Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on February 6, 1974 · Page 37
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 37

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Detroit, Michigan
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Wednesday, February 6, 1974
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Page 37
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1-D It's Hail o H "For 'Night 0 1 E 9 BY JACK SAYLOR Free Prtss Sport! Writer Colorful, dramatic, popular and some-tim.es controversial. Dick (Night Train) Lane, who spent the last portion of his brilliant 14-year career with the Lions, was named Tuesday to the pro football Hall of Fame. The great cornerbeck, reknowed for his interceptions and necktie tackling, was joined in the shrine's class of '74 with placekicking nonpareil Lou G r o z a of the Cleveland Browns; Tony Canadeo, a Green Bay running, passing star of the 1940s, and Chicago Bear linebacking star Bill George. V Wings, Let's Forget Bonuses for Goals Opinions, suggestions and comments ... at no increase in prices: If Ned Harkness thinks the players are cheating the fans by not putting forth their best efforts, he must share in the blame as must all general managers who dangle bonuses before their players for scoring so many goals. On one hand the Red Wings try to preach team play, and then on the other they reward their players for individual effort. You can't have it both ways. . No wonder you see Mickey Redmond firing that cannon shot .from all over the ice. You can't blame him. Money is still the 'name of the game and the more goals he scores, the more dough he is going to make. How much better it would be to offer "team" incentives, such as rewarding the players according to the "plus-and-mi-nus" system, based on how many goals are scored for and against their team while they're on the ice. In that 12-2 debacle in Philadelphia, one writer counted Marcel Dionne on the ice for six of the Philadelphia goals. Who knows that? All you hear about Dionne is how many goals and assists he is scoring himself. Speaking of assists, nothing is a bigger joke than the way they award assists in the National Hockey League. Do you know how it's done? Just listen to this: The scorer sits there with a pencil and pad and writes down the numbers of the players as they touch the puck. Assists by the Numbers When a goal goes in, he merely backs it up and gives assists to the last two numbers on his chart. A player may be merely tipping the puck or, in panic, trying to get it out of his own end of the ice. If the play continues and results in a goal, he is given an assist. This is absurd. They don't do it that way in basketball, where the scorer only awards assists on a basis of merit if his play has a hand in producing the basket. Hockey argues that it's impossible for a scorer to follow the play accurately since the action is so swift and the puck changes hands so quickly. This is true. And if you leave ft open to one man's interpretation, ft could lead to all sorts of arguments and hometown favoritism. Okay, so then get competent officials who aren't afraid to take the heat. Or doesn't the NHL want to get into that expenditure? Or why not employ a closed-circuit taping so the scorer can back up a play and see exactly what happens. Why are they afraid to resort to mechanical aids? If it produces mor fairness, why not try it? The problem is, they've used the numbering system so long they don't want to change. Anyway, everybody likes to get assists. Nobody is hurt by them, not even the goaltenders. So, I suppose, we'll have to live with the system. What's wrong with the Red Wings? It's a thought but they're not as good as a year ago because they lost their best player certainly their shrewdest. Player by the name of Alex Delvec-chio. They've got a good gimmick in the Spectrum in Philadelphia. They have a scoreboard which records the shots on goal as they are made. Olympia Stadium would do well to add this feature for their fans. Or maybe they want to forget about shots on goal. Idle thought: While they're at it, why not a World Baseball League? Wonder what would happen if another hockey team did come to Detroit. Would the fans abandon the Red Wings and embrace the newcomers? Or would they keep going to Olympia because the NHL Is a superior League? I'd bet the folks would stick with the Wings, just to see teams like the Canadiens, Bruins, Rangers Maple Leafs and Black Hawks come into the building. Where Are You, Kerbawy? Even before they hire a new coach or GM, the Detroit Wheels would do well to get themselves the best publicity man available. Image is so important to this team at this time, as it attempts to get off the ground. Obviously, the team, which is only two months old, is in a confused state at the moment. One minute they say they've got their coach, the next they don't. They're going to have a press conference, then the press conference is off. They need some direction. Too bad they can't hire somebody like W. Nicholas Kerbawy, a man who understands sports, business and the media. But Uncle Nick is far too affluent to dabble In PR again. I hear a bad rumor that WJR is going to dump Tom Hemingway from the Piston broadcasts next season and go with only Don Howe and Larry Bandy. If this is so, it's not fair. It's also dumb. Hemingway is a knowledgeable broadcaster, the best basketball man in these parts. The program can only suffer by his absence. Or doesn't quality count in this case? If the Tigers are looking for a second baseman, how about Mike Andrews, who is looking for a job? Took my first train ride in years the other day from New York to Philadelphia. So, naturally when I sat down, I tried to fasten my seat belt. The quartet, which brings the Hall of Fame list to 81, will be enshrined at Canton, 0., on July 27. A NATIVE OF AUSTIN, TEX., with only one year of competition at Scottsbluff (Neb.) J.C. under his belt, Lane hit the NFL like a bombshell in 1952 when as a free agent with the Los Angeles Rams he set the league's still-existing interception record with 14 in a 12-game season. He moved to the then-Chicago Cardinals in 1954, then came to Detroit in 19fif), bringing his penchant for stealing passes and the hard-driving record "Night Train" which he played incessantly during his rookie training camp and gained him a nickname. "Train" made All-Pro In four of his seasons with the Lions (1960-61-62-63) and was a Pro Bowler six times, three of them as a Lion. Of his 68 career interceptions (second only to Hall of Famer Emlen Tunnell), 21 were made as a Detroiter. "I'm very proud of being selected for the Hall of Fame," Lane said in Los Angeles. "Really, it's the biggest honor of my life." Wfa 0 0 0 eels Draft Eye Ex- 30 M ore Steel it r er Vet Night Train Lane BY JACK SAYLOR Free Press Sports Writer Another 30 names were added to the Detroit Wheels' potential roster Tuesday, but another they really want wasn't on the list he is currently in the National Football League. Each World Football League team has negotiation rights to five NFL players, and it was learned that John Rowser, who was at the Wheels' draft headquarters in the Fort Shelby Hotel Tuesday, is one of the Wheels' "secret five." Rowser is a veteran, and very capable, cornerback who was recently traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Denver Broncos. He apparently was broomed by the Steelers for saying what he thinks. A STAR AT old Detroit Eastern High and then at Michigan, Rowser is said to be disenchanted with the idea of shifting to Denver. It is also known that his NFL contract has expired and since he supposedly must yet play or sit out his option, his signing by the Wheels would mean the WFL doesn't intend to honor the option clause. The Wheels didn't announce their general manager or UCLA Streak, Hah! Gal Cagers Win 89th GREENWOOD, Miss. - (AP) - The girls' basketball team of Pillow Academy won its 89th consecutive basketball game Tuesday night defeating Holmes Aademy, 59-38. The victory surpasses the 88-game total set by UCLA, which was ended last month by Notre Dame. "TRAIN" WAS NEVER a shrinking violet in speaking of his own ability and his response to the Hall of Fame selection was typical. "I think my record speaks for itself," he said. "I don't think I'm patting myself on the back when I say I knew I eventually would be chosen. It was just a matter of time." Lane became the model organization man for seven years as he worked in the Linn front office as an "administration assistant", but he felt like he was accomplishing nothing and his desire was to coach. He spent 1972 as an assistant coach at Southern U. while returning to school himself and was an assistant at Central State at Wilberforce, 0., last fall. Now he's with Redd (San-ford and Son) Foxx's organization in LA. "I want to get back into pro football," he said. "But so far I haven't had any luck. Maybe because of my reputation for being outspoken. I don't know Please Turn to Page 3-D, Col. 1 J ml ' f&',.7$rA riw- atoms yd 'h irfe? mv-s zj i sAS ... ' Louie Lee (left), acting general manager, and Wheels' president Ed Robinson display the team's Free Press Photo by IRA ROSENBERG helmet design during a break in WFL drafting proceedings at the Ft. Shelby Hotel. coach Tuesday, although they were aided in their talent selections by Eastern Michigan University coach Dan Boisture, who could be a candidate for the jobs. George Mans, assistant coach and star recruiter at Michigan, i also helped acting GM Louie Lee and Boisture with the procedure. Mostly, the draft was overshadowed by the Wheels' other problems. "Our biggest concern is to get the coach-GM thing done," Lee admitted. "Give us a week or so and we'll have a few more things solidified," added club president Ed Robinson. "We're not really worried about money, but we're concerned about the public stock offering that's why we're being careful selecting our top guy." Once that is accomplished the prime problem is finding a place to play and Wayne State University Stadium iooms bigger (figuratively) in the picture. Wheel officials say the structure, which has 6,000 permanent seats, could easily be expanded to 30,000 capacity with temporary bleachers. PARKING, THEY feel, is ample, but they concede locker room facilities, etc., are limited and that in its setting at the Lodge-Ford expressway interchange, access could be a huge headache. Robinson said Wayne State athletic director Chalmers Dixon had indicated the Wheels would be welcome there. But the club hasn't yet given up on Tiger Stadium, despite the L i o n s' exclusive lease through 1976. "The Tigers say they'd like to have us, but their hands are tied," Robinson said. "We've talked to (Lion GM) Russ Thomas some and we'll talk some more." Growing pains were further evident Tuesday as the fledgling league completed 36 Please Turn to Page 3-D, Col. 3 Detroit Men Buy WHA's LA Sharks BY JOE FALLS Free Press Sports Editor ..The possibility of Detroit getting a team in the World Hockey Association arose Tuesday when two Detroit industrialists purchased the Los Angeles Sharks of the WHA. The buyers were Charles (Chuck) H. Nolton, 4'J, and Pete Shegena, 38. They aie the president and vice president, respectively, of the Nolwood Chemical Corp. in Detroit and now are general partners in the the Pistons Win Beauty, 104-102 Special to the Free Press PORTLAND, Ore.-Give Ray Scott credit for 'the substitution, give George Trapp credit for one of his biggest clutch shots of the season . . . and give the Pistons still another victory. Scott sent the big forward into the tied game wi'th only four seconds left and George sank a 25-foot jump shot as the buzzer ended the game, to give Detroit a 104-102 victory over the Portland Trailblazers before a crowd of 6,339 fans a t t h e Memorial Coliseum Tuesday night. THE VICTORY was the Pistons' fourth in a row and their 16th straight over Pacific Division teams, It also lifted them 18 games over .500 (37-19), which matches the record high of the club. And it was anything but an easy one, as the Pistons struggled from a 14-point deficit in 'the third quarter to slap the Blazers with a stifling fourth quarter defense and finally win the game on Trapp's long jumper. ' The Pistons missed two shots in the last minute and finally got the ball at the sideline with four seconds remaining. Scott hustled Trapp into the game, the Pistons got him the Please Turn to Page 3-D, Col. 5 Metro-Sports Associates, group which bought hockey team from Dr. Leonard Bloom of San Diego. In a joint statement, the new owners of the Sharks said the team would remain in Los Angeles. They said: "The Sharks are a solid hockey team but have not realized their potential. It is our desire to bring a winner to this area and the first order of business is to start winning and make the WHA playoffs." IT HAS been little secret that the WHA would like to establish a team in Detroit, which has been one of the strongest franchises in the Na-t i o n a 1 .Hockey League for more than 45 years. There has been talk of putting a team in Cobo Arena or in Pontiac, at the site of the Lions' new stadium where a hockey arena would be built to fbrm an all-sports complex in Oakland County. The Los Angeles Sharks have been in financial trouble. They are currently fifth in the Western Division of the WHA with a 20-33-0 record, and art only two points out of the cellar. . The Sharks nave drawn only 150,823 customers this season for an average of 5.S01 per game. The deal was announced by Dennis Murphy, president of the WHA. No purchase price was reported but it was believed to be a several mill.on dollar deal. THE former owner, Dr. Bloom, also is the owner of the San Diego Conquistadors of the American Basketball Association. ' Clarence 'Campbell, president of the NHL, was reached at his office in Montreal and asked if he knew anything of the WHA moving in to Detroit. "I haven't heard anything," he said, "but I can't imagine those two Detroit men being absentee owners and trying to run the Los Angeles team from a distance." Nolton has been an avid sports fan in Detroic and plans to remain in Detroit. I IT Tf TT TT TH TH Tl IT V IE II II II II II II II STEP INTO SPRING NATURALLY IN DEXTER MARSHMALLOWS The right-shoes for the right time. A great buy inspired by the cracker barrel generation for today's blue-jeans genre. So comfortable they'll make good times of hiking, dancing, just relaxing. Leather uppers and white cushion crepe soles with moccasin toes. In natural tones of brown, corn-yel-low, green and navy with white contrast stitching, $25. Come along. Step right in to Hudson's Men's Shoes, all stores. Convenient shopping hours tonight: Downtown open till 7, branches till 9 p.m. hudsons men s store

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