right for opening the season and letting the schedule run its usual course after that. If the NFL follows the example of this year's Super Bowl, also played on the West Coast, the kickoff on Jan. 20 would be at 6 p.m. E.S.T., or just about the time that supporters of the newly sworn-in President, whoever that might be, would be working themselves into the proper frame of mind for the evening's inaugural balls.
How could the Washington crowd possibly tear itself away from the tube to go dancing? How could ABC-TV, which will be telecasting the Super Bowl for the first time and will naturally want to do it right, come up with enough cameramen to cover the big doings in both Palo Alto and Washington? How can the American public keep from going into a dither over two such spectacles on the same day?
Not to worry. The date of a U.S. presidential inauguration has fallen on a Sunday five times in history, and on each occasion the public ceremonies were switched to Monday. The most recent such occasion was in 1957, the beginning of Dwight Eisenhower's second term. Ike honored the constitutional requirement by taking the oath of office in a private ceremony in the White House after church on Sunday. Then he repeated the ceremony publicly on the Capitol steps on Monday, which had been designated a legal holiday by a joint resolution of Congress, after which the inaugural parade and four balls were held. It can be assumed that the public observance of the inauguration will be similarly switched to Monday in 1985.
Just so everything's clear, the sequence of events in '85, therefore, will likely be as follows: 1) the private swearing-in of the President, 2) the Super Bowl and 3) the public inauguration celebration. And don't forget 2a), the obligatory phone call that the newly sworn-in President will naturally want to make to the winning Super Bowl coach.