And here she is, tennis fans, Britain's own Sports Girl of the Year, Granny Gudgin! "I never thought anyone would be in the running for a title like that at my time of life," observes Mrs. Ida Gudgin, whose time of life is the early 70s. She is playing captain of her village club at Helpston and is out there three times a week during the season—last year she celebrated her Golden Wedding anniversary with a warmup on the courts. "I'm not too hot at singles," Granny Gudgin admits, "but there's life in the old girl yet."
Yes, indeed, and how about that sly glimpse of tennis panties, panty fans? Shades of Gussie Moran?
This week's Casey Stengel Award for Creative Use of the English Language (we think the language is English) goes to Jack Kraft. The Villanova basketball coach was asked whether his starting five could be considered the best he's ever had. "This is probably the best starting five that I have had as far as five guys are concerned," Kraft replied. "The thing I think they have to do to become a real good ball club, they have to play a little more team ball...every once in a while they go off on individual tandems."
While we're at it we may as well divide up the First International Individual Tandem Award and give it to Howard Porter, Chris Ford, Clarence Smith, Tom Ingelsby and Hank Siemiontkowski.
February 8, 1971
Britain's postal strike gave the London Daily Mail a chance to sponsor—what else?—The Great Mail Race. More than 30 contestants turned out to race from the Post Office Tower on Tottenham Court Road to the offices of the Daily Mail, all of them individual entries or representatives of firms offering private mail service. The Mail offered no prizes for weird costumes, but there was Alan Chapman, wearing a diver's wet suit and driving a red Plymouth Barracuda. And Wytham Greer, in a blue Superman suit, on a motor bicycle. But the classiest contender was Tim Randall, who entered four Rolls-Royce Silver Shadows, one $26,400 Mercedes and a motorbike. He finished fifth in one of the Silver Shadows. And who won? Well, the guy riding Randall's motorbike, a Mr. Fred Seeker. Mr. Seeker is one of the striking postmen.
The Sour Grapes Award of the Week—possibly the Whole Month—goes to the writer of the following missive to Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro of Baltimore.
"I hate your teams in baseball, football, basketball and hockey. You are a bunch of ungrateful and untalented snobs. I think you got a fever or something. Maybe it's all fixed. But I hate every single person in Baltimore. HATE YOU. A New Yorker."
Look, it's baseball's Tony Conigliaro, wrestling with Victor the Bear. Tony is in training for spring training and Victor, whose career was chronicled in SI (Feb. 23, 1970), is just doing his thing. Aren't they a handsome pair? Tony is the one on the left.
The parish took up a collection in Walsall, England and gave their Rev. James Curtin some money for Christmas, as always. And Father Curtin bet a bit of it on the football pools, as always. This time he won ¬£100,000. Isn't that marvelously sinful? Not exactly. As Father Curtin says, "How can gambling be wrong when you win this much?"
When you lose $192,000, that's how, as Father Raimondo Salvaggio could tell Father Curtin. While Father C. was winning in Walsall, Father S. was trying to win in Rome, where he courteously allowed another man to step ahead of him at the lottery counter. The man's 80¢ ticket—the one Father Salvaggio would have bought—was good for $192,000. So much for good and evil. To say nothing of courtesy.
And then there is Walter Flowers, of Chicago, who was stopped by the cops for allegedly having improper license plates. Flowers, in a hurry to get to the track in time for the daily double, just took off. The lawmen chased him for eight miles and when they caught up they added to the license-plate charge some stuff about speeding, attempting to elude police and improperly changing lanes. In all the excitement Flowers missed the daily double, but maybe it's all for the best. A man whose day is going like that should not be putting money on the horses.
When Prince Michael was named to Britain's bobsled team the Daily Express wrote, "Bachelor Prince Michael of Kent, 28, is back on the battlefield of sheer skill, danger, and fear which only a few years ago would have been out of bounds to a member of the Royal Family.... Before the war, Prince Michael's father, the late Duke of Kent, his uncles, King George VI, the Duke of Windsor, and the Duke of Gloucester, were discouraged from participating even in low-speed races on horses at point-to-points."
So what happens? During the trials at Cervinia, Italy, Prince Michael's sled goes over and he's dragged for about 600 yards, suffering shock, gashes, bruises and a hairline fracture of the jaw. Guess it's back to out of bounds for the old battlefield of sheer skill, danger and fear.