Because he believed profoundly in hard work, discipline and responsibility, Vince Lombardi came to be a symbol of the conservative approach to life, the concept of Law and Order. But in a very real way Lombardi was an old-fashioned liberal. He believed in law and order, yes, but for the benefit of all; he did not see it as a catchphrase or a political device. All men are supposedly equal before the law; all men were equal before Lombardi. There was a well-publicized joke about that. "Yeah, he treats us all alike," a veteran Packer said. "He treats us all like dogs." There was a serious side to it, too. "I don't know how many black players we have on the Packers," Lombardi once said. "I don't count them. They're Packers." But if he did not count them he knew they were there, and he knew the troubles that could beset a black man in a white community or on a white-oriented football team. He anticipated the difficulties and took firm steps to make sure they did not arise. As a result, black players were treated the same as white players in Green Bay, on the team and in the town. That was done at Lombardi's insistence, and he was a very insistent man.
He could do things like that because he knew he was right, as he knew he was right in so much of his approach to coaching. But he was never glib, nor could he ever relax with, or explain himself to, strangers. The hard-shell exterior was a device to keep all but his closest and oldest friends at arm's length. One of those old friends said last week, "He was a shy man with the right instincts."
When he crashed and died last week in Italy, Jochen Rindt was on the verge of becoming one of the most commanding figures in auto racing. He was 28, an Austrian and a sports celebrity in Europe. A broken nose gave him the look of an aristocratic fighter. The U.S. had seen him at Watkins Glen and Indianapolis, and those who follow Grand Prix racing expected to see him again next month at the Glen as the new world champion, for he was a near cinch to succeed Jackie Stewart for that title. Never a man to spare his cars, Rindt nearly always drove on the limit. Last year he seemed unable to win a race; this year, until his car spun into a guard rail and turned over during practice for the Italian Grand Prix, he seemed unable to lose.
September 13, 1970
A QUESTION OF PLAYING
Colleges and the students thereof are wondering what the issues will be on campus this fall: war and peace, the election, racism, ROTC, students and the community? David McKenzie, the co-president of the student council at LaSalle College in Philadelphia, says the key issue on his campus may be something different: whether or not to abolish the entire program of intercollegiate athletics.
"We've got 93 students getting about $250,000 in athletic scholarships," McKenzie said. "We have to decide whether that's the best way of using that money, especially with rising tuition." He declared that early in the fall term there will be a student-faculty discussion of the athletic program, and he anticipates that a student referendum on the question will follow.
LaSalle's quarter-of-a-million-dollar allotment to athletic scholarships is light compared to some schools. The University of Florida, for instance, is not exceptional among colleges in the Southeastern Conference, yet its athletic department budget is $2.7 million—for 310 athletes in nine sports. That's nearly $12,000 per athlete. Of course, Florida's athletic gate receipts are somewhat more substantial than LaSalle's.
OUNCE OF PREVENTION
Underworld money is worrying the National Hockey League. Clarence Campbell, NHL president, said last week, "Within the last year one player in the U.S. agreed to make television commercials on behalf of a company with Mafia connections, and one in Canada acquired a franchise from an organization that is completely Mafia controlled." He added that neither player had been aware of the gamy connections until told of them by the league.
As a result, a hockey security bureau is being established, with an agent in each NHL city, to provide information on organizations with which players or officials might want to associate. "We're not interested in whether a player runs around at night on the road," Campbell said. "That's the club's responsibility. We're starting the bureau on the assumption that no one in hockey wants to become involved in the wrong type of operation. We want them to come to us for advice, but whether they do or not their proposed business relationships will be investigated."
DAY AT THE RACES
Gibson White, son of the famous standardbred trainer Ben White, was calmly working a harness horse called Dart Ross at The Red Mile in Lexington, Ky. when the horse suddenly whirled around and started going in the opposite direction—and as fast as he could. White looked over his shoulder to see what had startled the horse and saw two lionesses romping down the center of the track. For some reason White did not ask them how they had gotten into racing, but it was learned later that the ladies had escaped from a circus. After their brush down the straight they wandered into a barn, where a guard slammed the doors and kept them under wraps until keepers arrived to take them back to their stables. Uh, cages.
A publicity release from the Maryland Wildlife Administration anticipating an abundance of waterfowl for hunters this season says: "On certain dates in certain areas a Maryland hunter in the upcoming season can legally bag two blue-wing teal, two scaup, two black ducks, three geese, six brant, five mergansers, seven sea ducks, fifteen coots and a partridge in a pear tree."
One of the reasons why Maryland's hunters will be up to their decoys in ducks appears to lie in the change of centuries-old migration habits brought about by the creation of waterfowl sanctuaries, the impact of modern agriculture and the burgeoning number of bird-feeding suburbanites. Surveys indicate that geese, whose honking flights south in the fall are a haunting and indelible memory, are stopping halfway now instead of going on to their traditional wintering haunts farther south. Less than a decade ago biologists counted 120,000 birds at Lake Mattamuskeet in North Carolina; last year only 23,900 were seen. The Florida panhandle, which used to host 20,000 geese in wintertime, had only 2,000 last year, and in Louisiana, once a haven for the birds, geese are now considered a rarity. On the other hand, where only 16,500 geese were spotted in the Horicon Marsh refuge in Wisconsin in 1950, more than 170,000 were there last year, and half a million of the birds, two-thirds of the entire Atlantic Flyway population, spent the winter months last year on the Delmarva Peninsula, between Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
When the San Francisco 49ers met the Denver Broncos in an exhibition game in Eugene, Ore., the pro footballers discovered that the goalposts were set permanently in artificial turf 10 yards behind the goal line, as called for by collegiate rules. Since it was impossible to put other goalposts on the goal line, pro style, without cutting into the synthetic covering or making holes in the concrete underbase, it was decided to play the game with the goalposts where they were. The teams agreed to line up in the end zones for points after touchdowns, but field-goal attempts necessarily had to be 10 yards longer than they would have been with pro-style goalposts. As it turned out, no field goals were made—none were attempted—as the 49ers won 23-7 (a safety accounted for the odd points), which led some observers to suggest that maybe pro football ought to move its posts back to the end-zone line. The reason? Why, to cut down on the current disproportionate importance of the placekickers. With successful conversions almost automatic (95% are made) and field-goal attempts de rigueur when a team is in its opponent's territory (and frequently when it is not quite that far), placekickers are dominating the game. After all, goes the argument, the kickers are on the field only the barest fraction of the time a game consumes, and yet they are consistently among the scoring leaders. It doesn't make sense.
SCRATCH THE PIGEONS
Pigeons bursting from cages and soaring into the air have long been a traditional part of the quasi-religious ceremonies at the opening of Olympic Games, summer and winter, but sometimes cold practicality can make a shambles of tradition. The organizing committee for the Winter Games at Sapporo, Japan has received permission to omit the pigeons from the opening ceremonies in 1972 because the rites "will be held in the arena where the speed skating will be held and pigeons might damage the glassylike surface."
It is amazing what a well-trained body can do without conscious volition. An editor on this magazine knows a man who years ago took the physical examination for the New York City Fire Department, a testing routine that among other things required the candidate to climb a vertical ladder to the gymnasium ceiling, swing hand over hand along another ladder fastened to the ceiling and then climb down a second vertical ladder to the floor, where he had to run and leap over a gym horse before going on to do a few other things. When our man swung off the first vertical ladder he cracked his head against the end of the ceiling ladder and lost consciousness; when he came to, he was going over the gym horse. He had no memory of crossing the ceiling hand over hand or coming down the second vertical ladder.
Two weeks ago a 28-year-old man named Bill Honeywill fell off a ship into the Atlantic Ocean at 4 o'clock in the morning. The impact stunned him, and he retained consciousness only long enough to see the lights of the ship disappearing in the distance. Then he blacked out. "When I came to," he said later, "the sun was rising, it was a beautiful sunny day and I was doing the breaststroke. I remember thinking that if I was going to drown it was a beautiful place to do it." Instead of drowning, he swam, paddled and floated around in the ocean until 3:30 that afternoon, when the ship, which had gone on 140 miles before discovering Honey-will's absence, came carefully back along its plotted path and found him. The ship's surgeon said, "He was very weak and unable to stand unaided. I was surprised when we found him alive. He must have been swimming by reflex action; he had no control, but his body went through the motions."
THEY SAID IT
•Len Jardine, football coach at Brown: "In my first game as a head coach I discovered there wasn't any chalk for my pregame discussion. I had to use my ulcer pills to write on the board."
•Ted Williams, Washington Senators' manager, who has had his own troubles with the press, reacting to Denny McLain's dousing of two Detroit sports-writers: "Why didn't I think of that?"
•Norm Ellenberger, assistant basketball coach at the University of New Mexico, asked what type bucking bronco threw his 7'3" recruit Paul Kruse and broke his left arm: "A very tall one."
•Armondo (Cheese) Burnette, 12-year-old, 80-pound ball-handling wizard of Philadelphia's summer peewee basketball program, settling once and for all the question of his height: "I'm between 4'6" and 4'8". I think I'm 4'7"."
•Jim Lance, football coach at Kansas State Teachers College: "When I was asked for a prediction I said we'd have 11 men on the field. We then received two penalties for having 12 men on, and once we were short, with 10 men."