Legalized gambling on the National Football League has arrived in New York State! Operated by no less than the state itself - but, whoa there, plunger, it's only a luck-of-the-draw numbers game.
A foot in the door though, and Don Weiss, NFL executive director, wants it known that:
"Even though it's not direct betting, we don't like it. Our main concern, as with any proposal like this, is the public's perception of our association with it. We made a very strong disclaimer to the lottery people prior to their coming out with it. We flatly disassociate ourselves from it."
John Quinn, state lottery director, blithely goes on nonetheless to say tickets go on sale beginning Aug. 22, $1 apiece, with prize categories of $20, $200 and $10,000 plus extras including excursion to a football game. What game? A "major college" game!
Quinn stresses that it will not matter who wins or loses or even how they play the football game, since point spreads don't matter, either.
Each week of the lottery's 16-week run, they'll sell tickets (before and after game) with five spots to be rubbed off, revealing numbers; match enough of them with the last digits of the points scored that week by the Jets, Giants, Bills and the two teams in the Monday night game of the week, and win.
Shucks, that shouldn't shake any foundations. The New York Stock Exchange daily transactions were where they used to look for the winning dig its in the (illegal) numbers game (we recall from old Capitol Cigar Store in Steubenville, Ohio), and the stock exchange hasn't crumbled yet, has it? . . .
Meanwhile, there is one less black quarterback in the NFL, for the moment: The Cleveland Browns cut Dave Mays. Coach Sam Rutigliano said Mays went "because our vision is for the future (so) we can't realistically use a 29-year-old as a backup" . . . Virginia Union U. in Richmond has hired its first white basketball coach and the first ever, far as is known, in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association: Dave Robbins, 136-48 the past eight years at Thomas Jefferson High in the Virginia capital. "We've been an equal opportunity employer for 113 years," said VUU President Allix James . . .
Frank Robinson learned his managerial lessons well in the majors, it seems from the word his Rochester Red Wings have been fined $250 by International League President Harold Cooper. Robby and his trainer reported pitcher Dave Ford disabled and unable to pitch for the IL All-Stars against the Texas Rangers Monday night. Ford pitched 42/3 innings the next night for Rochester against Toledo. Just like the big-timers . . . It's goodbye Mandel again. This time, Syracuse U. watching Mandel Robinson, the touted ball carrier it issued No. 44 - the magic digits worn by predecessors Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Floyd Little, etc. - transfer to Wyoming after two seasons of mostly warming the Orange bench . . . Duke center Mike Gminski has scratched from the U.S. squad for the Gagarin Memorial Tournament in the Soviet Union Aug. 16-30. Severely sprained ankle and minor ligament damage, the doctor diagnosed after Gminski flew to Durham from Colorado Springs where he was hurt in a practice. He will wear a cast up to four weeks but should be ready for the ACC kings' practice opening Oct. 15 . . .