MORE AND MOREDAYLIGHT
The outstandingfact of the sports world this week may well go unnoticed by the people mostaffected by it. But millions of Americans suddenly free to dash out ofartificially lighted offices and factories to find an extra hour of fun in thesun must be forgiven if they don't stop to analyze their blessing. Most of themwill be too busy straightening out their lines at the dinghy float, wendingtheir way to the first tee at the golf course or pulling on their shorts at thetennis court to give much thought to Daylight Saving, the socio-legal gimmickthat makes the extra fun possible.
Yet DaylightSaving Time in all likelihood has meant more to sports and sportsmen than anyother piece of social legislation.
Since it wasfirst seriously suggested back in 1907, many a rock-bound defender of thestatus quo and all such habitual early risers as farmers have opposed the ideaof tampering with the clock. But in the last decade more and more Americanshave come to see the sense of saving summer's sunlight. More than half of thenation's population from coast to coast now enjoys the reform. Since one of thebest uses that sunlight may be put to is the pursuit of outdoor sport, it is nocoincidence that the same decade has seen more people enjoying more forms ofsport than any other period in history.
If the formulareads, "the more daylight, the more sport," let's not stop at a mereextra hour during four months of summertime. We could use two or three or evenfour more sunlit hours every day of our nonworking lives.
The best time todirect a clinical look at a college sport may well be in the slack season whenit is lying dormant on a bed of last year's statistics. Viewed thus last week,college basketball revealed symptoms of disease that could, if neglected, provefatal.
There has foryears been a strong and general suspicion that in college basketball games allover the country referees tend to call more violations against the visitingteams than they do against the home team. A look at the statistics concerningeight of the nation's top teams consolidates this suspicion into hard fact: ingames at the University of California 246 fouls were called against visitingteams, 221 against California; at NYU 281 fouls were called on visitors, 249against the home team; at Ohio State it was 215 against the visitors, 199against the locals; at the University of Cincinnati, 285 against visitors, 244against the locals; at the University of Utah, 288 vs. 277; at Utah State, 192vs. 153; at Brigham Young, 181 vs. 179; and at the University of Alabama 175fouls were called on visitors and only 123 on Alabamans.
There have beenefforts to explain away such damning statistics by generalities which claimthat players feel more comfortable and confident in their own gyms and henceplay better ball, but these claims look pretty flimsy in the face of moreobvious, though less bland, explanations.
Foremost of theseis the outright intimidation of visiting teams by home crowds, a conditionwhich seems to worsen each year all over the nation. Flying garbage and theapplication of straight mob psychology on harassed officials (who must go onliving after the game) are the weapons used in these courtside campaigns thatoccur wherever rivalry runs high. Instead of attempting to quench this kind ofincendiary behavior, the home-town coach often actively abets it. One collegecoach in the South is noted for goading referees into dealing him a penalty sothat he can whip the fans into a frenzy over the fancied injustice of itall.
A subtler butequally effective form of intimidation arises from the fact that every seasoncoaches have a considerable voice in the appointment of referees.
All this willamount to a cancer in the carcass of a fine game if left untreated. Before thenext season starts, we recommend some immediate and specific surgery in theform of new rules depriving coaches of any role in the selection of officialsand providing heavy penalties for unseemly conduct on the bench. And for thegeneral health of the game, a liberal dosage of good sportsmanship administeredto all hands might help.
THEY SAID IT
Bob Porterfield, aging (35) onetime big leaguepitcher, on the start of a twilight career in the minors: "I made up mymind long ago that when it was over, this was the way I'd come down the hill.If this is the beginning of the end I'm not going to make a show about it.After all that baseball has done for me, I think I owe it that much inreturn."
Floyd Patterson, in answer to a newsman's idioticquestion: "Of course I think I can beat Johansson. If I didn't I wouldn'thave signed up to fight him."
Leonard Fruchtman, owner of Derby hopeful Bally Ache,in impatience at the public's objections to his horse's name: "Wait'll theyhear the one I've picked out if there is an offspring—it's BallyButton."