Stepping gingerly around the epithet he actually used, let us paraphrase coowner Mickey Taylor's response to the latest of persistent reports that Seattle Slew will never race again: "It's all a bunch of bull."
But, after going on - "How they (Miami News) can get away with printing something like that I don't know. It's a joke" - Taylor sounded anything but convinced that he and his partners won't be retiring the Triple Crown thoroughbred to stud posthaste. A purported $12 million from prospective investors is at stake; Taylor, wife Karen and Mr. and Mrs. Jim Hill may not long be able to keep fending off the inquisitive as Taylor does, with "Racing's our business; breeding isn't."
Seattle Slew is supposed to be "doing better all the time" recovering from an inflection, called mild at the time it suddenly arose as he was prepping to run on Hialeah's opening card Jan. 16.
But Taylor says, at best, Slew is probably "a couple of month away" from racing for the first time since July 3 - and, more to the point: "We haven't made any decision . . . about whether we're going to run. Within the next week or so, we're going to have to make up our mind. The colt himself will tell us."
Whinny? Neigh? Probably, nay. Say hay - er, hey - bring on the mares!
Pat Heenan will hear the cheers again, living evidence that they grew those old Notre Dame and Redskin players tough. Three months ago, you may recall, Heenan's auto ran into a horse on a road near his home in the Upper Marlboro area; the animal crashed through the windshield. Heenan suffered multiple head, facial and other injuries - his life hanging by the proverbail thread, he was in a coma 40 days. Now he's had intensive treatment including plastic surgery, his buddies in the Redskins Alumni Association are planning to wheel Heenan, who played end on the 1960 'Skins, to their table at the Touchdown Club's awards dinner at the Sheraton Park Hotel Saturday. He's still generally an invalid, but Redskin alumni like Andy Davis say they can't keep him away from seeing his old school, Notre Dame, honored as No. 1 in the football land, Irish tight end Ken MacAfee and coach Dan Devine receiving individual honors and all . . .
Heenan, since retiring from football, had been one of the top basketball officials, a regular in the Southern Conference. The SC this week named John Francis Geis of New York to direct its service bureau (statistics, publicity, etc.) and set up HQ in Charlotte. That takes some of the load off J. Dallas Shirley at his Reston base, with conference commissioner Kenneth Germann stressing that old GW man Shirley will continue as director of officials, "a job he does so well, as he has the greatest expertise of anyone in the country in the matter of sports officiating . . ." The veterans committee of baseball's Hall of Fame gathers Monday to consider oldtimers ineligible for regular election. Leading possibilities: Heck Wilson, Addie Joss (newly eligible under waiver of 10-years-in-majors rule in exceptional instances - he died at 31), Larry MacPhail . . . In the nomination hopper for the U.S. Jaycees' annual 10 Outstanding Young Men of America honors is the flankers on the old Redskin farm team, the Virginia Saliors - Harold Bell. Besides sports-casting, he still does all those good works in the inner city . . .
Doin's on the Georgetown campus 6:30 p.m. today, six to be inducted into Hoya Hall of Fame: Robert Noppinger '51 (football); Thomas Quinn '55 (boxing); John Cavadine '38 (baseball); Michael Vespoli '68 (crew); Eamonn O'Reilly '66 (track); Ric Urbina '67 (track). Urbina, who won NCAA and IC4A championships in the 880, currently is on the Howard U. law faculty and director of the Howard Criminal Justice Clinic . . .
Bad News: Joe Gilliam was up for a preliminary hearing on a second armed robbery charge in Nashville yesterday and the victim in the alleged theft by the narcotic-plagued former Steeler QB is a lad, 16, who served as waterboy for Tennessee State when Gilliam was starring there . . . And the daughter of former heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson - that's Trina Patterson, 19 and a high-school dropout - has been charged with prostitution in Springfield, Mass., for the second time in a year. Her mother and father were divorced in 1966, Mrs. Patterson moving to Springfield with her four children (the former champ is remarried) . . .
Junior guard Emmett Lewis, top scorer in the Big Eight last basketball season (19.6 a game, down to 12.8 this term) has quit the Colorado team; angry with his coach Bill Blair, the former VMI leader, who had benched him for last night's Colorado-Oklahoma State game . . . U. of Washington's leading hooper, Kim Stewart, left the rest of his college basket career on the operating table in Seattle; he tore up his left knee in a collision with Marquett's Oliver Lee in the Warriors' win over Huskies in Milwaukee Saturday . . . But in Norfolk, Old Dominion U. coach Paul Wobb has taken his two suspended stars, soph guard Richie Wright and high-scoring Ronnie Valentine, who dropped out of school for a week, back into the fold; both expression regret for things they said and did . . . They must have heard about NCAA Division I scoring leader Freeman Williams taking 115 shots in two games for Portland State (44 for 63 and 23 for 52) and realized what fun they were missing . . .