THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Thursday, May 23, 1968
Page Six THE MICHIGAN DAILY Thursday, May 23, 1968
It was a good night-full of little episodes-one of those
nights that don't stick in your mind for any one particular
reason, but for a number of small ones.
We spent that evening in Tiger Stadium, which is hardly
out of the ordinary,'except for Ithe fact that the Tigers were on
the rodd and the contest which occupied the verdant turf far
beneath our lofty press box perch was to match two professional
This visit was my first to the stadium this year as well
as my first opportunity to see professional soccer in person.
The night was cool, but pleasant; we entered the press
elevator which crawled skyward to deposit us in a winding
tunnel which eventually led us to the upper brink of that
hallowed home of the eternally second-place Tigers.
Detroit Cougar publicity man Gordon Preston greeted us
cordially, and we settled into our seats with hot dogs in hand
in anticipation of the game's commencement.
It was at this point that the first of the night's incon-
gruities occurred. The players from each club straggled
onto the field to go through their warmups, then retreated
to the sidelines as the officials and captains met to discuss
Next, came the introductions of the opposing lineups, and
while we struggled through the spelling and pronunciation of
at least a dozen foreign-sounding names, the announcer asked
the modest gathering of fans to rise for the national anthem.
"You know," my colleague said, "it must be pretty
strange to be playing your native game in a strange country
with teammates from over half the world, and then to stand
and listen to that country's national anthem when it might
mean so little to you.
"I wonder what it's like-every person in the stands singing,
or at least thinking through the words, while to you and your
fellows on the field it means nothing. Each one probably is
thinking about something completely different-some even about
their own national songs."
It was an intriguing point. Enterprising owners have spent
a lot of time and money to bring big-league soccer to the United
States, but have had to face the very obvious fact that the players
are not available locally. Foreign stars have been imported at
great expense, with the inevitable result that internationalism
has become the byword.
It's hardly a question of playing all of the foreign songs
at the same time so each player could feel that little pang
of patriotism, yet the situation Is certainly thought-pro-
I thought about it during the first half while the teams
split 'a pair of goals. What, I thought, does an American do
while the anthem is blaring from all the loudspeakers?
The original intention of that portion of sporting ceremony
must have been to remind spectators how fortunate they are to
be free to watch what they want, when the want, and all that.
And that is worth consideration, I am sure.
At any rate, the, musical prelude has been around long
enough tohave become the final sign that the contest is on the
verge of begining, and the average fan these days counts
on it to recall him from the hot dog stand or to lift his nose
from his program to catch the first moments of action.
I dropped the daydream in time to realize that the score
was tied at the half, paused to run for another round of
refreshments, and reviewed the mad scramble on the field
that evolved from what had been intended as the intermis-
Full cartons of new soccer balls had been opened for a
contest in which the spectators were asked to participate.
Dozens of small boys had overrun the handlers of these balls,
however, and the remainder o the half-time period was needed
to clear the field and restore order.
In a surprisingly short time the game was over, with the
visiting team carrying off its first win of the young season.
We left the press box and searched for a phone, necessary
for the completion of my task-reporting the results of the
game to' the paper. I located a phone in the hallway under the
I wasn't halfway through with my call when I looked up
to see a burly individual in a Detroit Lions' uniform staring me
in the face. As is typical of pro football players, he was quite
large, but I indicated that the phone would be tied up for a few
more minutes, and he ambled away amiably in search for an-
The incident seemed a little strange, football season
being so far off and all, so we ventured toward the field to
check it out.
There we found fully three dozen members of the NFL
squad, playing softball and puffing contentedly on cigars as
a handful of Hollywood types scurried around issuing commands
that seemed to fall on deaf ears.
The project under way, it developed, was the filming of
background shots for the forthcoming film of George Plimpton's
popular book, "Paper Lion." The movie-makers had asked all
of the 3000-plus soccer fans to stay as extras. (unpaid), and had
them squeeze into one small section of the stadium.
There, on cue, they cheered wildly at the director's bid-
ding, despite the fact that there was absolutely nothing of
consequence happening on the field.' A Lion with a partic-
ularly large cigar volunteered to serve as cheerleader, and
as he raised his arms the enthusiasm of the crowd rose
He played the crowd like a big radio, manipulating the
volume control as the cameras rolled and the director smiled.
As the spectators cheered, the regular extras arrived-eight
or ten beautiful girls and an equal number of man-about-town
types, neatly attired in turtlenecks (what else?) and all manners
of sporting attire.
We finally departed-it was getting cold and there was
little left to see. But I was still thinking about two amusing
episodes as we wheeled out the Lodge swung onto Edsel Ford.
There was the scene of thirty soccer players wearing
blank expressions as 3000 fans beamed proudly during the
playing of the national anthem; and there was the humor
of that same crowd madly cheering nonexistent touchdowns
while the players played softball along the sidelines.
Maybe they don't have much in common with each other,
but the two still dwell in my mind as one. And oddly enough,
the cheering scene continues to intrigue me the most.
But I'll bet it looks great on film.
Expansion standoff hits majors
GOP vetos demos, 16-1;
Muskies move to Miami
CHICAGO (A') - Major league
baseball tackles a 1969 expansion
dilemma Monday and Tuesday
withlthe National League debat-
ing immediate naming of two new
m e m b e r s and the American
League plotting a 12-club playing
National League club owners
Monday, may try to match the
AL's already-attained expansion
for next year by picking two new-
clubs from among five . bidding
Whatever happens at an ex-
pected lively NL session, the two
leagues have a joint discussion
meeting Tuesday morning before
the American loop resumes work
on a schedule for next season's
12-club rexpansion setup.
Pressure seems to be on each
league, even though the AL got
the expansion Jumplast Novem-
bar by granting franchises to
Seattle and Kansas City. Now.
it's schedule synchronization time
and the AL is left holding its
Since an April 25 decision to
shoot for 1969 expansion, the NL
has been sizing up San Diego,
,Buffalo, Dallas-Fort Worth, Mil-
waukee and Montreal for tis two
But the franchises can be
granted only by unanimous ap-
proval of the present 10 NL own-
ers who reportedly are far from
accord on the proper two expan-
San Diego seems a prime choice,
with Buffalo and Dallas-Fort
Worth most often mentioned for
the other new franchise.
But if the National League, once
pledged to expansion no later
than 1971, can't agree on two
new members for 1969, it will lose
talent ground to the AL in base-
ball's annual minor league and
free agent player drafts.
The American loop, on the
other hand, would be confronted
by a sticky schedule problem, par-
ticularly affecting the World
Series. If the NL stays at 10 clubs,.
the AL may have to delay a pro-
posed two-divisional setup next
The six-team split reportedly
would line up this way:
Western Division - Chicago,
Minnesota, California, Oakland
Seattle and Kansas City,
Baltimore, New York, Boston,
Cleveland and Detroit.
The present 10-club, 162-game
AL schedule probably would re-
vert to 154 games with each cl,ub
playing each other 14 times. But
the AL is said to be studying 11
different schedule possibilities.
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Republicans
rolled up a 16-1 landslide victory
over Democrats in Congress' an-
nual baseball rivalry last night.
The victory was the fifth
straight for the GOP behind
pitcher Rep. Robert H. Michel of
Rep. Paul McCloskey, R-Calif.,
capped a 12-run GOP filibuster
at bat in the second inning with
a two-run inside-the-park homer.
Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., tripled
and scored the only Democratic
Democrats committed eight er-
rors, gave up eight hits, and per-
mitted eight stolen bases in -the
three-inning contest, played as a
prelude to the Senators-White
Sox game at D.C. Stadium.
House Speaker John McCor-
mack, D-Mass., threw out the first
ball. Republicans won the scram-
ble for that, too.'
* * * ,.
NEW YORK-The New York
Jets formally confirmed yesterday
that Sonny Werblin has agreed
to isell his stock to his four part-
ners and resign as club president
The announcement, planned
for the weekend, leaked out Tues-
day night and one partner told
the Associated Press then the deal
had been made.
No sale price was mentioned
but it has been estimated that
the franchise would be worth $15
million in the open market.
1968-69 season, the Miami Herald
said' in yesterday's editions.
The newspaper said official con-
firmation of the transfer from
the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to
south Florida would come late
ABA Commissioner George 14i-
kan said Tuesday he had no no-
tice of such a shift.
NEW YORK - The Kentucky
Derby hearing by the Kentucky
State Racing Commission will
hear blockbuster testimony, ac-
cording to Whitney Tower.
"The commission is in for an
earful at the hearing," says
Tower,' racin~g editor of, Sports
Illustrated. Tower, in this week's
issue, claims there is evidence of
suspicious actions before and after
He says the hearing will delve
into such things as "the charge
that butazolidin tablets were
bashed into powder with a ham-.
mer, rolled into even more gran-
ular form with a bottle and
sprinkled into a bag of oats be-
fore Dancer's Image two days
after the Derby."
* * *
PARIS-About 200 professional
soccer players yesterday occu-
pied the headquarters of the
French Football Federation in
solidarity with the students and
striking workers. The players
hoisted a red flag over the build-
The federation then announced
the suspension of all league
matches scheduled for Sunday,
because of the country's strike-
bound transportation systems.
I MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - The
es Forsyth Minnesota Muskies of the Ameri-
can Basketball Association will
move to Miami Beach for the
UTILITIES executives tangle
over a volleyball net outside
Betsy Barbour Hall, their home
during a four-week stay on
campus. The businessmen, busy
with classes all day and during
the evening, established the
makeshift court so they could
wedge an enthusiastic game into
their schedule. The' men have
travelled from all parts of the
country for the session, and
may be seen hard at play each
evening after dinner.
Major League Standings
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W L Pct. GB
St. Louis 21 16 .568 -
San Francisco 22 17 .561 -
Atlanta 21 18 .538 f
Philadelphia 18 17 .514 2
Cincinnati 19 19 .500 2'.
Chicago 20 20 .500 2'.
Los Angeles 19 21 .476 3'4
Houston 17 21 .447 41
New York 17 21 .447 41,1
Pittsburgh 16 20 .44 4
Pittsburgh 13, Chicago 0
Houston 1, Cincinnati 0
San Francisco 2, Atlanta I
Los Angeles 2, St. Louis 0
Philadelphia 8, New York 0i
Pittsburgh at Chicago
San Francisco at Atlanta
Los Angeles at St. Louis
New York at Philadelphia, night
Only games scheduled
W L Pct.
Detroit 23 14 .622
xCleveland 21 15 .583
LBaltimore 20 17 .541
Minnesota 20 17 .541
xlost on 18 18 .500
xCalifornia 18 19 .486
Chicago 16 19 .457
xpakiand 16 21 .432
NeN Iork 16 22 .421
Washington 16 22 .421
x-Late game not included
i v, terday 's Results
ialtimore 4, New York 3
ashington 2, Chicago 0
Minnesota 4, Detroit 3
Jioston at California, inc.
Cleveland at Oakland, inc.
C leveland at California, night
Chicago at %ashington, night
Only games scheduled
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