Things are back to abnormal at RFK Stadium. Enthusiasm among Redskin fans is high again, and Rulen A. Walker of Falls Church provides us with an insight into just how high that can be.
"During a meeting with the Dallas Cowboys," he recalls, "the brawling on the field had just gotten under way when the P.A. system opened up with an announcement that an 8-year-old boy had wandered off and was waiting in the office for his parents to come for him.
"An excited Redskin fan immediately shouted, 'Tell the kid he'll have to wait until half-time.'"
It has been said that football fever stems from the fact that almost everybody in the stands has a bet on the game, but I think there is more to it than that.
Many fans do bet, and some bet heavily. People of modest means bet $100 or more on a game.
Nevertheless, I think the mania for sports goes much deeper than the hope for financial gain. Interest in sports has become a modern phenomenon.
People identify with favorite teams even when they have no financial stake, and the outcome of a game or a series of games becomes of extreme importance to them.
One who is interested in athletic contests but not fanatical about them is left to wonder whether there is something wrong with him -- or with those fans who die a little when their team loses. I am a baseball nut. Lord knows, but I can take either victory or defeat without going off my rocker. I just love the game. POSTSCRIPT
Speaking of sports: It forgot to rain this past weekend, so I went out to Indian Spring Country Club to find out whether I still remember which end of a golf club is supposed to strike the ball.
While I was there, I heard this story about one of the members:
On sudden impulse, he decided to go to one of the World Series games in Baltimore. So he drove over, was charged with speeding on the way, found a scalper, paid a fancy price for a ticket, then put the ticket into his wallet and headed for the entrance.
When he arrived at the gate, he discovered that his pocket had been picked and his wallet taken. No ticket. No money. No credit cards. And when he got back to his car, he found that one tire was flat.
I forgot to ask whether he had bet on the right team or the wrong team. COSELL REVISITED
Reader reaction to my review of Howard Cosell's World Series performance is unusual. Public opinion is seldom unanimous on any subject, but thus far I have received no mail objecting to what I wrote about Howard.
Marion Holland added another dimension to the discussion, criticizing the "mean, cruel, pompous" attitude this broadcaster has occasionally evinced in conducting interviews, especially interviews with somebody who had made a mistake.
Marion adds, "It is amazing how much more he knows about everything than anybody else. It's a shame to waste such valuable material on the general public. It should be piped directly to ringside, the bench or the dugout for the benefit of those who could profit most from it. Howard could stay right there in the TV booth and direct the strategy and call all the plays."
Joel Tall, who is now 75 years old, used to be a broadcast engineer at CBS, where he worked with the likes of Ed Murrow.
Joel also enjoys watching sports events when he's not busy "inventing and manufacturing," but he has his own system for dealing with Cosell and his ilk. m
Joel plugs in an earphone, which shuts off the main speaker of his TV set, and then lets the earphone rest in his lap until he wants a bit of specific information. He puts the earphone into his ear only long enough to find out who was guilty of the unneccessary roughness, or whatever it was he wanted to know.
After he gets what he wants, the earphone goes back into his lap and the picture tells the story quite adequately without the accompaniment of tedious nattering. SLIGHT CORRECTION
An item in another newspaper stated on Sunday that several local men, "District Liner Bill Gold" among them, are puffing up great clouds of pipe smoke these days. "all are in severe training for the grand pipe smoking contest on the 29th," the item said. "this one, darlings, is out at White Flint to make hoopla for the opening of the new Dunhill Shop out there."
The winner gets a $2,500 custom-made pipe.
Let the record show that District Liner Bill Gold declined to be a contestant, darlings, and never even learned how to keep a pipe lit.