YOU CAN'T WIN 'EMALL
Basketball's equivalent of the no hit, no-run game happened the other night inDetroit: All Saints High School (reserves) beat St. Casimir's (reserves) 62-0."Mercy," said Father Paul Sierocki, athletic director at St. Casimir's,"I wanted to call it a day after the third quarter.... But we're buildingfor next year."
ROCK 'N' WILT
Wilt chamberlain,the University of Kansas' tall basketball player, may have a weakness, butNebraska Coach Jerry Bush is willing to join the legions today who areconvinced it is not perceptible.
Bush tried tokindle his own team—and perhaps upset Wilt's basketball rhythm—with the help ofNebraska's 100-piece marching band the other night. "Brahms, Bach and Sousahave to go," Bush decreed. In place of Stars and Stripes Forever and theWashington Post March, Bush persuaded the band to play Riff Interlude, When theSaints Go Marching In and Rock Around the Clock.
February 18, 1957
Bush made onedisastrous miscalculation. He failed to note from scouting reports thatChamberlain's favorite pastime—after shooting baskets and driving his car—islistening to his collection of more than 100 records, mostly jump. Moreobservant fans detected that the beat was backfiring during the pregame warmup.Chamberlain's sizable left foot was beating a strong tap-tap-tap to the jumpmusic. By tipoff time, Wilt was rocking. He rolled in 26 points by game's end,and Kansas had a comfortable 69-54 victory.
"Man, I wentfor that heavy beat in a big way," Wilt said after the game as he signedautographs for Lincoln's small fry. "You know, I got quite a few rock 'n'roll records myself." Bush and his Cornhuskers found out too late. But theyhave done basketball a slight service by proving one more way not to stopChamberlain.
These wintry daysa white shawl of snow covers the rolling contours of the Inverness golf course.Inside the nearly empty clubhouse only a skeleton staff is on duty to dust thefurniture and trophies while occasionally in a dim corner of the banquet roomtwo elderly members will be hunched over their game of gin rummy as a thirdstands by to kibitz. Inverness seems to be in deep, silent hibernation, butthere is a restless twitching to its slumber, and the nearby city of Toledo(Glass Capital of the World) feels it. In just four months Inverness will bethe eager, frenetic host to the U.S. Open golf championship.
Scratch theaverage Toledo businessman, and you will scratch a member of this or that"committee for the national open." One group of committeemen havealready sold $62,000 worth of tickets with the help of bookies, taxi drivers,bankers and brokers, and they expect to peddle another $60,000 worth to largecorporations who will pass them out to their good customers or anyone else theymay want to butter up. Other committees are painting signboards andscoreboards, distributing posters for store windows (no self-respecting Toledostore would be without one), selling ads for the program and otherwise makingsure that the 1957 Open will be the greatest boon to Toledo since the creationof Lake Erie.
A 57-year-oldbroker named James J. Secor kindled this flaming civic desire. Three years agoafter 30 personal visits to USGA officials he landed the open for Toledo. Thenhe drafted 250 of the city's business peers—fellows like Robert A. Stranahan,Jr. (sparkplugs) and Jules Lippman (textile leather)—to man the 22 committees."You got to work to make an open a success," explained Secor, who hashad to abandon his leisurely winter routine of playing bridge, shooting a fewduck and fishing for bass in southern waters. "You can't sit on your tailand wait for people to come to you. And you've got to appeal to the public.They're the ones that pay the freight. How do you appeal to the public? Well,you put up plenty of ladies' rest rooms right on the course—no standing inline. Another thing you do is put up major league scoreboards, call out theUnited States Marines, sell beer for 20 cents, anything that'll give the publica better time out there on the course."
Among Secor'smore spectacular public accommodations will be a huge 16-by-40-foot scoreboardat the 18th green, manned by a crew of four men who will be in walkie-talkiecontact with a battalion of marines following the players. Five otherscoreboards will be spotted around the course. "At this national open,"says Secor, "it will be possible for a fellow to sit in the bar or sit in atree and follow the whole thing."
There are equallyvital arrangements that most people won't even notice. For instance, Toledo hasa city ordinance which forbids anyone pulling into town in an autotrailer rigfrom hooking up to city gas, water and electric lines for a period of less than30 days. Secor had a little chat one morning with Mayor Ollie Czelusta and cameaway remarking that "the mayor didn't make any promises, but I got the ideathat the police will be looking the other way when the pros pull up in theirtrailers."
The cordialhospitality of Toledo should come as no surprise to golfers who know anythingabout its golfing past. For it was at Inverness that they played the 1920Open—the one in which Harry Vardon, at the age of 56, came in second to hisfellow countryman Ted Ray for England's last victory in this event. Anexpensive cathedral clock stands in the Inverness clubhouse as a memento ofthat tournament, a gift from the pros themselves who for the first time werepermitted to use the facilities of a clubhouse. Inscribed on the clock is averse by a grateful but now-forgotten balladeer from their ranks who wrote:
God measure menfor what they are.
Not what in wealth possess.
This vibrant message chimes afar.
The voice of Inverness.
This yearInverness will have a new complexion thanks to the recent face-lifting itreceived from Dick Wilson, the golf architect who has designed such dreamcourses as the new Meadowbrook (SI, Oct. 31, 1955). Fairway traps and bunkershave been moved out to catch the bigger drives of the pros; the greens havebeen regraded and threatening new traps carved into their edges. Now with theInverness course mulching and settling into place under its winter mantle, itis maturing toward perfection. Once the pins are placed in the greens by theUSGA tournament committee just before play starts on June 13, it should beready for the best of golf. "We think it'll be a tough course," Secorsays with a small glint in his eye. "But hell, this is the championship.This is the big apple."
OATS, HAY ANDCOFFEE
Every Morning, ina barn at Pimlico, Dr. John Herculson shares his gallon pot of coffee with amare named Little Hussy. The doctor takes a cupful with sugar; the mare takes aquart without. Neither uses cream. Often the two are joined by Leo Cezar, whohas charge of Little Hussy. It is a business rather than a social occasion, forboth Mr. Cezar and Dr. Herculson (who is a chemist) are employees of theMaryland Racing Commission, and they ply Little Hussy with coffee only becausethey expect something in return.
Their object isto find out just how much coffee a horse must drink before a urinalysis willshow caffeine. In the past, certain trainers or owners have blandly explainedthe presence of caffeine in their horses' urine by saying that people visitingthe barns emptied their coffee cups into hay which the horses ate. The racingcommissioners were skeptical of these stories, of course, but had no data withwhich to disprove them. So Little Hussy, a matronly brood mare of 12, wascalled in.
Dr. Herculsonbrews the coffee himself. The brand, which his wife recommended, is Luzianne(regular grind). Little Hussy had to be fed through a tube at first, but shequickly learned to like coffee. Now Mr. Cezar just squirts it in her mouth witha big syringe and she tosses her head, rolls an appreciative eye and swallows.She prefers it not to be too hot. In fact, lukewarm is just about right.
A veterinarian,checking Little Hussy's pulse and respiration, has found them unaffected by themorning coffee. The experiment is to run for six weeks altogether and hasseveral days yet to go. Dr. Herculson will not reveal what his urinalyses showuntil all the evidence is in, but he does say that coffee produces no visibleexternal effect in the mare. "However," he adds, "the purpose ofgiving a horse caffeine would not be to make it run faster than it can, but tomake it feel like running."
For all he knows,Little Hussy may feel that she could never again get through the gray wintermornings without her quart of coffee. Perhaps, when her service to breeding andto science is ended and she is sent into retirement, it will be not only togreen pastures and warm sun but also to a stable with a hot plate and acoffeepot and a supply of Luzianne. Regular grind.
GYPSY AND THEMUSKIE
Gypsy Rose Leefor whom H. L. Mencken coined the word ecdysiast (from the Greek: one whosheds), is celebrated as the first lady of the striptease. Through the years,however, she has also strutted her talents on a variety of stages and subjects.She has been the author of two murder mysteries, several plays and magazine andnewspaper pieces; she once planned to buy and publish the Police Gazette; shehas been a songwriter (I Can't Strip to Brahms); a vice-president of theGreenwich Village Humane League; a champion of organized labor and Manhattanshade trees; and a reader of Proust ("a regular drug").
But it wasn'tuntil she appeared on Edward R. Murrow's television program, Person to Person,last week that the public discovered that Gypsy was also a fisherman. Therevelation went like this:
Murrow: What doyou do in your spare time when you're on the road?
Murrow: Are you acasual or a devoted fisherman?
Gypsy: Well, whydon't we go upstairs and look at my tackle box...?
Accepting theinvitation, the CBS cameras followed Gypsy to the fourth floor of her New Yorktown house, where she displayed her tackle and the mounted head of amuskellunge on which she discoursed intimately.
Gypsy: This is amuskellunge. I caught him in Wisconsin. Look at those teeth. They go all theway down the back of the throat.
Murrow: Would yourather fish for muskies or for salmon, Gypsy?
Gypsy: Well, Idon't know. I love fishing for both of them. I think they're wonderful butthere's something about catching a muskie that's, well—well, prettywonderful.
Murrow: Whathappened to the rest of that one?
Gypsy: We ateit.
Murrow: You know,I've never caught a muskie.
Gypsy: Oh well,Ed, don't feel too badly about it, darling. Some people have fished for yearsand haven't caught one. They're elusive. Oh, when you've tied on to one, youreally know you're fishing. You know what they do, Ed? It's a peculiar thing.You know, you fish with suckers.
Gypsy: Live baitwith a harness. Both hands. You don't cast for muskies. You heave. Retrievingaction. Bring your rod back with a retrieving action, and when it takes thefish he goes right down to the bottom of the lake in the weeds.
Gypsy: And heplays with it, and he toys with it and he scales it. And in the meantime, allthe other fish gather around because he's showing off. I know he is! I knowhe's down at the bottom of the lake just showing off with this fish and when hedecides that he's had a big enough audience, then he turns it around in hismouth and swallows it, and that's when you have to set your hook.
Murrow: You know,you're the first person I've ever known who knew what a muskie did down therein the water.
Gypsy: Oh, I'veanalyzed it.
Fifty years ago,when Picasso, Matisse and their friends were first standing the art world onits head—and as every artist knew, Paris was the place to go—a young Ohioannamed George Bellows was painting too.
But Bellows neverjoined the trek to Paris. For one thing he had been too busy attending OhioState University and playing varsity baseball and basketball. When he didsettle down to study art (in New York) he paid part of his expenses by playingsemipro baseball (shortstop) in Brooklyn. The American scene, which he saw withvigor and in strong light, fascinated him more than the boulevards ofParis.
The triumphantsurvival of George Bellows' art, and of his discerning eye, is attested oncemore in Washington just now, where the National Gallery of Art is displaying150 of his oils and lithographs in the first one-man retrospective show in thegallery's history. Bellows died in 1925 at the age of 42.
On the gallerywalls, along with Bellows' famous portraits and landscapes, hang some of thefinest appraisals of sport ever painted. In an era when boxing was illegal inNew York except in private clubs, Bellows and his cronies used to visit a clubrun by Tom Sharkey, an ex-sailor and pugilist. From that period of his lifestem some of his most famous canvases. Stag at Sharkey's and Both Members ofThis Club have the impact of a gloved fist on the viewer. The garish lights,the heaving bodies, the blur of cigar smoke are as alive today as when hepainted them in the first decade of this century. His Dempsey and Firpo (SI,Jan. 10, 1955), which belongs to the Whitney Museum in New York City, is one ofthe most famous fight pictures in the world.
A summer spentnear Newport inspired paintings of tennis at the famous Casino, and visits onan estate in New Jersey produced some lively scenes of polo. Gregarious,affable, with a spontaneous sense of humor and utter disdain for the idea thatto be an artist one must be an ascetic, George Bellows enjoyed the challenge ofcontest and the exhilaration of sports.
He had not beenlong married when his young bride took him out to play golf on a new coursenear her family's home in Montclair, N.J. All went well for a while untilBellows, used to making hearty shouts across the net to his tennis opponentsand to "talking up" the infield chatter of a baseball game, could nolonger stand the peaceful stillness of the velvety greens and the genteel sottovoce of the players.
"Emma,"he said, "I don't like this game. It's too quiet." He never playedagain, and golf lost what might have been—loving analysis in paint by GeorgeBellows.
Elihu Abbott, amuskrat skinner from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, roused muskrat skinnerseverywhere last week by skinning three rats in 40.2 seconds (new world record)during preliminaries of the National Muskrat Skinning Championships atCambridge, Md. Not only was it a triumph for Abbott's foot-and-floor technique(one foot on the rat's tail), but it raised visions among muskrat skinners ofsomething long anticipated: five muskrats skinned in under one minute—theequivalent, in its way, of the under-four-minute mile.
Alas, in thefinals, Abbott disappointed. The winning time for the five-rat competition, wonby Russell Insley of Seward, Md., was a poky 1:19.2. There were extenuatingcircumstances, of course; the winter has been warmish on the Eastern Shore andmuskrats have lacked firmness. Abbott was disconsolate, nonetheless. Hedoubted, he said, that anyone would ever skin five rats in one minute—the dreamwas just too big.
Is getting littler;
He's idle, calm
And quite a whittler.
—F. E. WHITE
CURRENT WEEK & WHAT'S AHEAD
•Protective Tariffs for Sport?
Olympic Champion Toni Sailer will be in Aspen next month for the U.S. SkiChampionships—but only as a spectator. Reason: in a sport riddled with theequivalent of protective tariffs, Austrian and American ski fathers have notyet reached a reciprocity agreement allowing nationals of one country tocompete in the championships of the other.
•Football TV & the Status Quo
Unmoved by various state legislatures (Ohio, Indiana) stumping for opentelevision of college football games—or by a Big Ten proposal for no controlsother than a three-appearance limit—the NCAA asks its 473 member schools thisweek to approve a 1957 plan that should be fundamentally the same as lastyear's.
•Le Mans in a Pinch
The Sebring (Fla.) 12-hour event March 23 may be the biggest thing inautomobile racing this year. Europeans, fearing the Le Mans 24-hour race won'ttake place this year because of the pinch on gasoline, are sending top entriesto Sebring.
•Wyoming in a Precedent
Wyoming University may have set a defense precedent against contract-jumpingfootball coaches. Caught in the switch before, Wyoming put a"withholding" clause in the 3-year contract of its new coach BobDaveney. A portion of his salary will be withheld each month. If he jumps, heforfeits the amount withheld.