MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY
Under the strict quota rules of the Canadian Football League no club may field more than 12 U.S. "imports." This puts a premium on U.S.-trained footballers who can qualify as Canadians. Usually they are players whose fathers were born in Canada, and who therefore are eligible for quick Canadian citizenship.
One such was former Pittsburgh Linebacker Dick Young, son of a onetime Nova Scotian. Young tried out for the Boston Patriots but raced up to Hamilton, Ont. when he heard the Hamilton Tiger-Cats were in the market for a "Canadian" linebacker.
Sure enough, he was welcomed with warmth and gladness. Tiger-Cat President Jake Gaudaur set the wheels of citizenship in motion. Head Coach Jim Trimble played Young in two games, both of which Hamilton lost. A few weeks ago Dick Young renounced his U.S. citizenship and became a Canadian citizen. A few days ago he was cut from the team.
Now Young is headed back home. He's an immigrant. With luck he may become a U.S. citizen in five years.
A REAL AID TO SPORTSMEN
Anthony Brocato of Greenville, Miss. has taken a hollow duck decoy, inserted a small, battery-operated motor with its propeller shaft sticking out the rear end, and cut a hole under the beak for an electric cord which is attached to a remote-control box. Swimming around, this gadget really makes suckers out of ducks, Mr. Brocato says. He has patented it and put it into production.
When the ducks come swarming around this electronic phony, what you do is uncover your battery of 50-caliber machine guns and let 'em have it.
TO THE VICTOR, A LILY PAD
After his entry became the frog-jumping champion of Black Diamond, Ore. one day last week, 12-year-old Mike Stebley made a pretty unorthodox decision. Although his frog had won the $1 first prize and showed loads of potential for future contests, Mike announced: "He did such a good job today I guess I'll turn him loose."
Now you don't see Calumet Farm turning loose one of its Kentucky Derby winners, or a dog breeder releasing his best-in-show after Westminster. So the Seattle Post Intelligencer editorialized: "The real meat of Mr. Stebley's thought lies in his capacity to grasp the fundamental urge of even a frog—the urge to go back where he came from.... Nothing is so good as a water lily pad to a fellow who grew up on a water lily pad. So the frog is free, a champion gone astray, perhaps, but a free frog, nonetheless."
Here, too, that is viewed as an agreeable turn of events.
COURAGE AFTER FOLLY
Umpires Ed Runge and Bill McKinley were having a few drinks in a gaudy bar on Baltimore's famous "Block" when they were approached by two young women with an old proposal. The upshot was an excursion to a motel in nearby Beltsville, Md. There the four were surprised by a blackmailing pair of ex-convicts with a camera who offered two propositions: they would take $5,000 for the negative of their picture, or the umpires could arrange to fix a game or two on which the blackmailers would bet.
Having behaved like the greenest country bumpkins, Runge and McKinley repaired to their hotel room in Washington's Sheraton Park Hotel and began behaving like responsible men. The following day, while the umpires were working a game in Washington, the blackmailers slipped a glossy print of the picture under their hotel room door. But it was too late for intimidation. Runge and McKinley already had thrown them out of-the game by reporting to their league and to the Maryland police.
American League President Joe Cronin commended the two men for their actions after their initial mistake, and granted them leaves of absence to fight the case in court. The attitude around the league was that this was one of the few times that blackmail victims had had the guts to fight back. A lot of baseball men admired this, and a lot of them felt that the books were now balanced on the whole sorry affair, raw courage canceling out raw folly.
THE CURSE OF CUS
Who should show up at the Olympic boxing matches but that sly old talent scout, Constantine (Cus) D'Amato, manager and discoverer of Floyd Patterson. D'Amato studied the style of Cassius Marcellus Clay of Louisville, winner of 43 straight fights and a gold medal, and then asked a group of fight buffs a question: "Who does Clay remind you of?" No one could think of a fighter who resembled the gangly, cha-cha-cha-dancing 18-year-old except Mr. D'Amato. "Hurricane Jackson," he said with a straight face.
Let's hope that Cassius Marcellus will survive this kiss of death.
WHAT EVERY GIRL SHOULD KNOW
Virginia Freeman is 25, a hostess for Delta Airlines and as sleek as a DC-8 jet. Occasionally she is assigned to charter flights for football teams. From what she has learned, she offers these tips on in-flight procedure to her sister hostesses.
"Don't worry too much about the college boys," says Virginia. "They're usually real considerate." Her favorite teams are Clemson and Georgia Tech, and her two favorite passengers are Coaches Frank Howard and Bobby Dodd.
"Coach Howard," says Miss Freeman, "takes his little box, a portable spittoon, and goes off in a corner and doesn't bother anyone." (Howard chews tobacco most of his waking time.) "Coach Dodd," says Virginia, "keeps his boys well disciplined, and before they land, he makes them police the entire plane, and they don't leave a single chewing gum wrapper. Nor do they try to embarrass a girl."
Professional football players do try to embarrass a girl. "Most of them have been around, they're older and more experienced," Virginia believes. "I would say that they can be quite forward."
One of Virginia's girl friends recently escorted the Baltimore Colts on an exhibition-game trip and now knows the Colts can be as frisky at 10,000 feet as on the field. "That was over two weeks ago," said Virginia, "and she hasn't gotten over it yet."
LAST GUYS FINISH NICE
The National Football League is keenly versed in calling a spade a troweling implement. Not long ago it sanctioned a postseason game for the second-place teams in each NFL division, to be played in Miami next January. Naturally enough, the Miami press labeled it the Runner-Up Bowl. The Runner-Up Bowl? Heavens, no, advised the publicity-minded league bosses. It's the Playoff Bowl—even if it's merely the playoff for third place.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Rene Herrerias, enchanted by his recent appointment as head basketball coach at the University of California, was driving dreamily near Oakland when he spotted the bus sign: COACHES STOP HERE. Which, accordingly, he did.... If he wasn't going to predict his team's pennant-winning chances, would Pittsburgh Manager Danny Murtaugh care to predict that Easter will fall on a Sunday next spring? asked a reporter. "Well," said Danny, "it depends on who'selected President. Remember, one of those guys kept changing Thanksgiving around."...Ever since he ran wild there in the late '40s, the Cotton Bowl has been known as the stadium that Doak Walker built (a second tier of seats was erected to handle the SMU crowds that came to see him). Watching this year's SMU squad in practice, Walker asked a coach when air-conditioning would be installed in the bowl. "If you'd just had one more year of eligibility," said the coach, "we'd have had it already."...The well-muscled young man at Biarritz said, no, thank you, he'd rather not learn to water-ski. It looked, said Spain's great bullfighter, Luis Miguel Dominguin, dangerous.... Marshall Bridges of the Redlegs explained how he became a pitcher: "I broke in as an infielder, hit .406 the first month with Sioux City, and they really started throwing at me. I got hit in the head three times; so I became a pitcher."...
SARDONIC FRENCH REACTION TO THEIR POOR SHOWING IN ROME: "In this country, if I don't do everything myself..."