The excerpts from SPORTS ILLUSTRATED that follow are related in that they are all by the same writer. They are from different stories, but they are also related in reflecting the quality of imaginative writing and sensitive reporting that we hope most often characterizes our editorial content and adds distinction to it.
"As a result of Liston's quick victory over Folley there is a tremendous publicity campaign for him," D'Amato grumbled the other day, as if publicity were something that blew off a swamp.
He shakes your hand as though it were a live bird whose tiny bones would break....
Fighting with the desperate, jerky violence of a character in an old silent film, Robinson lost....
January 9, 1961
When Maurice Richard scores a goal in the Forum, even an insignificant goal in a meaningless game, it touches off a unique celebration. First, an astonishing, prolonged din of cheering and applause; then newspapers, programs, galoshes, hats are thrown onto the ice. Richard skates in abstracted, embarrassed, lonely circles through the heavy snow of objects.
Floyd slept, sunk in the front seat, his head against the door, as the car passed through Brooklyn, through the late, peculiar light of summer evening. In front of the dark red tenements of Atlantic Avenue children in their undershirts turned grave cartwheels. On the broad sidewalks, under the thick shade trees, was the idle, noisy congress, watching it get dark. Love songs roared with fitful passion from passing cars. The soft air blew across Floyd's still, sleeping, serious head, and the early neon washed his face with many colors. It was as though he were being borne, unrecognized, back through the streets he had come off, passing on a stoop the quiet, stubborn, roaming child who fathered him and sent him restlessly forth.
This last paragraph has not yet appeared in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, but it will be in next week's issue in a story that tells, I think, more about the personality of the heavyweight champion than anything else ever written on Floyd Patterson. Like the rest of the quotations, it also indicates the particular talents of Gilbert Rogin, the young staff member who wrote them all.