LIE NOW, PLAY LATER
The project is for science and America's race to the moon—so when duty called, USC Coach Forrest Twogood answered. He agreed to let the space people send two of his varsity basketball players to bed for 30 days. They want to study the effects of sustained horizontal positions, and when a basketball player stretches out he is horizontal from here to way over there.
The study is called "Operation Sacktime," and players John Brockman (6-foot-5 forward), Allen Young (6-foot-6 forward) and 11 other students are just concluding three weeks of conditioning so that they can climb into bed physically tuned. When they pop out of bed next month—after the simulated physiological equivalent of a 15-day round trip to the moon—the men will undergo more exercises and test spins in USC's human centrifuge.
"This is a serious problem confronting the well-being of future astronauts," says Dr. John P. Meehan Jr. of the USC medical school and a chief investigator on the project. "What NASA hopes to gain from this study is a knowledge of how the superbly conditioned human cardiovascular system adjusts to a change from a horizontal position to one that is vertical."
This also is a serious problem to Coach Twogood. "I want to see if Al and John are better players this season," he says anxiously. "If they are, well...who knows? I just might put my whole team in this program next year."
HUNTED NO MORE
When they become rabid, raccoons lose all fear of men and dogs and often become the hunters rather than the hunted. In Georgia recently, fisherman Charlie Folsom noticed a raccoon ambling by, went back to baiting his hook and was attacked and severely bitten. He killed the animal and experts found it to be rabid—one of 56 confirmed cases in recent months. Folsom was treated and seems to have escaped the disease, but cases like his are stirring new worry in the Georgia-Florida region. Because the infected animals appear to be moving north, Georgia's fish and game department has banned the oldtime custom of trapping raccoons in the south and releasing them for hunting in the north, where they are scarce. Biggest worry: the raccoons will attack the dogs and spread the disease further. The familiar, melodic baying of the 'coon hounds will not ring out this season.
WICKEDNESS AT WYKAGYL
To every golfer who approached the 4th hole at Wykagyl Country Club last Friday the pin placement looked like a practical joke. The cup was located on the downhill ridge of the two-level green, a location that left 16 of the best professionals in the U.S., competing in the Wykagyl Round Robin for $25,000 in prizes, unanimously unamused. The pros have a tendency to be angered by even the fairest of pin positions if their putts do not drop. Precious few dropped on Wykagyl's 4th that day.
Fred Hawkins, tournament leader at the time, took three putts, lost three points and the lead. Gene Littler took four putts and might have taken more if his companions had not finally conceded him an eight-footer. The cup sat in so precarious a position that an NBC cameraman raced out to the green to shoot pictures of a player placing a ball above the hole and watching it roll hastily down the hill.
Although eight of the 16 managed to par the hole, the last foursome, in a unique form of protest, found a different solution to Wykagyl's 4th. Tommy Bolt, Jimmy Demaret, George Bayer and Tommy Jacobs each hit on the green, a 147-yard par-3, and then they picked up, conceding themselves pars and no loss of points.
"A cute trick," said Tournament Chairman Walter A. Peek, who ruled that the scores would stand, on the basis that the pros forfeited a chance to gain points as well as lose them. "Someone moved the stake I had set out to mark the position for the cup. We'll never know who. Maybe they got a good laugh."
No one else laughed. Ken Venturi (who had led the field but lost to Texan Miller Barber) said, "The rules said there'd be no gimme putts. It was unfair to those who played out the hole and lost points." Said Bob Rosburg, "If the boys don't want to play by the rules, they should be kicked out."
We quite agree. For good or bad, Wykagyl's mystery hole played the same for all.
MY SON THE GLUTTON
The games started with a good, stiff shot of Cachaca, a fiery sugar-cane alcohol that whets the appetite. Then the 42 contestants sat down, in came the platters of chicken, oxtail, rice, macaroni, salad—and they were off and eating in the Comil√µes, Brazil's new national event for those who think big.
Comil√µes means national eating contest, and last week's finals at S√£o Paulo's Ibirapuera Stadium turned into a gymkhana of gluttony. The local gastronomist club found sponsors to provide the food, plus mineral water and beer, and proceeds went to three Brazilian orphanages. (Among the backers was North America's Alka-Seltzer, which insists relief is just a swallow away.) There was only one division—heavyweight, naturally—and the keenly trained stars ate steadily for the regulation 2½ hours. Small talk across the dinner table was outlawed (it is too distracting), and eight inspectors kept things moving. Brazilian TV cameras followed every loaded forkful amid the hurried activities of five cooks, eight waiters and three doctors-in-waiting.
A proud tradition was at steak, er, stake. Winner Eduardo Montefusco, a 222-pounder, munched his way through 23.8 pounds of food. It was short of his club record last year—he was 264 then—but "I kept thinking about the dinner I was going to after the contest," he said. Runner-up Daylton Batti, 193.6 pounds, showed the 1,000 spectators a lot of early stomach but faltered and finished a couple of platters of macaroni off the pace.
The main objective of the contest, explained Club President Dirceu Datti, is to "point out the value to good health of rational and sane eating habits." A noble purpose, and let's have none of that nonsense about carrying the winner off the field on our shoulders.
ANYONE GOT A ROW MAP?
The five oarsmen of Havana's Olimpicuba Club didn't show up at the international rowing regatta in Switzerland last week. Sorry to miss the contest, they ruefully cabled officials from Belgrade, 650 miles away. But, caramba! They had thought for sure that Lucerne was in Yugoslavia.
THE LONE STRANGER
If there were a Fun Game of the Month Club, July's easy winner would be the one played by Westerner Leonard Schack. As president of the Denver Saddle Club he rides his five-gaited gelding every weekend. As a music lover he straps on a transistor radio and listens to concerts through an earplug while riding. And all the while he is swinging that long aluminum pole with the little cup on the end.
What is Schack doing? He is scooping up strayed golf balls—on the run—from the perimeters of Los Verdes Golf Club where he rides. In two weeks he has cupped 128 balls and he passes them out to business associates. Such activity has not gone uncriticized; Schack reports one caddie came out to the edge of the course and yelled, "Go away, you ol' pack rat!" But such is the hazard of a sport that is not exactly polo and can hardly be considered cricket.
The whole suspenseful business with Atlanta and that new sports stadium has been like a mystery novel, and baseball and football fans across the country have hung on its every chapter. But the story has now outgrown Gone With the Wind in size and the readers are growing restless waiting for the punch line.
To synopsize the plot: Atlanta is building an $18 million stadium and there is talk of a million-dollar bonus to the builder if he finishes it by April 15, 1965 (by coincidence the approximate opening date of the baseball season). The next chapter involves finding the team. Unofficial comment insists it will be the Milwaukee Braves; indeed, they look like a sure thing—but there is no official comment. There is talk, too, that the St. Louis Cardinal football crew will announce this week they are relocating in Atlanta.
Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen reports he has a definite commitment to bring in a major league baseball team but won't say which. Says Allen: "I'm not a Dodger, but I'm very much in favor of Athletics. It would be a Cardinal sin for me not to face this Giant issue. I don't want to offend any of my Yankee friends by showing preference for a team with Red Sox or White Sox. I don't want to be called a Red. I just want to be Brave on the side of the Angels. Does that give you any hint?"
Well, yes, it does. But we have been Brave about this long enough, since it seems apparent the deal is settled. And armchair sports detectives are now entitled to know whodunit. And to whom.
THE AAU GIANT
Where is the giant of U.S. industry, the Amateur Athletic Union asked, to match the challenge of the Soviets? That was in October, but the invitation had no takers until last week, when the giant showed up. It turned out to be Old London Foods, Inc., a New York-based division of The Borden Company, and a maker of bite-size snacks.
What the AAU wanted—and will now get—is some capitalistic help in expanding its 15-year-old Junior Olympic Program for amateur participation in Olympic sports. It wants to reach what it calls America's untapped pool of 60 million eligible kids, plus thousands of volunteer community sponsors. And dealing as it does with supermarkets and grocers across the country, Old London intends to push the program with posters and pamphlets in store displays, school and hometown billboards. The AAU figures Junior Olympics participation will climb from the present 1¼ million to more than 10 million youngsters in five or 10 years and has started gearing to handle more regional and national awards.
Olympic Decathlon Champion Rafer Johnson is a product of the Junior Olympics; the program also included such current Olympic hopefuls as Distance Runner Gerry Lindgren, Pole Vaulter John Pennel and Swimmer Donna de Varona. And with all those yet-to-be tapped kids out there, it looks like little Old London—and free enterprise, too—may have taken a giant step.
OFF TO THE WOODS
Know where the latest In place is? On the beach at Antibes with Noel? In Baja California with the editors of Vogue? No. The In place now, for the show-biz set anyway, is off in the Maine boondocks near the tiny town of Beddington. There, 5,000 acres of forests, lakes, streams and seclusion have been set aside for a cozy little group known as the Back Woods Club. The club is a promotion of Earl Harris, production manager of Paramount pay-TV. He got the idea one day when he fell to wondering about all those city-trapped celebrities who take off weekends in private planes "and just fly around with no place to go."
The club will not open until next year, but a woodsy new cocktail lounge is being built, and when it is finished work will start on a service station. An antique store, a tackle shop and a golf course are down for the future, but already Franchot Tone and John Wayne have signed up, at $1,000 each, for charter memberships. William Holden and Johnny Carson look like sure bets to join, and Barney Balaban, the big man at Paramount, is mulling it over. Says Harris, "I think Maine has been neglected for long enough."
GOLF CAN BE BEAUTIFUL
They laughed when Tony Lema and Ken Venturi sat down a couple of years ago to sign contracts with F and J brand golf clubs, made by a small, obscure California company. After all, both pros were playing poorly and none of the big sponsors wanted them. Venturi later complained out loud about his awful game, and his autographed putters stacked up like unsold Hula-Hoops. Then came the comebacks, rags became riches and the rest of the story is pure soap opera.
Now the lathes are turning like mad. Says San Francisco F and J distributor Wally Bates, "We are getting tremendous orders from the Orient. The United States Open champ's name means something." Also, since Lema's recent winning streak, the strike-it-rich company reports it can't fill all the orders for Lema-endorsed clubs.
There is a moral for the little man in here somewhere, something about he who has the last lathe.
THE SEAGOING SELL
Let an adman come aboard a ship and chances are he will run an idea up the masthead to see if anybody salutes it. There is little escape from the influence of advertising—and this summer it may even show up in the sea all around us.
The splendid old yacht Aquilo, built in South Boston in 1901 and owned by a succession of wealthy skippers, is now under the command of John Scott Campbell of Seattle. And Campbell is putting up huge signboards along Aquilo's upper deck. He intends to sell advertising space and display the signs as the yacht cruises twice daily along the southern California shore between Santa Monica and Redondo Beach.
"There are two million people a day along those beaches," says seagoing adman Campbell overenthusiastically. "A lot more of them will see a sign on the Aquilo than on one of those advertising airplanes. I hope to make money in southern California and then come back to Seattle to spend it."
It is good old American ingenuity at work, but somehow we cannot bring ourselves to a salute. We hope it will never catch on—how do they say it on Madison Avenue?—yachtingwise.
THEY SAID IT
•Base stealer Maury Wills: "My record  is definitely not in danger—not from me, anyway."
•Hurdler Hayes Jones, asked why he prefers racing indoors: "I'm only 5 feet 10 and outdoors everybody's bigger than I am. When I get indoors, though, the spring in the boards and the spring in my legs makes me 7 feet tall and I'm bigger than anybody."
•Two-Ton Tony Galento, reminiscing: "I coulda busted Joe Louis up real good if my manager woulda let me go out there and hit him all over. You know what I mean, hit him all over and explain later. Butt him and kick him around and do anything you can do. It's a fight, isn't it?"