One who was under no illusions about the nature of the South African team's visit was U.S. District Court Judge Howard G. Munson. He issued a ruling early last week that enabled the Springboks, who had already played one game in Racine, Wis. (SI, Sept. 28), to play two more games in New York State. That concluded their stormy tour, one marred by bombings of offices housing U.S. rugby organizations in Schenectady, N.Y. and Evansville, Ind. Without taking a position on whether the Springboks should have been admitted to the U.S., Munson held that once in this country, they had to be allowed to play. He reasoned that the tour was protected under First Amendment free-assembly guarantees precisely because it was a political event.
At a meeting three days after the NHL's best players had been humiliated 8-1 by the Soviet Union in the Canada Cup championship game in Montreal (SI, Sept. 21), the league's single-minded Board of Governors apparently realized that a couple of the NHL's 420 players hadn't yet received anything nice for their trophy cases. To remedy that unforgivable situation, the award-happy governors created a second trophy for goaltenders, one meant to supplement the Vezina Trophy, heretofore conferred on the goalie combination with the lowest goals-against average for the season. The thinking was that with most NHL clubs now using more than one goalie, the Vezina had gone from being recognition of the accomplishments of a specific goalie to recognition of the superiority of the team with the best overall defense. The governors decreed that there will now be both a Vezina, which henceforth will probably be bestowed on the league's most valuable goalie, and a new, yet-to-be-named trophy to be awarded to the team that gives up the fewest goals.
As soon as the new trophy is named, it can take its rightful place alongside the NHL's Art Ross, Hart, Lady Byng, Bill Masterton, Lester Patrick, Calder, James Norris, Jack Adams, Frank J. Selke and Conn Smythe trophies. And, of course, the Vezina. And various Molson trophies bestowed on the outstanding member of six of the NHL's seven Canada-based teams. And spots on the All-Star team. And the three players voted stars of most NHL games.
On the chance that the NHL brass has difficulty coming up with a name for yet another award, we offer the following: Why not continue giving the Vezina to the best defense, and call the new goaltending award, in honor of the Soviet netminder who handcuffed the NHL-stocked Team Canada in the Canada Cup showdown, the Vladislav Tretiak trophy?
Northwestern, which keeps hiring eager new coaches who can't seem to turn the school's ailing football program around, is now 0-3 under rookie Coach Dennis Green, leaving the Wildcats with a 23-game losing streak and only one victory in their last 36 games. Nevertheless, the school recently signed its first-ever, multi-year contract for radio coverage of its games. The call letters of the Chicago station bringing the action to Northwestern's long-suffering fans are WAIT.