The tennis players touring on the international open circuit regularly put on a show after the tournament in Monaco, and the theme this year was Le U.S.A. According to the tennis stars, Le U.S.A. is populated principally by cowboys, Indians, gangsters, hippies and stars of the Silver Screen, vintage 1936. Australia's Fred Stolle undertook the role of Shirley Temple, to thunderous applause—he didn't do too well in the tournament, but he certainly won the mixed singles afterward.
Dick Butkus has become interested in the works of William Shakespeare. Don't bug him about it. "Some people think I have to get down on all fours to eat my couple of pounds of raw meat every day," he says, clearly exasperated, "but people who know me know that I can read. I move my lips a little but I can read things of a second-grade level—like newspapers—and I don't really need a rubber stamp to give my autograph." Butkus went on the Shakespeare kick when a friend suggested that readings from the Bard would improve Dick as a public speaker, and he found, as he explains, "that Shakespeare had a great understanding of the moods and language of men in action. His histories and tragedies are full of passages that are just as applicable to football players as to kings. There are some speeches in Henry V that would make great locker-room speeches—I can find things in just about all of the plays that can be applied to the game, the players, the coaches and even the fans. Take this situation: one of our men is shaken up on a play and is slow getting up. The opposing blocker is standing over him, laughing. I walk over there and instead of swearing, maybe getting thrown out of the game, I just tell him, 'He jests at scars, that never felt a wound.' Now that is bound to set him thinking and teach him a little humility." Or something.
Once every three weeks the 15 members of London's Sublime Society of Beef Steaks don 18th century dress to dine on, of course, beef. Founded in 1735 by John Rich, first producer of The Beggar's Opera, the club was inactive for a little spell between 1770 and 1967, but this spring its members are rushing about with unwonted vigor. Led by Count Nikolai Tolstoy, 33-year-old great-grandnephew of the novelist, they have planned a cricket outing. Sir Peter Agnew, 68, a former Tory MP, confirmed the news before the group departed for the country. "We will play cricket," he declared, "to the Regency rules. Whatever they are." Count Tolstoy says one is that "nobody hit the ball too hard."
The Bonaventure Country Club in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. has dedicated a water hazard to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau. The third hole on the club's new course has been christened le trou d'eau, literally translated, "the hole of water" and pronounced "trudeau." In point of fact, however, it isn't a trou of water, it is a chute. What the golfer faces, standing on the third tee, is a 20-foot waterfall.
May 4, 1969
Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn was being interviewed on radio before a recent St. Louis game, and when the interview ran over into game time he simply broadcast part of an inning. Later he observed, "I figure one ought to develop a sideline, just in case."
Mail Pouch tobacco has decided to shift its advertising from the sides of barns to billboards and newspapers because it feels that the chewing tobacco market is becoming more urban (as if the cities didn't have trouble enough). Lou Burdette will make personal appearances for Mail Pouch on the theory that whether he did or didn't, he is securely connected, in the mind of the American public, with spitting.
Sir Francis Chichester has written a book, How to Keep Fit. The subtitle reads, "By one who never is as fit as he would like to be," though his photograph on the dust jacket shows him looking pretty sound for a man of 65, which he was when this picture was taken. The exercises are worked out for a limited space and are thus perfectly suitable for the city dweller. Even where space is not a problem Chichester points out that such "simple activities" as swimming and running "can have strange hazards; I can still see in my imagination that livid 17-foot octopus caught in the swimming bath at Wellington, New Zealand, just before I dived in; and I well remember one early morning in the war when, running across Hyde Park in the dark, I fell a purler into a bomb crater which had not been there the previous morning."
Ronald Reagan asked O. J. Simpson for his autograph not long ago, observing to the football star, "My son Skipper wants you to know that if it were a contest between us for governor, he'd vote for you instead of me." O.J. signed, and requested Reagan's autograph in return because—O.J. is pretty cool—"These people who run the country, they interest me."