Now all Young has to do is 1) come up with some numbers that will keep Taylor out of the clutches of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 2) win the Super Bowl, and 3) get ready for next year's draft.
The Indianapolis 500 won't be quite the same this year. The Snake Pit will be gone. The Snake Pit, the area in the infield at the first turn, got its name because of the beer-swilling men and bare-breasted women who paid $10 a head to get into the grounds. Now in its place are permanent bleachers for 3,000 fans, who will pay $25 for a race-day ticket.
John Cooper, president of the Speedway, insists that rowdiness had nothing to do with the elimination of the Snake Pit. "We have a demand for tickets that exceeds anything we've ever had before," he says, "and we don't have that much room to expand our seating, so it seemed that area was the most desirable spot." Cooper says that Snake Pit people now will "disperse to other parts of the track," and he manages to sound almost regretful about it. "Putting in bleachers will alter the charm of this area," he says. But track insiders note that even before the bleachers went up, the space occupied by the Snake Pit had been "subtly" eroded by expansion of an adjacent parking lot in an apparent effort to gradually rid Indy of one of its abiding problems.
ON TO TRIAL
The trial to determine whether the Oakland Raiders will be permitted to move to Los Angeles is scheduled to begin on May 11. It has already been postponed several times amid suspicions that the NFL was stalling in hopes of keeping the Super Bowl champions in Oakland for at least one more season. And since the proceedings in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles could last three months or more, the Raiders may well have to remain in Oakland during 1981, regardless of the trial's outcome.
But the NFL denies any interest in further delay. If the league loses the suit, it could be obliged under federal antitrust law to pay the Raiders and the Los Angeles Coliseum treble damages, which presumably would be greater the longer league officials can be shown to have thwarted the franchise shift. This may be what NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle had in mind when he said last week, "I'm just as anxious as anyone to get this over with." To be sure, Rozelle would be foolish not to welcome a settlement that would avoid the airing of dirty NFL linen in a public trial. But most NFL owners have balked at any deal that would allow the Raiders' boss, Al Davis, to move his club to Los Angeles. For his part, Davis has evinced little interest in letting his beloved Raiders stay put in Oakland and accepting an L.A.-based expansion franchise, one of several compromises that have been bandied about. Nevertheless, none of the parties to the bitter dispute rules out the possibility of an 11th-hour settlement.