THE DEVIL FINDS WORK FOR SONNY
Scarcely had the bruises Cassius Clay inflicted on his body and soul begun to heal than Sonny Liston was in trouble of a more familiar kind. His old enemy, the law, to which he has lost a few decisions, was belting him around again. In Denver, a city that had begun to accept him, Sonny was up on charges of driving 76 miles an hour in a 30-mile zone, driving without a valid license, and carrying a concealed .22 automatic pistol. All in all, a mild assortment of raps compared to some Sonny has been up against, but one wonders why the ex-champion, in the light of his past record and his desire to regain the heavyweight title, would put himself in jeopardy with boxing commissions around the country. He is already barred in some states.
Liston's closest friend is his secretary, Teddy King. King had something of an explanation. Since losing the title, he said, Liston had been in "a state of shock."
"He just came out of it two days ago," King said. "Yesterday [the day before the speeding incident] was the first day I think I saw him smile. He came in and told me some funny jokes.
March 23, 1964
"The trouble with him is he needs something to do. All he does is sit around all day. He doesn't train enough.
"I think we're going to get him to buy some property and open a real estate office—someplace where he can go and sit for six hours a day."
Idle hands—that's the explanation.
THE IDEALISTIC SNOOKS
The recruiting of Canadian players for U.S. college hockey teams has become such standard practice over the years that only two major college teams still do without them. One is, of course, the U.S. Military Academy squad at West Point. The other is Boston College, which never has put a Canadian import on its ice, which plays the longest—and probably the toughest—college schedule in the East, and which has reached the NCAA tournament more times than any eastern college.
All this stems from the stubborn idealism of John Andrew (Snooks) Kelley, at 56 the dean of America's college coaches, who concluded his 28th season at BC last week with an excellent record of 18 wins, nine losses and one tie. This, with 10 sophomores on his varsity. His career total: 362 wins, 157 losses, 14 ties. He has had losing seasons only twice, in 1934 and in 1958.
Kelley is an inspirational locker room pleader of the old school, but he never was much of a hockey player. Standing 5 feet 4 inches and weighing 130 pounds, he could not even make his Boston College High School team and at Boston College he was team manager until, in the 1928 game against Yale, a player was injured and Kelley was ordered to suit up. That sums up his playing career.
His recruiting philosophy is summed up this way:
"We have had ample opportunity to recruit Canadian boys. I've found most of them are fine gentlemen as well as excellent players. But I'll stick with kids developed in the Boston area and around New England."
They seem to develop almost as well there as in Ontario or Quebec.
TOWARD SAFER SCUBA DIVING
Last summer off the New Jersey coast, five very capable scuba divers had close calls with death. Exploring an offshore wreck, the divers suffered dizziness, confusion and at times almost complete lack of control over their actions. Luckily, all made it safely back to the surface. Tests proved that the divers' compressed air supply, pumped from faulty compressors, contained dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide (SI, July 29, 1963).
The New Jersey State Department of Health, with the help of professional divers and the U.S. Navy, now has established purity standards for air sold to divers. Health department representatives will visit air stations during the summer, take air samples and, if necessary, prosecute those found to be selling bad air.
A few weeks ago Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D., Conn.), the former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, introduced in Congress a bill to insure clean air for divers throughout the country. Ribicoff proposed that the Public Health Service promote acceptance of purity standards covering compressed air used by scuba divers and conditions under which scuba tanks are filled. Once standards are set, says Ribicoff, they should be enforced, "probably through state licensing of air sales centers."
We are all for clean air—beneath the sea and someday, perhaps, even in the cities of America.
RARE BIRD, THE OOKPIK
The maple leaf and the Mountie are Canadian symbols, all right, but Canadian officials discovered in publicizing a Philadelphia trade fair last fall that their ability to attract American attention has faded over the years. Casting about for another symbol, they came upon the ookpik, which is what Eskimos call the Arctic owl.
An imaginative Eskimo craftsman had given the original ookpik puppet a duck's webbed feet and a duck's behind, but that has all been corrected—more's the pity—in the one depicted here. This one, made of sealskin, is the handiwork of Mrs. Jennie Snowball, an Eskimo widow who lives in Fort Chimo on Ungava Bay. It may well make her one of the world's richest Eskimos. From direct sales of her own ookpiks, which go for as much as $20 each, and from royalties due her as designer, she stands to earn at least $6,000.
When a New Jersey department store tried to order 100,000 ookpiks, it was calculated that if all the Eskimos in the Arctic spent all their time making the birds they could not meet such a demand. Two Canadian firms have been licensed to mass-produce smaller ookpiks of plush and possum fur (the sealskin boot fad has created a scarcity of the original material), and the world will have to make do with these.
ALL FORGIVEN, PLAY BALL
When Pete Rozelle, the National Football League commissioner, pronounced sentences of indefinite suspension on Paul Hornung of the Green Bay Packers and Alex Karras of the Detroit Lions last April, there were some who felt he had dealt out punishment that was overly harsh. After all, the players were betting on their own teams, and the rules of racing permit jockeys to bet on their own mounts. The incident was hardly comparable to baseball's Black Sox scandal. But Rozelle, whose responsibility it is to maintain the confidence of the public in professional football, judged exactly right. Rumors of gambling by players are easily distorted and can be used to create scandal where none had existed.
Last Monday Rozelle reinstated Hornung and Karras, and that is right and proper, too.
A hefty deterrent to many a canoeist's dream of paddling through the wilds of northern Canada has been the difficulty of getting a canoe into the country and out again. The Hudson's Bay Company has solved it. It is willing to put you in the paddler's seat. The company has established a U-Paddle Canoe Rental Service at five of its 225 northern trading posts and in time hopes to have rental canoes at all of them. The canoeist may pick up his craft at one store and turn it in at another, just as one may do with some car rental services.
For $25 a week the would-be voyageur gets a 17-foot, 75-pound Grumman aluminum canoe with keel, equipped with white-ash paddles and a carrying yoke. These may be picked up in Yellowknife, Waterways, Ile √† la Crosse, La Ronge and Norway House. Canoes also will be kept in Winnipeg, which is to be a centralized distributing point for the northern Manitoba area. The Winnipeg office will deliver your canoe by rail or plane to the starting point of your choice. Expert advice in wilderness living will be available, as well as food supplies and letters of credit for additional provisions in the country.
The company already has made some reservations. One party will set out from Norway House, on the northern extreme of Lake Winnipeg, and follow the Nelson River to York Factory at the river's mouth on Hudson's Bay, an expedition that might take two or three weeks. Along the way: excellent fishing for speckled trout, northern pike, pickerel and even some sturgeon.
TRIAL BY ORDEAL
It will be some weeks before Cassius X Clay knows whether, on the basis of aptitude tests he took last week, the Army wants to take a chance on him as a fighting man. In the meantime he knows he has been in a fight. He was put through 2½ hours of rigorous mental examination and emerged thoroughly fatigued. To give an idea of what he had to endure, here is what, sprawled wearily on his living room sofa, he had to say:
"That test was tough. Tougher than the first one. Man, I am tired, but I did my best. I don't want anybody to think I'm crazy. I remember one problem went like this: There are 12 bushels of apples. They cost $10 each. You buy them, but before you do, you take a third of the apples out of each bushel. How much do you pay for the apples?
"After scratching around 10 or 15 minutes on paper—I never was much good at figuring—I think I got the answer. But then a guy came by, took that test out of my hand and gave me another one. When I looked down on the test he took from me, there still was a whole long row of questions I didn't answer."
THE CONTINENTAL LOOK
The Tokyo Olympics will be bigger than ever. The U.S. may send a squad of 380, the largest in our history. To some this trend has begun to seem unwieldy and so on European television this Sunday a proposal will be made for a new, slim look in the Olympics. Athletes from the Inner Six (France. West Germany, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg) will be shown performing to a background score that will include something from Bach, the gavotte Amarylliss by Louis XIII, Philippe Gérard's Cha Cha Cha du Coeur, and Stan Kenton. As the athletes run and jump and the music plays, the film presents the provocative proposal that, instead of national teams, future Olympics be composed of highly selective, numerically controlled teams representing Europe against teams from the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., which now have come to dominate the games.
Thus, the Olympics, which began as games in which individuals competed against individuals, then changed to competition among nations, might progress to battles of the continents (in which some of those borderline neutrals would have to make a definite choice). The ultimate, of course, would be a war of the hemispheres, East and West.
THE HIP SHOOTERS
A certain rough justice has given acceptance to horse racing's rule that the trainer is responsible for every irregularity—such as doping—that is discovered in his horses. But the justice is often rougher than need requires. Trainers have been embarrassed unnecessarily by mandatory suspensions when, in fact, they were innocent. Now Horatio Luro, the dashing Latino who trains Northern Dancer, one of the Kentucky Derby favorites, has been the victim of another cruel comedy of errors. Luro was suspended after one of his horses, Gay Lothario, turned up with a positive urinalysis at Gulfstream Park. Eventually, Luro was held blameless and reinstated, and his veterinarian, who had administered the drug as an antibiotic, was fined $200—for appearance's sake, perhaps.
When the National Association of State Racing Commissioners meets in June, it might well consider adopting rules like those of New York and some other states, where suspension of a trainer is not automatically mandatory, even when his horse has clearly been doped. In New York, the discretion of the stewards, after full investigation, prevails. It ought to prevail at all tracks, provided the stewards always remember that a trainer can be guilty through negligence as much as through conniving.
THEY SAID IT
•Chick Davies, former Duquesne basketball coach: "I'd rather play a pinball machine than watch a basketball game today. You can score the same number of points."
•Emile Griffith, after his no-contest bout with Juan Duran in Rome: "The referee hit me more than Duran did. The referee couldn't speak English, and he kept slapping me on the forehead to get my attention."