It has been described as "a picture of Billy Casper playing with a lion," but the photograph below looks more like one of a lion playing with Billy Casper. On tour in South Africa, Casper was asked if he didn't want to see the cubs at the Lion Park outside of Johannesburg. "Sure," Casper said, visualizing cuddly balls of fuzz, but they turned out to be half-grown lions. One of them took a liking to him and showed it by ripping his trousers and playfully swiping him across the arm. This enabled Casper to tell inquiring friends later that his injury was "nothing serious—just got scratched by a lion." But earlier what he said was, "I was scared, real scared."
Casey Stengel was among those receiving that form letter from Richard Nixon in which the President-elect requested the suggestion of bright young talent to adorn the incoming administration. "You, as a leader, are in a position to know and recommend exceptional individuals." Nixon explained to Casey and 79,999 others. Questioned by the press, Stengel said, in very small part, "I don't see why I have to tell you what I'm going to tell him because I haven't got too much time for things like this because I'm too involved in baseball right now," but he did opine that there were plenty of exceptional young people in sports, and added, "If they have talent below the shoulders they must have it above." Hmmm.
The tennis players above are, from left to right, Donald Dell and Bob Lutz of the U.S. Davis Cup team and Jean-Pierre Courcoul and Bernard Paul (kneeling) of France, and they and a friend have been visiting with two young ladies at their place of work, the Crazy Horse Night Club in Paris. This is believed to be the only such outing the Davis Cup players had, because, our correspondent reports, "Most afternoons and some evenings they were playing." Tennis, that is.
In 1951 Oilers' General Manager Don Klosterman nearly drowned while body-surfing at Corona del Mar. In 1954 he was playing at an Army-Air Force golf tournament in West Berlin and hooked a drive out of bounds—all the way into East German territory, in fact. When his caddie went to retrieve the ball East German police impounded both caddie and clubs. "It took me three days to get the clubs back and I never did know for sure what happened to the caddie," Klosterman recalls. In 1957 he went skiing and nearly died after hitting a spruce tree at 45 mph. So when a former Oiler player turned up in his office to demand some back pay it was the usual Klosterman luck that he should come brandishing a pistol to add emphasis to his argument. Oiler Scout Tom Williams helped subdue the man, and Klosterman just said cheerfully, "Tom is a good talent scout, but what I really like is the way he saves general managers."
December 16, 1968
Joyce Brown, wife of Clarence Brown Jr., a representative from Ohio, wrote up the Ohio State-Michigan game recently for a newsletter to her husband's constituents and reported on a pre-game party, the weather, the bands, the presence of Astronaut Donn Eisele and a restoration project in Columbus. She also mentioned that Ohio State won the game, though she did not go so far as to give the score.
English marksman Bob Braithwaite won a gold medal at the Olympics in Mexico, shattering 198 targets out of 200 in the rapid-fire clay-pigeon shoot to equal the Olympic record. Back home in Lancashire, Braithwaite, a veterinary surgeon, had to bring his custom-made F.N. Browning 12-bore shotgun out again, this time to destroy a rogue bull that had attacked a neighboring farmer. Farmhands cornered the raging animal in a cow shed and Braithwaite dispatched it with one shot. "I was called out in my professional capacity and it would not be etiquette to discuss it," he said later, so we can only presume that Braithwaite achieved a bull's-eye.
Cowboy Quarterback Craig Morton and Flanker Lance Rentzel have made definite plans to open a discoth√®que in Dallas this spring. They are going to call it The Pearl Street Warehouse. How did they arrive at such a name as that? "Because it's on Pearl Street," says Rentzel, "and it's a warehouse."
Rube Boyce, who used to coach football at a Memphis high school, recalls of Elvis Presley, "The boy had exceptional speed and was really tough. He could have done well in our backfield, but he kept bringing guitars and other musical instruments to the locker room. They got in the way. Finally I gave him a choice; 'Leave the instruments at home or turn in your uniform.' "
In New York for his induction into the Football Hall of Fame, the Lions' Bobby Layne admitted to one other ambition in life—"To run out of cash and air at the same time."