FRANKLIN FIELD STORY
Since the University of Pennsylvania has not won a football game since 1953—and by common knowledge does not belong on the same field with the fifth or sixth best team in the country—it is not fully clear why 45,000 people turned up on Saturday to watch Penn play Notre Dame at Franklin Field. Perhaps mainly because Penn is swearing off Notre Dame and similar gridiron juggernauts next year for the relative peace of the Ivy League. So what happened? Notre Dame kicked off—and the 45,000 were instantly lifted to their feet by the most rousing run of the 1955 football season. And, of all things, by a Penn man.
A sophomore named Frank Riepl, starting his first game of the year, caught the Notre Dame kickoff eight yards behind his own goal line and headed upfield. A block saved him on the 15, another as he was crossing the 30, still another near the 40—and he was clear, outlegging the whole Notre Dame defense all the way for a 108-yard touchdown, while the home stands broke into Penn's rather touchingly 19th century victory chant with the lines, "We'll hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree...."
Upset? Well, no, though there were plenty of those last week (see page 20) and though Sophomore Riepl passed for another touchdown and Penn went proudly off the field at half time incredibly 14-14 with Notre Dame. The final score was 46-14—Notre Dame, of course; in short, pretty much as expected, though Terry Brennan's first team had a longer day than planned.
November 14, 1955
For Penn it was the 16th defeat in a row. But the 45,000 went home with a clearer notion than ever of why people keep going to football games—even when the two teams don't "belong on the same field."
DIRTY WORK AT DEEPDALE
Until horse racing adopted protective measures of identification, the ringer was no rarity on the nation's tracks. Now his human counterpart is turning up in golf. Increasing popularity and inflation of the Calcutta pool—in which golf players in a tournament are auctioned off to the highest bidder—has given golf a golden aspect to the crook and sharper.
No one would ever have thought the ringer could appear at Deepdale Country Club, built by William K. Vanderbilt and friends and one of Long Island's truly exclusive clubs. Its 130 members rate high in wealth and probity. But happen it did.
Deepdale's course, good enough to attract such golfers as President Eisenhower (when he was at Columbia University) and Bing Crosby, soon will give way to a superhighway. Younger Deepdale members suggested that, as a farewell to their fairways, the annual September tournament be enlivened with a really big Calcutta. Deepdale's old guard wanted a smaller member-and-guest Calcutta—the kind in which every player's handicap is common knowledge—but the old guard lost. For Pete's sake, the idea is to make this tournament memorable, isn't it? It was a winning argument, and prophetic.
Christopher Dunphy, a man of rich experience in operating Calcuttas as at Greenbrier, and in playing Calcutta golf, as at Nassau (where he tied for first place in a tournament with a $96,000 pool), was retained as auctioneer. Among the 104 pairs entered were two personable young men from up around Springfield, Massachusetts, introducing themselves as William Roberts and Richard Vitali, handicapped at 17 and 18 strokes.
The Calcutta auction was held not at Deepdale but at Park Avenue's Ambassador Hotel. Enthusiasm was high and the pool was built up to $45,000 in spirited bidding, though not on Roberts and Vitali, whose high handicaps lumped them in Field B with five other undistinguished pairs. For them to win would be as rare as for a field horse to win the Kentucky Derby.
Of the $45,000, a portion, $8,000, was set aside for charity and expenses and $37,000 went into prizes. Roberts and Vitali played in the 80s, as might be expected of high-handicap golfers, but took such astute advantage of the better-ball feature that rumors spread quickly. When they won by five strokes some members tried to hold up distribution of the $16,106.93, but their protests were shushed as "unsportsmanlike." The money was distributed.
Big winner was Richard L. Armstrong of the Sands Point Golf Club, near Deepdale, a former banker who now plays the stock market. Armstrong headed up the syndicate which bought Field B and himself owned 60%. He had, it was noted, dined at the Ambassador with Roberts and Vitali, entertained them overnight at his home and paired with them in the tournament.
There was an investigation—an unsuccessful attempt to find out who at Deepdale had invited the winning pair which did, however, reveal that Richard Vitali, 18-handicap man, was really Charles Helmar, 3-handicap player and public links champion of Springfield. As to Roberts, he was a 3-handicap man too. It was Roberts, Helmar-Vitali said, who induced him to enter, with a promise of $100. Roberts, whose 25% share of the winning ticket was a tidy $4,026.73, was not available this week for comment. He had left for the Maine woods in a fresh-bought Volkswagen.
Deepdale was embarrassed when the news leaked out a few weeks later. It was the sort of thing that a Happy Knoll member might expect to happen at Hard Hollow. M. Dorland Doyle, club president, suggested that winnings on the two men be donated to charity.
One who refused to do so was Armstrong. To return his winnings, he held, would be an admission that he had taken part in an underhanded business knowingly. What's more, Armstrong said, he had lost $4,000 on Calcuttas in the past six months. As proof of innocence, had he not bet $1,200 on a losing team at Deepdale and taken an $85 interest in his own play? As to his relations with Roberts and Helmar:
He was having cocktails at Deepdale when Roberts inquired the way to the Ambassador. "Follow me," said Armstrong, and they did. Arriving together, they dined together and if anything was said during dinner about their correct handicaps Armstrong didn't hear it. His pairing with them in the tournament was just a matter of following Roberts' suggestion when an entry canceled. He had them to dinner at his home in a mix-up caused when their car broke down. They spent the night there only in a manner of speaking.
"They borrowed my $6,500 Lincoln Capri," he recalled, "and went to town. They got back at 4 a.m."
As head of the lucky syndicate, Armstrong was asked to produce the check by which Roberts supposedly paid for his 25%. He did, but it was unsigned. That, said Armstrong, was the way Roberts had left the check on the seat of his car.
From President Doyle came words of advice to golf presidents everywhere:
"First, don't have Calcuttas and, second, if you do, limit your players to members and guests only."
There was a word too from the United States Amateur Golf Association's Joseph Dey:
"Big-money Calcuttas are pernicious. Too much money and a club's lax attitude toward checking handicaps create a situation which is going to attract vultures. But most importantly, these big Calcuttas indicate a change in attitude among some golfers from wanting low handicaps as a matter of pride to turning in high handicaps to win something. Consciously or unconsciously, the men who support these pools are using golf as a medium to prostitute golf."
HORSES AND PAMELA
For scores of junior competitors, the 1955 National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden was a dream come true, but to none of them was the dream dearer than it was to Pamela Phillips, 13-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Phillips of Stamford, Conn. To Pam, cover girl of SI's Oct. 31 issue, it was a triumph over fate's apparent conspiring to keep her out of the Garden and off horses entirely.
The conspiracy was of the most devious kind: no great catastrophes, just a succession of very little things. They date from the year the Phillipses moved from the city to their present three country acres. There was a dairy farm across the way and Pam, then a toddler, discovered a pony on it. She approached with affection, and the pony responded by nipping her. She loved him no less. A little later on Pam was lifted onto a horse for the first time. If possible, she loved him even more than the pony. The horse promptly threw her. That did it: Pam began begging for a horse of her own.
Eventually she got him: Burnable, the big black gelding who shared SI's cover with her. Moreover, she got a stable and a paddock all her own (largely a do-it-yourself project of her father) and instruction from Miss Felicia Townsend at the Ox Ridge club. In a little while Pam began to train Burnable as a jumper. He has had no other teacher.
But, as Pamela was soon to be reminded, there is more to this life than jumping horses. There is, her father said severely, schoolwork. At the first sign that Pamela's was suffering, Burnable would have to go. Pamela could take a hint: she won consistently high marks at school, participated in such other school sports as basketball and hockey, was elected president of the seventh grade and, just weeks ago, vice-president of the eighth.
When, in September, Pamela won the blue ribbon at Piping Rock and thus qualified for the Garden, she seemed to have outwitted fate on all fronts. Then, just before the National, Burnable bruised a leg in jumping.
Another horse, a chestnut named Mr. Brookville, was offered to Pamela and she accepted. Burnable got his name in the program, but that was all. He missed the great moment of entering the Garden ring.
As soon as she could, Pamela hurried to the stable to tell Burnable all about the Garden and its excitements, what it was like to enter the ring for the first time before a comparative handful of spectators on Saturday morning and then to ride Mr. Brookville out before the filled stands on Sunday afternoon. She spoke as glowingly about Mr. Brookville as one can in discussing one gelding with another, carefully pointing out that it was no real fault of Mr. Brookville that he refused jumps in two events.
If Burnable had any thoughts on the subject, he was discreet enough to react as he always does when his young mistress has a confidential talk with him. As Pamela puts it:
"He just listens."
When death comes to one of base ball's great men, they place a green wreath beneath his plaque in the Cooperstown Hall of Fame. Two weeks ago they laid one under the bronze tablet bearing the name Clark Griffith. Last week it was Cy Young's turn.
There are a lot of things you can say about old Cy: how he came out of the Ohio hills to win more ball games (511) than any pitcher in baseball history, pitched three major league no-hitters, threw the first World Series pitch, won 20 or more games for 14 consecutive years and five times won at least 30. Or you could say that he was sent up to the majors in trade for $250 and a suit of clothes and never was paid more than $5,000 for a season.
But most of what made Denton True Young one of the real great ones—his arm and his heart—can be told in two little stories.
One concerns how he received his nickname. Trying out for Canton, Ohio of the old Tri-State League in 1890, Young was pitching to the team's big slugger, who was backed up against the grandstand because no catcher was around. At the end of the workout ("He didn't even hit a foul off me," Young said), the Canton owner asked his manager how the rookie had done. The manager just pointed over to the grandstand where Young's fast ball had splintered the boards on the wall—and made the place "look like a cyclone had just passed by."
"After that," Young said, "they always called me Cy."
The other story is about a chair. It was a big, soft, easy rocking chair in a hilltop house just outside Newcomers-town, Ohio, and it was the spot old Cy retired to in 1934 after his wife Bobby died. "For almost a quarter of a century we walked hand in hand through baseball," he used to say. "From up here I can look down on the little churchyard where Bobby is buried. I can just stay here, waiting for the day when I can join her."
Last week, 88 years old and not feeling too well, old Cy sat down in his chair and looked out over the churchyard for the last time.
THE SANTEE SITUATION
Wes Santee, the great mile runner, has been suspended by the Amateur Athletic Union. The reason: he violated the rules governing the amount of expense money an amateur athlete may legitimately accept to pay the costs of travel and subsistence. The effect: Santee may never run again, and that would mean he would miss the 1956 Olympic Games.
The facts in the case are reasonably clear. Last May Santee flew from his home in Kansas to California and there, between May 14 and May 22, competed in three track meets. He received a total of $1,127.85 in expense money. This was obviously more than the cost of his round-trip air travel plus $15 per diem expenses (the maximum the AAU allows.) Therefore the AAU suspended him.
It's as simple as that, except that it isn't, really. Prominent amateur runners have received more than the legal limit of expenses for decades. It is a common, if not widely publicized, practice. Santee's crime would seem to be that he made it too obvious. He is an egocentric young man, whose entire life revolves about his running ability. Where running was for Roger Bannister a means of escape, of violent but harmless self-expression, it is for David Wesley Santee a way of life. He runs in every track meet he can. Because he is such a great runner he is a valuable gate attraction and meet directors eagerly seek his acceptance of their invitations. Expense money flows Santee's way. People talk about it. People write about it. Investigation follows, and suspension.
Santee has appealed the suspension. His defense is no denial of the amount of expense money he received or a denial that it is technically in excess of the maximum amount allowed. But he holds that the maximum allowed is unrealistic, that he is a top-flight athlete whose name is widely known and that everywhere he goes he is constantly in demand to appear at schools, at track clinics, at luncheons and dinners, on radio and television. He holds that an athlete of his stature simply cannot live in a good hotel, eat in decent restaurants, fulfill his obligations and still stay within the AAU maximum of $12 a day for living expenses, plus $3 a day for incidentals.
In this, of course, Santee is right. Ask any traveling businessman how far $12 or $15 a day takes him. But the question arises: how amateur is an amateur who finds it necessary to travel that much and spend that much?
That is the crux of the problem. In any other major sport, and many minor ones, there is a professional outlet for the athlete who continues in competition past the time most of his youthful companions are retiring from sport to earn a living. This holds true for baseball, football, tennis, basketball, golf, even figure skating and swimming. But what is there for the great track and field athlete to do as he approaches the full flowering of his abilities in his mid-20s? He can go on as an amateur or he can quit. If he is to go on and compete to the best of his ability (and there is no other way to compete) he must devote hours each day to training, and concentrate most of his attention on his running (or jumping, or vaulting or whatever). He is then past being a so-called simon-pure amateur. Running is no longer a pastime; it is a career, one which involves financial problems beyond those facing the ordinary amateur.
There it is. Runners like Santee are more than amateurs and yet are not professionals. Unless the laws governing the sport are broadened and clarified the problem will not end with the suspension of Santee and the destruction of his superb career just as it approaches its peak, any more than it did when Paavo Nurmi was suspended, or Jesse Owens or Gundar Haegg. Other young men coming to greatness will face the same difficulties, be burdened with a like feeling of guilt if they accept too much expense money, the same economic burden if they don't.
The world does change; perhaps it's time the rules do, too.
HAIRY ORE CARNAL?
This is the way Professor Chace ends his story of Violate Huskings: Dole stork-barker worse rat. Former Huskings ascended tutor Carnal's wicket preposition, an fur lung, Violate, sopping historically, an wet better tares strumming darner chicks, worse becalming Messes Gat-retch. Censor fodder worse toe stenchy toe heifer wadding, Violate enter Carnal war stunning inner orifice offer jesters offer pace, lessening tutor jesters raiding doze fetal warts:
"Carnal, door yore tick disk worming furrier awful waif?"
("Shore," setter stork-barker.)
"Violate, door yore tick disk carnal furrier awful horsebarn?"
("Y-Yap," set Violate, sopping historically.)
Pimple shirker hets an set:
"Water sham! Suture putty gull an suture disher-pated oiled badger lore! Suture think shunt hopping tore gnats gull lack Violate!"
"Pore Violate! Violate's garner bay ornery aboard inner gelded ketch!"
Hairy Parkings worse melon colic, butter worsen disgorged, any set tomb shelf:
"Carnal Gat-retch's jester cat-napper hoe cat-napped mar sweat-hard. Wail, jest waiter wile—props Hairy Parkings kin doer ladle cat-napping ham shelf."
Servile wicks pest.
Wan dock gnat, wile Violate's horse-barn worse aware honor baseness trap, Hairy gutter lung larder, an clammed ope toe Violate's bet rum windrow.
"Violate!" Hairy whiskered. "Germ pup! Itch yore loafer! Itch Hairy!"
Violate, herring debt farm oilier verse, lipped otter bet, pot honor putty ladle bet rum slobbers an expansive four-laned, hen-an-brooded horse court, an cam tutor windrow.
"Lessen, Violate," set Hairy, "armor goring aware. Armor goring tumor groin-murder's form, darning Messy-soupy, an armor garner peck carton fur mar groin-murder. Peck yore begs, Violate! Gad otter disk gelded ketch! Clam darner larder, an wail goiter garter darn toe Messy-soupy!"
Furry mint, Violate dint yonder-stander loafer's preposition; den, wetter harpy, harpy lurk honor phase, shay set:
"Yore rat, Hairy. Arm jester pore ladle retch gull—ornery aboard inner gelded ketch. Bought O bore! Water swill ketch! Dun heifer feeder pegs! Dun heifer mail-car caws an swoop otter caw staple! Dun heifer feeder checkings an gadder aches an peck warms offer vestibules! Dun heifer doe nor watching an earning, dun heifer warder hearses an maker bets an washer dashes! Door yore thank armor garner flier ware firm oil disk lechery? Known date! Sordidly nut! An lessen, Hairy; heresy ladle gut adverse: Wile yore darning Messy-soupy, dun stutter peck carton furrier groin-murder. Kipper ware firmer form, an finer swill possession inner stork-barker's orifice. Soil storks an barns, an maggot mullion dullards. Den comb beck tumor windrow wet yore larder!"
The football teams came out to play
Dressed in robe and cassock;
This game, they heard the writers say,
Would be a gridiron classic.
CURRENT WEEK & WHAT'S AHEAD
College football, after roaring through three fourths of a reasonably sane season, turned topsy-turvy Saturday with some results which did more to distort than focus the bowl-game picture. Contributing most to the confusion: unbeaten Michigan's three-touchdown loss to Illinois. Others: the Georgia Tech and Navy ties, Army's loss to Yale.
UCLA, however, and the two Orange Bowl-bound powers, Oklahoma and Maryland, came through. Of the three, UCLA had the most fun. In the College of the Pacific stadium which paraded a streamer pleading "Beat Harvey," Harvey's son Ronnie upheld the Knox honor by scoring one touchdown, passing for another in a 34-0 UCLAn victory.
The big schools did not make all the news. Down in Danville, Kentucky, little Centre College won again, headed toward its first undefeated season since Uncle Charley Moran's Praying Colonels, led by a young quarterback named Bo McMillin, beat proud Harvard in 1921.
Jack McGrath, veteran Los Angeles driver who held the Indianapolis one-lap record, brought the American Automobile Association's race sponsorship to a tragic end when he died in a crack-up during a race at Phoenix. It was doubly ironical: the AAA was withdrawing sponsorship because of just such disasters; McGrath had said this was to be his last race on dirt tracks.
Jackie Robinson, nearing the end of a fabulous playing career with the Brooklyn Dodgers, turned an attentive ear west toward Vancouver, where the Pacific Coast League's newest member is looking for a manager. It was only a rumor that organized baseball's first Negro player might also become its first Negro manager, but "I am certainly interested," said Jackie, "in listening to an offer."