BATTLE IN BADEN-BADEN
This is an article from the Sept. 16, 1963 issue
For the eighth time in 27 years Detroit goes before the International Olympic Committee next month with an invitation to hold the 1968 summer Games where, of a surety, there will be no lack of motor transportation for athletes and officials. This may be Detroit's best chance yet; for the first time the city has all its big wheels of government and industry backing the effort.
In other years Detroit has relied on the soft sell, but in 1963 it is spending close to $250,000 on such items as movie films and personal pitches to be made before the IOC gathering at Baden-Baden, Germany. Both Governor George Romney and Mayor Jerome Cavanagh plan to make the trip, along with two dozen or so of the city's biggest business names. Then, too, Dwight D. Eisenhower has sent a personal letter, backing Detroit, to each of the 60-odd IOC members. Ike signed the letters on a train en route from Chicago to Gettysburg, and a Detroit committeeman had the U.S. Post Office Department open its Gettysburg branch on July 4 so that each letter would bear the patriotic postmark. A bit of a collector's item, that.
But the selling job will be difficult. Each of the other three candidates—Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Lyon, France—has better physical facilities. All have stadiums, for instance, and Detroit has none available. Lyon's stadium is small but expandable. On the other hand, Michigan has approved a $35 million bond issue to build a 100,000-seat stadium in Detroit, though construction cannot start until Detroit is awarded the Games. And Buenos Aires concedes that, for economic and political reasons, its bid is a mere token offer. Mexico City is bearing down hard, but its altitude (7,800 feet) has a reputation for wearing out athletes. Lyon, sentimental favorite of Europeans, has few hotels, no jet airport and is 300 miles by train from Paris.
Detroit has an excellent case but will get precious little help from the three U.S. members of the IOC. IOC President Avery Brundage of Chicago has plumped for a combined East-West German sponsorship in Berlin and has, on the other hand, said he thought Lyon would be just fine, too. John Jewett Garland of Los Angeles has tried unsuccessfully for years to take the U.S. bid away from Detroit. Douglas F. Roby of Detroit, though he will certainly vote for his city, holds himself above partisan politics and has refused to campaign for his home team.
It's a tough prospect, Detroit, but so was the four-minute mile.
OLD AL WOULD LOVE THIS
A federal grand jury has indicted 15 men as on-track bookies at Chicago's Sportsman's Park, where, it would appear, truly serious bettors prefer to gamble with bookies rather than with pari-mutuel machines. Something to do with better odds, no doubt.
For Chicago this was but a minor scandal, though there were the usual announcements of investigation accompanied by denunciation. There was a fine pretense of furor and, while it was going on, sheriff's police picked up five more suspects in a bookie raid. The place: the office of the clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court.
GOLF WITHOUT SUNBURN
The country's first full-length (nine-hole) golf course to operate at night has been open for about three weeks now and seems destined for success. It is the Tall Pines Golf Club at Sewell, New Jersey, and the only complaints so far have been about balls lost in the dark and dew on the greens. On the other hand, Owner Pete McEvoy holds that the average golfer scores better at night.
"It's apparent from watching play here," he says, "that golfers are swinging easier. They are more relaxed at night. They seem to want to stay in the fairway. Maybe it's because they want to keep their shots where it's lighted, though the near rough is lighted, too."
Opening of the lighted course has created a problem for one man.
"I've been telling my wife I've been playing night golf for years," he sighed. "Now what do I do?"
Well, he might try playing night golf.
Except in St. Louis, there is little doubt that the Los Angeles Dodgers will win the National League pennant this year and thereby take on the honor, the privilege and the responsibility of meeting the New York Yankees in the World Series. Despite what happened in 1962, the Dodgers themselves are supremely confident. For weeks now Danny Goodman, director of advertising for the club, has been sending out letters soliciting ads for the "official" World Series program, pointing out that the average sale is one to every person attending the game and that "it is a well-known fact that seldom, if ever, will one find a program left in the ball park after a World Series game."
"We are confident the Dodgers will win the 1963 National League pennant," Goodman advises his prospects. But a little later, just to touch all the bases, he adds: "Should the Dodgers not participate in the World Series, God forbid, there would of course be no charge for the space you reserve."
A wise hedge. As a reminder that all sorts of dreadful things are possible in an imperfect world, we reproduce herewith the cover of what was to have been last year's official souvenir program.
THE SPORTING STATESMEN
The creative imagination of politicians is such that, when it comes to fund-raising, the best that most of them can come up with is a suggestion for a $50-a-plate dinner. The menu: stringy chicken and watery peas. The speeches: as lively as the menu. No one has any fun.
The new state of Hawaii is refreshingly different. To raise funds, the Republicans staged a football game in Honolulu Stadium the other day between the Hawaii Colts, touted as "card-carrying Republicans," and the Hawaii All-Stars. Both teams were made up of good college and high school players. The Colts, favored by two touchdowns, won—but only 3-0. The Republicans netted $2,000 out of an $8,000 gross. Not only that, they are challenging the Democrats to field a team next year.
THE OFFY STRIKES BACK
At the Indianapolis "500" last May the big story was that of the Lotus-Fords, light, rear-engined entries that gave the conventional Offenhausers fits and finished second and seventh. Since then the Lotus-Fords have continued to impress, while Offy devotees have wondered what to do about them. Now somebody has done it.
In big-time U.S. racing, maximum horsepower must be crammed into 256 cubic inches of engine. The Offenhauser develops 440 hp, the Lotus-Ford 385, but an equally important factor is the weight of the car itself. The Offy cars weigh upward of 1,650 pounds "wet" (fuel and oil added), and the L-F entries weigh about 1,200 pounds. The surmise, then, has been that if somebody could combine the more powerful Offy engine with a lightweight, rear-engine chassis, the year of the Lotus-Ford might well come to an end. The 200-mile USAC championship at Trenton, N.J. on September 22 is about to see just that kind of car. Three Portland, Oregon men—Rolla Vollstedt, Dick Martin and Tom Nehl—have put such a racing machine together, and Len Sutton, who finished second in the 1962 "500" at Indianapolis, will drive it. It is called the Tom Nehl GMC Truck Special and, while weighing 150 pounds more than the Lotus-Ford, will have 55 more horses.
"We expect it to average 155 miles per hour," says Nehl. "If it goes like we think it will, it will cause an even bigger revolution in auto racing."
If it doesn't, it's back to the drawing board.
NEW LOOK IN NEW ENGLAND
There may be fewer knee and ankle injuries in football if an experiment under way at four New England colleges—Bates, Bowdoin, Colby and Northeastern—proves successful. Studying game films and delving into the history of knee and ankle injuries, Dr. Daniel F. Hanley, Bowdoin team physician, discovered that they occur mostly because the two heel cleats catch in the turf when a player is cutting. The movement forces knee and ankle joints into unnatural positions and causes torn cartilages, water on the knee, sprains and strains. Simple solution: remove the heel cleats. The new football shoes now look rather like track shoes but play is unaffected since, Dr. Hanley says, most running, turning and cutting is done on the front cleats.
LONG VOYAGE HOME
During the long hot summer the boys of Amarillo's YMCA swim club worked at their swimming skills and roamed across the state in intercity meets. With summer drawing to an end and municipal pools about to close, they thought of President Kennedy's inspiration of the 50-mile hike. Why not a 50-mile swim, they asked each other, just to round out the season?
They found the length of the Thompson Park pool to be 165 feet, which meant that 50 miles of swimming would require 1,600 laps. An impressive figure, but the kids were dauntless. A few minutes before sunup one Saturday the club gathered by the pool, and Vance Essler, 10, was chosen as lead-off man. In the predawn light, with a brisk wind blowing in from the Panhandle plains, Essler set out on the first lap at 6:07 a.m., flashing a snappy Australian crawl. He was the first of 30 club members to take part.
The skies lowered, and at 8:30 a deluge of rain sent the standing youngsters into shivering knots. By 9, officials and parents were debating whether to call the event off. The kids let out a howl, and the swim went on.
Skies cleared at midmorning but darkened again at noon, when there was an even greater rainfall. By midafternoon the boys had reached the 25-mile mark. At 4:03 a.m., 21 hours and 56 minutes after the start, the same Vance Essler who had begun the swim touched the rim of the pool to complete the 50 miles and then, "so there'd be no mistake," swam an extra lap.
The team's elation was great, but mixed with disappointment. They had sent President Kennedy a telegram advising him of their plan, and they assumed, just assumed, that the President was watching their progress. They expected an answering telegram of congratulations. It did not come immediately, but the chances are that it will.
EARLY WARNING SYSTEM
The first day of football practice at Southern Methodist University a year ago was marred by the death of promising Mike Kelsey, presumably from heat exhaustion. There have since been other deaths in the southern tier of states. One recent Sunday night, 10 hours after his team's first practice, Fullback John Anders of the University of New Mexico died of heat exhaustion. Next day Alvin Bradley, a freshman at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, collapsed and died in practice possibly not from heat.
Heat exhaustion in football practice is, to the memory of some, quite a new development, and Matty Bell, SMU's veteran athletic director, has a theory to explain its sudden emergence.
"I believe air conditioning is a major cause," he says. "Almost everybody spends a lot of time in air conditioning. We live in it, we work in it, we sleep in it. You take Kelsey. In the summer of 1961 he worked on a Gulf Coast oil rig and didn't have any trouble that fall. Then, last year, he spent the summer [in an air-conditioned office] selling cars."
This year Texas and SMU have taken the precaution of installing a set of meteorological instruments on the field. Monitored by physicians, the instruments advise when temperature and humidity extremes call for a halt. They do not, however, take into account the factor of acclimatization in an air-conditioned world.
THEY SAID IT
•Jack Whitley, football coach at Fort Worth Polytechnic High School, discussing Jerry Tate, his 290-pound 6-foot-5 tackle: "He's just a big kid. He's always been told to be careful when he played with other kids. If he'll just forget that advice, he'll help us."
•Branch Rickey on owners of franchises: "We have the finest men in the country owning our major baseball franchises. The trouble is they don't devote as much time to their investments as they should; if all of them would devote three months of the year exclusively to baseball, they would solve every problem the sport has today."