Ernest Hemingway was a man of courage who wrote magnificently about brave men. Whatever he did, as sportsman or writer, he did with verve and without conformity. Wherever he went—hunting in Africa, fishing in the Caribbean, to the bullfights in Spain—he enjoyed himself. He took much from life, but like all great artists he gave extraordinary pleasure in return.
This is an article from the July 10, 1961 issue
ERROR OF JUDGMENT
Sonny Liston has been exonerated in his latest brush with the law (19th arrest since 1950) and therefore is eligible to fight for the heavyweight title.
Philadelphia Magistrate E. David Kei-ser heard the evidence against Liston and co-defendant Isaac Cooper: that they had chased Mrs. Delores Ellis in their car through a lonely stretch of a city park in the predawn hours of June 12, had shone a spotlight in her face, forced her car to a stop and ordered her out of it, and had driven away at high speed, with their lights out, when a park guard approached to investigate. Liston's manager, George Katz, said that Liston and Cooper were doing road work in the park, at his orders—apparently a light workout, behind the wheel. In dismissing the charges, Magistrate Keiser ruled that Liston was guilty only of "errors of judgment."
The same day, the headmaster of a boys' school in Connecticut was appearing before a Hartford judge on charges of cruel treatment of his pupils. He admitted disciplining one boy by putting him in a gas-operated clothes dryer and turning the machine on. He left court with a $50 fine and a suspended sentence because he was only guilty, the judge ruled, of an "error of judgment."
These cases, we believe, signal a milestone in jurisprudence. Such classic determinations as "guilty," "innocent," or "not guilty" may be replaced in all courts and all cases by "slightly guilty because of error of judgment." Frankie Carbo should have had the benefit of this one.
Rugby in New Zealand is rough, and officials are trying to curb the mayhem. One player named Bob Lysaght was reprimanded recently by a referee for biting an opposing player. Admitting the fault, Lysaght said earnestly in his defense: "It wasn't as bad as it looked, sir. I didn't have my top teeth in."
BASKETBALL SCANDAL (CONT.)
The University of Detroit, already upset by New York District Attorney Frank Hogan's disclosure that two of its basketball stars took money from gamblers to shave points, got an even ruder shock the other day. The two players told a Detroit News reporter that they had been receiving under-the-table payments from alumni for their basketball services.
Charlie North, a junior, and John Morgan, a sophomore, described how a letter mysteriously appeared in their mailboxes on the first and 15th of every month. It contained money. How much? "Twenty dollars," said North. "But it wasn't from the school," added Morgan. "It was from the alumni."
North and Morgan had previously admitted they each took $50 from gamblers last December. Earlier in 1960 the gamblers had written two letters to them The players gave the letters to their coach, Bob Calihan. He in turn gave them to Detroit's part-time athletic director, John Mulroy. Mulroy apparently did nothing. The two players, according to Hogan, were again contacted by gamblers, and later they allegedly tried to dump the Detroit-Ohio State game.
On June 16, North and Morgan were expelled from school—after taking final examinations—for "admitted contacts with gamblers." It was not until after that, and thus conveniently long after the basketball season, that the gamblers' letters were revealed.
The NCAA is investigating, and, as usual, is refusing to admit that it is. Both the school and its alumni organization are disclaiming any knowledge of the monthly $40 payments to the players. Mulroy and the University president, the Very Rev. Laurence V. Britt, S.J., are both in Detroit and at their jobs, but neither is answering the phone or talking to callers about the case.
The NCAA also should be interested in the development of North and Morgan as college players. Though they were local boys, neither had good enough grades to attend Detroit. So they went—or, rather, were sent by a benefactor—to Coalinga Junior College in California. When their grades improved, they transferred to Detroit.
The NCAA might also look into the six-year-old Gus Dorais Memorial Foundation, an association of 250 Detroit alumni, which annually supplies the school with $25,000 for scholarships for incoming freshman athletes. Detroit's expanding football aspirations (Army and Navy are scheduled for this fall) are helped by this group.
HOW MUCH HU HU?
At this moment, in the middle of the Los Angeles-to-Honolulu race, there is a boat called No Hu Hu. In Chinese-Hawaiian dialect, no hu hu means no sweat. Now, in the Honolulu race, there is usually a great deal of hu hu, especially on the part of the navigator, who has about 12 days and 2,230 miles of wide, unmarked ocean in which to make irretrievable blunders. But if any boat ever sails a perfect line to Honolulu, it should be No Hu Hu. Her course has been plotted not by a mere human but by IBM solid-state (no electronic tubes) computer No. 1620.
Is this unfair? Probably not. The fact that the 1620 is a solid-state machine qualifies it from the outset, since the minds of many navigators seem to achieve a solid state somewhere about mid-race. Two boats, one in 1906 and another in 1926, managed to pass Honolulu without sighting the finish line, and one of them missed the island of Oahu altogether; another racer (1957) once reported her position three miles inland in the desert behind Ensenada, Mexico.
The machine seems able to correlate its experiences and draw a conclusion. Fed bushels of data from past races, it whirred and hummed and belched out an ideal course, with alternate courses on a 5° basis. How did the 1620 muster this decisive attitude in a sport of such ultimate chance as ocean racing? "Well," said an earnest young executive at IBM's central command post in New York, "it's really a kind of optimized simulation program. What we're using here is matrix inversion."
Such voluptuous phrasing should encourage sailors on No Hu Hu's rivals, since this is the way real navigators always talk. Example: "I got a cross-fix last night on Aldebaran and Sagittarius in the northern quadrant of the Pleiades." Lay translation: "We're lost."
Because of dissatisfaction with the Amateur Athletic Union and its policies—some of the points of dissatisfaction are almost as old as the policies—or because they feel it unwise to abandon jobs and families for 3½ weeks, some of America's best track-and-field athletes have decided to pass up this month's European tour. It is unfortunate that our very best team will not represent us in Moscow, Stuttgart, London and Warsaw—particularly in Moscow—but it is not a thing over which one should shed a bucket of tears.
Those who have announced that they will stay behind are Hal Connolly and Al Hall, hammer throw; Dallas Long and Parry O'Brien, shotput; Al Oerter and Rink Babka, discus throw; Ron Morris, pole vault; Otis Davis, 400-meter run; and Bill Alley, javelin. Some of them have very good reasons for turning down the trip; the others have reasons good enough to satisfy themselves. In any event, it is their right and privilege to remain at home.
Some people feel that the U.S. vs. U.S.S.R. dual meet is more an instrument of international politics than a rousing test of international athletic skill. If they are right, then the State Department, not the AAU, should run the tour. The State Department should intercede with employers and wives, the State Department should reimburse athletes for time lost at their jobs, the State Department should furnish jet transportation instead of propellers and enough fresh milk and thick steaks and green vegetables and comfortable beds to keep everyone wreathed in smiles. But so long as these events are athletic and not political, the AAU will run the tour—probably just as it always has, regrettably—and those who choose to withstand the bumbling arrangements and hardships can go along, with honor and glory and occasional dysentery as their reward. The rest can continue to say no, thanks.
There is one other point worth raising. The U.S. team that is going is not weak; neither is it appreciably weaker than it might have been. While not all of the replacements for the men who have withdrawn are in the same class, in almost every case the replacement is better than the Russian opposition. The U.S. still has a ton of shotputters better than anything the Russians have, a skyful of 15-foot vaulters, the best discus thrower in the world this year and several quarter-milers capable of running red, white and blue rings around their Soviet Union opponents. Only the loss of Connolly can be considered a serious blow, for sometimes Connolly is better than the Russians. Sometimes—as at Rome last summer or at Philadelphia in '59—he is not.
In the two previous dual meets, our men defeated the Russian men quite handily. They probably will do it again. If they don't—well, that's what sporting competition is all about. No hara-kiri, please.
Brigitte (how the name catches the eye!) is a goat. Or maybe a sheep. You wouldn't think this made much difference in sporting circles. But it makes a great deal of difference to Kracovie, whose best friend Brigitte is, and to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Raoul Van Rillas, owner of Kracovie, the fastest trotting mare in France, claims Brigitte is a sheep—a St. Cloud mountain' sheep. (There is no doubt about Brigitte's sex.) The people at Roosevelt Raceway, where Kracovie will race on July 15 in the International Trot, also say Brigitte is a sheep. On the other hand, Brigitte looks like a goat. The other day she butted a photographer in the manner of a goat—despite the fact that she has no horns.
All this would be academic except for two things—U.S. policy regarding goats and Kracovie's touching friendship for Brigitte. Under certain conditions, it seems, the U.S. will let sheep into this country, but we are very tough on goats. It has to do with the likelihood that goats carry hoof-and-mouth disease. Anyway, Brigitte was not allowed to get on the plane from Paris last week. So Kracovie came to this country without her friend.
Now bedded down at Roosevelt Raceway, Kracovie is very gloomy without Brigitte—and this worries a lot of people because Kracovie was a very ordinary trotter till she met Brigitte. Then she won nine out of 13 races. She doesn't eat much, and she either ignores or kicks the baa out of well-meaning goats that the raceway people, with all the good will in the world, foist on her as Brigitte. Local residents say they are getting up a petition to the Secretary of Agriculture to allow Brigitte to enter the U.S. We'll sign it. We don't know if Brigitte is a goat who thinks she is a sheep or a sheep who thinks she is a goat. The important thing is, let's make Kracovie happy.
Minutes before the start of the Harold Johnson-Eddie Machen heavyweight fight in Atlantic City last Saturday, a television crewman got out a cue card, which announced: "Don't go away, folks. We'll bring you another bout in just a minute." This message is read in the event of a first-round knockout, always a sponsor's nightmare. As it developed, the television boys didn't have a thing to worry about. There would be no knockout in Atlantic City.
It was a friendly little fight between two careful men. Both jabbed and jabbed and jabbed, reserving their right hands, perhaps, for handshakes. When the 10 rounds were over, Referee Paul Cavalier, the only official, awarded the fight to Johnson, 5-4-1, though he might just as easily have called it a draw.
The fight was held in the 43,000-seat Convention Hall, where the Miss America contests take place. ("Now, there's real excitement," said a man.) A huge green curtain divided the hall in half, but even so the shouts and, eventually, boos of the 3,900-plus fans sounded like lost voices in a dark cave.
There was a flicker of excitement in the fifth round when Machen opened a gash over Johnson's right eye. "It was a butt that did it," said Johnson later. "A jab," said Machen. As Machen moved in to press his advantage, his own right eye began to twitch violently, and he had to back off. "It felt like a hot poker had been stuck in there," he said. "I thought my eye fell out. He got me with his thumb." "It was a right hook," said Johnson. "A hook?" said Machen. "Maybe he hooks with his thumb. I don't know."
Later, returning from his shower, Johnson bumped into Machen in the hallway. Each whispered something in the other's ear, and then both chuckled like a pair of schoolboys. "Nice fight," said Johnson as they parted. "Nice clean fight."
Around the bend at the race course at Bridgehampton, Long Island a white Austin-Healey whips into view, drifting wide at high speed. Tires shriek, water sprays from the wet track, the rear end slews out farther and farther in a wide spin and the car shudders to a halt. The door snaps open, a natty, white-helmet-ed figure steps out, and up to the camera strides Professor Stirling Moss, Doctor of the Science of Motor Racing, to introduce to the viewers of the morning television show Today a most unusual filmed course on driving.
Moss is a cool, cool man behind the wheel, and his coolness is intimately demonstrated in this cockpit look at a master driver performing his skills at speed. The film, which will be shown on Today Wednesday, July 12, was shot by cameras mounted front, rear and on the side of his car. The sequences show the car whizzing in and out of turns, the speed-blurred track, Moss's handling of the steering wheel, each quick flick of the gear shift, the tires sliding, spinning, gripping the asphalt. And all the while, with the easy detachment of a lecturer at a ladies' tea, Moss explains the finer points that make race driving the precise science that it is, rather than the harum-scarum chase it is often thought to be.
Sample: Dick Thompson (fourth at Le Mans this year) slides into view in another car. "Dick will show us now," says Moss, "some things that are wrong and some that are right. Watch how he takes that turn ahead. He's swinging too wide now. See how he has to cut back in to make it? Well, he's through, but that was most untidy."
Most striking of all is Moss's demonstration that a car's controls do odd things at high speeds. The throttle, in a turn, controls the steering; the steering wheel, if used excessively, doesn't steer at all. In a climactic sequence, with his car coming down the stretch, Moss suddenly whips the wheel hard over, to full lock, and with a dreadful scream the front wheels slide and slide as the car snowplows straight ahead, coming to rest right in front of the camera.
A tidy show, Professor.
THE BUTLER DID IT-AND SO DID SEVEN OTHER HORSES
For the first time, last Friday, an entire field of eight horses paced the mile in under two minutes on a half-mile track. This is equivalent to a field of eight track men running a mile in under four minutes. The film-patrol photo shows the eight at Roosevelt Raceway as the winner, Adios Butler, crossed the wire, equaling the world record of 1:57.4. Others are: No. 3, Apmat, 1:58.3: No. 8, False Step, 1:58.3: No. 1, Newport Admiral, 1:58.4; No. 7, Tar Boy, 1:59; No. 2, Mr. Budlong, 1:59: No. 5 Stephan Smith, 1:59.1: No. 6, Countess Adios, 1:59.1