SINGIN', STRUMMIN' 'N' FIGHTIN'
Heavyweight boxing is in such a continuing muddle that it demands a comedian for some light relief. It discovered one in Ernie Terrell the other night on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. Terrell is 25 years old, a handsome, statuesque fighter who may be the new world champion by default any day now. He is one of four boxers the WBA would have liked to match for the title, the others being Cleveland Williams, Floyd Patterson and George Chuvalo. By all counts, lip and fate, Terrell already has it made, or so he said.
Terrell: Patterson put himself out of the running when he refused to fight Williams. Then my manager, who has the biggest mouth in the world....
Carson: I thought Clay had the biggest mouth.
December 14, 1964
Terrell: He got a big mouth all right, but my manager got the biggest mouth in the whole world and he had a fight with Chuvalo's manager, so that left me to fight Cleveland Williams. Man, I was happy. I was training and then Williams got himself shot last week by a policeman.
Carson: Oh, there was a slight altercation, was there?
Terrell: I don't know, maybe Williams was training for the fight, but if he was the policeman won.
Carson: Will Clay and Liston ever fight?
Terrell: Well—maybe by the time they gettin' their old-age pension.
Carson: I understand you play the guitar. When did you learn that?
Terrell: I learned the guitar just sittin' around waiting for a fight. (At this point, he plays and sings a rock 'n' roll number, and is a big hit.)
Carson: What do you do now?
Terrell: Maybe I'll go back to Chicago and just play the guitar. Looks like I ain't gonna make no money boxing.
NOW, ABOUT THAT POLE
Craig Breedlove had just set a world land-speed record—526 miles an hour—on Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats last October when his car swerved from the course, sheared off a telephone pole, careened wildly and landed nose down in a canal. Miraculously, Breedlove escaped injury, though he almost drowned. Last week he got a letter from the Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph Co. offices in Salt Lake City. The letter explained what Breedlove's racer had really done: "Damage to telephone pole No. 4158 of the Salt Lake-Wendover toll line," the letter read. "Estimated cost of repairs: $200. Will you please furnish us with billing information?"
Every golfer likes to have a little something—or a someone—in reserve to alibi away that last dreadful round, but Professional Phil Krick would be the first to admit that enough is enough. Bad luck did not just follow him in the recent Cajun Classic, it took hold by the bag handle and led the way. The way it was, Krick was assigned this caddie for the qualifying round. On the first hole Phil hit a shot within inches of the flag-stick, but when he reached the green with his putter there was nothing there to putt.
"Where's my ball?" Krick asked.
"Heck, that's a gimme putt around here," said the caddie, and flipped him the ball. Two-stroke penalty.
On the 10th hole Phil sent a chip shot straight for the pin.
"Hey, yank out the flagstick," he yelled. The caddie, red-faced, struggled with the flag. Out it came—and the cup along with it. The ball caromed off the cup. Another two-stroke penalty.
Six holes later Phil split the fairway with a drive. When he got to the spot where the ball should have been, the caddie was there, the ball was not.
"It was in a divot mark," explained the caddie, taking the ball out of his pocket, "so I thought I'd try to give you a better lie." It was an earnest attempt to recoup for past blunders. It cost Krick another two-stroke penalty.
Somehow Krick was able to finish the round and, despite six penalty strokes, turned in a one-under-par 71. He easily qualified for the tournament. Quietly, so as not to injure feelings, he then asked the caddie master to assign him another boy. The switch was too late—Krick was cut after the second round.
THE SORE-FOOT DETECTIVE
Had she come dressed in burlap, worn tennis shoes, flashed an ax and cried, "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition," she could not have caused greater trepidation. A hundred angry men, who had come to the state fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C. to show their Tennessee Walking Horses, clustered around Mrs. Pearl Twyne. She wanted to have a look at the horses; they wanted to have her bull-whacked. Or worse.
"Get her out of here," said one, beginning a chorus.
"We're tired of being overrun by this old lady!"
"Nosy old bitch!"
"If she ever comes to Tennessee, I'll personally throw her in the river!"
"If she steps into my stable," said Jimmy Norris of Fayetteville, N.C., "she'll never step out again."
What exactly was Mrs. Twyne up to to provoke such genuine antipathy? She came with search warrants, and what she was up to as a legitimate representative of the humane societies of Virginia and North Carolina was a hoof-by-hoof inspection of the horses she suspected of being "sored"—hooves treated with acid to cause blistering and thus pain the animal into lifting its feet higher. It is an old, reprehensible trick of Walking Horse owners (SI, Jan. 11, 1960 et seq.), and it goes on almost unabated. Mrs. Twyne has been campaigning against this particular brand of cruelty for years, sometimes without due caution, hence her immediate recognition in Raleigh. She has had film taken from her, her photographer roughed up, and she was once threatened with a shotgun. This time she thought to enlist the aid of the local constabulary, and a squad car was there for refuge when the mob closed in. She retreated without completing her investigation, an unconked crusader, but she said she had not given in or up. "I can never stop," she said. "Just think of those poor horses." She also said she could take being called a bitch, "but I do object to being called an old bitch. That's just not true." A crusader Mrs. Twyne is; a woman she is also.
MAKING ENDS MEET
The lone winner of a whopping $47,032 twin double payoff at Pimlico racetrack in Maryland recently was a fidgety, middle-aged man who begged that his name not be revealed—because he owes "about $50,000 worth of bills."
ACK-ACK FOR POLAR BEARS
The modern polar bear hunter is an intrepid fellow who spots his game from the air, stalks it (runs it ragged) across the ice until it is on the threshold of exhaustion, then lands and shoots it. A rule of thumb might be: don't land until you see the color of his tongue. The principal requirement of the hunt is not that the hunter be a good shot but that he have good flying weather. Tracking a milk cow in wet sand is the sporting equivalent.
Last year Shelby Longoria, an intrepid hunter from Matamoros, Mexico, chartered two planes—you never know when a polar bear is going to shoot one down—out of Kotzebue, Alaska and knocked off the biggest polar bear ever. Field & Stream magazine saw fit to recount the chase, and its editors defended it on the grounds that Longoria had risked his life flying over the ice. By this specious logic, you might defend a hit-and-run driver on the grounds that he had to drive on the freeway. In any case, the Boone and Crockett Club accepted Longoria's trophy, then in a smart about-face declared it would no longer recognize trophies shot in such a manner.
Four years ago—ever since the Alaska Fish and Game Department indicated that polar bears were underharvested—hunting from the cockpit became a booming business. Frequently bears have been shot while the hunter was still in the air. But now the polar bear may be becoming extinct. This week in the Alaskan press, U.S. Senator E. L. Barlett announced that he will push for an international agreement to protect the bears from dive bombers. Good for Senator Barlett. Spotting and chasing polar bears—or moose, or elephant, or man-eating grasshoppers—by plane should be outlawed. Hunters can darn well reach the bear by boat and stalk him by foot if they have a mind to, and if that's time-consuming and dangerous, then that's the way it ought to be.
A Lakeland, Fla. insurance man, Al Wieczorek, thought it was high time Lakeland put on a boxing match. He found others whose thinking was similarly backward, and they all put up $600 apiece to promote a match between welterweights Jose Stable and Rudolph Belt. Promotion money was short and the match was postponed, but eventually it was rescheduled for Henley Field, where the Detroit Tigers conduct spring training. Ticket sales ($6.60 for choice seats) were brisk—that is, they moved—and on the night of the fight 400 people were in the stands. The fighters were taped up and ready. But something was amiss. A $6.60 ticket holder was first to figure it out. "Hey," he cried, "there ain't no ring."
Sure enough, there was no ring. The two truck drivers Wieczorek assigned to round one up that afternoon in Tampa were unable to make contacts, so—in the way of truck drivers—they shrugged and went home. Al King, a Tampa promoter who was loaning Lakeland the ring, noticed the evening coming on and went into delayed action. With a friend he personally dismantled the ring and put it on a rented truck. Halfway to Lakeland, the truck ran out of gas. A friendly highway patrolman called a Lakeland wrecker, and the whole procession arrived at Henley Field at 9 p.m. By this time the crowd was out of the mood. And when the ring finally was assembled, it listed 12° to starboard. One fighter would definitely have had an uphill fight. Wieczorek threw up his hands and refunded the money.
TRY, TRY, TRY ONCE
We are busy compiling a dossier on the sportsmen of Grand Ledge, Mich., and the first conclusion we jump to is that they will a) try anything, or b) try anything, but only once. Recently we quoted an advertisement from the Grand Ledge Independent advertising a pair of football shoes that had been worn one hour. Now we are in possession of a Grand Ledge Reminder ad. "For Sale—red hunting suit, 2-piece, size 40. Nylon quilted lining. Worn once. $30."
IT'S NEVER TOO LATE
Don't laugh, but those fellows who run major league baseball were doing things right for a change last week. At their annual meeting in Houston they 1) passed a free agent draft similar to the ones used so successfully by both pro football and pro basketball, 2) at least pretended to restore full powers to the commissioner, 3) contributed heavily to a program that will provide college players the opportunity to play summer baseball without jeopardizing their amateur standing, 4) reached (almost) a conclusion on a national Saturday afternoon television program to distribute revenues evenly to every team instead of just to the New York Yankees and 5) decided to let fans vote for the 1965 All-Star teams, after the players have selected a slate of five men at each position.
Soon the American League will force all those owners currently holding stock in the Columbia Broadcasting System, which owns the Yankees, to divest themselves of either that CBS stock or their baseball stock. If they don't, the American League could not open next season because members of several American League teams hold CBS stock in direct opposition to baseball's conflict of interest rules.
Such progressive action, or intimations of action, comes as a pleasant surprise to those of us who wondered what organized baseball would contrive to do next to further deface its image. These first moves are excellent. Encore!
THEY SAID IT
•Bob Mason, basketball coach at Austin College, Sherman, Texas, which does not give athletic scholarships: "Someone asked me the other day about my centers; I told him I couldn't remember the last time we had one."
•Roger Perdrix, University of Cincinnati football guard, in a speech at a banquet: "I want to thank the university for what it's done to me the past four years."