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August 21, 1974 - Image 12

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-08-21

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gage Twelve


Wednesday, August 21, 1974

'age Twelve THE MICHIGAN DAILY Wednesday, August 21, 1974

Bad fans make bad

FOR MANY years, Philadelphia held a
well-deserved reputation as the slums
of major league sports. With a few rare
breakthroughs, the Philly fans suffered
through a long series of inept teams
which made their city a national joke.
Detroit, on the other hand, has al-
ways been regarded as a sports-lover's
paradise. Every major sport has had
a representative here for a long time
and all but the Pistons can point to
past championships and eras of con-
sistent success.
The sad case of the Tigers may settle
the score for good. Right now, the Ben-
gals are in a decisive transition, which
could easily go wrong. We'll know soon
-if the Tigers aren't any good by 1976,
they'll probably be inept until 1996. The
odds lean toward the latter possibility.
It's fun, but not enough, to blame the
managements of the various teams for
what's gone wrong. Ned Harkness of the
Wings was as inept as they come. Russ
Thomas of the Lions is a confirmed
mediocrity. Charlie Wolf did things to
the Pistons that Charles Manson could
never have imagined. The Tigers' Jim
Campbell let his scouting and farm sys-

tems slip. The Detroit Wheels are al-
ready mocked in distant places.
All of this overlooks one fundamental
point-cities get the level of profes-
sional sports they deserve. The ulti-
mate source of inept teams is inept
spectators - the ones who refuse to
support good teams when they appear
and flock to the standard of franchises
which feed them a steady diet of long
promises and short performances.
If people bought pro football tickets
rationally, there's no way the Lions
would sell out-let alone think about
building an 80,000-seat stadium to share
the misery with more suckers than ever.
If people bought hockey tickets ra-
tionally, the Red Wings would cavort
before a stadium packed with Budd
Lynch and a small swarm of bats.'
If people bought baseball tickets ra-
tionally, the Tigers wouldn't get close
to the 1,000,000-mark this year in spec-
All these dreary things are happening.
The Lions can sneer at the fans and the
Players' Association all the way to the
bank. The Wings will sell their annual
10,000-plus season tickets, and the Tigers

will continue to titillate their hordes of
Little Leaguers and beery-breathed refu-
gees from the Mack Avenue Stamping
The Pistons, on the other hand, spent
years facing healthful empty seats in
Cobo Arena - exactly what a losing
basketball team deserves. Eventually
they installed an accountant-of all
people!! - in the General Manager's
seat, and waited for things to improve.
It took a while. Ed Coil entered the
business knowing nothing, and he made
his share of early blunders. But he also
knew the discipline of the balance sheet.
He made damned sure to learn the
things he had to, got a capable profes-
sional (Ray Scott) to run the team, and
turned the franchise around.
One would hope that the public could
learn from that experience. Dying fretn-
chises are easy to spot in advance.
The Red Wings strung along for too
many years with a team made up of
Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio, and
whoever else showed up. A recital of
the Lions' accumulated blunders would
fill a volume of the Encyclopedia Brit-
tanica. And the Tigers' farm system

troubles began to show in about 1969,
when the trickle of good rookies dried
up almost completely.
Meanwhile, the unperceptive fans con-
tinued to support their favorites blindly,
loyally, against all logic.
It's not that they haven't had ade-
quate warning. There were enough sports
journalists in town who refused to be
cheerleaders for dying causes, and print-
ed the situation in clear language long
before trouble developed. But the fans-
that same great group of people who
elected two crooks in the 1972 landslide
-either ignored what the experts were
saying, or chose to read their own mean-
ings into what was being said.
The situation remains ambigtos.
The fans are intelligently avoiding the
Wheels, but aren't giving enough sup-
port to the Loves, who are reasonably
good. The Tigers could recover. There
is still hope.
But if experience is any indicator, it's
downhill from here. Detroit is about to
replace Philadelphia as the cesspool of
professionnal sports.
Sure, the fans will scream. Let them.
They've asked for it.

Bosox top Chisox,
widen lead in East

By The Associated Press
BOSTON - D w i g h t Evans
ignited Boston with a three-run
double in the third inning and
second baseman D o u g Griffin
turned in a succession of out-
standing plays last night in lead-
ing the Red Sox to an 8-3 vic-
tory over the Chicago White
The Red Sox, authorized to
begin printing playoff and World
Series tickets a few hours ear-
lier, moved 14 games over .500
while extending their lead in
the American League's East
Evans just missed a grand
slam homer on a long foul be-
fore he lined his bases-loaded
shot off Chicago starter Stan
Bahnsen, 11-14, in the third.
Griffin turned in four sparkling
defensive plays in helping Bos-
ton starter Dick Drago pick up
the victory.
Tribe trampled
CLEVELAND-Home runs by
Tony Solaita and Fran Healy
and the five-hit pitching of Al
Fitzmorris and Lindy McDaniel
led the Kansas City Royals to
a 2-0 victory over the Cleveland
Indians and Gaylord Perry yes-
Both drives over the center
field fence came in the fifth
inning and Perry lost for the

seventh time in his past eight
decisions and dropped to 16-8
for the season.
The homers were Solaita's
fifth and Healy's eighth.
Fitzmorris, 9-3, the winner,
went five innings but the right-
hander had to leave because of
injuries sustained in the fifth.
Lopes explodes
CHICAGO - Davey Lopes
blasted three home runs, a
double and a single and Willie
Crawford also homered yester-
day to power the Los Angeles
Dodgers to an 18-8 rout of the
Chicago Cubs.
The Dodgers rattled off 24
hits as Don Sutton, 11-9, picked
up only his fourth career tri-
umph over the Cubs against 15
Lopes, a .261 hitter with only
three previous homers this sea-
son, connected in the first two
innings, doubled in the third,
singled in the fourth and hom-
ered again in the sixth.
Loves end
IWTT season
From wire Service Reports
PITTSBURGH - The Detroit
Loves made their final appear-
ance of the World Team Tennis
season last night, and went out
on a dismal note, losing 32-17
to the Pittsburgh Triangles in
the opening round of the World
Team tennis playoffs.
That score, coupled with the
Triangles' 31-10 punishing of
the Loves Monday night, gave
Pittsburgh a 63-27 two-match
total-point victory over Detroit,
and sends the Tris into the WTT
semifinals against the Philadel-
phia Freedoms.
The Freedoms clinched their
berth in the semis yesterday af-
ternoon by defeating Cleveland
23-22, to wrap up their total-
point series 49-44.
For the socond straight eve-
ning the Triangles swept all
five sets in the one-sided af-
fair, which saw the Loves for
the second straight night play-
ing without their top male
player, Phil Dent, out with an
injured back.
Evonne Goolagong defeated
the Loves' top player Rosie
Casals in the first set, 6-2, and
from there the rout was on.

DAVEY LOPES of the Dodgers rounds third after homering during his smashing day

NCA A tourney to take
second league team

ST. LOUIS 01P-The National
Collegiate Athletic Association
basketball tournament was of-
ficially opened to more than
one team from each conference
yesterday by the NCAA Execu-
tive Committee.
At the same time, the execu-
tive Committee also approved a
recommendationato increase en-
forcement of NCAA recruiting
tion came at a news conference
following the executive com-
mittee's annual meeting in St.
The N C A A policy-making
group ruled that a second team
from any conference will now
be eligible for one of the 12 "at
large" spots in the 32-team
tournament. The team will not
have to be the second-place

team in the conference, but no
-more than two teams from any
conference will be eligible.
selected from the same confer-
ence would be placed in differ-
ent brackets so they could not
meet until the final game of the
Teams will automatically qual-
ify for the tournament upon
winning their conference titles
and four others will be chosen
on the basis of four geographical
tournaments held by the East
Coast Athletic Conference,
In another basketball ruling,
the executive committee said
coaches would now open their
locker rooms to newsmen 10
minutes after the end of a
game. Previously, there was no
rule requiring coaches to allow
newsmen to talk to their play-

Major League Standings
East East
W L Pet. GB W L Pet. Ga
Boston 68 54 457 - St. Louis 65 59 .524 -
Baltimore 62 59 .512 5, Philadelphia 62 61 .504 2 z
Cleveland 60 58 .50 6 Pittsburgh 62 61 .504 2%
New York 65 61 .500 7 Montreal 57 632.4756
Milwaukee 59 63 .484 9 New York 52 67 .457 10
Detroit 57 65 .471 11 chicago 50 70 .416 13
west west
Oakland 70 53 .569 - Los Angeles 77 47 .27 -
Kansas city 64 56 .533 4 cincinnati 75 49 .705 IF
Texas 67 62 .100 8% Atlanta 66 156.541 10%
chicago 60 63 .460 10 Houston 63 59 .516 13
Minnesota 60 64 .484 lO', San Francisco 65 68.452 21%
california 49 74 .398 21 san Diego 49 7s .395 28%
KassCt ,Results ad0Yesterday's OResults
Kansas city I, cleveland Los Angelesas hicago s
Bsaltmore , Texas 1 Atlanta 8, St. Louis 6
noston , chicago t1San Francisco 8, Pittsburgh 7. l0 in.
New York 2, Minnesota a kcincinnati 6, Philadelphia 1
Miau at Oalan . i nc. San Diego 3, Montreal 0
Detrit a (tatforia, nc.Houston 0, New York 2
Today's Games Today's Games
Minnesota (nutler 4-5) at New Los Angeles (Messersmith 13-5) at
York (Medich 14-11). chicago (Bonham 10-15).
chicago (Johnson 4-2) at Boston St. Louis (Gibson.7-10) at Atlanta
(Moret 7-5)" (Capes 10-6), night.
Kansas city (Dal canton 7-6) at San Francisco (D'Acquislo 9-11) at
cleveland (Bosmnan 5-2), night. Pittsburgh (Ellis 9-$), night.
Texas (Bibby 16-14) at Baltimore New York (Koosman 11-4) at
(Grimsley 14-10), night. Houston (Griffin 12-5), night.
Milwaukee (wright $-1 or Robel Philadelphia (Lonborg 13-11) at
5-9) at Oakland (Odom 1-3), night. cincinnati (T. Carroll 4-0), night.
Detroit (LaGrow 7-13) at califor- San Diego (spilnner 5-8) at Mon-
nia (Hassler 2-), night. treal (Renko 9-11), night.

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