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The Canadians do not have such problems. They pay the salaries of hockey players who have to leave steady jobs. The Russians treat their international athletes with the same monetary respect as a champion worker at the Magnitogorsk works. But the United States—bless its lily-white soul—sends its international amateur teams (e.g., volleyball, basketball) into competition with a hearty "Good luck, chaps," and little else. Our hockey team must play an exhibition tour to raise money for simple expenses. At the try out camp Boston U. Coach Harry Cleverly supplied pucks and sticks himself. The Boston Arena provided two hours of ice time (worth $30 an hour) every day for a month. The turnout, according to Walter Brown of the American Hockey Association, was "the smallest and poorest lot we've had in years." There were several high-schoolers, and there was 60-year-old Barney Zarakov of Medford, Mass. "I won't make it," said hockey nut Zarakov, "but look at all the free ice time I'm getting." We wouldn't like to bet that Barney won't make it.
THREE MEN IN A BOAT
From the top handicappers to the lowliest tout, everybody knew that the 4-year-old brown mare, La Muchi, was a bum horse. But last month, when 28-year-old Jockey Leopoldo Barcena took her over, she began making news at Argentina's Cordoba race track. After a long succession of also-rans and dead-lasts, La Muchi placed twice in a row and made a pile of dinero for bettors who had anticipated her revival.
Last week La Muchi was entered in a 1,400-meter race at Cordoba and, happily for insiders, she went off at 30-to-1 odds. She started in second place, lagged to fifth after the second turn and entered the homestretch all but out of contention. With 300 meters left, La Muchi gave one snort, galloped past four horses, knocked off the leader and won by a length. It was one of the most astounding finishes ever seen in Argentina, until the judges got the idea of looking under La Muchi's saddle.
There they found five dry-cell batteries, a transistorized voltage booster and two thin copper wires. The wires ran down the stirrups. When Barcena pulled a ring hidden under the saddle, 100 volts would crackle into La Muchi's belly through the jockey's spurs. It was a new twist on an old method of improving the breed, but track officials were insulated against it. They disqualified La Muchi. They also arrested Barcena, who confessed all with a certain note of pride.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
? Ohio State Football Coach Woody Hayes, who believes "a boy's single greatest educational experience is the football he plays," has added some thoughts on graceful losing. Said Woody: "People who say 'Aw forget it, boys, you played a good game anyway' I despise. I really hate them. We don't step on that field to be a fine football team—we step on it to win."
? Houston's major league status seekers have put their slogans on the train to see if they'll get off at Cornville. They will. Executive Secretary George Kirksey says, "Our franchise in the National League is a license to go to work. We are aiming for a world championship, starting now." General Manager Gabe Paul adds, "When I came to work I was told the word 'can't' is not in the vocabulary of the Houston Sports Association."
?After Navy's Joe Bellino won most of the postseason football awards, Blackie Sherrod of the Dallas Times Herald commented: "Soon you will read that Bellino has run off with the Frank Merriwell Cup and the Sicilian Athlete of the Year award, and the Vassar seniors will vote him the football player they would most like to get through their guards."