REAPPRAISAL IN D.C.
A trim, gray-haired lady of persuasive mien went down to Washington from Baltimore the other day, told a couple of bureaucrats to lie down on a large boardroom table and proceeded to demonstrate some criticisms she has of exercises recommended by President Kennedy's Council on Youth Fitness. As a result, three of the exercises may be modified. The lady was Mrs. Florence P. Kendall, a noted physiotherapist, and the exercises are:
•Situps in which the feet are held by a second person.
•Touching the toes while standing.
October 29, 1962
•Lifting the legs while lying on the back.
Situps, she said, are ineffective when the feet are held because one can arch his back against the weight on his feet, thus doing nothing to strengthen the abdominal muscles. Furthermore, she said, situps of this type can strain the abdominal muscles and, if practiced regularly, "can cause a sway back."
Toe-touching for children between 7 and 17, when legs grow quickly and are out of proportion to the rest of the body, "can be a strain on some children and they should not be forced to do it."
The leg lift exercise, she concluded, can cause "excessive back arch and is a strain on the abdominal muscles."
Dr. Simon A. McNeely, director of federal-state relations for the Council, and Glenn V. Swengros, director of program development, turned no bureaucratic deaf ear to Mrs. Kendall. They are reappraising the exercises and, Dr. McNeely said, "it is possible that they should be modified to make them better and to protect some youngsters who could possibly have detrimental results" if the exercises were followed over a long period.
While Great Britain, and America were shuddering under a violent exchange of improper challenges, curt rejections and mislaid explanations concerning the next match for the America's Cup, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED cabled Australia's Sir Frank Packer, owner of Gretel, for his opinion of the ruffled situation. His reply:
"IT IS A BEAUTIFUL DAY OUT HERE THE SUN IS SHINING THERE ISNT A CLOUD IN THE SKY THE HORSES ARE ABOUT TO RUN FOR THE CAULFIELD CUP AND THERE IS A NICE SAILING BREEZE ON THE HARBOUR STOP IT IS SPRINGTIME THE TREES ARE IN LEAF AND THE FRUIT IS STARTING TO RIPEN STOP I AM DELIGHTED TO HAVE HEARD FROM YOU AND HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY OF REPLYING I HOPE THIS ANSWERS ALL YOUR QUESTIONS WITH KINDEST REGARDS FRANK PACKER"
THE SPORTING BOX OFFICE
In the face of perhaps the greatest demand for tickets ever experienced in Austin, Texas, the University of Texas set aside 6,000 seats, at 50d each, so that its "Knothole Gang" (kids in the fifth through the 12th grades) could attend the Texas-Arkansas game. The game was a sellout and eager fans were offering $100 apiece for seats on the 30-yard line.
It would have been a simple matter for the university's athletic department to cancel the Knothole arrangement and print 6,000 general admission tickets to be sold at S4 each, a gain of $21,000 in revenue, but, said Al Lundstedt, football ticket manager, "We couldn't do them that way."
"These youngsters are going to be our fans in the future," Lundstedt explained.
We're your fans right now, Texas.
Back in 1954, when he was 22, sandy-haired Frankie Ryff, a lightweight, was rated by Nat Fleischer as one of the two best prospects in boxing. The other was Floyd Patterson. A converted southpaw, Ryff was a stand-up boxer with a fast, effective jab. After his defeat of Orlando Zulueta some compared him with Willie Pep. But Frankie was a "bleeder." He suffered so many cuts around the eyes that he was forced into long layoffs between fights. In time he came to depend on odd jobs, not boxing, for a living.
Last January, while working on a building under construction in Man hattan (but once again training hard), Frankie fell seven stories. Oddly, he was not killed, and for the past several months he has been taking speech therapy and relearning the use of his muscles at the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
A few evenings ago, to celebrate Frankie's progress—he can talk, can stand up and has made a cradle for his daughter—Madison Square Garden threw a party for Frankie. He was visited by fans and friends like Rocky Graziano, Barney Ross, Bert Wheeler, Orlando Zulueta and Gus Lesnevich. At Frankie's request, the Zulueta fight film was shown. "Come on, Orlando!" Zulueta kept shouting. Graziano sang. Wheeler told jokes. There was a cake. It was a good time for Frankie.
THE NOISY DOLPHINS
Some 500 distinguished professors of animal husbandry, physicians, veterinarians, psychiatrists and assorted scientific authorities have just wound up a meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, where they discussed such subjects as heart attacks in horses and pigeons, early experiences as a determinant of a dog's personality, and the future of animals in outer space.
The hit of the session was the bottle-nosed dolphin. Last year in his book, Man and Dolphin, Dr. John Lilly predicted that within a few years humans will communicate with these aquatic chatterboxes (SI, Sept. 25, 1961). It is now pretty generally known that dolphins chat with each other by means of clicking sounds and whistles, and also imitate sounds made by man. Dr. Lilly described a new finding about dolphin communication, not included in his book. They ordinarily communicate on three different frequencies, ranging from 6,000 to 200,000 cycles per second (standard A of the piano is 440 cycles), and the dolphins' third sonar band, distinct from the others, cannot be heard by people but can be picked up on instruments at 40,000 cycles. They use it for warnings, turning it on when strangers come into the laboratory, and will sometimes use it to communicate with each other when they don't want scientists to hear what they are saying.
THE INSIDE TRACK
•Ray Ryan, millionaire oilman, entrepreneur and hotelkeeper, has been invited to consult with Jamaica's new prime minister on establishing gambling casinos in that country. Ryan has extensive real estate holdings there.
•The question no longer is whether Oakland's American Football League franchise will be moved, but what city it will move to—New Orleans or Kansas City. Despite shifting to a new stadium the Raiders have averaged only 11,000 attendance this year.
•The University of Houston, winner of six of the last seven NCAA golf championships, is stronger than ever. In the recent Tucker Intercollegiate Invitational which attracted the leading southwestern teams, the Cougars won the varsity division by 37 strokes and the freshman division by 53.
SCHOOL FOR SPECTATORS
Into the welter of marching bands, cheerleaders and muscle-stretching athletes that precedes any football kickoff anywhere, there stepped last Saturday afternoon in Winston-Salem a group of high school athletes whose role was missionary. They were to teach football to spectators assembling for the Winston-Salem Teachers-North Carolina A&T game. The idea of teaching the spectators was born some weeks back when Clarence (Bighouse) Gaines, Winston-Salem athletic director, discovered that his 9-year-old daughter, Lisa, enjoyed football but knew nothing about it.
Gaines prepared four lessons to be given during four home games. For Lesson One a couple of weeks ago he put a player in shorts and T shirt on the 50-yard line. As the player donned each piece of padding and gear its purpose was explained to the crowd. So were the size of the field, the player-numbering system, the formations and the scoring system. Lesson outlines were printed in the scorecard.
In Lesson Two the duties of the officials were explained. And then the high schoolers, eager to strut their stuff before a college audience, crisply demonstrated kickoff formations, fumbles, interceptions.
The lessons were mostly a great success. After the first one, 7-year-old Archie Blount got up next morning and, using thumb tacks, showed his father the single wing formation. On the other hand, a coed (age undisclosed) was asked how many downs are given to make a first down. She replied: "Oh, I just don't know about details like that."
The lively ball has been a commonplace of baseball since Babe Ruth's day. Now the National Hockey League is experimenting with the unlively puck. Reactions are mixed.
The new puck, made of butyl, has been tried out in practice sessions and at the All-Star game in Toronto. It shows more resistance to chipping (from being banged against the boards and kicked by skates), and its reduced resiliency is such that a carom off the backboards is less likely to bounce out in front of the net. Forwards and defensemen generally see no noteworthy difference in playing the puck, but goalies say it is "heavier" to handle when shot at them.
Detroit's Gordie Howe complained that he "couldn't seem to move it." Detroit is one of the teams that prefer a lively, bouncing puck for use in planned plays, and has, in fact, used lively backboards behind the net in order to get front-of-net ricochets.
NHL President Clarence Campbell, now receiving reports on club experience with the puck, told Boston's Lynn Patrick that he had had "a lot of complaints" about it. Good bet: it will not be adopted.
THE OLD GO, GO, GO
Some oldsters will tell you that modern college football players are so accustomed to riding to classes, air conditioning and other modern comforts that they are not nearly as hardy as their predecessors used to be.
Neither, maybe, are their coaches.
Hayden Fry, head coach at Southern Methodist, now rides an electric cart—like those used on golf courses—around the practice field.
Back in the 1950s Al Braverman was a busy New York fight manager. He had a large hand in the management of a few name fighters—Chico Vejar and Arthur Persley come to mind—but he was known best as a supplier of preliminary fighters for out-of-town cards. His home offices were Stillman's Gym and the back of his father's hock shop next door, where he kept a cluttered desk behind the furcoat racks. Three or four times a week Braverman would load up his 1953 Cadillac with fighters and head for such fight towns as Holyoke, Mass. and Providence. When out of town he would pass the time in museums and art galleries. "I was always a bug on art," he says. "After the weigh-in every stupid fight manager would run to the movies, the creeps. Twelve to 6 at night I would go to a museum or antique stores."
That was a few years ago. Since then TV has killed the out-of-town clubs, Stillman's has been torn down to make way for a motel, and the '53 Caddy has, in Braverman's words, "been scrapped along with the fighters." But unlike the creeps who had no inner resources, Fight Manager Braverman hustled himself a place in the art world. A couple of weeks ago he and his wife, Renée, opened the Theater East Gallery in Manhattan with a show featuring the works of five contemporary American artists. One of these, Maxim Bugzester, has drawn critical acclaim for the architectural character that "marks his work with quality."
"How do boxing and art tie in?" asks Braverman. "Well, I never had a world's champeen in boxing, but I have a world's champeen in this Maxim Bugzester. I have him exclusively, like a fighter. He's got color and movement. He's a natural, like a young Tony Janiro, but he's been tutored by Braque and Bonnard. It was always known that I had great selections in boxing—all the creeps used to come to me to ask who to bet—and in my selection of Bugzester I feel I have a future champeen. If I hit it right with this guy, we're on top."
THEY SAID IT (FOOTBALL COACHES)
•Doug Weaver, Kansas State after being hanged in effigy on campus: "I'm glad it happened in front of the library. I've always emphasized scholarship."
•Darrell Royal, Texas, ordering his freshman players to lose surplus weight: "Fat people don't offend me. What offends me is losing with fat people."
•Duffy Daugherty, Michigan State: "My only feeling about superstition is that it's unlucky to be behind at the end of a game."