The Oval Halo
In Chicago theother day, John I. Kirkpatrick, the University of Chicago's vice-chancellor foradministration, told a lettermen's reunion that their alma mater saw no way ofresuming big-time football and then found himself off on a philosophical kickabout the worth of it all.
"In fouryears of college football," mused Mr. Kirkpatrick, himself an old linemanfrom Lehigh, "I figure I spent 800 hours in uniform. About one-fifth weredevoted to playing the game. Most of my time was spent in falling on the ball,tackling the dummy, signal drills, and none of this was much sport.
"Not oncesince my college days have I called up the 21 others to see if they wanted toplay some football." Mr. Kirkpatrick thinks now he might have spent hisfootball time better on tennis, golf or "some other carry-oversport."
Mr. Kirkpatricklooked out at the other football veterans and went on: "That son of yourswho is a pretty nice guy weighing 150 pounds stands a very tiny chance ofmaking a football team. Boys of all different sizes stand a chance of becominga varsity player in swimming, track, wrestling, boxing, tennis—but not infootball.
"I have saidall these things about football in order to cut off part of the oval halo thatmany people thrust about football's headgear."
Mr. Kirkpatrickthen summed it all up. "Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying thesedebits outweigh the credits of football. I'm very glad I played the game....I'd do it again."
In fact, Mr.Kirkpatrick concluded, what made him most angry was the fact that the present"swollen proportions" of the game made it impossible for the Universityof Chicago to get back into it.
Blue by Three
The wind finallydied at twilight, and the patient crews paddled slowly to the starting lineunder the New London railroad bridge where the Thames River spills into LongIsland Sound. The nor'wester had blown all day, sweeping the skies crystalblue, sending the gulls soaring until they were mere specks in the heaven. Now,an hour after the scheduled start, the wind quit, as though weary of defying107 years of Yale-Harvard rowing tradition, and the whitecaps melted into long,gentle swells. It was good water for rowing.
Harvard took aslight lead at the start of the four-mile race. The Crimson racing start washigher, more prolonged than Yale's, and shortly the naked, glistening shouldersof the Harvard oarsmen told of their effort. Yale settled to a 28 beat early inthe race and remained content to trail by a few feet until the mile mark. ThenYale Coxswain Bill Becklean called upon his blue-clad eight to raise the strokea beat. Yale, still understroking Harvard, went slightly ahead.
A four-mile boatrace is one of the most testing trials in sport. It is a classic distance thatgives a true test of rowing technique and conditioning. Somewhere past thetwo-mile mark each oarsman has to reach to the depths of his endurance to finda store of energy tucked away for exactly this occasion. To some it comesmechanically, to others with great mental effort. To a few, it does not come atall.
At the 2½-milemark Yale began to pull out though neither crew had changed its beat. Bob Zeeb,the Harvard No. 4, seemed to be in trouble.
Zeeb's head sankto his chest and his face was contorted with the agony of breathing. He latersaid a burning filled his lungs and something seemed to explode in his head.Miraculously, he kept rhythm with the other oars, but his motions were merelyreflexive. At the 3½-mile mark Zeeb missed water on two successive strokes.Mike Zuromskis, behind Zeeb in the No. 3 seat, splashed water on him in afrantic effort to keep Zeeb conscious. It helped, but not much. Yale by now hadopen water and was still moving away. That was the race.
The Elis won bythree lengths and finished out their first undefeated season since 1934. It wasa great day for Yale and a fine victory, but more than a few of the horns andsirens blaring from the flotilla of yachts at the finish were for the fine racerowed by Harvard and the gallant show of discipline and courage put on by theCrimson's No. 4.
To Ship a ShellShipshape
If three isanything more vexatious to transport than a pole vaulter's pole or a platypus,it is certainly an eight-oared shell, which, although it is 62 feet long, is ofsuch spindly construction that it weighs only 285 pounds. During the pastfortnight the shipping problem has been solved four ways for the four shellswhich have been sent to England for the Royal Henley Regatta.
The University ofWashington's shell, housed in a three-sided cover of one-eighth-inch plywood byits solicitous builder George Pocock, was racked on a special frame in a70-foot baggage car for the rail trip to New York. In New York the boat wastransferred by trailer to Idlewild where it was slipped into a nose-loadingConstellation for the flight to London.
The shell of theHarvard 150-pound crew, on the other hand, was boxed in an intricate 11-piececrate designed by Harvard carpenters and assembled at dockside in Boston beforebeing loaded on the United States Lines steamer American Packet. And theWashington-Lee High School shell was transported by a trailer built in theschool's manual training class from Arlington, Va. to New York, where it toowas shipped abroad by air.
The mostingenious and delightful solution was that of Connecticut's Kent School, which,after all, is an old hand at shell shipping, having participated at Henley on12 occasions. Quite early one morning this week, before the traffic becamethick, a Kent truck, the shell riding atop, pulled up at the Cunard pier in NewYork. Coach Tote Walker and his crew took their shell down, marched it up thegangplank of the Queen Mary and proceeded into the Pig and Whistle, thesailors' bar. There, with the assistance of the Queen's crew, they hung itathwartships from the ceiling, where the sailors may contemplate its delicatelines while drinking their grog.
A Visit withCavan
I'm no expert onrace horses, Tom," said the visitor to Stall 5, Barn 26, at Monmouth Parkin New Jersey.
"Well, ifthat is so," said Tom Barry, the Irish-born trainer of the Irish-bredCavan, pronounced CAV-an, "you're the first man I've met whowasn't."
"But I cansee," said the visitor, peering into the stall where the handsome chestnut,fresh from his victory in the Belmont Stakes, was having his dinner, "thatthis is a beautiful specimen of a horse. Tell me, Tom, where did I get theimpression that he was small?"
"I don'tknow," said Tom Barry, a heavy-set man with not a gray hair in his headalthough 50 past.
"He's muchsmaller than Tim Tarn, the poor unfortunate," said the visitor.
"I don'tthink so," said Tom Barry mildly. He opened the screen to the stall andmotioned to the visitor. "Come in here," he said, "and you'll seethat the closer you get to him, the bigger he looks."
"Ah,yes," said the visitor. "It puts me in mind of what Billy Martin saidwhen he was rooming with Mickey Mantle. The more clothes Mickey took off, saidBilly, the bigger he got."
Cavan reached outand nibbled affectionately at Tom Barry's hand.
"Tell me,Tom," said the visitor, "is his disposition good?"
"Ah, itis," said Tom Barry, stroking Cavan's forehead. "He's the best-naturedhorse I ever handled. He makes no trouble for anybody. He has good manners,which is the mark of all good horses."
"Is that afact?" said the visitor, reaching out a hand to touch Cavan's forehead.
"Look at theway his eyes are set far apart," said Tom Barry, "and the broadforehead between. That's the sure sign of intelligence in a horse. That was thething attracted him to me when Paddy Prendergast first showed him to me as ayearling on the other side. I wanted him for the owner, Mr. O'Connell, rightaway, but Paddy made me take another yearling I didn't want in order to getthis one."
"Tell methis, Tom," said the visitor. "I'm no expert on race horses, but why isit that some horses are so nervous and skittish all the time and others are socool, calm and collected like this fellow here? Is it the feed or diet orwhat?"
"Ahorse," said Tom Barry, gently pushing Cavan around so as to get a betterlook at him, "will very often reflect the temperament of the man whohappens to be handling him."
"In otherwords," said-the visitor, "a nervous trainer will make a nervoushorse."
"It's not aninfallible rule," said Tom Barry.
"Butsurely," said the visitor, "you yourself are a very even-temperedman."
"Ah, I don'tlet things bother me," said Tom Barry, giving Cavan a final pat and backingout of the stall, closing the screen again.
"I don't seeany pets around the stall," said the visitor. "Doesn't Cavan need abuddy, a cat or a rooster or something?"
"No,"said Tom Barry, "he's entirely self-sufficient. Now when I was trainingErrard King a few years ago, we had to put a goat in the stall with him to keephim happy."
"ErrardKing!" exclaimed the visitor. "He was owned by Gavegnano, the baker inBoston! You had a great success with him, Tom!"
"Colossal," said Tom Barry, "colossal. He won the Arlington Classicand the American Derby in 1954. He earned more than $300,000 in all."
Cavan, finishedwith his dinner, stuck his head over the screen and looked up and down the rowto see what was going on. There wasn't a soul in sight except a littleblack-and-white dog scratching his ear. Tom Barry looked at Cavan and Cavanlooked back with the wide-set eyes and the intelligence of him, as much as tosay was there anything new in the Morning Telegraph.
"What areyour plans for Cavan now?" said the visitor. "When will he run,Tom?"
"Well,"said Tom Barry, letting Cavan examine the back of his hand, "he's run fourSaturdays in a row. He's entitled to a rest. He'll run in the $50,000Providence Stakes at Narragansett on the 9th of July. Then we'll come back hereto Monmouth before shipping to Chicago for the $100,000 stakes, the ArlingtonClassic and the American Derby."
"Oh, ho,"said the visitor. "Well, now there's an interesting bit of information. Ihear that Calumet will have Tim Tarn's stablemate, Kentucky Pride, in theClassic and the Derby as well. Now, Tom, I think you'll have your hands fulltrying to beat Kentucky Pride at a mile in the Classic. But Cavan would be mychoice in the Derby because a mile and an eighth is a distance of ground thatsuits him better. Do you agree?"
Cavan pulled hishead back into the stall and went over and stood against the back wall. TomBarry looked at his wristwatch.
"I'm due homefor lunch," he said. "In fact, I'm late for it."
"Oh, I'msorry if I've detained you," said the visitor, "and I thank you foryour hospitality, I'm sure. Will your lunch be cold now?"
"Not atall," said Tom Barry. "And what if it is? It's been a pleasure talkingto an expert."
When people turntheir attention to the tennis championships at Wimbledon, starting June 23,they may do so with hope, skepticism or plain curiosity; but in every case theyare certain to do it with interest. Lew Hoad, who won the men's singles lastyear, is now a professional. The scramble for the succession will take placeamong several players who could make Wimbledon 1958 a final steppingstone tothe top ranks. One of them is Ashley Cooper, the present Australian champion,who took a short (55 minutes) and decisive drubbing from Hoad in the Wimbledonfinal last year. Another is Mervyn Rose, who has just won both the French andthe Italian championships and at the moment is in the best form of anybody.And—to turn from Australia to the United States—it could be Barry MacKay.
Downing a quartof milk and a turkey sandwich the other day, just a few hours before his planeleft for London, MacKay advanced a straight-forward idea about Wimbledon:"I think I can win it." Much of his confidence came from an experiencethat ought to galvanize any young tennis player—two periods of touring as anamateur observer and practice target with Jack Kramer's pros. The arrangementwas made for MacKay by Kramer and by the new Davis Cup captain, Perry Jones. Itwas designed to add both toughness and polish to MacKay's game, with the hopethat these qualities would come in handy at Wimbledon and later in Davis Cupplay.
MacKay thinks itworked. "Suddenly a lot of guys I came up against didn't seem nearly astough as before." He won at Houston's River Oaks tournament in April, andat Caracas in May. For the past few weeks he has been in New York, testinghimself every day against good opposition: Dick Savitt, Victor Seixas, DonaldBudge.
Still anothercandidate is Mai Anderson, the Australian cattle rancher who is the presentUnited States champion. When he came from an unseeded nowhere to win theNationals at Forest Hills last September, he weighed 150 pounds. Now, after twomonths' rest with no tennis ("There was nobody to play with") on hisfather's 4,000-acre Hereford ranch in Queensland, he weighs a lean 170 and isthe pleased winner of a struggle in which he was cast as David and the LawnTennis Association of Australia as Goliath. Tennis was involved, of course, butactually it was one of those heartwarming battles in which love conqueredall.
Anderson marrieda pretty Australian girl named Daphne Emerson last October. Like many a tennisplayer before him, he wanted to take his wife along on his travels, but nomatter what arrangements he proposed the LTAA turned thumbs down. No, he couldnot set up a private itinerary and accept travel expenses from tournamentdirectors. Yes, he was wanted on the Australian team, but he could not gosecond class and use the money thus saved to pay part of Daphne's way. Therewere Americans who offered to finance another appearance of the tense andbrilliant youngster who walked off with their championship last year, but, no,Anderson could not accept the money.
Anderson's answerwas to withdraw from the Australian team, and so get along without either LTAAorders or LTAA money. He and his father are footing his travel bills, of whichthere will be some $3,000 worth.
His wife is withhim. If Anderson should win at Wimbledon, with Daphne on the sidelines, itwould be a popular victory.
Althea Gibson,the women's singles champion last year, now finds herself seriously threatenedfrom each side of the Atlantic by a teen-age girl. Maria Bueno of Brazil, whois 19, won four titles on the Caribbean and American circuit last winter, thentook the Rome championship in her first European appearance. The tennis worldis agreed that 5-foot-5 Maria is a coming champion. "Principally," saysWilliam Talbert, "she moves—and moves in the right direction. Unlike mostwomen, she goes to the net at every opportunity." Already Maria has beatenmost of the top-ranked U.S. players, and once she came close to beating AltheaGibson herself.
Althea's otherworry is 17-year-old Christine Truman of England. Last year Christine, who hadhoped to get as far as the third round at Wimbledon, went all the way fromtotal obscurity to the semifinals. There her game fell apart under AltheaGibson's attack. Last Saturday, however, it was a different story. The Britishwomen won the Wightman Cup matches (played in England this year) for the firsttime since 1930. The brightest victory belonged to Christine Truman, whodefeated U.S. and British Champion Althea Gibson 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. It was anupset, but the kind that could happen again. No matter where you look atWimbledon this year, everything is interesting—and anything can happen.
He tore the coveroff the ball
With vigorous attack;
The umpire took one look at it
And made him sew it back.
They Said It
Tommy Bolt, announcing metamorphosis intoTame-Tempered Tommy after a first-round 71 in the U.S. Open that he went on towin (see page 34): "Before, when I missed a shot, I wanted to kill myself.Now I try to forget it. I didn't get religious or anything like that. Just gavemyself a good talking to. See what a sweet thing I've become?"
Harold Carter, poetry-reading heavyweight, asked—afterhe had won a unanimous decision over Willi Besmanoff—if he had any poeticthoughts during the fight: "I ran over a few lines, 'If you can keep yourhead, while all around you men are losing theirs.' "
Percy Cerutty, coach of the sub-4-minute miler HerbElliott, lamenting the small financial rewards of the amateur athlete: "Aguy like Elliott tears his insides out and what does he get? A wristwatch whenhe's already got two."
TY COBB: "I regret to this day that I never wentto college. I feel that I should have been a doctor."