PALMER SPEAKS OUT
This is an article from the Feb. 24, 1964 issue
The biggest voice in golf, Arnold Palmer, did some talking last week and it is hoped that someone was listening. Palmer is a pleasant man, and it goes against his grain to be publicly critical. He has long avoided the role of spokesman. But now, with the Professional Golfers' Association engaged in open war with tournament sponsors over TV rights. Palmer decided to speak up. He said it was "ridiculous" that important decisions on long-range PGA policy—including TV rights—should be in the hands of a players' committee. Touring Pro Jay Hebert, who heads that committee, should not be in the position of negotiating such vital and complex issues, said Palmer, and it can only be expected that Hebert would be the first to agree. As to the tournament manager of the PGA, Jim Gaquin, Palmer called him a "very fine guy and quite capable in his field—but his field is public relations." Gaquin is a most able organizer, but, said Palmer, "he knows little about the actual operations of the tour." What the PGA must have, said Palmer, is a single strong executive—in short, its own version of a Judge Landis. Gaquin reacted with understandable ire. "Why, Arnie would love a czar until the fellow told him to do something he didn't want to do and then Arnie would turn on him," he said.
Perhaps. But the point Palmer is making should not be lost in an exchange of angry words. The fact is that the PGA's problems keep getting more involved as golf keeps growing. It is time for a classified ad: "Wanted—a very tough administrator."
A major difficulty in raising show dogs is that inbreeding tends to concentrate faults just as intensely as good points. In Britain, a group of veterinarians has just finished surveying 120 breeds and has found only 17 free from defects. Among the healthy breeds: foxhounds, Irish wolfhounds, otter hounds, Gordon and English setters, springer spaniels, Manchester terriers and Italian greyhounds.
There are five main defects that breeders will now try to eliminate: weak hips (noted particularly in Alsatians, Labradors and boxers); slipping kneecaps (miniature and toy poodles, Yorkshire terriers and griffons): bad eyes (miniature poodles, Irish setters and Labs); soft palates (bulldogs, pugs and Pekingese) and ingrown eyelids (Chows, spaniels and golden retrievers). Breeds that were once among the most popular in Britain are dropping further because of bad temperament. Cocker spaniels and miniature poodles are particularly afflicted. Says ex-President Brian Singleton of the Small Animals Veterinary Association: "Our standards must be altered. The standards of prize-winning are obviously not compatible with healthy dogs. The situation can only be altered by scrapping standards which may be thought pretty but which border, frankly, on monstrosities."
HARD TO FIGURE
The Kentucky Derby is only 10 weeks off, and in most years there would be a definite winter favorite at this stage. But right now the experts feel the race is unusually hard to figure. Caliente's Tony Alessio, whose famed Derby Future Book will not open officially until next month, has Raymond Guest's Chieftain and George Pope's Hill Rise (Pope won with Decidedly two years ago) as co-favorites at 4-1. Right behind them come the Canadian-owned Northern Dancer, Roman Brother and Ishkoodah.
High school and college authorities are understandably angry because the American Broadcasting Company now proposes to televise five National Football League games on Friday nights this fall. The schoolmen contend that the televised games would damage, if not annihilate, attendance at their games. The arguing has gotten rather high flown, so much so that one would think from published comments that Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine had locked horns over the nature of grace. What is involved here is nothing so weighty. This is a business argument. Some of the business may be sharp, but it is a business argument nonetheless.
The Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League are so desperate to win a game that they will try anything—even reading. Just before the Leafs took a train to Montreal last week for a game with the Canadiens, a breathless messenger arrived with 25 copies of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking. The books had been bought by Coach Punch Imlach, who ordered the losing Leafs to spend the trip reading. The players read the book on the train, but, alas, they lost to the Canadiens, 4-0.
This is easily understandable. Imlach picked up the idea from Canadien Forward Bob Rosseau, who credits a good part of his success this year to having read the book. But the clever Rosseau was one up on the Leafs when they arrived. He was already halfway through reading the sequel, A Guide to Confident Living.
The floundering fathers of the United States Lawn Tennis Association met in Corpus Christi, Texas last week and shifted this year's Davis Cup Challenge Round west of Forest Hills. Rashness is not the USLTA's suit, so west turned out to be Cleveland, not Los Angeles, which was seeking Cup play. L.A. is a natural site for the games: southern California is, after all, tennis-mad. But after New York lost out in the voting, almost all the Eastern support swung behind Cleveland, which won in a close 17-15 ballot. One Forest Hills backer could not even go that far west: he was so distraught he refused to vote.
Cleveland boosters are planning to build a 10,000-seat stadium. It must be a good one to draw the crowds, for the matches will be held September 25-27, at the start of the football season, the end of the pennant race and a week after the USGA Amateur Championship is played in Cleveland itself.
The new courts will be composition, marking the first time in the U.S. that a Challenge Round has not been played on grass. The surface will resemble that of the courts in River Forest, Ill., where the National Clay Court Championships are held—and where our top players, Chuck McKinley and Dennis Ralston, have always done well.
The first four rows of seats for the Liston-Clay fight in Miami Beach's Convention Hall are known as the Golden Circle. Seats cost $250 each and are sold, says Promoter Bill MacDonald, "to distinguished sportsmen only." How does a person qualify? "It's easy," says one buyer. "You go up to the ticket seller's window and say, 'I want one of those Golden Circle seats.' The seller then asks, 'Are you a distinguished sportsman?' 'Here's the $250,' you say. 'You are indeed a distinguished sportsman,' the seller says. 'Here is your ticket.' "
The thing to do below the Mason-Dixon Line these days is to watch the University of Tennessee basketball team warm up. It is said to be worth an all-night bus ride.
Pep signs line the corridors of the Tennessee field house, including one that says: "When you call on a Thoroughbred, he gives you all the muscle, heart and sinew at his command. When you call on a jackass, he kicks."
The team bursts onto the floor through the double swinging doors—over which is a 20-foot-high orange "T"—accompanied by a covey of girls, to the tune of Sweet Georgia Brown. After the players pass the ball over and under and do some behind-the-back dribbling, they dunk a two-toned basketball to the tune of Dixie. Then a robed troupe of fraternity men parades out to "Klux" the opposing team. After that all the lights go out except one. In comes a color guard to play the national anthem. At the end of that, the players all run out under the spotlight, one behind the other, and bash the ball on the backboard without letting it touch the floor until the last one of them, who is 6 feet 8, throws it through the hoop. Then they begin to play after they get the chorus-line twirler girls off the court.
Some folks even stay for the game.
There is nothing like being frank about college football. And Dr. James A. McCain, president of Kansas State University, is nothing if not that. For years, the K-State football team has been a flop in the Big Eight, but last week Dr. McCain announced the start of a crash program to make the school a powerhouse. The coach is getting a raise and a brand new assistant, and the number of football scholarships is being boosted from 80 to 110. Says Dr. McCain: "Universities are considered great because they are in athletic conferences with schools that are great." Good lord, McCain, have you never heard of Harvard?
The British invented gamesmanship, and now they have invented bridgemanship. Bridgemanship, according to L. Broom and J. H. Smith in a scholarly article in The British Journal of Sociology, is the art of using one's occupation to acquire social mobility. Certain occupations, such as domestic service, military service and schoolteaching, foster bridgemanship. A sewing maid, for instance, can move on to become a milliner, and a chauffeur a garage owner. A butler has almost unlimited horizons since he, of all servants, has "the greatest opportunity to observe and practise the roles of command, to observe the nuances of upper-class interaction and culture."
But it is athletes to whom Sociologists Broom and Smith tip their hats. "The athlete's career is short and leaves the occupant ordinarily in fair command of his faculties," they write. "Even if his reputation is modest he will be accounted a public figure in his home community." An athlete can build himself a "monument" by opening a bar or restaurant, he can become a salesman, enter broadcasting, journalism, show business or politics. Broom and Smith cite Chris Chataway, the miler, on whom they bestow "an all-comers award for bridgemanship." They point out that in little over a decade Chataway has been an athlete, sports journalist, brewery executive, TV newscaster and interviewer, member of Parliament and junior minister in the Conservative government.
A 4½-year-old chimpanzee named Peter lives in an animal park in G√∂teborg, Sweden. Last fall a couple of newspapermen on the G√∂teborgs-Tidningen got the idea that maybe Peter could paint pictures. On the sly, they gave the chimp a palette, paints, brushes and canvas, and Peter promptly set to work. Recently the newspapermen picked out four of Peter's better paintings and slipped them into a local art show to see what the critics would say. The paintings were signed Pierre Brassau, who was described as an unknown French painter. The critics fell for the monkey business, especially Rolf Anderberg of the morning Postal, who wrote rapturously: "Pierre Brassau paints with powerful strokes but also with clear determination. His brush strokes twist with a furious fastidiousness on the canvas." Critic Anderberg then went on to compare Pierre with another painter in the show. The other painter, Anderberg wrote, was ponderous but "Pierre is an artist who performs with the delicacy of a ballet dancer."
When the hoax was revealed, Anderberg was bitter. He insisted that Pierre's work was "still the best painting in the exhibition." He may be right. A private collector bought one canvas for $90.
THEY SAID IT
•British Runner Joy Grieveson, on hearing that North Korea's Sin Kim Dan, world's fastest woman at 400 meters, had been declared ineligible for the Olympics: "I must admit I am relieved."
•Baltimore City Councilman Dominic Leone, seeking to lower the age requirements for nighttime pool-hall players: "By getting the boys in the pool halls and off the streets, we will occupy their time in healthy recreation."
•Pitcher Jim O'Toole, after conducting the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at a special concert: "At least when you're on the podium no one takes you out in the seventh inning."