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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 23, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 12 -THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Monday, December 23, 1974 Stars' remarks add color to the varied events Subtle scenes behind the sport headlines of 1974 By DAVE ANDERSON New York Times Service NEW YORK The headlines melt into history. But behind the headlines are the subtle scenes And in 1974, as in every vear, those are the memories that remain. Again the world heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali was twirling a mahogany cane inlaid with ivory outside his villa overlooking the Congo River in the morning after he dethroned George Foreman with an eighth round knockout. "I didn't dance." AH was saying "That was the trick." "Whose idea was it not to somebody wondered. "Me I don't have no trainers. They just work with me." Henry Aaron tied and surpassed Babe Ruth's total of 714 home runs in an atmosphere of controversy and confusion, and yet he always maintained his cool. Once he was standing with his father and one of his brothers when a newsman asked him his brother's name "Herbert. Jr.." he replied. "And your father's name9" the same man asked, un- thinkingly "Herbert. he said, smiling. Alvin Dark managed the Oakland A's to their third con- secutive World Series victory. Two days after his appointment by Charles 0. Finley he was in Mesa, Ariz., where the A's trained, when the phone rang in his motel room. "Would you take a message and I'll call them he told an aide, "unless it's Charley." After ihe Cleveland Indians selected Frank Robinson to be major league baseball's first black manager, the executive vice president, Ted Bonda, was asked if the decision had been in- fluenced by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn's public urging. "That meant zilch in our Bonda said. "I just thought this was the right thing to do." Julius Erving of the New York Nets emerged as perhaps the most accomplished performer in basketball history. Dr. J. led the American Basketball Association in just about everything, especially in suspended animation. "When you get up he said, simply, "you just float While the Nets were winning the A.B.A. the New York Knicks were being eliminated in the National Basketball Association playoffs. Willis Reed was hobbling and Bave DeBusschere was retiring. After the last game, DeBusschere's wife, Geri, met him outside the locker room. Several cameramen moved in. "Watch she said, grinning, "we're walking off into the sunset'' When the New York Rangers again were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, Steve Vickers had no excuses. "We choked." he said. Johnny Miller won over on the golf tour but Jack Nicklaus didn't win a major tournament. He might have won the Masters but he played poorly on the last few holes. In an un- guarded moment, his annoyance and his ego were on display. "That's not like he snapped. "That's stupid. That's the thing some of those other guys do." At the time Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert won the Wimbledon singles titles, they were engaged. Now the marriage is off. Miss Evert had a thoroughbred race horse named for her. Because of his court behavior, some people thought Connors should have had a donkey named for him. Not that he cares. "The way I he said while winning at Forest Hills, "is the way I want to play." When the World Football League held its first draft, not many people noticed that John Bassett, a Canadian millionaire, chose Larry Csonka. Paul Warfield and Jim Kiick of the Miami Dolphins. But that day Bassett smiled knowingly. "It could be very he said. "I have a figure in mind for them." The eventual figure was 3.3 million. And now Joe Namath, having exercised the option clause in his New York Jets con- tract, has begun his private auction. a few seasons of eclipse, he again emerged as the National Football League's premier passer. He even sounded more like himself. After what may have been his final game at Shea Stadium, he glanced in his locker at a magazine advertisement that showed a slinky blonde in a black velvet dress. "She really looks good." he said. "Especially when you win." he was told. "She looked good before the game." The headlines melt into history. But the memories remain of the subtle scenes. ONE OF TEAM CANADA'S HAPPIER MOMENTS Team Canada was thrilling, disappointing, surprising By MEL SUFRIN CP Sports Editor Question' What was the big- gest disappointment in Cana- dian sport in 1974? Answer Team Canada. The biggest thrill7 Team Canada's eight-game hockey series against the Russians. The biggest surprise? Team Canada's performance. These are the views of sports writers and broad- casters questioned in a na- tional year-end poll by The Canadian Press. But if Team Canada fills the bill in each case, the reasons aren't all the same Most voters based their dis- appointment on the fact that the Canadians, made up of World Hockey Association stars, lost the series, winning only one game, tying three and losing four. But one singled out the fourth game in Vancouver when Canada frittered away a three-goal third-period lead and had to settle for a 5-5 tie. That game featured Canada's best period of the series, a five-goal outburst in which Bobby Hull scored three and Gordie Howe and Frank Ma- hovhch one each. Others zeroed in on the fact that the Canadians left home with the series tied at one win each and two ties and then managed only one tie in four games in Moscow. And some said they were most disappointed with the conduct of the Canadians, no- tably defenceman Rick Ley's attack on Valery Kharlamov after the end of the sixth game, won 5-2 by the U.S.S.R. Kharlamov, who scored one goal and assisted on another, needled Ley as the game was finishing The New England Our is simple but sincere Maq qou enjoq a Merrq Christmas. AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR! TRIMBLES TIRE SUPPLY LTD. 314 11th SI. S. Lethbridge and Blairmore Whalers player, frustrated by the officiating and the Soviet dominance, let his temper get the best of him. Boris Kulagin, Russian coach, said that under Soviet law Ley should have gone to jail because the incident hap- pened after the game was over But Kulagin was dis- appointed, too. If Team Canada was such a disappointment, how could it also be the biggest Well, there is something about international hockey, especially when Canadian and Soviet national teams meet, that stirs the blood of Cana- dians. And sports writers are no exception How about the biggest sur- prise'' The voters, in common with many fans, differ here Some were surprised because Canada won even one game. Others were surprised be- cause the Canadians didn't win more. Only when asked to suggest the oddity of the year did the voters forget about Team Canada. Here they agreed it was Health Minister Marc La- londe's intervention in the World Football League's ef- forts to place a franchise in Toronto The feeling is that it was pretty odd that the govern- ment, in an effort to protect the Canadian Football League from competition, would get involved in the affairs of a league that seemed doomed from the start. In any event, Lalonde had his way and the Toronto Northmen became the Mem- phis Southmen as John F. Bassett bowed to the govern- ment's will and left Canada, never to return even though legislation to keep the WFL out died when an election was called The exodus from Canada was also rated by some vot- ers as the disappointment of the year, along with Montreal Canadiens' early departure from the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring and Edmonton Es- kimos' loss to Montreal Alouetles in the Grey Cup Philadelphia Flyers' Stanley Cup victory over Boston Bruins was rated se- cond biggest surprise followed by the fast start of Vancouver Canucks in the current National Hockey League cam- paign The No. 2 thrill was Gordie Howe's remarkable play, at 46, in the Canada-Soviet series, followed by 15-year-old Cinty Nicholas' swim of Lake Ontario Howe playing hockey with his two sons was rated an od- dity, as was Jacques Plante's return to active hockey as goalie with Edmonton Oilers at the age of 45. And Toronto Argonauts, who finished last in the East- ern Football Conference, found themselves in the odd- ity column on several without a head coach after firing Johnny Rauch in mid-season, signing a new coach, Russ Jackson, four months before he was to start work, and not being pick- ed to finish first in the East. U of Lloses HAVRE, Montana (Special) The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns took it on the chin for the second straight time as they dropped a 93-67 decision to the Northern Montana College Lights in an exhibition basket- ball contest Saturday night. The Lights had thumped the locals 93-73 in a game Friday Tony foleman fired in 18 points in the first half for the American team, and finished tied with the Pronghorns' Phil Letham for game scoring honors with 22. After building up a 53-42 halftime lead. Northern Mon- tana pulled away steadily in the final 20 minutes for the win. Fred Paulsen had 16 points for the winners, while Richard Foggo had 15 and Gary Paynton 10 for Lethbridge. Flying Phil gets 500th career goal By The CANADIAN PRESS In a few years, Phil Esposito may not even remember his 500th career goal. Sunday, Esposito scored two goals in a 5-4 Boston Bruins' victory over Detroit Red Wings and became only the sixth player in National Hockey League the only one still active in the reach that plateau. "I don't know whether I'll particularly remember this one or said the Esposito, 32, in his 12th NHL season and still going strong "I remember the first goal all right. "It was in my second game in the league with Chicago in the 1963-64 season. I scored against Terry Sawchuk I also remember getting a shorthanded goal against New York Rangers in 1971 because it broke the record for shorthanded goals by a team in a season. ''The same year I remember getting my 59th goal in Los Angeles because that broke Bobby's (Hull) record." Esposito went on to score 76 goals in 78 games in the 1970- 71 campaign and still holds that record. Despite Esposito's milestone, a relative unknown named Don Luce scored three goals to lead Buffalo in a 4-0 win over Washington Capitals that kept the Sabres five points in front of Boston in the Adams Division Two other NHL games Sun- day ended in shutouts. Phila- delphia Flyers blanked Pitts- burgh Penguins 4-0 and Chicago Black Hawks whipped Toronto Maple Leals 3-0 In the other games, Atlanta Flames nipped New York Rangers 4-3, New York Islanders downed Kansas City Scouts 5-2 and Vancouver Canucks beat California Seals 6-4. Saturday, the Leafs upset Boston 8-4, Montreal Canadiens tied 2-2 with Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars beat Pittsburgh 8- 7, Philadelphia and Detroit tied 2-2, St. Louis defeated Kansas City 6-4 and Chicago tied 3-3 with the Islanders. Gordie Howe is the NHL's all-time leading scorer with 786 goals in 25 seasons with Detroit Hull had 604, followed by Maurice Richard with 544, FVank Mahovlich with 533 and Jean Beliveau with 507. Esposito thinks he can over- take Beliveau, Mahovlich and perhaps Richard this year. And. il all goes well, he could catch Hull and Howe before his career is over. Bernie Parent got his sixth shutout of the season in the Flyers' victory Philadelphia got second-period goals irom Rick MacLeish, Reggie Leach and Ross Lonsberry. Luce scored his three goals in the second period, and Gary Bromly recorded his third shutout this year for Buffalo Two of Luce's goals came 19 seconds apart while the Sabres were skating shorthanded. Tony Esposito notched his tilth shutout of the season 51st of his Star. Mikita and Clitl Koroll scored power play goals for the Black Hawks Curt Bennett scored on a power play to push Atlanta past the Rangers after the Flames had lost a 2-0 lead on goals by Brian Hextall in the first period and Tim Ecclestone in the second. Two-goal games have- been something of a rarity for Rick Cunningham of Toronto Toros But the 23-year-old Toronto native turned in a two-goal ef- fort Sunday night to lead his club to a 5-2 win over Chicago Cougars in one of six World Hockey Association games The Toros win boosted their point total to 39 and they lead the Canadian Division by three points over second-place Quebec Nordiques. The Nordiques dropped a 3-2 decision to Michigan Stags, Phoenix Roadrunners edged Winnipeg Jets 4-2, Edmonton Oilers topped San Diego Mari- ners 6-3, Indianapolis Racers edged New England Whalers 2-1 and Houston Aeros blanked Cleveland Crusaders 3-0 in other Sunday action. 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