The death of Lorenzo Bandini (page 32) was an extremely painful reminder of auto racing's hazards and also testimony to the intense affection that people have for its heroes. Last Saturday 100,000 mourners attended Bandini's funeral in Milan, their grief the sharper because he had been the only Italian driver of the very highest rank. Even as those rites were observed, the Indianapolis 500 drivers, among them a few who had competed against Bandini in his final race at Monaco, began the risky business of qualifying. Each chanced the same end that was Bandini's, yet obviously none held back. This is racing's way and always has been—and will be as long as men choose to stake their lives on their skills and disciplined passions.
ISI DOES IT
The day before the Kentucky Derby The Cleveland Press ran this headline in 72-point type: PROUD CLARION TO WIN DERBY. Virtually unnoticed was the line above the head: ISI NEWBORN PICKS.
Isi Newborn has been picking the Derby for the Press since 1940 and, counting Proud Clarion, he has had 12 winners. Ever since 1953, when he came up with Dark Star, who paid $51.80, Cleveland's bookies have dreaded the day Isi's selection appeared in the Press. In 1954 he had Determine ($10.60), in 1958 Tim Tarn ($6.20), in 1960 Venetian Way ($14.60), in 1964 Northern Dancer ($8.80) and in 1966 Kauai King ($6.80). As one bookie moaned last week: "That little guy ruined the town real good."
Isi customarily narrows his choices to five horses following the Derby Trial. This year they were: Successor, Ruken, Diplomat Way, Damascus and Proud Clarion.
"Successor didn't seem to be himself," said Isi. "Ruken, I checked the breeding on both sides, and it didn't sound like Derby breeding. Diplomat Way had the breeding but was just a notch away from being topnotch. There was no question about Damascus. But I've calloused myself against a cinch favorite.
"The way Proud Clarion was coming up to the race reminded me of Chateau-gay. Both were bred as stayers and were lightly raced. Proud Clarion lost to Diplomat Way in the Blue Grass but who was behind him? Last year's 2-year-old champion [Successor] and a horse [Gentleman James] that won over $100,000. Another thing, Proud Clarion was second all the way and kept coming on. And it was his first race around two turns."
Nonetheless, Isi was embarrassed to reveal his choice. "When they asked me and I told them, they just laughed," he said. "Finally I would just answer, 'the Darby Dan horse,' thinking that had more prestige and maybe they wouldn't check the name."
Isi felt better on Derby Eve after he went to an early Derby betting window to make some wagers for friends. While in line, he spotted a dollar bill on the ground. "The same thing happened the year I picked Venetian Way," said Isi.
Later that day he remembered he had forgotten to telegraph his selection to a man in Tyler, Texas who sends him $2 to bet each year. "Pick Proud Clarion," Isi wired. "Let us pray." Said Isi after the Derby: "The guy probably thinks I have a pipeline to heaven."
In 1964, during the California-Stanford football game at Berkeley, some resourceful Cal students, using rubber bands made from inner tubes, shot water balloons at the Stanford rooting section. But their sling wasn't powerful enough to fire the balloons across the playing field, so during the half-time show the students blazed away from an outpost nearer the stands. In 1966, when the Big Game was again played at Berkeley, the sling had been improved but remained unslung. It was raining.
Last week Stanford unveiled its secret weapon. Three mechanical engineering students—Richard Barkley, David Bardsley and Robert Parsons—have built an air-powered aluminum water-balloon cannon with a six-foot bore and a maximum range of 205 yards. At week's end it was reported that Cal was perfecting an antimissile missile. As one student put it: "How can we trust those dirty Stanfords to fire clean water?"
WITH ALL DELIBERATE SPEED
Ten years ago, nine Negro children stepped through the lines of federal troops and integrated Little Rock's Central High School. Last week Central's mile relay team set a new state record of 3:18.4. The members of the team—Willie Jones, Robert Palmer, Phillip Herndon and Roy Duhart—are Negroes.
SCALING THE DEPTHS
In this day and age, when fiber-glass poles catapult vaulters over 17 feet, the result of the pole vault in a meet between Galileo and Wilson, two San Francisco high schools, deserves wider dissemination. Mike Belling of Galileo won with a vault of four feet. What happened was that the only vaulter entered was ill, so Belling, a football tackle who also won his regular events, the discus and shot, grabbed a pole and took off for what has been termed the low point of the meet.
Bob Unser drives on Goodyear tires, his brother Al on Firestones. So, when Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Unser arrived in Indianapolis to visit their sons, Mom wore Bob's blue Goodyear jacket one day, then switched with Dad and wore Al's red Firestone jacket the next. This impartiality may have pleased the tire companies but it wasn't impartial enough for Mom and Dad Unser. As a result, they are now wearing jackets that are half red and half blue. On the back of one is GOODSTONE and on the back of the other FIREYEAR. It kind of makes you feel warm all over, don't it?
"I got in front of the ring and crouched down," Chet Hancock recalls. "I ducked as he spun around and then stuck the mike up to within about six inches of his face. If you've ever heard an elephant roar, that's how he sounds."
He is Randy Matson, the world record holder in the shotput, and Hancock was taping the grunt Matson utters when he releases the shot, so that WTAW in Bryan, Texas could use it to introduce a program on Matson. The broadcast bellow, which, onomatopoeically, is something like "Uuuuggghhm," was a bit of an embarrassment to Matson, who modestly insists: "Dallas Long's got the finest grunt in the business."
Last January the NCAA football rules committee, feeling that the prevalence of fair catches wasn't in the spirit of the game, ruled that from now on interior linemen on the kicking team have to remain at the line of scrimmage until the ball is actually punted. The ends and whatever backs aren't needed for blocking were unaffected and could still get the two-second headstart downfield.
In theory, this should bring back the razzle-dazzle punt return. It won't. During spring practice, coaches found that the receiving team ganged up on the initial wave of four tacklers, particularly with blind-side blocking. At Xavier University in Cincinnati three players were seriously hurt the first time the Muskies tried the new rule. Alabama used the old rule in its intrasquad game because Bear Bryant was afraid of injuries. And Notre Dame's Ara Parseghian, even though he's got a barefoot kicker who averaged 45 yards in the Oldtimers game, is plugging for a moratorium until the rule can be changed.
The Mid-American Conference was the first to rebel formally. Last week its coaches recommended that the league not enforce the regulation. As Toledo Coach Frank Lauterbur said: "I can see us spending more time visiting kids in the hospital than anything else."
If the NCAA stands fast, every smart coach is going to kick out of bounds rather than run the risk of an injury and/or a long return. And Woody Hayes has come up with a little gimmick to circumvent the rule. In Ohio State's intrasquad game he had his field-goal specialist angle a placement for the coffin corner after the offense had stalled at its own 46-yard line. Said Hayes: "He was kicking from about his own 39, and we knew he couldn't make it, but we wanted to test his accuracy at getting the ball out of bounds." The idea is that a placement is generally more accurate than a punt. Too, the thought might just have crossed Woody's mind that interior linemen can cover real and pseudo field-goal attempts. Which is right back where we started.
$1.44 FOR THE U.S.A.
It's tin-cup-rattling time again for the U.S. Olympic Committee. And the tune is $4 million for this summer's Pan American Games in Winnipeg and next year's Olympic Games in Grenoble and Mexico City. Although many countries subsidize their Olympic teams, the U.S. has traditionally depended upon contributions from, as they say, "you and me." They also say, "Every little bit helps"—which led us to wonder what exactly the USOC can get with a "little bit." Now we know. A discus costs $19.60, a javelin goes for $16.75, a basketball shirt costs $3.85, its back numeral 80¢, the front numeral 70¢ and the big white U.S.A. above it $1.44.
So help a little.
THEY SAID IT
•Rick Reichardt, Angel outfielder, asked what he wanted to be after his playing days: "Baseball commissioner."
•Paul Naumoff, Tennessee linebacker, upon signing with the Detroit Lions for $20,000: "They came up $2,000, and I came down $100,000."
•Leon Wagner, Cleveland outfielder, on why Manager Joe Adcock hasn't been using Rocky Colavito and him: "Because we have no faults. Joe loves to correct faults, and that left us out. I've been trying to find a flaw that Joe could work on so that I could play more."
•Jack Nicklaus, on his new 38-foot boat: "It will seat six fishermen or 12 lovers."