Saturday, July 11, 2020

The Freakin' Weekend (1974)

Current World Football League standings as of Thursday, July 11, 1974:

Eastern Division
Florida Blazers 1-0
Philadelphia Bell 1-0
New York Stars 0-0
Jacksonville Sharks 0-0

Central Division
Birmingham Americans 1-0
Chicago Fire 1-0
Memphis Southmen 1-0
Detroit Wheels 0-1

Western Division
Houston Texans 0-1
Portland Storm 0-1
Southern California Sun 0-1
The Hawaiians 0-1

The league kicked off last night with 10 games, and tonight we have the first nationally televised contest, the New York Stars at the Jacksonville Sharks, syndicated by TVS (check your local listings).

I actually hate the WFL. It's going to have a big hand in killing the Dolphins. But by this point in the summer, 1974 me is willing to watch whatever football you're willing to give me. We'll see how much interest I have left in the WFL in a couple of weeks.

MLB74 is going on ...

The big sports news of late, though, has been Wimbledon. Lovers Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert won the men's and women's singles titles, and they are on the covers of both the current SPORT and Sports Illustrated magazines. SI has the couple posing with their trophies. Monthly SPORT, of course, had to go to press before the tournament was played, so its cover shot of Connors and Evert leaping the net together is especially impressive. Newsweek also had tennis on a cover earlier this month, but it guessed wrong and went with Sweden's Björn Borg.

I like playing tennis. 2020 me, in fact, played just this past Thursday, July 9 (and won my best-of-three-sets match at the Madisonville Community College Garnett "Penny" Pennington courts, 6-2 and 6-3). I just have never much been able to get into it as a spectator sport, however. I didn't even read the SI coverage and was actually more interested in some of the ads.

I might have to add some of those books to my Christmas list.


  1. I underrate Lee Trevino. Dan Jenkins did not. Here he is in the Aug. 19, 1974, Sports Illustrated on the PGA Championship:

    Lee Trevino came back again, wisecracking every step of the way, and doing that thing he has done so often in the past—dragging Jack Nicklaus along behind him. This is how Trevino won the PGA, the last of this year's major titles, by throwing his game up against that of Nicklaus and writing the same old ending.

    It was a strange tournament in a strange place, and what it finally came down to on Sunday was a Trevino-Nicklaus confrontation of the kind that has taken place so frequently. Not always head to head, but at least emotionally. In the two U.S. Opens and the two British Opens that Trevino had won, it was Nicklaus, essentially, that Lee had to beat. And on the outskirts of Winston-Salem in this PGA, on a golf course that only Trevino expressed any devout love for, they were in the same threesome for the final 18, separated by a fragile stroke, and all Nicklaus did was inspire Trevino to play near-perfect golf.

    When they reached the last nine holes, which is where most big championships are decided, Trevino did that gutty, hustler's thing he is so well equipped to do. He outdrove Nicklaus when he had to, stuck his irons inside of Jack's when he had to, and he liked to say, as always, that it wasn't because he was playing Nicklaus "personally" but because Jack stimulates him. Everybody who believes that can crawl inside a Titleist. ...

    This PGA, incidentally, was Trevino's fifth major championship in the eight years he has been on the tour. And as far as statistics went, there was one to be added to Nicklaus' imposing total. Everyone knows about the 14 major titles he has now collected, but few realize that Jack has also been second more times than any human. This was the 12th time Nicklaus finished as a runner-up in one of the Big Four, four of them behind Trevino. Thus, Nicklaus has been either first or second in no less than 26 major championships.