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THE QUESTION: Does a man have to be a teetotaler to be a good athlete?

Feb. 24, 1958
Feb. 24, 1958

Table of Contents
Feb. 24, 1958

Snow Patrol
Acknowledgments
Tigers In The Garden
Jack Kramer
Sporting Look
Food
Basketball
Fitness
Baseball
Skiing
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

THE QUESTION: Does a man have to be a teetotaler to be a good athlete?

ROGER BANNISTER
London
First four-minute miler
Alcohol is only harmful in excess. Taken occasionally in moderation it can help break the monotony of strict training. I cannot remember an athlete who was a total abstainer. In Oxford drinking beer was regarded as the most pleasant way of replenishing moisture lost through exertion.

This is an article from the Feb. 24, 1958 issue

BOBBY LAYNE
Quarterback
Detroit Lions
That's putting me on the spot with all the unfair publicity I've got about skylarking, but I do know a lot of players who relax with a drink or two and it doesn't hurt. You've got to have a few beers to loosen up after a hard game. Too much drinking doesn't do any good.

JIM KELLY
Minneapolis
U.S. Olympic track coach
Use of intoxicating liquor can't help but be detrimental, if for no other reason than that it breaks training habits. While some older athletes may use liquor during the off season, they would still be better off without it.

DR. SIEGFRIED S. MEYERS
New York City
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Yes, in school but not afterwards. I was the 100-yard swimming champion at New York University. I still race three times a week, but before each race I take a slug of cognac, which is desirable at my age, 50, to dilate the arteries for strenuous play.

JOSEPH T. CASCARELLA
Executive vice-president and secretary
Laurel Race Course
No. I played football in college and big league baseball. I can name some of the greatest athletes who drank during their careers. Whether or not they would have been greater athletes as teetotalers is something no one can answer.

GEORGE F. CHAPLINE
Vice-president
Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp.
Heck, no. I was on the track team at the Naval Academy. Coaches laid down the law against drinking. I agree it is a must to be a teetotaler during the training season. But on occasions, when hunting, etc., liquor has its merits.

DR. MAXWELL LAPHAM
Tulane University
Dean of Medical School
No, although I do not mean to pass judgment on the use of liquor. Many athletes do drink. I have always counseled moderation in everything, but I also believe that college athletes should do what their coaches tell them.

EIGHT PHOTOS