End of a Decade
As it must to all convicted of intolerable violation of the antitrust laws, dissolution came this week to the International Boxing Club (Truman Gibson, president; James D. Norris, former president). Ruling for the People, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the order of the district court (SI, July 1, '57) dismantling the iron web of monopoly which the IBC began to weave just a decade ago. The court ruled that the IBC has "exercised a stranglehold on the industry for a long period," that it amounted to "an odorous monopoly...still feared in the boxing world."
As editors of a four-year-old magazine which has for four years devoted substantial time and space to a documented account of the lamentable effects of the IBC monopoly, we look forward with good cheer to the prospects of a new and freer atmosphere in a great sport in the decade ahead.
South Bend Rebuttal
When Terry Brennan was dismissed as football coach of Notre Dame, the action was widely interpreted in the U.S. press as a retreat by the university in the face of "win-'em-all" alumni demands. This magazine called its own account Surrender at Notre Dame. On pages 16 17 of this issue the president of Notre Dame, Father Hesburgh, borrows our space to refute this interpretation. We are glad that Father Hesburgh has chosen SPORTS ILLUSTRATED as his forum, and we welcome his word that there has been no change in the standards that Father Hesburgh himself has set for Notre Dame; that the only surrender at South Bend is Notre Dame's long-committed "surrender to excellence on all fronts."
The Truly Small World
Christopher Columbus doubtless had his share of trouble on those transatlantic voyages back in the 1490s, but at least no one stepped down to the beach to greet him with that fine old cliché, "Well, it's a small world, isn't it?"
We regret to report that the same cannot be said of Columbus' most recent emulators. The somber fact is that the first words spoken in the Western Hemisphere to the daring four who had drifted for 24 days on wind and tide from the Old World to the New were—approximately—"Say, are you folks The Small World!" Except for the quibble that he was seeking factual information about the name of their frail craft, the questioner, a Barbados fisherman named Braithwaite, might just as well have been mouthing the cliché that echoes through the Ritz Bar in Paris a thousand times a week. And the funny part is that the cliché makes sense, for—dammit all—it is a small world, isn't it?
Some 1,875 well-filled commercial airliners made the trip between New York's Idlewild and various European airports in the three weeks Arnold (Bushy) Eiloart and his companions drifted over and on the Atlantic. The U.S. sent another satellite aloft to join the three already orbiting, each of which traversed Eiloart's projected course in a matter of minutes. Another steel monster flew skyward out of Russia to spurn the earth entirely and find its sport in the vaster area of the solar system. A revolution was consummated and a dictator ousted in the very island group toward which The Small World was headed.
And yet one day a native fisherman seeking dolphin saw a strange craft bobbing about in the wastes of the Atlantic and recognized it instantly. "Are you The Small World?" he asked. "Yes," answered Bushy Eiloart, now bushier than ever with a harum-scarum beard to match his shock of blond hair, but "No," we must answer for him. Neither the gas-filled balloon that kept them airborne for two days, nor the plastic boat that kept them afloat on the sea for 22 more, neither Eiloart himself nor his son Timothy, who promptly overate himself sick when they reached land, neither Colin Mudie, the eager yachtsman who kept them pointing in the right direction, nor his gallant wife Rosemary, whose first thought ashore was of bobby pins, properly constituted the small world of today. That world was the world on whose surface they drifted, not creatures from another universe as Columbus must once have seemed, but predictable, if unimportant, parts of a tight little global community so small that nothing in it is any more truly lost but only temporarily misplaced.
"Oh, it's you," the Barbados fisherman might well have said to the brave little party of foolhardy adventurers at the end of their long voyage. "Well, come on. I'm busy."
Tennis is not the only game at which Victor Denny, president of the USLTA, and Perry Jones, captain of the Davis Cup team, are experts. We learned last week that they are both pretty fair hands at one-upmanship as well, and even though we ourselves were in a sense the victims, we were downright pleased.
You may remember our suggesting that the Davis Cup itself be sent to Peru to stand on exhibition as a gesture of good will between the U.S. and the native land of its finest young tennis player, Alex Olmedo. We hoped when we wrote it that both Jones and Denny would prove amenable to the idea. As it turned out they were ahead of us. "Win or lose," said Victor Denny last week, "we had already thought of sending Alex, some of the other boys and Perry Jones on an exhibition tour of Peru and other South American countries. Personally I can think of no better way to spread good will and a sense of kinship. Like Olmedo's participation in the cup matches, it is a direct extension of what Dwight Davis envisioned when he first donated the trophy."
Perry Jones had an even more ambitious itinerary in mind. "I would like to deliver the cup to Vic Denny in Seattle," he said. "Then I would like to take it down to Los Angeles. The boys who won it would probably play an exhibition. Earl Buchholz and Chris Crawford need to get back to school and so does Olmedo, but I would like them to be on hand when we take the cup to New York. On the way I would like to stop at St. Louis, where Buchholz lives, and Dayton, Ohio, where Barry MacKay lives, show off the cup and give an exhibition. The Argentine invited Alex and me to Buenos Aires, and. Alex has an invitation to Peru. It would be a fine thing if we could go there and take the entire Davis Cup team with us."
There seems to be nothing left for us to do now except, perhaps, provide a suitable gocart for what promises to be a very peripatetic Davis Cup.
Goal to Go
The annual model change is becoming a standard procedure in college football, as it already is in the making of automobiles. Last year's chief restyling item—in football, not automaking—was the two-point conversion rule, which turned out to be as much of a commercial success as tail fins.
Right now the game's 11 designers (they are the members of the NCAA Football Rules Committee, and seven of them are coaches) are meeting in Los Angeles to plan changes for 1959. Most of the nation's coaches want the goal posts back on the goal line, from which they were moved in 1932. If they can't have them back where they were, then they are willing to compromise to get the same effect: at their recent meeting in Cincinnati, the coaches suggested three different goal-post designs for the NCAA committee to consider, obviously in the hope that if one was rejected, another would pass. The net effect of each design, of course, is to make field goals easier to kick.
First, said the coaches (through their Advisory Rules Committee), they would like to have the crossbar and uprights projected over the goal line, though the supports for them might be set back in the end zone, out of the players' way. Failing that, they would like to keep the goal posts right where they are but lower the crossbar from 10 feet to nine and make the uprights 28 feet 9 inches apart instead of 18 feet 6 inches. This design would give the kicker a bigger target and so compensate for its being 10 yards farther away.
But if this, too, fails to please, the coaches have still another plan: keep the supports on the end line but cantilever the uprights and the crossbar three feet into the end zone and put the uprights 20 feet 10 inches apart.
The Rules Committee, naturally, may choose any one or none of these arrangements. But the very number of them suggests that coaches have now found a convenient point at which to make the yearly model change: they can redesign the goal posts. Crossbars can rise one year and drop the next, like the hemlines of women's dresses, and uprights can move in and out.
Actually, the coaches have already been outdone by a man named Gordon W. Plough of Wenatchee, Wash. Mr. Plough has designed goal posts of standard dimensions, gracefully cantilevered over the goal line on steel arcs. Embedded in the top of the crossbar are 36 electric lights, each beamed straight up. When a football passes through these beams, says Mr. Plough, colored lights on top of the goal posts will flash wildly, signaling either an extra point or a field goal. "These posts," he adds, "would be permanent installations. Guards would have to be posted to safeguard them at the conclusion of each game."
Mr. Plough designed his flashing goal posts with professional football in mind, but obviously he has created just what the college coaches are looking for, and then some. We recommend Mr. Plough to the NCAA, and the NCAA to Mr. Plough.
What the overextended armies of Napoleon and Hitler learned too late about campaigning against Russia, the Russians have known all along: nobody wins on a half full stomach. This theorem worked at Moscow and it worked at Stalingrad. For the 18 Soviet hockey players now campaigning across the U.S., it has also worked in New York, Minneapolis, Hibbing, Detroit and Denver. The Russians have beaten our best amateurs four times and tied them twice. Fueling all these triumphs has been another one: the visitors have magnificently outeaten us.
Intent upon maintaining diets of 5,000 calories a day or better, the Russians began to gnaw on western stockpiles during a Canada series in late December. Their hosts, the Canadian Hockey Association, picked up the checks with strained good humor for a while. But the Soviet players, absorbing up to eight beefsteaks apiece a day, overtaxed the association budget and had to be put on a squad dining-room allowance of a flat $350 per diem.
When the team with its seven coaches and managers moved into New York, Manhattan's Hotel Paramount served them nine meals, added up the checks, and billed the American Hockey Association for more than $1,000. Once arrived in Detroit (check for a 2 a.m. airport snack: $90.25), the guests ordered this way—11.30 a.m. refueler: double orange juice, two broiled double lamb chops, home-fried potatoes, marmalade, jam, two glasses of milk and a half loaf or so of pumpernickel; 4 p.m. pregame meal: pineapple juice, marinated herring, chicken consommé with rice, 12-ounce chopped steak under two fried eggs, hash-browned potatoes, sliced tomatoes, double milk, apples, pears, bananas, and a half loaf or so of pumpernickel; 11:30 p.m. postgame meal: ham omelet, American-fried potatoes, sliced tomatoes, milk and another half loaf or so of pumpernickel.
Next morning they were downstairs early, before pushing off to Denver, to take on a breakfast of roast chicken, whipped potatoes, creamed carrots, jam, milk and a final clearing of the pumpernickel supply. Behind them, in the Hotel Detroit-Leland, a traditional stopping place for professional hockey players and other athletes, they left a visibly impressed catering manager, Miss Doris Thompson, a veteran of 26 years in the dietary business. Miss Thompson guessed she had witnessed something like an alltime world record in food consumption: "It just did my heart real good."
Give Him a Hand
I'd like you to meet the new commissioner of the New York State Athletic Commission, Major General Commissioner Melvin Krulewitch of the United States Marine Corps," Johnny Addie, the ring announcer, told some 2,000 somnolent fans in the chill and gloomy reaches of Madison Square Garden (capacity, 18,857) last Friday night. "Give him a hand." Major General Melvin Levin Krulewitch (pronounced crew-la-wich), USMCR (ret.), a strapping (6 feet 1 inch, 191 pounds) 63-year-old Republican lawyer who had been appointed commission chairman by Governor Nelson Rockefeller to replace Julius Helfand, a Democratic lawyer, arose and acknowledged the meager applause. Then he sat down and saw a lousy fight.
Earlier in the week the New York press had met the general and learned that he does not wear undershirts, that he did not know who Cus D'Amato is (he is the manager of Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson), that he did not know what position Truman Gibson holds (he has been president of the International Boxing Club), that he speaks French and Spanish (he also speaks German, Italian, Yiddish, Hebrew and a few words of Chinese and in 1957 conducted a multilingual and unsuccessful campaign for election as Borough President of Manhattan), that he fought in three wars (World War I, World War II and Korea), that his maternal grandfather, Harris Levin, was a Confederate soldier in Co. L, Virginia Reserves during the Civil War, that he was once a wrestler at Columbia College and that he cautiously does not want to "express any opinions until I get a chance to see what the picture is."
The picture, General, is a bleak landscape populated by infrequent fights which are usually poorly attended. It has been muddied with favoritism, monopoly and, occasionally, conniving and faulty officiating. It is not a pretty picture or an easy one to understand. We hope that when the general sees what it is he will do something about it and we give him a hand in expectation.
We have two questions: Who was the last American to win an international Grand Prix of the highest rank? Who will do it next?
Go to the head of the class if your answers are Jimmy Murphy and Phil Hill. It has been nearly 38 years since Murphy won the French Grand Prix aboard a Duesenberg—a galling reminder of this nation's fall from its old eminence (such as it was) in international road racing. You may poach us in engine oil, though, if Hill, driving an Italian Ferrari, does not make amends before very long.
It was with this hope, as well as in recognition of the recent achievements of the 31-year-old Californian, that the editors of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED honored Hill this week as the U.S. Sports Car Driver of the Year.
"Phil Hill was the most successful and distinguished American circuit racing driver of the year 1958," said his citation, which remarked his victories in the leading sports car races of three continents; the 24 Hours of Le Mans (with Belgium's Olivier Gendebien), the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the 1,000 Kilometers of Argentina (both with Britain's Peter Collins). His debut in Grand Prix racing, the citation went on, was of such caliber that he might one day become the champion driver of the world.
True enough. In the meantime we'll settle for one Grand Prix victory. On, Hill! On Ferrari! We have waited long enough.
These basketballs, if you've inquired,
Piled up in flabby mounds,
Have seen their day—they've been retired
Because they're out of bounds.
They Said It
Richardson Dilworth, mayor of Philadelphia, launching a Keep-the-Phillies-in-Philadelphia drive: "We are just getting over the old vaudeville jokes about sleepy Philadelphia. If we lose big league baseball when every other city is fighting for it, it is going to do us a great deal of harm."
Willie Hunter, Los Angeles' Riviera Country Club golf professional and longtime observer of great golfers: "This young lad Venturi may be the player everyone has been waiting for. He has the game in his pocket."
Teddy (The Pants) Tinling, British play-clothes designer, announcing that his Wimbledon innovation this year will be wigs: "I have never before succeeded in extending my work above the neck."