SI Vault
Edited by Jerry Kirshenbaum
October 06, 1980
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October 06, 1980


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Weaver: "Don't you think I won't."

At one point during this deathless dialog, Weaver boastfully predicted that in another decade or so, he'd be in the Hall of Fame.

Haller: "For bleeping up the World Series?"

Weaver: "I've won more than I've lost, kid."

For the record, it was the 78th time Weaver had been thrown out of a game in his career.

On March 31, 1931, Notre Dame Football Coach Knute Rockne was killed with seven other people in the crash of an airliner in Kansas. So why is Rockne's smiling face gracing a Piedmont Airlines ad running this season in football programs at more than 40 colleges? Well, it seems that Piedmont, which was founded in 1948, wanted to promote an association between itself and college football and came up with copy reading, "Football has come a long way. So have we...." Further, it seems that nobody at either the airline or its ad agency remembered the circumstances of Rockne's death when it was decided to use his picture. Mitch Lawrence, a sportswriter for the Syracuse Post-Standard, caught the gaffe ("I thought for a second I was reading National Lampoon") and called it to the attention of W.G. McGee, Piedmont's senior vice-president, who was properly embarrassed. Noting that Rockne had been included "because of his personality and not how he left this world," McGee said of the ad: "It was done in good faith and we hope people take it that way."


During his 46 years as Villanova's track coach, Jumbo Elliott has turned out a host of world-class performers, including such notable middle-distance runners as Ron Delany, Eamonn Coghlan, Marty Liquori and Don Paige. Those athletes and others like them have helped Elliott's teams win eight NCAA (one outdoor, three indoor, four cross-country) and three AAU (2 indoor, one cross-country) championships. What makes these numbers all the more impressive is that the Wildcat trackmen train on an antiquated track at Villanova Stadium so slow that not even the most talented of them ever ran a sub-four-minute mile on it.

Now that may change. Last week Villanova dedicated a new eight-lane, Rubaturf track at the stadium that will not only facilitate faster clockings, but will also enable the school to play host to championship meets, something it couldn't very well do before. The dedication ceremonies were held at halftime of Villanova's 20-9 football victory over Boston College, and one old grad, Paul Drayton, seized the occasion to make a gift to the school—" Villanova did everything for me," he said—of the gold medal he won as a member of the U.S. 4 x 100-meter relay team in the 1964 Olympics. Drayton was one of 150 present and former Villanova trackmen (including Delany, Liquori and virtually all of the school's 20-odd other track Olympians) on hand for the festivities, and as the crowd of 13,300 cheered, the 65-year-old Elliott led his boys on a victory lap of what Villanova officials have named, fittingly enough, Jumbo Elliott Track.


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