NEW YEAR'S LONG SHOT
The extraordinary events of New Year's Day, when the three top-ranked college teams, all undefeated, went down one after the other, raised the question of how much a fan might have won had he bet in the morning that fourth-rated Alabama would be No. 1 before the day was over. Gamblers give points rather than odds on football games, but a mathematician who knows both worked out the probabilities. Assuming Alabama to be even money against third-ranked Nebraska, he made Louisiana State a 2½-to-1 underdog against second-ranked Arkansas and UCLA a 3-to-1 long shot against Michigan State. "These are conservative figures," he said. "Others would make it 4 to 1 against LSU, 5 to 1 against UCLA." Anyway, a $10 parlay at the conservative odds would have returned $280 and at the longer odds $600. If you could have found a bookie to take such a bet.
Even war cannot douse the enthusiasm of California surfers. Three members of a Port Hueneme naval construction battalion have won permission to take their surfboards to Vietnam. During time off from helping to build a Marine base, they plan to try out the waves near Chu Lai.
WILL CLAY FIGHT TERRELL?
Rumors that Cassius Clay would next fight Ernie Terrell for the heavyweight championship have been flying pretty thick since Clay's last defense of the title against Floyd Patterson. Because of the underworld connections Terrell is said to have through his adviser, the shadowy Bernie Glickman, there is strong sentiment in many quarters against such a fight being held. Arthur Grafton, legal adviser to Clay's Louisville Sponsoring Group, held last week that such objections would disappear when, and if, Terrell is cleared to fight Clay.
January 10, 1966
"It's not our job to check out Terrell," explained Grafton. "If a reputable boxing commission, such as the one in New York or California, will approve Terrell, we will accept the commission's say-so that he is free of the underworld."
It is not exactly as though Clay and Grafton had a horde of challengers to choose from. At the moment, there is nobody else worthwhile for Clay to fight. And the future is confusing. The draft board may reconsider its earlier rejection of Cassius and put him in uniform. It also happens that the Louisville group's contract with Clay expires in October. All of which seems to point to an early match with Terrell.
"Still," said Grafton, "it's pretty hard to talk business with a man who is suing you for $1½ million." Terrell slapped the suit on Clay and practically everyone else connected with the fight last spring when Clay was billed in Lewiston, Me. (where he fought Sonny Liston) as the "heavyweight champion." Terrell claims he was the heavyweight champion at that time by virtue of the fact that the World Boxing Association, those masters of confusion, said he was. Once this semantic matter is disposed of, Grafton indicated, Clay and Terrell can work something out about fighting.
Our hope is that the public will not allow any of the principals to adopt an elastic view of what constitutes a "reputable boxing commission."
Basketball Coach Red Auerbach, who annoys enemy spectators by lighting a cigar when he feels his Boston Celtics have a game won, is getting his this season—especially in Philadelphia, where the 76ers have now beaten their old tormentors twice. It has become the fashion with Philadelphia fans to pepper Auerbach with cigars whenever the 76ers get a big lead. And when Wilt Chamberlain went over Bill Russell for a stuff shot the other night some wit brought down the house by flinging an unopened can of beer. The beer missed, but a cigar (lighted) caught Red in the forehead.
This kind of crowd behavior is disgracing both professional and college basketball more and more, and the NBA and NCAA should put a stop to it before players and coaches are seriously injured. Granted, basketball spectators are so close to the action that it is easy to give vent to partisan passion. Still, stands can be policed, rowdies can be thrown out, home-town fanatics can be warned that games will be forfeited for poor sportsmanship. The sport deserves decent demeanor from its enthusiasts.
As for Auerbach, whose displays of temper toward officials we have often deplored, we are sorry he was hit by the cigar, but he's lucky it wasn't the beer can.
Heisman Trophy winner Mike Garrett of Southern California surprised a lot of people last week when he signed a pro-football contract with the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League instead of his home-town Los Angeles Rams of the NFL. But Mike may be playing with a Los Angeles club after all. The AFL greatly desires to reestablish a franchise in Los Angeles and, at about the same time Garrett was signing with the Chiefs, Kansas City Owner Lamar Hunt was in southern California conferring with Walter O'Malley, proprietor of Dodger Stadium. It wouldn't take much to prepare the stadium for football, nor to move the Chiefs to Los Angeles.
STORM KING VICTORY
All too often, fishermen have been on the losing side in conservation fights. But last week fishermen and conservationists won a tremendous upset victory. A Federal Court of Appeals in New York threw out the Federal Power Commission's licensing of a Consolidated Edison hydroelectric plant at Storm King Mountain on the Hudson River.
Angry fishermen, who had been shut out of the FPC hearings, insisted that the proposed plant would decimate the river's shad and striped bass, and conservationists protested against the uglification of the scenic and historic mountain near West Point (SI, April 26, 1965). United as the Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference, the conservationists and fishermen went before the Court of Appeals to present their case, and the three-man court unanimously ruled for them on all points at issue. To get a license now—unless it appeals successfully to the U.S. Supreme Court—Con Ed must start all over again, and with the public in the area aroused to a pitch, the company's chances of having its way are slim indeed.
If there is a lesson in all this, it is that concerned fishermen, conservationists and just plain citizens not only can "fight city hall"—they can beat city hall. The Storm King decision is a marvelous way to begin the New Year.
William M. Jennings, president of the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League, tries to camouflage the ineptness of his fifth-place hockey team with intemperate outbursts of his own. Several weeks ago Jennings declared he would bar Goal Judge Arthur Reichert from the Garden after the official made a controversial decision against the Rangers. The league intervened, naturally, and Reichert officiated at the next game. Now Jennings has put a "bounty" (amount undeclared) on the head of tempestuous Boston Bruin Defenseman Teddy Green, who last week speared Phil Goyette of the Rangers during a game in which Green accumulated 36 minutes of penalties.
"I think Boston has wild animals on its team," said Jennings. "When bears run wild in Maine the state declares a bounty for shooting the bears. I declare a bounty on Green."
All this verbiage, of course, practically guarantees a sellout at the next Bruin-Ranger game in New York. What if one of the Rangers does get Green? Said a Boston fan: "Well sue."
Any pro football fan can tell you that the game is much more than knocking heads. All you have to do is take a peek at one of those pregame television shows. It's those little vignettes—you know, the muted locker-room noises, a big defensive tackle practicing such alltime favorite maneuvers as the forearm smash, the coaches huddled around the board-of-directors table discussing the virtues of the zig-in as opposed to the oblique-out. It's intimate. It's vicious. It's intellectual. It's pure pizazz, but it is also good showmanship and with it pro football has left the baseball people standing around looking at plaques in Cooperstown.
It is too bad, perhaps, that a good game must resort to showbiz to sell itself, but there is something fascinating about well-done sidebar shows. It also is a fact that fans nowadays are too sophisticated to get excited when Willie Mays, great as he is, tells an announcer that all pitchers are tough but that eventually he is going to get his pitch.
Baseball should take a page from football's book right now. When spring training starts in six weeks, TV crews should be there and ready to film Mays going this way and that way and the other way for fly ball after fly ball, to catch in slow motion Whitey Ford's pick-off move to first base, to show Maury Wills watching a pitcher through a sequence of deliveries for the one telltale sign he needs to tell himself when to steal.
It means throwing away all that splendid footage of Warren Giles and Joe Cronin beaming at politicians, but that's a sacrifice baseball will have to make.
BEAUTY AND THE BALDER DASH
The busiest young style-setter on the Stanford campus is Patrick John Anthony Morrison, 19, of Manor Park, London. Patrick John Anthony is at Palo Alto to take art classes and to indulge his creative talents, which include painting, drawing, playing the harmonica, writing, running and growing hair. The studies are considered distinctly tertiary, and even running—although Morrison is the British champion at 200 meters, with times of 21.1 for 220 around a curve and 9.6 for 100 yards—is decidedly secondary. Morrison's hair is definitely his best point. It is blond, wavy and approaching shoulder length.
Stanford's track team is already being described as Goldilocks and the 65 Indians, but Morrison says, "My hair style is the accepted thing in my circle in England. Of course, I have no thought of trimming it, and I don't believe the wind resistance will hurt my time."
Morrison gets to test his wind resistance this Saturday in the Examiner invitational indoor meet at San Francisco against Darrell Newman, who is bald.
THEY SAID IT
•Bill Van Breda Kolff, who coached Bill Bradley at Princeton last year, asked to appraise the star player on an opposing team: "I guess I don't think anybody is good now. Maybe Bradley spoiled me."
•Amos Johnson, heavyweight fighter, when told it had taken him 14 seconds to get back in the ring after Ray Staples had knocked him through the ropes in a fight at Akron: "Was that too long?"