IN THE KRISHNA MENON MANNER
If India's Davis Cup team fails (as seems likely) to beat the Mexicans in the Interzone finals this week, it will not be for lack of gamesmanship. Definitely outranked on the courts, the Indians ployed their Mexican rivals to an advantageous position even before they reached India. While the Mexicans were waiting for a plane, the Indians told them the cup matches would not be held in cool, dry New Delhi as planned, but in hot, humid Madras, where the Indians had been practicing for a month.
To further shatter their morale, the Mexicans were told that they probably would have to make the long trip to Madras by train since all civilian air traffic was tied up because of the border war. The Mexicans arrived in New Delhi to find that the Indians had made no arrangements for them to get to Madras by either train or plane, nor had they arranged for courts for them to practice on, nor beds for them to sleep in. The Indian tennis association, in fact, did not even send a representative to meet the Mexicans at the airport. The association did, however, make it clear that the matches would take place in Madras without postponement whether the Mexicans arrived in time or not. Failure to arrive would mean default.
Housed and fed at last by their ambassador, who also arranged transportation, the Mexicans accepted the fact of having to play tennis without proper conditioning, or even practice, in the Indians' dank sinkhole. One thing seems pretty clear: if the Indians seek Free World volunteers for their defense against Red China, they won't get many Mexicans.
THE CURTAIN RISES
The long-familiar crusade against boxing as a sport—as distinguished from prizefighting as an underworld racket, which is quite another matter—now has won support behind the Iron Curtain and in independently Communist Yugoslavia, too. A committee of four—three M.D.s from Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Mexico and a physical education Ph.D. from Chicago—is circularizing physicians to win support for the elimination of boxing from the Olympic Games. The usual arguments against boxing—serious injury, death—are presented, to our mind speciously, and the physicians are urged to protest to a member of the committee so that their letters may be forwarded to Avery Brundage, International Olympic Committee president.
We would not suggest for a moment that this is part of a Communist plot to soften American youth or even to cost the U.S. some gold medals in Tokyo. (We did take three gold medals in boxing in the Rome Olympics, though—among them one worn most proudly by Cassius Clay.) But that 50% Communist representation strikes us as a little much.
The committee has received at least one reply from a physician, and a protest at that—but not the kind solicited. The writer was Frank E. Barnes Jr., M.D., of Smithfield, N.C., a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, chairman of the North Carolina Medical Society Committee on the Medical Aspects of Sports and president of the American Association for Automotive Medicine. He advised the committee that "college and Olympic boxing contests should be encouraged."
"I do not want to see your group push for elimination of a sport," Dr. Barnes wrote, "but campaign for better supervision, better equipment, better coaching and more understanding of the problems. If you are successful in this venture of eliminating a sport, we'll have some high and mighty educators trying to eliminate football and lacrosse because they are contact sports."
Dr. Barnes is so right.
ASAEL EQUALS JINX
Many of you have returned from your annual deer hunt. Many of you came back without a deer. Many of you are discouraged. Cheer up. Listen to the story of Asael Logan of Houlton, Maine, a hunting area of a hunting state.
For the past 34 years Asael has bought a hunting license every year, starting when he was 11 years old. In that time he has fired at only three deer and never has hit one. The last person in his family to bring back a deer was Asael's father, who did it in 1928. It has been 10 years since Asael even saw a deer to fire at. Furthermore:
During hunting trips all over the southern Aroostook County area—in Oakfield, Ashland, Littleton, Linneus, and, of course, Houlton—no one in any hunting party that Asael accompanied has shot a deer.
LARGEST, SMALLEST, FASTEST
A 10th edition of The Guinness Book of Records, compiled by England's sporting twins, Norris and Ross McWhirter, is out so that you may be kept up to date on such questions as records for piano-smashing, location of the world's lowest golf club and what people are the most severely taxed.
The record time for smashing up a piano and passing the wreckage through a ring nine inches in diameter, you may as well know now, is 14 minutes three seconds, set last year at Derby College of Technology, England. The world's lowest golf course, you might have guessed, was that of the Sodom and Gomorrah Golfing Society. Situated at Kallia, on the shores of the Dead Sea, it was 1,250 feet below sea level. However, the clubhouse burned down in 1948, leaving behind an odor of brimstone. And the most severely taxed people in the world are not us, but the Dutch, in terms of per capita, but us indeed in terms of volume.
The book is filled with such fascinating stuff but, to keep it up to date and to keep up with demand, it has been necessary to publish as many as three editions a year. As the McWhirters point out in a preface, the "absolute human speed record" in 1955, when the first edition came out, was a mere 1,650 mph. Now it is 17,650 mph.
Before Oklahoma and Missouri's football teams met, the Colorado football team, which had played both, almost unanimously picked Missouri. Oklahoma won. Last year all but one Colorado player chose Kansas over Missouri. Missouri won. In 1960 the Colorado team unanimously predicted a Missouri victory. Kansas won.
"Colorado is historically famous for lousy foresight," conceded Fred Casotti, the school's sports information director. "The most glaring example was in 1957, when the Colorado track squad passed over Marilyn Van Derbur as Colorado Relays Queen. She became Miss America the following September."
THE INSIDE TRACK
•C. Arnholt Smith, San Diego businessman, is about ready to buy the San Diego Chargers—with or without partners.
•The Orange Bowl is expected to abandon its contract with the Big Eight conference after the pact expires in 1964. The bowl would prefer a free hand in selecting both teams for its New Year's game.
•Ernie Koy, Texas' sensational sophomore wingback who ranked among the nation's leading punters until he injured a knee in the SMU game, will be shifted to fullback next year.
ONE MAN'S FATE
At age 27 George (Twinkletoes) Selkirk accepted the untenable assignment of replacing Babe Ruth in right field.
Now, 27 years later, Selkirk has taken a job that makes the old one look as simple as catching a pop-up. Selkirk has just become general manager of the Washington Senators.
IN ONE EASY LESSON
The readership of the Dick Tracy comic strip, long accustomed to the vulgar, always has been enormous and never has been squeamish. It is now about time, after one recent exploitation of viciousness by the strip's creator, Chester Gould, that its editors evolve upward to at least a degraded sense of decency.
The most recent Tracy sequence—in which the indomitable detective battles black-hooded mobsters aboard a space ship—gives instruction in how to kill without even a zip gun. Unable to shoot, because a bullet penetrating the sides of the pressurized space cabin would kill everyone, including him, Tracy resorts to karate. He then demonstrates a knuckle blow to the temple that, delivered with zeal, would not just subdue an opponent. It could kill him.
Everyone who read the sequence now knows how to kill a man bare-handed. It is a piece of instruction that, we may expect, soon will be used wherever muggers lurk—in Central Park, in Grant Park, in the dark byways of Los Angeles, or in any city where Dick Tracy is known and appreciated.
THE NAME'S THE GAME
The christening of Thoroughbred horses is often mere whimsy, seldom appropriate. (The same applies to boats and children.) But Alfred G. Vanderbilt comes up every year with some of the best names on the turf. He considers ancestry and euphony, combining the two so that a certain poetry is achieved. He has now sent out the names of his next year's 2-year-olds and among them is Crashing Bore, a gelding by Social Climber out of Stumbling Block.
Joey Aiuppa, a Chicago ex-convict who police say manufactures gambling equipment, drove up to his residence in a Chicago suburb last month and was met by two officers of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. His car was easy to spot. It was a Cadillac with the license number 711-711.
The officers found Joey's car contained 526 mourning doves, frozen and packed neatly in plastic bags. This number was not so lucky. Joey was charged with possession and transportation (from Kansas) of an illegal number of migratory game birds. Then the question arose as to how he could possibly have shot all those birds. Did he, perhaps, dynamite a roost?
"I shot them on the wing, like I always do," Joey insisted.
Good shooting, certainly extraordinary endurance and unbelievable luck. Someone figured out that, since an average hunter gets one elusive dove in three shots, Joey must have been shooting every two minutes eight hours a day for about a week. And Joey showed no sign of a sore shoulder.
There was talk, naturally, that Joey had a bit of help. There was talk, that he had been seen passing out whisky and free shells to other hunters in the dove-shooting area. In fact, there was excellent reason to believe that Joey was not the hot shot he pretended to be.
WOMEN DRIVERS AGAIN
That women are naturally and hopelessly inferior to men as drivers of automobiles is one of Western man's cherished delusions. The girls, though, haven't been brainwashed adequately. Take Ewy Rosqvist and Ursula Wirth. Feminine to a fault, these curvy Swedish gals in close-fitting sweaters and skintight pants traipsed off with the Argentine Standard Grand Prix auto race a while back, defeating 254 rival masculine entries. The race covered nearly 3,000 miles of often unspeakable Argentine roads, and at the end of each one of the six stages Ewy and Ursula were first, Ewy driving a big silver factory Mercedes 220SE, and Ursula navigating.
Ewy and Ursula, tall, cool and composed, got the full VIP press-conference and TV treatment in New York last week. Diplomatically, they chose not to gloat. Ewy did admit, though, that she'd once taken her husband's Formula Junior car out for a racecourse spin and beaten the smorgasbord out of his own record. Her husband is the Formula Junior champion of Sweden. "He was," said Ewy, with a wicked twinkle of her ice-blue peepers, "very angry."
THEY SAID IT
•Wilbur Evans, Southwest Conference publicity director, on Bibb Falk, University of Texas baseball coach and former major league star: "Bibb is so dedicated to baseball that until a week or so ago he thought the first verse in the Bible said, 'In the big inning, God created heaven and earth.' "
•Ernie Stautner, Pittsburgh Steeler defensive end, now in his 13th year of pro football: "The American Football League will be on a par with the National Football League in a few years and we'll have to arrange a playoff to satisfy the public. The league champions will meet in a world championship game in three or four years."
•Bill Kuross, assistant football coach at unbeaten Minneapolis Washburn High, on hearing that Carl Anderson, Washburn principal, had fractured his ankle: "Gee, I'm glad it wasn't a halfback."