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The solution? Ultimately, it may have to be as drastic as Iceland's banning of all commercial salmon fishing in 1923, a restriction still in effect. But in the meantime, these measures have been recommended: 1) Reduce by at least one-half the netting limits on the high seas, 2) restrict Newfoundland fishing to match those limits set in the other provinces, and 3) ban commercial fishing in the Miramichi system for at least two full spawning cycles, or about 10 years.
Last year, the Atlantic salmon-producing nations all approved a treaty to set up commissions to study the fish's plight. Last week, Canada became the final country to ratify that treaty, and commissions from all the countries involved hope to meet shortly. That meeting will do much to determine the fate of the fish, says Fenety, because "It'll be the last-chance saloon—all of us with our elbows on the table. And when it's over we'll either drink to a new era, or take the dregs from the bottom of the cup."
DOSE OF THEIR OWN MEDICINE
A couple of doctors last week performed a wild transplant job in the U.S. Football League. It was stitched together like this. Dr. Ted Diethrich, 48, a Phoenix heart surgeon, coughed up his Chicago Blitz franchise to Dr. James F. Hoffman Jr., 45, a Milwaukee heart surgeon. Then, as prescribed, Dr. Diethrich took over the Arizona Wranglers. With the exception of a quarterback and an offensive lineman who were bypassed and will stay in Phoenix, all the Wranglers were grafted on to Dr. Hoffman's operation in Chicago. That took nerve, but it didn't get under anyone's skin. In fact, there was no flap at all.
Without skipping a beat, Dr. Diethrich removed all of the Chicago players but three, Coach George Allen and Allen's son, Bruce, the general manager, and implanted them in Phoenix. As an appendix to the deal, Dr. Diethrich had the infectious notion of bringing the nickname Blitz to Arizona, but this remained embryonic when an inflamed Dr. Hoffman, who wasn't about to be hammered into any knee-jerk response, refused to knuckle under and eventually put his foot down, maybe because he found the name change corny.
Even so, Dr. Diethrich got a leg up on Dr. Hoffman. Each franchise went for a pile of money, about $7 million, even though Dr. Diethrich's Blitz, now Wranglers, had a healthy 12-6 record while Dr. Hoffman's Blitz, formerly the Wranglers, were a flaccid 4-14. Murmured George Allen, who flu into Phoenix for the announcement of the whole feverish transaction, "I've rebuilt four franchises, but I've never gone through this type of thing."
The first was on Friday, Sept. 2. The two teams arrived separately at Orange County Airport and remained segregated on the plane—the Fullerton contingent in the front, Long Beach in the rear. First the plane dropped the Fullerton Titans off in Boise, Idaho, where they beat Boise State the next evening 13-10, and then it proceeded to Manhattan, Kan., where the Long Beach 49ers beat Kansas State 28-20. After the games the plane picked up each team for the trip home. There was no fraternization, which was just as well, because Long Beach and Fullerton were to play each other the following week at Anaheim Stadium.
Ah, yes, the Fullerton-Long Beach game. After being up in the clouds together, the teams came down to earth in a hurry. On the day of the game a newspaper reported that the Fullerton defense had organized a money pool to be won by the player who put the best hit on Long Beach Quarterback Todd Dillon or Running Back Lenny Montgomery. Upon reading the story Fullerton coaches quashed the pool, but the game was a rough one just the same. Underdog Fullerton won 25-19, but not before Titan Offensive Tackle Daren Gilbert and 49er Linebacker David Howard were ejected for fighting. And Dillon, referring to Fullerton's pool, said bitterly, "I hope all bets were paid," after he was knocked out of the game on a clean tackle by Fullerton Middle Guard Joe Aguilar.