SPORTS ILLUSTRATED each week brings the news of the important events of sport as seen through the eyes of trained observers and written in the words of skilled reporters. In this issue, for instance, Herb Wind previews the U.S. Open, Budd Schulberg takes in the Basilio-DeMarco fight, Whitney Tower reports the Belmont Stakes, Jim Murray watches Swaps go against Determine, and Bill Talbert looks ahead to Wimbledon.
But the story of sport is more than the news of its current events. It is also the shared experience of those whose actual performances create some of its greatest moments. So Eddie Arcaro, during a three-week suspension period, reported the Wood Memorial for SI and gave it the perspective of a jockey who has brought home more than 3,000 winners. Tenzing, the conqueror of Everest, cast unique light on one of the supreme mountaineering exploits in his autobiography, Tiger of the Snows, which first appeared in condensed form in SI and has just been published by Putnam. And this week, in the first of two articles, Dr. Roger Bannister brings his sensitive and reminiscent observation to bear on the trials and inspirations which led to the first breaking of the mile's four-minute barrier.
Behind the news and experiences of sport is another essential part of its story: its atmosphere and climate, the colorful backdrop in front of which its events occur. And this backdrop does not always present a wholly serious scene, as you may discover when next week SI begins a series by one of America's great satirical writers, J. P. Marquand.
The Marquand articles came about as an unexpected result of a conversation between the Pulitzer-prize-winning author and TIME Inc's President Roy E. Larsen at a meeting of Harvard's Board of Overseers, of which they are both members. Marquand said that he had been thinking of writing about a country club. Larsen suggested that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, which recognizes the country club as the setting and sponsor for a multitude of sports, might be very interested in what he wrote.
Our readers will be too, I think, as they follow the amusing succession of crises confronting the fictitious Happy Knoll Country Club, revealed in letters written by Mr. Marquand for the signatures of the equally fictitious (but deeply involved) officials of the club. The first letter appears in next week's issue.
J. P. MARQUAND