In an age largely dominated by Madison Avenue's image makers, it is hardly surprising that the humdrum, numerical terminology of the football practice field has given way to the persuasive nomenclature of modern merchandising. What football fan in his right mind, for instance, would pay to see a coach send in his "third team" when, for the same money, he could watch Paul Dietzel's Chinese Bandits swarm out? It would be like deliberately asking for Brand X. Tom Nugent of Maryland calls his first, second and third teams the M-squad, the Hustlers and the Gangbusters. Marvin Bass at South Carolina has the War-horses, the Bushwhackers and the Stonewalls. But the coach who has conjured up the most vivid image of the football player (for football players, anyway) is none of these. He is Jake Gaither of Florida A&M (unbeaten last year) who calls the three teams on his 60-man squad Blood, Sweat and Tears.
This is an article from the Oct. 8, 1962 issue
IF YOU CAN'T BEAT 'EM...
Sports news crowded its way onto the front pages of America's newspapers so often last week (the heavyweight fight, the America's Cup, football's first full weekend, the race for the World Series) that some newsmen covering more austere activities became exasperated.
New York Times Political Columnist James Reston, in California to measure the public pulse in the race for governor, despairingly concluded that all hearts were beating over another race: "When a political reporter asks around here who's going to win," Reston writes, "the answer is invariably 'the Dodgers.' " Maybe Scotty will take heart from the announcement of Red Kelly of Toronto, the National Hockey League's great playmaking center, that he plans to give equal time to hockey and his new job—Member of Parliament for York West.
Last week in Milwaukee a federal district judge ruled that betting on a sure thing was not gambling and did not violate the antigambling laws. Thus were sprung three naughty young horseplayers who had a good thing going for them before they got caught and indicted by a grand jury. The three had set up a two-way radio between Oaklawn Race Track in Hot Springs, Arkansas and Milwaukee and were placing bets before the bookies got the race results.
"However nefarious, the scheme did not violate the element of chance," said Judge Kenneth P. Grubb.
Old moral: It's O.K. to cheat if you don't get caught.
New moral: If you get caught it's still O.K.—provided you were cheating.
LOVE AND TRUTH
The word amateur is derived from the Latin word for love: from this it can be reasonably supposed that an amateur athlete is one who plays a game for love. However, the time is long past when anyone could afford to play a game at the championship level for love alone—unless he happens to be a millionaire.
Last week, in the latest effort to provide an even fuzzier definition for the word amateur, two august sporting councils naively overlooked this simple fact. One of them was the Eastern College Athletic Conference. On the basis of an article in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (March 19, 1962) it decided that young Gene Kinasewich could no longer play hockey for free at Harvard because he had once played for money in Canada. Like many young Canadians playing hockey in the U.S. today, Kinasewich had earned a pittance playing in Canada's Junior A league as a high school teen-ager. For a full year both Harvard and the Ivy League considered him an amateur. What suddenly made him a pro in the eyes of the ECAC (and now the Ivy, too) was that he had not followed the fashion and lied about it. Had Kinasewich, like many of his young countrymen, taken the precaution of filing a spurious affidavit claiming he had never been paid for playing hockey, he could have become a well-paid amateur on ascholarship at virtually any college.
In that case, however, he would have run smack into the second decision of the week: the pious resolution of the International Olympic Committee to bar from competition any athlete whose love of sport has in any way been subsidized—by college scholarship, business sinecure or government handout. The Olympic decision is Olympian, all right. The only trouble is that, if enforced, it would put a swift end to Olympic competition by barring some 90% of the world's "amateur" athletes who can no more afford to play a game for love than they can afford to tell the truth.
From Kuala-Lumpur comes word that the Malayan Government Fisheries Department has put up signs asking tourists not to dance on the backs of giant turtles, because it scares them away from their last breeding ground.
Preliminaries have always been as much a part of heavyweight championships as weighing-in ceremonies and prefight predictions. Fight lovers who paid $6.75 to see the big go via closed-circuit TV last week at Manhattan's Academy of Music on 14th Street, one of the oldest and largest remaining theaters in New York, got a whole three hours' worth. The early rounds consisted of canned, sweet Viennese waltzes, followed by a series of colored film shorts. Fish Are Where You Find Them was the first, showing grinning fishermen in Florida, the Andes and Austria. Then came motorcycle racing in rural England and a short on the busy work of a man who catches animals in the Everglades for zoos.
The main event of the evening—aside from the fight of course—was a picture called New York in the 1920s, which turned out to be the film biography of onetime taxi dancer George Raft, with mobsters rampant on a field of Hollywood. As the management still had time to kill when this was over, Fish Are Where You Find Them went on again. When the waltzes, including The Merry Widow, came back for a return bout one critic remarked, "They must think we're in Lincoln Center."
At long last the drapes parted to reveal two minutes and six seconds' worth of foggy fight pictures. As the listless crowd left the theater someone mumbled: "Fish are where you find them."
THE INSIDE TRACK
•Big Eight faculty representatives (their coaches firmly dissenting) are considering upping the scholastic requirements for candidates for athletic scholarships. At present a standing in the upper two-thirds of a candidate's high school class is required. The new rule would require a standing in the upper half. The conference may also limit the total number of scholarships that can be awarded by member schools.
•A clause in the constitution of the NCAA asserts that to be eligible for NCAA competition a student must be in good scholastic standing and making satisfactory progress toward a degree. If there are no classes, there can hardly be progress of any sort toward a degree. NCAA officials are still dreading the precedent they may have to establish if, as a last resort, the governor of Mississippi closes his state university rather than permit a Negro to attend classes.
"Dreadful and nasty," snarled a leading member of the League Against Cruel Sports, but then, she added, "I am not surprised. They have been teaching the boy to do horrible things like this right along. Perhaps it all comes from King Henry VIII."
Occasion of the outburst: the shooting of his very first stag by England's heir, 13-year-old Prince Charles.
SO NOW WHAT?
Always before—or practically always—when an America's Cup series was over, there would be someone to say, "Well, that's the last. There'll never be another. Too much trouble. Too expensive." But this time the potential challengers were lined up four-deep, in four nations, that is.
Never before has there been more than one challenger. Now there are nine active 12 meters outside the U.S., all available to bolster the attack, and at least 12 more in the planning stage. Britain's Royal Thames Yacht Club, which has special permission to challenge first for 1964, has five 12s available with veteran crews, and Tony Boyden's new challenger, on the ways at Sandbank, will have two years to train. Three, other British 12-meter projects are either in progress or under consideration, promising an unprecedented elimination series for the new boat. Australia, so nearly victorious, is eager to try again—either with Gretel or with one of a pair of new boats that are in the planning stage. Italy, with three active 12s, would willingly build a challenger, if the defender could find time to accept. Finally, from the noncapitalistic East comes a Russian bid. They have no 12s as yet, but they have done well in smaller craft and are notorious for never entering a battlewithout some assurance of victory.
American yachtsmen, man your checkbooks!
In recent years Texas has voted Republican occasionally, and now even elects some Republican legislators. This quirk of southern liberalism has resulted in embarrassment for the University of Texas football ticket office, where it has been the custom to give two free tickets to every home game to every one of the 182 legislators, whose capitol is two blocks from the university, and who pass on the university's budget.
Since legislators are not elected until the football season is under way, it might seem there would be a problem. But up to now, the problem has been no problem. Each summer tickets were mailed to every chosen Democrat as soon as the primaries were over, because a Republican had no chance of being elected in Texas. This year 91 Republicans do have a chance.
The winners will expect good seats. And there just aren't an extra 182 tickets in choice locations. Besides, who wants to put an oratorical legislator, who has much to say about a university budget, in the end zone? Not the university. After deep thought the athletic solons of the university decided to give no free tickets to any nominees, Democrat or Republican, but to reserve them for incumbent legislators. Others will have to wait until after Election Day, November 6th, and by that time the only home game left will be the traditional Thanks giving Day tilt with A&M. It has been suggested that the legislative candidates buy their tickets, but that is regarded as revolutionary. Liberalism can be carried just so far.
ODE TO ME
Cassius Clay, currently the leading pretender to the throne of Sonny Liston, has never been one to hide his light under a bushel. Last week Fighter Clay revealed a secondary talent to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and at the same time made a clear bid for s the title recently vacated by Edgar Guest.
Clay's poetic haymaker:
It was a surprising fight
at the park that night,
Liston hit Floyd
and knocked him out of sight.
Liston's dynamite blows
caught Floyd on the side.
Nothing could help the champ,
not even his pride.
Liston was hungry,
rough and tough,
and the champ
soon had enough.
As the people left the park,
you could hear them say,
Liston will stay king
until he meets that Clay.
THEY SAID IT
•Allie White, Texas Christian line coach, on his team's 6-3 upset victory over Kansas: "Our kids had never seen an unbalanced line before and they didn't know what to do, so they just tackled everybody."
•Jack (Doc) Kearns, fight manager, on the so-called honest members of today's boxing fraternity: "I would rather operate with a bunch of thieves—if they cut me in for 10%."
•Charlie Conerly, retired Giant quarterback and Mississippi alumnus (1948), expressing his skepticism that Ole Miss will close its doors rather than submit to integration: "They got a lot of money invested in football tickets for this season, and they're just not going to risk losing it."
•Tullus Mead, Pocahontas, Tenn. high school coach, comparing his Golden Gloves fight 10 years ago against Sonny Liston with the Liston-Patterson fight: "When Liston hit Patterson he stayed down and collected a fortune. When Liston hit me, like a fool, I got up and he hit me again."