More than 19 million fans braved storm and sleet and traffic and heat to watchtheir favorite college teams play football this year. The total attendance of19,280,709 for 2,586 games represented a 5.41% increase over last year, and theaverage of 31,199 per game was the highest in history.
When a couple ofAir Force helicopters flew into the 1960 Winter Olympic site at Squaw Valley,California one warm and cloudless morning last week, they were greeted by aflat, thick cloud of gray smoke coming from the fire and fumes of a hive ofactivity below.
There was reasonaplenty for the bustle. In a little more than two years, California has had toturn this pretty but woefully unprepared little valley into the beginnings of amassive winter sports center. The state has bulldozed acres of jumbled terraininto an orderly landscape, built a flood-control lake, laid miles of sewer,built a disposal plant and installed a small town on the valley floor. All thisis basic construction needed to house a thousand expected athletes, plus twicethat number of delegates, officials, trainers and coaches. On top of this, thevalley had to be manicured into a series of perfectly prepared courses andarenas where the athletes can slither, slide and slip in the intricatemaneuvers of winter sport.
All this, quitenaturally, has generated a considerable degree of stormy weather. From thebeginning, Prentis Hale, the San Francisco store magnate and the man chieflyresponsible for Squaw's progress, has been involved in one verbal blizzardafter another. Among these was a running battle with his chief technicaladviser, Alan Bartholemy, which ended last summer with the brisk announcementby Hale of Bartholemy's resignation. Somewhere along the line a publisher of anational skiing magazine joined the fight, pelted Hale and his CaliforniaOlympic committee with accusations of gross incompetence. And last month, threemore technical aides resigned.
The remarkablefact about all this storm and strife, however, is that it has done little ifanything to block the steady march of progress in the valley. Chairman Halecould never be accused of diplomatic finesse, but he is a man with acommendable, if blunt, talent for getting things done. Last week, still firmlyin the driver's seat, he had the satisfaction of knowing that all importantconstruction in his valley was on schedule and due for completion well beforethe deadline in 1960.
Already, Squawis bracing itself for an avalanche of eager customers. Tickets for the Gamesare now on sale—limited four to a customer—for those who write early enough tothe Olympic Committee (333 Market St., San Francisco) and enclose $7.50 foreach ticket. Squalls or not, we have already sent for ours.
Two summers agoMrs. Hattie Louise Browning of Dallas tried to find a place to board herpoodles while she took a vacation trip. She was shocked to find that nothingwas available but "slum dwellings." "My poodles were indoorpets," said Mrs. Browning. "I wanted a place that would treat them asthey were treated at home."
The only way tofind a proper home-from-home for pampered poodles, it seemed, was to build it,and after considerable research Mrs. Browning decided to do just that. Now the50 guests at her swank Canine Country Club have air-conditioned rooms andfoam-rubber mattresses. For hardy outdoor types there are dog runs shaded fromthe Texas sun. Music from a local FM station is piped to every room, and thereis also a microphone to pick up the voices of the eight people who work aboutthe place and transmit them to the dogs. Dogs, for some reason, like to hearpeople talking.
The residentmanager of the club is Peter J. Patterson, whose chief concern is to see thateach dog gets his share of individual attention. For rates that run from $1.75a day to $45 a month, dogs are given a daily check for illness, two groomings aweek and whatever diet their owners specify. There is an elderly Dalmatian whohas retired to the Canine Club as to a home for the aged; every day his owner'schauffeur delivers his favorite food: lobster. Two poodles who were recentguests lived throughout their visit on breast of chicken and sirloin steak. Theonly exception to the special-diet rule was Thanksgiving, when all the guestsgot turkey.
Most dogs, ofcourse, are merely temporary residents while their owners are away from home.Every day the mail brings sheaves of postcards from Madrid, Paris and Rioaddressed to Boots or Suzy, saying "Having wonderful time, wish you werehere." Patterson dutifully nails these messages to Boots' or Suzy'swall.
A majoroperating expense of the Canine Club is replacing foam-rubber mattresses, whichsome of the guests chew to bits. Mrs. Browning insists on having them, though,because she wants her clients' dogs to enjoy the best. She is also very carefulabout cleanliness. "Most kennels smell like kennels," says Mrs.Browning. "Mine doesn't." Pine-oil solution and ozone lamps keepeverything fresh, and a further note of refinement is added by the fact thatthe whole layout is painted pink.
Even at theCanine Club, though, there are limits to what people will do for dogs. "Onewoman told me her cocker spaniel couldn't sleep unless he had a cookie everynight at 11," said Patterson. "And she said I had to hold the cookie inmy teeth and let him take it away from me. Well, he got his cookie, all right,but I never told the woman I just gave it to him on a tray."
KO on TV?
Last Friday, ona channel which normally carries the Friday Night Fights, televiewers saw afascinating and imaginatively produced program from Chicago—the finals of theInvitational Match-Game Bowling Championships. It was, perhaps, a peek into thefuture. The hottest rumor on both sides of Madison Avenue these days is thatthe Gillette Safety Razor Co., which is sharp and intends to stay sharp, issorely dissatisfied with the response to the kind of boxing talent that isbeing fobbed off on it, is wary of the antitrust judgment against Jim Norris'International Boxing Club and is considering a TV switch to basketball andbowling.
Says Ned Irish,the executive vice-president of Madison Square Garden, from which most of theFriday fights emanate, "I sold the Pro Basketball All-Star game to Gillettefor Jan. 23 [a Friday], and if the experiment proves anything we'll getGillette to consider basketball as a regular replacement for the dying boxingcalendar." "All you see on Friday nights anyway," said onedissatisfied viewer, "is Tiger Jones, Tiger Jones, Tiger Jones and TigerJones! The attractions are poor and they're badly handled. Dance teams theygive you, not fighters. You mean to tell me they can't romance up theattractions?"
It is, alas, toolate for romancing. The picture tube is flickering beyond the repair of thefinest technician, and most viewers, fed up with a depressing series of dulland unimaginative matches by the moribund International Boxing Club couldn'tcare less.
Tex Rickard ofChess
After six yearsof trying, a benign New York textile manufacturer named Maurice Kasper hasmanaged to assemble 12 of the best chess players in the country for atournament for the national title. "Never had we so much talent inbefore!" says Mr. Kasper, who suggests an earnest and intellectual SamGoldwyn talking about his next superattraction. "Never before has therebeen such a showing of as many great players in one time and in one placebefore this!"
Never before,certainly, has American chess had a backer as able, enthusiastic and solvent asMaurice Kasper. The 12 masters who are meeting this week at the Manhattan ChessClub to try to win the national chess championship of the United States awayfrom 15-year-old Bobby Fischer are a heady, temperamental, far-scattered andgenerally impecunious group of wizards; it takes almost as much skill to getthem all in one place at one time as it does to corner their queens. Most ofthem are filled with such obscure personal torments and such unpredictablehostilities toward officials, spectators and each other that businessmengenerally find them baffling. Not Mr. Kasper.
Maurice Kasperhimself played chess as a boy in Brunswick, Germany, where he was born 58 yearsago, then virtually forgot the game for the next 40 years. Building up CentralKnitware occupied all his energy, except for furtive efforts to get his golfscore at Fresh Meadows down to the low 90s. Then in 1945 Russia and the UnitedStates played a radio chess match that turned into an American debacle. Kasperhappened to stop in at the Henry Hudson Hotel, where the moves were beingduplicated on big boards on the wall. "One look at the boards I took,"he says, "and I said, 'What is this? It can't be that bad!'
"So I wentuptown and joined the Manhattan Chess Club," he said, an occasion whichmade the oldtimers feel that Santa Claus had applied for membership. "Iplayed all those fellows—Reshevsky, Larry Evans—they all wiped up the floorwith me."
Soon electedpresident, Kasper was astonished to find so many prominent New Yorkersinterested in chess. "Doctors!" he says. "I never found myselfsurrounded by so many distinguished medical men. We have 50 to 60 doctors whoare members. Instead of keeping office hours, they keep chess clubhours."
Kasper's firstattempt to put U.S. chess on a sound footing was made in concert with two otherNew York financiers. The three reasoned that Champion Sammy Reshevsky's work asan accountant kept him from playing up to his best, and started to set up atrust fund to provide him with a small income during his life. One of thetrio—not Kasper—found a bargain in an Amsterdam Avenue apartment house, andpersuaded the others to put their money in that, Reshevsky to get the income.However, one of the trio ran into business reverse— "reverses veryserious," as Kasper says, "since he went broke"—and the apartmenthouse was seized to pay his debts, leaving Sammy just where he started.
With the latebanker Maurice Wertheim and a few other chess enthusiasts, Kasper organized theUnited States Chess Foundation, which has financed the recent American-Russianmatches and is currently trying to popularize chess in schools, industrialleagues and the armed forces. He says, "The Russians use chess as aweehickle to show their superiority intellectually. But we have the best chessplayers in the world right here in the United States."
The RosenwaldTournament, started six years ago, was Kasper's attempt to create an annualevent that would pit these potential world-beaters against each other.Unfortunately, not more than two or three top-ranking masters could ever bebrought together at the same time, and as a rule Manhattan Chess Club membershave made up most of the entries, the bulk of the audience and all the winners.Last year, when the United States Chess Federation, governing body of Americanchess, could not hold its tournament for financial reasons, it declared thewinner of the Rosenwald should be national champion, the basis of Fischer'stitle.
This year, inaddition to Fischer and Reshevsky, the entries include William Lombardy, theworld junior champion, who could beat the Russian champion Botvinnik, inKasper's opinion; also, Pal Benko, the former Hungarian champion, now a refugeedraftsman; also, Larry Evans and Arthur Bisguire, the former Americanchampions; also, Robert and Donald Byrne. Kasper has followed the career of theByrne brothers since he first heard of them years ago as two Brooklyn orphanswith a genius for chess. He helped them along—"and they're not Jewishfellows either!" he says—as they won scholarships to Yale and beganteaching school. Now he says they would be among the world's most famousplayers if their work as college professors gave them time enough to playchess.
The Race to theSwift
Yotham Muleya isa quiet-voiced 19-year-old Rhodesian Negro who loves to run. He doesn't getmuch competition to train against, though, because he is a member of thatbranch of the human race that white Africans contemptuously refer to as"kaffirs." Running barefooted, Muleya set an unofficial Rhodesianrecord this year for the three-mile run: 14:59.7. It wasn't very good time (theworld record is 13:10.8), but it was Rhodesia's best, and recently it led theorganizers of a special track meet to invite Muleya to compete against adistinguished visitor: Gordon Pirie of Great Britain. The Southern RhodesianAmateur Athletic and Cycling Union, however, refused to let him run. "We donot count kaffirs' performances," said William Du Bois, chairman.
Fairer-mindedwhite Rhodesians howled Du Bois down at last, and Muleya received hisinvitation. On the day of the meet he waited, quietly apart on the infieldgrass, while Pirie and a New Zealander named Murray Halberg were presented tothe Governor of Southern Rhodesia, Vice Admiral Sir Peveril William-Powlett.Then, barefooted as usual, he squatted at the starting line. It was a hot,humid day, hard on the visitors, and the three-mile race ended in a rainstorm.When Muleya crossed the finish line far in the lead there were approximately100 yards of apartheid between him and Gordon Pirie, his nearest opponent.
The victory madea nice crack in Rhodesia's grim racial barrier, and Pirie widened it a littlemore. "With better training and coaching," said Pirie, "Muleyacould be in the world class." And when officials gave him a shieldcommemorating his visit to Southern Rhodesia, Pirie thanked them for it, turnedhis back upon them and presented it to Yotham Muleya, who had earned a trophybut had not received one.
I want to get tothe top as fast as possible," says Lamar Clark, a young heavyweight boxerfrom Cedar City, Utah, who helps his widowed mother sell the bread she bakeswhen he isn't hurrying upward. On the way up Clark has laid 26 or 27 opponentsflat on the floor in 11 months—two of them in one single night, three of themin another and six more at Bingham recently in about nine minutes of fightingtime. Clark had come to the Utah city prepared to kayo a mere four fighters inone night, but two of his opponents failed to appear. Whereupon Lamar'smanager, Marvin Jenson, offered to pay $50 to anyone who wished to step intothe ring with Clark, and got four volunteers.
No. 1 was DaleRandall. As he entered the ring a reporter asked him how many fights he hadhad. "None," said Randall gallantly. Twenty-two seconds later, Randall,who professes to wrestle professionally, demonstrated his honesty by beingknocked out. "I hate boxing. I always have," he said upon arising.
No. 2 was JohnnyLoudd, who claimed he had 23 fights but didn't remain upright long enough tosubstantiate the story. Loudd lasted a minute and 19 seconds.
No. 3 was DickPearce, who lasted 44 seconds. No. 4 was Young Kidd, who claimed he had 12fights, but was knocked out in one minute and 52 seconds. "He hitshard," said Kidd.
No. 5 was JackReed, who went out with Clark's first punch. No. 6 was Wayne Emmett. Emmett, tohis everlasting credit, stayed on his feet throughout the first round and for aminute and 42 seconds of the second before joining the horizontal company ofRandall, Loudd, Pearce, Kidd and Reed. "I didn't think he hurt me,"said Emmett.
"I guessthis challenge business just doesn't work," said Manager Jenson coyly as hesurveyed the wreckage and contemplated the headlines. "I'd never seen anyof these guys before. A couple of them obviously had no intention of fighting.From now on it will be one fight a night, against better talent."
"WhateverMarv decides is O.K. by me," said Lamar Clark wearily. "I just want toget to the top as fast as possible."
The mistletoehangs perpendicular,
So flex those muscles called orbicular;
Their exercise will, in particular,
Depend a lot upon how quick you are.
--Harvey L. Carter
They Said It
Frankie Albert, family man, on resigning as headcoach of the lagging San Francisco '49ers: "It got so that my wife anddaughters had to run out of supermarkets; they couldn't shop without beinginsulted."
Detroit Lions' Jim Doran, reflecting on thedifference between pros and amateurs: "A lot of times in college, youwondered why you were out there three or four hours a day. You don't wonder whyyou're out there in pro ball. You get paid."
Darrell Royal, University of Texas coach, asked byOrange Bowl-bound Syracuse writers how to beat Oklahoma: "Tell your boys torun a little faster than they can run, jump a little higher than they can jumpand hit a little harder than they can hit. Then pray."
NO NATIONAL LEAGUE TV IN NEW YORK IN 1959