WHO'S BEEN READING MY PLAYBOOK?
For those who might have wondered why Papa Bear was making such a splash in the porridge about Defensive Coach George Allen's defection to the Rams, an examination of George Halas' legal action against Los Angeles is helpful.
Halas, it appears, is not solely concerned with losing the knowledge, skill and team spirit Allen had acquired through his association with the Bears. More specifically, he asserts that Allen has in his possession "the Bears Defense Manual Number Two, the Bears Defense Textbook Number Two, and numerous motion picture films of plays." Allen, in other words, can jump his contract and go coach any Peewee League team he wants, but those classroom aids are not going to leave the state of Illinois without a court fight.
Halas' complaint is particularly interesting in view of the long-standing rumor that Allen—who coached defense for the Rams before coming to the Bears—was hired by Halas largely because of the information he could bring from L.A. In fact, one Chicago reporter, during a visit to Bear offices, noticed one playbook marked with Ram identification and another identified as Billy Wade's Los Angeles plays.
January 24, 1966
LEMONS AND ICE
Memphis State and Oklahoma City U., which have the kind of basketball rivalry that brings to mind the Punic Wars, had not played for several seasons. That was about how long it took to stanch the bleeding. Recently, however, the two again met at Memphis, with predictable results.
Oklahoma City Coach Abe Lemons, usually noted for his Will Rogers disposition, drew three technical fouls for raging at the officiating. A Memphis fan was ejected for throwing ice at the enemy bench. Players exchanged a number of nasty names. After the game Lemons stepped briefly into the Memphis team bus to warn the Tigers never to show their faces in Oklahoma City. As for himself, he said, he would never return to Memphis with anything except his B team.
Still and all, it did not compare with previous years. Lemons once chased a Memphis fan into the stands, and one year an Oklahoma City follower became enraged at the Memphis State broadcaster's version of events. He assaulted the announcer on the spot, leaving the radio audience fascinated by mysterious grunts and scuffling sounds.
PITCHERS FOR TODAY'S GAME
Johnny Sain of the Minnesota Twins, regarded by many as the best pitching coach in baseball, says the time isn't far off when major league games will be worked by three three-inning pitchers. "It's a lot easier to find six three-inning pitchers than it is to find two who can go nine regularly," says Sain. "Even now, if a pitcher has a five-run lead in the seventh and has allowed only three or four hits, no manager will hesitate to pull him between innings if he looks to be losing his edge. There's always someone in the bullpen who can be strong for the last three."
Think what that will do to batters. Shoot, think what it will do to bettors. Can't you see the daily betting line now? If Grant-Pascual-Stigman, 6-5; if Grant-Kaat-Worthington, 11-10; if Grant-Merritt-Perry, 13-10; if....
FOR THE BIRDS
Phillip Brown recently was appointed the new editor of Shooting Times, an English hunting magazine.
For the previous 17 years, Mr. Brown had been employed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
MAKE THEM PLAY
Heads snapped up around the banquet table at Spring Branch (Texas) High School when after-dinner speaker Gene Stallings suggested making athletics compulsory.
"I hear a mama tell me she wants her son to play football, but she doesn't want to make him play," the Texas A&M coach told his startled audience. "Well, I don't agree with that. I think he ought to be made to play. Kids don't like to go to school, but we make them, because education is good for them. Athletics is good for them, too. It doesn't have to be football, but a boy should compete in something, because athletics is just about the last place left where discipline is taught."
Missouri's professional wrestlers, the state sports commission has decreed, will in future conduct themselves with more decorum. Under the commissioners' reform, participants henceforth will not be allowed to: wrestle in the aisles, hurl opponents from the ring, carry or wear into the ring any object to be used as a gouge or bludgeon, or hammer an opponent's head against the metal ring posts.
The commission acted under special urging by Commissioner Mike Cleek of Columbia because things seemed to be getting a bit out of hand. Cleek happened to be present in Kansas City when the Mongolian Stomper, William Romanoff, appeared to bite Cowboy Bob Ellis squarely in the middle of the forehead. Cleek decided that this was a breach of taste and ordered the exhibition halted—an end accomplished only by the intervention of 10 policemen.
Cleek was also present in St. Louis when Dick the Bruiser Afflis, up against Bobby Managoff, abruptly departed the ring and overturned the table at which Cleek was sitting. "It fell on my foot," Cleek complained later. The Bruiser then wrenched a leg off the table and went after Managoff, who wrestled it away. The Bruiser thereupon resumed the fray with two chairs.
The commission threw pro wrestling's book at the Bruiser. It fined him $25.
PUPPY DOG TAILS
What can a coach say when his team, undefeated in 22 straight games, gets beaten in a big bowl game by a team few thought should have been in the bowl in the first place? Well, if he is Arkansas' Frank Broyles, he can quote the letters he has been receiving.
"The Razorbacks are the best thing that ever happened to Arkansas," one young correspondent assured Broyles, "and without you it would hardly have been possible, although I'm sure the players helped."
"I had so much confidence in you and the team," wrote a 12-year-old girl, "I bet my Barbie Doll Dream House which I got for Christmas. I started crying after the game was over. The person I bet said she wouldn't take it. That helped, but I was crying thinking of Bobby Crockett, Bobby Burnett, Jon Brittenum, you and the rest of the team, all disappointed maybe more than I was."
Along with the heartwarmers came one gift for the banquet circuit, from an 11-year-old Dallas boy: "I think you goofed, really goofed, when you let LSU win. I was very mad. Very. I was and still am a loyal fan of yours but let's see some winning."
For years French National Ski Coach Honoré Bonnet has dreamed of a simplified, single-pole slalom. Last week the world's best women skiers tried out his idea at Grindelwald in the Swiss Alps. They zigged to the left of 23 blue poles and zagged to the right of 23 red poles. Afterward, their reactions zigzagged too. "Merveilleux, formidable," cried Marielle Goitschel, who won. "No good," said Nancy Greene, who finished second. "Much too easy."
Austria's Edith Zimmermann liked it and didn't like it. "It's more elegant and harmonious," she said. "You can attack. But the course wasn't difficult enough."
"I deliberately made it easy the first time," Bonnet replied. He added that the single-pole slalom "opens the way to the parallel slalom where two competitors race down two identical courses. They won't be racing against the clock but against each other, and that will be infinitely more exciting for spectators."
U.S. Coach Bob Beattie, though doubting that absolutely identical parallel slaloms would ever be possible, sounded the proper note of cautious approval of M. Bonnet's experiment. "Skiing is such a new sport," he said, "that we shouldn't be bogged down by tradition."
Tests conducted by the U.S. Golf Association prove conclusively that golf shoe spikes with recessed flanges cause far less damage to greens than normal spikes. "The flange is usually blamed by agronomists for causing undue compaction of the soil," says the USGA.
This discovery is doubtless significant, but we are more taken with one of the USGA's supporting statistics. The average golf shoe has 12 spikes, and the USGA has computed that a player averages 28 paces per green; 28 paces times 24 spikes means 672 impressions; 672 impressions times 18 greens equals 12,096 impressions per round per player. Assuming 200 rounds are played each day on a course, the greens receive 2,419,200 impressions daily—or more than 72 million holes each month. And you wonder why you can't sink a putt.
Capital University of Columbus, Ohio was playing Ohio Wesleyan when Capital sophomore Tom Koehler got jarred loose from his contact lens. Teammate Gary Walters had fouled a Wesleyan opponent, and both had come crashing into the unfortunate Koehler. All 10 players and both benches staged the usual floating-crap-game charade on hands and knees. They crept from one end of the floor to the other, but the lens was not found, and the disappointed Koehler was led to the bench. After the game, as teammate Walters contemplated the affair in the Capital shower room, Koehler's missing lens turned up—snugly fixed in Walters' navel.
Surfing enthusiasm on the Atlantic coast has been growing steadily, which is more than can be said for the size of the breakers. Recently a band of youthful surfers in Charleston, S.C. got together, formed a club and then cast about for a name. Almost at once they came up with the ideal one. They call the club West Coast East.
OH, OH, IT'S 00585
This very minute 00585 may be lurking at the bottom of New York Harbor or sidling next to a Russian submarine off the Massachusetts coast. On the other hand, he may be flopping around in the bottom of a boat, for 00585 is a striped bass, caught recently in New York's Hudson River, tagged and released.
Tagging fish is old hat to biologists but, thanks to the American Littoral Society, an organization of amateur and professional naturalists, anglers can now aid in migration and growth studies. For $1, the society sells a kit consisting of five individually numbered plastic "spaghetti" tags, five postcards on which to record pertinent data on each fish tagged, and a tagging needle. All a fisherman has to do is catch a fish, measure it, tag it through the back, release it, mail the card to the society in Highlands, N.J. and then sit back and wait. When another fisherman catches the fish, he removes the tag, which has the society's address on it, and mails it off.
Fishermen who are not interested in taking home their catch are especially enthused about tagging. "I just don't like to fish anymore without tags," says Dom Pirone of Mount Vernon, N.Y., who already has had returns on some of the 108 striped bass he tagged in Long Island Sound last summer. Stanley Maselbas of New Britain, Conn. tagged four stripers off Nantucket Island in October 1964, and three have since been caught, two of them almost 200 miles away, off New York and New Jersey.
THEY SAID IT
•Pete Rose, of the Cincinnati Reds, when asked if he thought he would hit .300 again in 1966: "I read that Warren Spahn has retired and Bob Friend was traded to the other league. I hit 11 for 14 against Spahn and 9 for 14 against Friend. I'm down to .290 already."
•Conductor Richard Harris, of the Peabody Conservatory of Music, after presenting a program of Brahms, Mussorgsky, Kabalevsky and Prokofiev between games of a pro basketball doubleheader at Baltimore's civic center: "I tried to pick a robust program for an extroverted audience. We're much more severe at the Peabody."