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The Question: What sport attracts the most unsportsmanlike fans?

Aug. 20, 1956
Aug. 20, 1956

Table of Contents
Aug. 20, 1956

Red Fans And Ladies
Events & Discoveries
The Wonderful World Of Sport
Sires And Sales
The Suffering Fan
Sporting Look
The Outdoor Week
Acknowledgments
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

The Question: What sport attracts the most unsportsmanlike fans?

DICK CHEWNING
Whittier, Calif.
Company
vice-president
If horse racing is regarded as a sport, and I assume it is, that's it. Why? Because there's no sportsmanship in the pastime. The spectators are there just to bet, as they would on a roulette wheel. I know one exception, my father, a real sportsman of the old horse racing set.

This is an article from the Aug. 20, 1956 issue

ED MOSLER
Hamilton, Ohio
President, Mosler Safe Co.
Professional wrestling. There you see a real lust for blood and mayhem. Fans in the team sports have some reason to be partisan in favor of their teams, but the pro wrestling fans are particularly bad because they know the winners are pre-arranged and the bouts are not for real.

GENERAL VINCENT J. MELOY
Tampa, Fla.
President, Wings Club
Baseball, because of the great crowds. Every crowd has its percentage of unsportsmanlike fans. Vendors at games must sell soft drinks in paper cups so fans won't have bottles and cans to throw at the players. As rough as hockey is, you don't get anything like that. That is, hardly ever.

QUENTIN REYNOLDS
Bedford Hills, N.Y.
Author
Baseball. Look how the Boston fans have embittered Ted Williams, as great a player as ever lived. Jackie Robinson has gotten salvos of pop bottles in St. Louis, in spite of Stan Musial's obvious friendship for him. However, you will also find the fairest fans in baseball.

EVERETT BARNES
Colgate University
Director of athletics
Basketball. College and pro fans boo officials and the opposing players alike. The breakneck speed and the smaller confines of basketball arenas are partly responsible. Unlike most sports, the spectators form a "captive audience" which tries to do everything to help its team.

JAMES A. RHODES
Columbus, Auditor
State of Ohio
Bullfighting. There the spectator goes to see the slow, measured, painful and very cruel death of the bull. His lust is for only one thing—the gory, bloody kill that must satisfy his wish, not once, but a half dozen times. Of course, it requires skill and bravery, but it is an uneven contest.

IRVING R. ROSENHAUS
S. Orange, N.J.
President
WATV and WAAT
All sports attract their share. It depends on the standard under which you play. In baseball "kill the umpire" and other "rhubarbs" are part of the game which the fans like. Tennis has a different standard, but I can't say that tennis addicts are more sportsmanlike than baseball fans.

DOC HARDY
Lebanon, N.H.
Airport operations manager
Pro hockey. It's the fastest and roughest game of all. The hard play and occasional fights between players keep a hockey audience on edge and in a belligerent mood. Can't forget that egg and vegetable barrage the Montreal fans gave the league president for disqualifying Richard the Rocket.

HOWARD W. McCULLOUGH
Vice-president
Brunswick Balke
Collender Co.
Baseball. Conversely, the sport that attracts the most sportsmanlike fans is bowling. I've seen a match involving thousands of dollars, where one of the players made eight strikes in a row. His opponents rooted for a perfect game even though it would cost them the championship.

HOWARD W. COSELL
New York
ABC sports
commentator
Baseball. Only in baseball would the fans boo a Mickey Mantle who is an alltime great at 24 and an Al Rosen while he lies writhing in pain on the ground. Only in baseball are beer cans and bottles thrown at players with the object of injuring them. I remember when Sam Narron had his eyesight impaired by an exploding firecracker. The fans undermine a player's performance with the threat of physical injury. It's a heartless way of destroying his livelihood by psychologically destroying him.

SIR PERCY SPENDER
Australian
Ambassador to the U.S.
All sports attract percentages of people who are not sportsmen. You wouldn't call it sportsmanlike to burn down the stadium after a soccer match. It's happened. And it's not in the interest of soccer to kill the referee or blow up the city. Amateur sports are less guilty.

NORMAN A. FLETCHER
Natchitoches, La.
Owner
radio station KNOC
We have a detached viewpoint in Natchitoches, the oldest town in the Louisiana Purchase. We feel that where gambling is the primary urge, unsportsmanlike fans will gather. At a prize fight a man with a $25 bet will yell: "Kill the bum" and mean it. He's a gambler, not a sport.

THIRTEEN PHOTOS

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