As it now stands, for the next two years the NFL will be split up into four divisions of four teams each—the Federal, the Capitol, the Central and the Coastal. At the conclusion of the regular season the winner of the Federal Division will play the winner of the-Capitol Division for the championship of the Eastern Conference, and the winner of the Central Division will play the winner of the Coastal Division for the championship of the Western Conference. The conference champions will then play for the NFL championship, and the winner of that game will play the winner of the game between the winners of the AFL's two conferences in the AFL-NFL World Championship, or the Super Bowl. Including the NFL's Playoff Bowl and the NFL and AFL Pro Bowls, there will be eight post-season games and, of superimportance to the 16 owners, no team in the NFL can finish worse than fourth.
However, we feel that the owners haven't really thought this thing out. If they divided each division in half no team could finish lower than second. The subdivision winners would then play for the division titles, the division champions would play for the conference titles, the conference champions would play for the NFL title and the NFL champion would play the AFL champion in the Super Bowl sometime in June. Meanwhile, the second-place teams would be playing each other in a series of Playoff Bowls. The winner of the final Playoff Bowl would play the runner-up in the AFL in the Super Playoff Bowl. Finally, the champion of the Super Playoff Bowl would play the loser of the super Bowl in the Super Bowl Loser-super Playoff Bowl Winner Second Place super Championship Bowl.
If a study now under way shows that the expanded live and taped TV coverage of the Notre Dame-Michigan State football game did not unduly affect attendance at other college games played the same day, the NCAA television committee may designate the third Saturday in November as an open date, to be called wild-card Saturday. Beginning in 1968 the game which shapes up as having the greatest national appeal would be televised on that date. However, Michigan State-Notre Dame is out as a wild card. For one thing, the Big Ten, reportedly piqued because the 1966 game overshadowed such traditional conference rivalries as Michigan-Ohio State, has ruled that all games between Big Ten teams and nonconference opponents must henceforth be played before Nov. 1.
January 9, 1967
SIGHTLESS IN GEORGIA
Some time ago (SI, Oct. 20, 1958) we told of the wonderful ability of Lucky McDaniel to teach what he calls "instinct" shooting. Lucky, who operates out of Columbus, Ga., can take a person who has never handled a gun and, within an hour, have him smashing clay pigeons—not with a shotgun but with a sightless .22 rifle. Lucky starts a pupil with a BB gun, also sightless, and shortly he is hitting pennies tossed in the air. In less time than seems credible—say two hours—the pupil is hip-shooting with a pistol at pine cones with scarcely a miss.
Now the U.S. Army has adopted Lucky's method, which he demonstrated at Fort Benning on several occasions. The Army was impressed, naturally, but the question remained as to whether anyone lacking Lucky's genius as a teacher could pass on his skill. Experiments being conducted at Forts Benning, Polk, Gordon and Jackson indicate that the method can, in fact, be taught by others.
Colonel William Koob, who is in charge of the Weapons Department of the Army's Infantry School, reports that at Benning the experiment has consisted of intensive training of cadres, whose members in turn train others. The cadres start by shooting small aerial targets with a sightless BB gun, then advance to ground targets, then to a .22 rifle fired at 25 meters, and finally to service rifles—the M14 and M16—with their sights obscured. So far, at Benning, there are 10 men who, according to Colonel Koob, "can take an M14 with 20 rounds in it and, at 100 meters, dump all 20 into an area that can be covered with a helmet." The M14, remember, is without sights.
Colonel Koob points out that Lucky's technique, which the Army is calling "quick kill" shooting and which will soon be taught at battalion level, will obviously be handy for the type of warfare being waged in Vietnam.
Moreover, deadly shooting isn't the only benefit. "We have discovered," says Colonel Koob, "that youngsters who take this training become better soldiers. They take pride in what they can do—it sets them apart—and they take better care of their equipment, and they are eager to practice on their own time."
UP THE IRISH—AND THE BRITISH
The rise of field hockey players' skirts in the British Isles has been described by its historians as creeping, steady and, save for a scandalous deviation in 1923, unspectacular. In 1909 skirts were raised from six to eight inches above the ground. In 1920 they were up to 12 inches. Then, in 1923, they were daringly elevated to three inches above the ground while kneeling! In 1924 they were set at 4½ inches (while kneeling), and in 1961 at six inches (while kneeling).
Now the All-England Hockey Association wants to go for seven. "We have already approved the extra inch at our meeting last July," says Mrs. Margaret Macdonald, the association secretary, and the proposal will be submitted to the Hockey Board of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. "No individual association can make the change," she explains, reassuringly.
"We have to go with fashion and what the youngsters want," Mrs. Macdonald adds, "although it is by no means a miniskirt. But it is an attractive length. If they get too short they only tend to fly away—if you know what I mean by 'fly away'—in a strong wind. They are also not very elegant when the players are bullying or bending over. If you do not set a limit, there is no doubt we would get the most extraordinary sights. We still do, even with the rule operative."
What with Arnold Palmer golf clubs, Arnold Palmer golf balls, Arnold Palmer golf gloves, Arnold Palmer golf schools, Arnold Palmer driving ranges, Arnold Palmer putting courses, Arnold Palmer dry-cleaning centers and Arnold Palmer skating rinks, it seems that no matter which way you turn, Arnold Palmer is coming out of the walls. Well, he's coming on the walls—on Arnold Palmer wallpaper with "sketches of the master in action, closeups illustrating technique and words of advice from Arnold Palmer himself on such points as hand action for short pitches." Had enough? Wait till next Christmas—Arnold Palmer Christmas trees!
FAST AND SWEET
A few years back, when the Rome police department bought a couple of Ferraris, a detective was asked why such expensive cars were needed. "For catching stolen Ferraris," was the reply. Following this reasoning, the cops will now have to buy Lamborghini Miuras to catch Lamborghini Miuras. Named after Spain's celebrated fighting bull and powered by a V-12 engine mounted sideways over the rear wheels, the Miura has a top speed of 190 mph, making it the fastest production car in the world. Admittedly, 190 mph is more suited to Monza than the Via del Tritone but, as Ferruccio Lamborghini, who makes the Miura, explains, "We wanted to build a 190-mph car which a woman could also drive sweetly from one stoplight to the next." Not many women will have the pleasure: only 124 Miuras will be built in 1967, and 91 have already been spoken for—at an asking price of $16,500.
Ferruccio Lamborghini is best known in Italy for his tractors. "For me," he says, "making cars is un hobby." The Miura is Lamborghini's second car. The first, a GT, has been in production since 1964. Twenty GTs are turned out each month at his factory near Modena, and they sell for $14,000 and up.
Lamborghini took up his hobby in 1961, after he kept burning out the clutch on a Ferrari GT. "I went to see Ferrari," he recalls, "and I said, 'Look, why should this damn clutch burn out on me every 15 days?' 'It's your fault,' Ferrari answered me. 'It's the way you drive.' 'All right then,' I said, 'I'll build a better GT car than yours.' "
So far, Lamborghini's GTs have been a losing proposition, but he is out to break even in 1967. "At first we lost from $4,000 to $5,000 on each car," Lamborghini says. "Now we've pared it down to $400 or $500." However, he is aghast at the prospect that his GTs and Miuras might be profitable. "I'm willing to manufacture another 1,000 tractors a year," he says, "but I want there to be fewer than 500 new Lamborghini cars each year. Lamborghini doesn't want to make an industry out of making automobiles. Lamborghini is made to make things that are new and difficult."
THE PRICE ON FREEDOM
With the mass exodus from English jails unabated—31 convicts escaped from 11 different prisons over the Christmas holidays—Maurice Davis, a London bookie, is laying odds on how many inmates go over the wall on a given day. Davis' prices: 5 to 2 against one prisoner escaping; 5 to 1 two prisoners; 10 to 1 three; 20 to 1 four; 33 to 1 five. If the bettor names the prison from which he fancies the prisoner (or prisoners) will escape, the odds are doubled.
MUSKRATS AND BLUE SEALS
Smuggling gives the Philippines a bigger headache than San Miguel beer. The loss to the government in duty from hot refrigerators, washing machines, sunglasses, cigarettes, etc. has been estimated at $1 billion a year. The loss to the two-peso bettor, who unwittingly bets against hot horses, has not been computed. Since, by law, horses not foaled in the Philippines cannot race on Philippine tracks, and since, by heredity, home-bred horses are what racetrackers derogatively refer to as "hides" or "muskrats," Thoroughbreds are also smuggled into the Islands, principally from Australia.
Actually, the law permits imported horses to race in the Philippines as long as they are born there. Taking advantage of this loophole, several stud farms import pregnant mares. Still, it's the owners of smuggled horses who make the real killings and not only at the windows. There are a number of charity sweepstakes races, and the owner of a horse that wins a sweeps gets the equivalent of 10% of the winning ticket, or as much as $25,000.
The Philippines Games and Amusements Board, which supervises racing, figures that perhaps 900 horses have been smuggled in over the past four years. These horses are called "blue seals," because contraband cigarettes have blue seals on the packs. Says Justiniano Montano Jr. of the GAB: "They're second-rate horses by Australian standards, but they can win here." Well, they could until a month ago. Now all bets are off. Philippine President Marcos, fed up with the horsing around, suspended all racing, including the $250,000 Christmas sweepstakes, until an investigation is concluded. According to irate breeders, for that race alone 15 of the 21 starters would have been blue seals.
Those mind-expanding drugs, the sexual revolution and beating the draft make the headlines, but what the college generation is really suffering from is television slump. So, anyway, says George Sullivan, an athletic trainer and physical therapist at the University of Nebraska. Speaking of the Nebraska student body, Sullivan says, "They are bigger, fatter and have poorer posture than any group since the Korean war. I doubt that 5% of them can be classified as being in good physical condition. We can have blinding blizzards out here, and I don't know that any one of them would last 10 minutes in one."
Sullivan blames TV for bad posture. "The students get round shoulders and curvature of the spine from sitting with the weight of their bodies resting mainly on their necks," he says.
But all's not lost to The Green Hornet. The President's Council on Physical Fitness reports that the latest tests show that the average 12-year-old is faster, stronger and better-coordinated than his 19-year-old brother was at the same age. In fact, it was big brother's shockingly poor performance on the same tests that revealed the extent of the fitness gap (SI, May 26, 1958).