In the old days in China carvings of the nude female figure were used for diagnosis. When a lady was sick she modestly pointed out on the "doctor doll" where she was hurting; doctors were not allowed to make personal inspection.
Just as archaic is the rule suggested at the recent American Horse Shows Association Convention in New York City by the Tennessee Walking Horse Committee, which proposed that horses entered in shows be examined by veterinarians at eye level only; the vet would not be allowed even to touch a possibly sore pastern. Since deliberate cruelty to walking horses ("soring" the pastern area to exaggerate artificially the natural gait) is commonplace (SI, July 23, 1956 et seq.), a vet thus handcuffed would be useless and his presence mere eyewash. The trainers keep pleading for time to clean up their own mess, but what they really want is an eternity. Fortunately, the AHSA board of directors did not accept the "Look, no hands rule," and veterinarians will have complete freedom at recognized shows to seek out violations.
An even bigger help will be the Tydings Bill, which imposes severe penalties for soring and which has passed the Senate. We hope the House of Representatives will quickly follow suit and make it against the law of the land to torture horses for show purposes.
February 2, 1970
There are wives, and there are wives. Gary Roedemeier of Murray, Ky. has one who is really special. He gave her a set of golf clubs when they were married a month or so ago, and she gave him a regulation-size football goalpost for the backyard.
SHADOW AND SUBSTANCE
What do you want to bet that, because of the computerized fight last week, 40 years from now thousands of old men will tell their grandchildren that they saw the fight of the century, the match between Rocky Marciano and Cassius Clay? Never mind the record books, they will cry through toothless gums, I saw it. I saw Clay get knocked out.
At Miami Beach Auditorium, one of the sites where the contrived bout was shown on film, 2,000 people, including Marciano's widow and daughter, yelled and shouted as Rocky rallied to catch Clay in the 13th. The 13th round...something familiar about that. Ah, yes, that was the round in which Marciano scored his come-from-behind knockout of Jersey Joe Walcott to win the heavyweight title. Was the 13th round this time coincidence or the script or the computer? The Miami Beach crowd could not have cared less. They may have been fed flimflam—Marciano and Clay sparred more than 70 rounds for the cameras last summer, dutifully giving the film editors a wide variety of situations to choose from in putting the "fight" together—but they loved it. In the 10th, when Clay was knocked down the first time, one spectator leaped from his seat with his arms held triumphantly over his head. When, later, the referee examined Marciano's supposedly cut and bleeding face ("It was not catsup," said Murray Woroner, the producer. "There were two legitimate cuts supplemented by makeup"), another man shouted at the screen, "Don't stop it!"
The crowd did not notice the sag in Marciano's belly when he leaned over to avoid Clay's sham punches or the healthy rug that covered his bald pate or the dubbed-in sounds of punches landing or the complete lack of clinches (no clinches in a 13-round fight?). The illusion succeeded mainly because Clay played his part so well. He did not fight like Clay, did not float like a butterfly or sting like a bee. Only once did he look like himself. That was in the eighth, when he slid to one side and hit Marciano with a chopping right.
"That was Clay," said a depressed Angelo Dundee, Clay's manager and trainer. "That was legit. As for the rest of it, that was no Clay I knew." Don Warner, who once fought him, said, "In his whole life Clay never threw that many body punches. He wouldn't risk his face. But those are details; the people don't care about that. They got what they paid to see—Clay gets beat. And, heck, everybody made a lot of money."
Maybe so. Marciano took a flat fee (an estimated $35,000), but Clay accepted a much smaller amount in return for 10% of the profits. Crowds varied in size from theater to theater, and how much Muhammad Ali will finally make is still debatable. But some boxing men felt that money was not the only issue.
"Poor Clay," argued Chris Dundee, Angelo's brother. "He's going to be sick when he realizes what's happened to him. You see, he's lost a fight, and now he can't be a superfighter. That big image is a little smaller. The machine beat him."
GIMME A GLOVE
If the enthusiasm of a home crowd really does help a team, we wonder which football coach will be first to take advantage of this idea: James M. Crawford Sr. of Webster, Texas has been awarded a patent for "clapping mittens," special gloves designed to help fans "render loud and coordinated applause."
Never mind that old routine about Hark, Hark, the Lark. Everyone knows that a surer sign of spring is Hark, Hark, Andy Granatelli, who comes out of hibernation each winter about this time to tell the world of the wild new things he is planning for the Indianapolis 500-mile race. Sure enough, Andy came to Indy, casting a large shadow, and announced that he is building a new generation of race cars, one of them specifically for the Memorial Day classic. And he has signed his favorite driver: Mario Andretti, the national champion who won the 500 for Andy last year.
Granatelli's new cars are being built in Lenggries, Germany by a racing newcomer, Francis McNamara, who has been in the game for just two years but who already has a reputation of building winners. But do not expect anything far out, sighed Andy, like the turbines that set racing on its ear a couple of years ago. The new Indy race car will be wedge-shaped, wheels tucked in close, and powered by a Ford turbocharged engine capable of, oh, say about 700 hp. And when Andy says, oh, say, about 700 hp it is safe to bet it will be more like a million.
SEARCH FOR A BLACK
John Jardine, the new football coach at Wisconsin, said last week, "I feel it's necessary to have a black coach on the staff, not just a counselor or an adviser. The kids want a coach. If a man isn't a coach, he loses face with the kids and the staff.
"I've had 150 applications for assistant-coach jobs, but so far only one Negro has applied. I had hoped there would be more."
Jardine added that he had approached Erich Barnes, the Cleveland Browns' veteran cornerback who had been his teammate years ago at Purdue, but without success. "When I told Erich the salary," Jardine commented, "he thought it was a retainer for a month."
RIDE IN THE COUNTRY
Among the lasting legacies of French rule in Vietnam is the people's enthusiasm for bicycle racing. Even after the Tour du Vietnam, a country-long road race, died out more than a decade ago, South Vietnamese cyclists continued to compete internationally, and this January the Saigon government revived the Tour. Renamed the Demi-tour du Vietnam, since it covered only about half the route of the old race, it ran for six days and covered 475 miles from rice paddies to highlands and back.
The race was as much a political as an athletic event, and after each day's run the competitors were often asked to cycle additional distances to show that it was now possible to travel the roads safely. Gaping GIs along the way seemed incredulous that the race was for real. Most Vietnamese were surprised, too, and their reactions ranged from the glee of children let out of school early to watch to the disgust of taxi and truck drivers for whom the Tour was only foolish interference with their work.
Wherever they went the racers were protected by troops with tanks and helicopter gun ships. Most of the race was run without incident, though outside Bao Loc city it was delayed for 90 minutes while engineers detonated a mine and troops engaged in a fire fight with the Viet Cong. Generally, though, the most serious problem facing the cyclists was spills on the bad roads. Many of the roads were under construction, and others were strewn with gravel and rocks and pitted with potholes. Even so, the racers were looking forward to a full tour of South Vietnam next year "if the American engineers can finish the roads in time." There was no comment from the Viet Cong.
Harness racing is taking a radical step in an attempt to solve one of its perennial problems: the high incidence of lameness and other afflictions that plague 2-year-olds. Because they are trained and raced while their bones are still soft and their muscles undeveloped, many young colts get hurt and break down. Fewer than 25% of the 2-year-olds ever reach the starting gate (the percentage among flat-racing thoroughbreds is similar).
Since it would be impracticable to ban 2-year-old racing, which is extremely lucrative, harness officials have changed the breeding rules instead. Traditionally, all racing horses born in a calendar year become one year old on the following Jan. 1. But now standardbreds foaled in November and December will not become yearlings until the second Jan. 1 of their young lives. With that extra two-month leeway breeders can aim at earlier foalings, and colt's going into training will be significantly older and stronger. The percentage of 2-year-olds getting to the races should be higher, and they ought to be sounder and more dependable when they do race. Admittedly, it is an experiment—all harness-racing people don't like it—but you can be sure the results will be closely watched by thoroughbred racing, too.
INEVITABILITY OF LOGIC
Don't know whether this will comfort Muhammad Ali or not, but early in the season Coach Ron Farris of Spencerian, a Louisville business college, decided to test a computer by having it analyze the possible outcome of Spencerian's basketball games. The computer blew one prediction at the start when it had no information of consequence and another when the data was incomplete. But in the other eight games it analyzed it was 100% correct (Spencerian won four and lost four, all as predicted) and was never more than three points off the final margin of victory.
Not surprisingly, the Spencerian team developed a complex. Farris explained, "A couple of the fellows came to me and said they felt uncomfortable about it. It was easy to see why. It got to me, too. How would you like to go into a game knowing that you were supposed to lose by so much and score X amount of points to an X-plus amount by the other team—and then have it happen?"
What else could Farris do? He fired the computer.
THEY SAID IT
•Bobby Orr, Boston Bruin 21-year-old star who is on his way to becoming a young millionaire, asked if he would like to coach an All-Star hockey team with players like Detroit's Gordie Howe and Chicago's Bobby Hull: "It would be nice to coach a team like that, but I'd rather own it."
•Monsignor Vincent J. MacKay, who leads the Kansas City Chiefs in prayer, on his Super Bowl efforts: "Jerry Mays asked me to say a prayer after the game no matter who won. To be safe, I had to wait until the fourth quarter to compose it in order to see what direction I should take."
•Barry Moore, pitcher traded from Ted Williams' Washington Senators to the Cleveland Indians: "Maybe it's just inexperience, but Ted Williams doesn't know much about pitching. I think he tends to overwork his hot pitcher. He burned out Dennis Higgins, who had a great first half."