"THE ARTHURASHE THING"
The Dallas CountryClub has canceled its annual invitational tennis tournament this year, endingits sponsorship of that attractive event. Reason: Arthur Ashe, the nation'ssecond-ranked player, is Negro. "I advised the board that I was going toinvite Ashe," says Tournament Director Kenneth Parker, a former rankingplayer himself. "That did it. They will try to tell you it was for otherreasons. Some members had been unhappy with the tournament—it crowded the clubfor a week with all sorts of strangers—and it would have been turned over tothe public Tennis Center's bigger facilities in a year or two anyway, but theAshe thing definitely brought it to a head. In any country club there are abunch of old mossbacks, and ours is no different. The club had to do it nowbecause Ashe is the first Negro but not, obviously, the last.
"Really, theproblem was not Ashe but the 50 or 100 Negro followers he would bring. Am Igoing to stand at the gate and tell them they can't watch Ashe play?"
None of this wasprinted in Dallas papers when the event was canceled. The News had a story,held it while trying to dissuade the country club, then killed it becausesomeone thought "it would give Dallas another black eye." When thetournament was transferred to the Tennis Center because of "overcrowdedfacilities" the News did print that version and—far, far down—theofficials' denial of Parker's accusation. Felix McKnight, executive editor ofthe Times Herald and past president of the club, had printed nothing of thecontroversy in his paper. Owners and executives of both papers are clubmembers.
February 21, 1966
THE BEST JUNIORHIGH IN TOPEKA
Roosevelt JuniorHigh School long has been prominent in sports in Topeka, Kans., a fact that nodoubt secretly gnawed at one of the town's leading citizens, Alf Landon. In the1936 Presidential election, you will remember, Landon carried only two statesagainst a Roosevelt.
Alf's vest buttonspopped with pride, therefore, back when Landon Junior High School was built.After the dedication ceremony, he edged over to the president of the schoolboard with a question. "Can I start an athletic scholarship fund here?"Landon whispered.
"Why?"stammered the school-board head.
Said Landon,"I've always wanted to see a newspaper headline read, LANDON DEFEATSROOSEVELT."
Well, threefootball seasons have passed since that dedication, and Landon hasn't defeatedRoosevelt yet.
"Interest in sports," University of California at Irvine Professor ofEnglish James B. Hall told the Los Angeles Times recently, "is a flaw inour national character. This interest is basically irrational. Athleticsinterferes with the discipline of the mind...[and] athletes do not make anintellectual contribution to their classes.... [Moreover] the athlete has tosubmerge his identity in a team. This training inculcates a tribal nature. Itis a dehumanizing proposition. We don't know in what direction his talentsmight have taken [the athlete] if he had been unfettered by adhesive tape. Whoknows how many social workers might have been produced?"
Cabin fever, thatmalady characteristic of Alaskan winters, is not confined to humans. Everywinter bored moose, particularly cows and calves, wander down from the hillsaround Anchorage to see the city sights.
The AlaskaDepartment of Fish and Game reports that 35 cars have been damaged bycollisions with moose this winter alone and that 72 moose-car collisionsoccurred during 1965.
Parents, concernedabout moose playing rough with children on their way to and from school, havealso complained about the sightseeing animals. Taking an understandably wryview of such complaints, Regional Game Supervisor Loren Croxton observes,"School children are going out of their way to harass the moose—chasing theanimals or throwing sticks, stones and snowballs at them."
If moose are letalone, in other words, the peace-loving creatures never become dangerous. But amoose with a snowball on his nose is a moose of another color.
YO-YO √Ä GO-GO
When members ofthe University of New Mexico Ski Club decided to stage a Southwest wintercarnival February 18 to February 20 they knew they needed a catchy name and anovel promotion.
How about"ski √† go-go?" No, that's stale. Well then, how about "ski √†yo-yo," giving every visitor a yo-yo? As a kind of symbol of all thattravel up and down the slopes, see?
Soyo-yo-decorated invitations went out to every school in Arizona and Texas, andall 600 ski-club members turned to other problems. Buses to Sandia Peak?Hostesses? Music? Half a ton of spaghetti and a thousand pairs of rental skis?All efficiently organized.
Suddenly, at alate hour, someone asked where the yo-yos were. A frantic search ensued. Notonly, it developed, did the corner five-and-dime not have them, but the wholeU.S. yo-yo industry was about spun out.
Finally, afterdesperate cross-country telephoning, the club was rescued by a factory in HighPoint, N.C. willing to air express a special order. That left the UNM skiersonly one problem: stringing up the yo-yo who thought up this whole idea.
KEEPING IT IN THEFAMILY (1)
Like the goodbusinessmen they are, owners of pro football teams are using their profits todiversify—most notably and recently into NHL hockey. Eight owners, or partowners, of seven different teams were involved in bidding for franchises in theNational Hockey League's expansion to six additional cities. Although only fourwere successful, that was largely because a number of them were competingagainst each other.
Just in case thisclustering around hockey's pie-cutting raises some question of propriety, beassured that it is perfectly legal. National Football League rules state onlythat a majority stockholder may not enjoy a similar majority interest in a teamin another sport.
Thus Jack KentCooke, who owns only 25% of the Washington Redskins, may own all of the covetedLos Angeles hockey franchise. The men he beat out also qualified. Dan Reeves,majority stockholder (51%) in the Rams, was entitled to have the same 30% hehas in the minor league L.A. Blades. (His partners, Clint Murchison Jr., whoholds a majority in the Dallas Cowboys, and Robert O. Reynolds, minority Ramstockholder, could have had their 10%, too.) And because the AFL has no rulelike that of the NFL, Ralph Wilson, sole owner of the Buffalo Bills, could haveenjoyed a similar interest in L.A. hockey.
In less disputedcases Jerry Wolman (52% owner of the Philadelphia Eagles) can keep his 15% ofthe new franchise in that city; Art Rooney, a majority stockholder in theSteelers, may take a minor percentage of the new Pittsburgh operation, andBernie Ridder, owner of 30% of the Minnesota Vikings, may have indirect controlof 12½% of Twin Cities hockey.
KEEPING IT IN THEFAMILY (2)
Whatever benefitsfrom hockey expansion pro football has not snapped up, Clarence Campbell andCo. are keeping right in the old NHL, especially the Norris-Wirtz sector.Thirteen groups from eight different cities deposited $10,000 apiece merely forthe right to dicker with the NHL for the six available franchises. Only five ofthe eight cities got one, and three of the most ardent and meritoriousapplicants—Buffalo, Vancouver and Baltimore—were rejected. The sixth franchisewas, instead, awarded to a ghost city (St. Louis), which had not even sent adelegation to the expansion meeting.
St. Louis, yousee, might not have had a deposit, bidders or visible owners, but—besidesbetter TV range—it did have one thing: a big barn of an empty arena co-owned byJames D. Norris and Arthur Wirtz.
Meanwhile,Buffalo, with the best financial support of all, was frozen out by its admittedlack of glamour and a distinctly chilly attitude on the part of Toronto OwnerC. Stafford Smythe. Toronto is only 90 flat, TV-receptive miles away fromBuffalo.
Chalk up a winfor Canada in that one, but score a big loss for Canada in the case ofVancouver. Hockey is Canada's national pastime, and when six clubs are added tothe NHL, none of them north of the border, Canadians get mad. Both PrimeMinister Lester Pearson and Conservative Party Leader John Diefenbakerdenounced the action on the floor of Parliament. But the U.S.—well, the U.S.has more TV, more money and, ergo, more NHL hockey.
Vermont, on which we often depend for maintenance of moral standards, hasrepaid our trust once again. In a release on ice fishing, the Vermont Fish andGame Department delivers the following stern rebuke: "Willoughby Lake isstill open. Only standard ice-fishing methods will be allowed. Spin casting andsimilar methods are not legal even when open stretches of water exist. Suchtrick devices as running the line through an ice cube to qualify for fishingthrough ice will not be tolerated."
When the coach offast-rising Loyola of Chicago lamented that he had not been able to getKentucky on his team's schedule since 1958 (Loyola beat Kentucky that year witha last-second shot), not all hearts throbbed in empathy. One nonsympathizer wasJack Hartman, basketball coach at Southern Illinois University, who has thefirst-ranked "small-college" team. "Last week I read that JohnIreland of Loyola was complaining about not being able to get Kentucky toschedule his team," Hartman said. "If Ireland's got some openings onhis schedule, we'd be glad to fill one. We've been trying to schedule him forthree years, and he won't even answer our mail."
Maybe he isn'tgetting the mail. Coach Ireland's first name is George.
To prepare hisreaders for the three big-name U.S. touring pros who are scheduled to play inthe Philippines Open next month, Manila Times Golf Writer Dindo Gonzalezadvised: "If your body configuration is big—in other words, if you arefat—I suggest you follow Casper. If you are short and lean follow Littler. Ifyou are young and like a good time and like champagne follow Lema."
Now what are allthose fat Filipino golf fans going to think when they rush out to see fat BillyCasper and discover he has dieted off 50 pounds?
Mount San AntonioCollege of Walnut, Calif. built its fine track-and-field facilities for the useof its athletes and as a site for the well-known Mount SAC Relays. The rabbitsof Walnut, however, think the jumping pits were built for them. Each day at thestart of practice, when the pole-vaulters uncover the pads of foam rubber inthe pits, dozens of bunnies come jumping out, like corn from a popper. Thecottontails are chased off every morning of their bucktoothed lives, yet everynight they regain their nocturnal playground by chewing through the pads'canvas covers.
"We keeprepairing the pits," says Coach Don Ruh, "but the rabbits always seemto be one jump ahead of us."
THEY SAID IT
•Jim Beauchamp, former Houston Astro player,commenting on what it's like to play in the Astrodome: "Personally, I liketo get rained out once in a while."
•General Dwight Eisenhower, asked if he noticesanything different about his golf game since he left the White House: "Yes.A lot more golfers beat me."
•Joe Namath, New York Jet quarterback, after he hearda report that Texas Tech Halfback Donny Anderson was given more than half amillion dollars to sign with Green Bay: "Looks like I was born a year toosoon."
•Gene Oliver, Braves catcher, explaining his .415batting average against Sandy Koufax: "He thinks I'm Jewish."