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Original Issue

Events, Discoveries and Opinions



In 22 of the 25 states which have legalized pari-mutuel betting on horse racing the use of the drug butazolidin is just as illegal as the use of morphine or an electric battery. In Kentucky the authorities simply don't bother to test for it, which means that nobody knows when or how often it is being used. In Illinois a ruling last summer made it perfectly legal to use it. And now the Florida Racing Commission has followed the lead of Illinois. We have stated our critical opinion of what is going on in Kentucky and Illinois (SI, Aug. 1). We deplore the spread of this foolishness to Florida.

Nobody really knows the precise effect of butazolidin on the racing form of a horse. It is a pain-reliever, however, and it therefore can be used to put an ill or sore horse in a race—a horse who otherwise would be recuperating in his stall. An ailing horse belongs in his stall, not in the starting gate. For this reason alone, butazolidin should be outlawed for horses who are being prepared to race. Furthermore, everyone in racing knows that a definitive study of butazolidin's effects is now under way. Until the results are in, the drug should be banned completely. No ruling on drugs is worth talking about unless it applies to every horse in every racing state.

In addition to the estimated $40,000 it cost Sugar Ray Robinson to transport and care for his masseur, his voice coach, his manicurist, his golf teacher, his golf companion, his secretary and assorted hangers-on for the recent Robinson-Fullmer fight in Los Angeles, another item of expense has turned up. Robinson did not bring along a set of black boxing trunks, which the California Athletic Commission specified he should wear, since Fullmer was going to wear white trunks. Sugar wore white, and the commission fined him $50. "He made California look like a jackass," said Commissioner Dan Kilroy, who must think the decision in the fight (SI, Dec. 12) made California look good.


New York City street scene after last week's blizzard:

A man clambers back and forth atop a huge pile of snow on Madison Avenue. Periodically he sticks a long pole into the snow, then pulls it out with a look of disgust.

"What are you doing?" asks a curious bystander.

Says the prober: "I am trying to find my Lambretta."


•Minnesota's Murray Warmath, coach of the nation's No. 1 football team, may lose his job anyway. Retired banker Richard Griggs, who three years ago tried to persuade his fellow members of the Board of Regents to buy up Warmath's contract, said last week: "I still haven't changed my mind about Warmath's coaching." Former All-America Clayton Tonnemaker, now president of the Minnesota Graduate M Club, adds: "I have a great deal of admiration for Murray. But Minnesota deserves as good a coach as it can get and there are a lot better ones available."

•Prime target of collegiate recruiters today is Fred Mazurek, a 190-pound quarterback from Redstone Township High School in Pennsylvania. Mazurek, who has made all-everything in football and is a baseball-basketball star as well, is also an A student.

•The Big Ten will retire Tug Wilson at age 65 next March, and will name his assistant, Bill Reed, its new commissioner. Wilson wants to stay on but Reed wants the job, and the struggle is breaking up their longtime friendship.

•Cleveland General Manager Frank Lane would like to peddle troublesome Jimmy Piersall, who, he insists, would hurt the club even if he hit .350. But nobody wants Piersall—except the Cleveland fans. "They love the guy," says Lane. "If you think they hung me for trading Colavito, wait'll you see the reaction to Piersall."

•Marquette's withdrawal from football and track has caused repercussions in another Jesuit school, the University of Detroit. Last season's seven won, two lost football record was Detroit's best in 20 years, but the school may drop the sport.

•The 12-team National Bowling League, scheduled to begin play in the fall of '61, has just about sealed a lucrative "game of the week" TV contract, probably with ABC.

•Michigan State moved up to challenge Michigan in the mid-'40s and now Southern Illinois is trying the same ploy against the University of Illinois. The Carbondale school already has recruited a strong nucleus of track men as transfer students and has excellent prospects in swimming and tennis.

•National Hockey League insiders attribute the Chicago Black Hawks' miserable road record (2-9-3) to player dissatisfaction. Basic gripe is with Coach Rudy Pilous' system of noontime practice on the day of a road game.


After a shaky start, the sixth annual "Bunny Bop" was held in Harmony, N.C. the other day. The Bunny Bop is sponsored by the North Iredell American Legion Post, and it is a consummately simple affair. A mess of hunters go into the woods with a mess of beagles and flush out a mess of rabbits. But instead of peppering the bunnies with buckshot, the hunters clobber 'em with sticks and stones and bare hands.

The shaky start this year was caused by Mr. Rutherford T. Phillips of Denver, the executive director of the American Humane Association. He observed in a wire to the Legion post that "beating living creatures to death is contrary to American ideals of decency and fair play." But the boys from North Iredell can match Rutherford T. Phillips both in rhetoric and in the euphoniousness of his names. The Legion's J. Pierce Van Joy answered: "We argue that this way of killing rabbits is more humane than filling their hind ends full of hot lead. When one of these rabbits meets a North Iredell Legionnaire with a club, he meets instant death." Anyway, said Mr. Van Joy, the bunnies wind up in a public barbecue for the benefit of a bunch of underprivileged children.

J. Pierce Van Joy and 150 of his fellow nimrods then took to the fields last Saturday and sticked and stoned 38 rabbits to death. About all anybody proved was that there aren't many rabbits around Harmony. We hope there are as few underprivileged children.

San Francisco 49er fans have found a new villain. He's the man who stands along the sidelines wearing earphones and a red cap. When he takes off the cap, spectators know the TV commercial is on, and will remain on until the cap goes back on the head. As soon as the man goes into his act, 49er fans check their watches. Precisely one minute later, if the hat is still off, the booing begins.


The Mixed Drink of the Year is feloniously compounded of crème de banana, triple sec, bourbon and whipped cream. This was decided at the annual drink-mixing competition, sponsored by Early Times and held in Las Vegas recently. It was attended by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Associate Editor James Murray, who reported:

"The winning drink is called The Melody and is the creation of a Hollywood barkeep named John W. Chop, who works at the Melody Room (surprise, surprise) on Sunset Blvd. The Melody (the drink, not the bar) is a test of liver and digestion that might faze a Diamond Jim Brady.

"Nevertheless, it is almost the only drink in the contest that any of the judges could finish. Most of the entries were bilious green and red concoctions that tasted like after-shave lotions in simple syrup. One drink, for example, mixed a shot of bourbon, one ounce of honey, lemon juice and a half-ounce of heavy cream.

"Two bold bartenders entered a drink whose base was Scotch. Lovers of Scotch all over the world will shudder to learn that the other ingredients in the drink were an Italian liqueur and a ghastly treacle called crème de mandarines.

"Grenadine bottles and Waring Blendors and pineapple squares and cherries and mint sprigs and syrups were all over the place. A man with diabetes could not even afford to walk through the room. The judges consisted of a few holidaying newspapermen and Las Vegas innkeepers and restaurateurs. There were 40 judges in all, and they had to sip 27 drinks, the finalists in an original entry list of 5,000. Toward the end the judges began to look pretty sick. They would sip a drink and then run outside for a Listerine rinse or a bourbon and soda (this may be why Early Times sponsors the contest).

"The judges had been abjured to abstain from drinking for 45 minutes before the contest, but most of us—most of them—couldn't go on the wagon that long. When the M.C. asked the judges to be seated before the event began, one of them shouted, 'We can't. We're too drunk.' He was lucky—he couldn't taste the awful puddings and soups that were entered as great drinks.

"Incidentally, if you're ever in the Melody Room on Sunset Blvd. and you see the barkeep with a Blendor in one hand and a bottle of banana oil in the other—order a Martini quickly. Very dry with a twist of lemon, and hold the banana please. Tell him when you want an ice cream soda, you'll ask for it."

In the peculiar world of the ice hockey player, injuries are treated as minor nuisances. Witness Allan Stanley. The Toronto Maple Leafs' defenseman took a skate blade through the cheek during a game with Montreal. He was hurried to the dressing room, where a doctor—prodded by Stanley's grunts of annoyance at being off the ice—took 25 stitches, most of them inside the mouth. Back to the fray rushed Stanley, in time to play five minutes of the second period. Then he played his regular shifts in the last period. After the game doctors had another look at the cheek. Turned out the jaw was broken, and Stanley, still complaining, was taken to a hospital for a wiring job. After four days off he was back in the lineup.


There were 56 World Series winners before this year, but don't tell the Pirates. They still think they're the first. The latest clue to a Pittsburgher's view of the world comes in a long-playing record called The Impossible Pirates: Sixty Incredible Years of Baseball. It sells for $3.95.

On the record, Sportswriter Chet Smith recounts high points of the club's history and Sportscaster Bob Prince contributes some mangled metaphors ("darkness, rain and tension by the ton at Forbes Field"). Prince gets a bit emotional about the 1960 team, whose relatively effortless pennant victory he calls "utterly impossible" and "too fantastic."

There are high points: Joe E. Brown's batting instructions to "Ralphie" Kiner, Honus Wagner's comments on modern baseball and Branch Rickey's insights into talent hunting. If you flinch at the thought of hearing "Beat 'em Bucs" even once more, rest easy. The only "Beat 'em Bucs" comes in an a cappella duet by Prince and Brown. Anyway, the theme song is a bouncy ball-park version of With a Little Bit of Luck, which is a welcome bit of understatement.


Leo Durocher, the unemployed baseball manager, told Mel Durslag of the Los Angeles Examiner the other day that major league baseball owners were "blackballing" him and thus preventing him from earning a livelihood.

"To start with," said Leo, "perhaps I am too controversial. I have never weighed my words. I always say what's on my mind. Maybe sometimes this isn't too good."

After Leo's statement appeared, the noncontroversial men who run baseball denied it all. The Giants, the Yankees, the L.A. Angels and other clubs that have recently hired new managers all had plausible excuses for bypassing Durocher. Admittedly, Durocher has not made himself an overly attractive prospect to many baseball owners. Until recently he has demanded stock as well as money from any club interested in his genius. Now he says he just wants in.

We do not take it upon ourselves to tell baseball teams whom they should hire as managers, but there is an obvious trend toward faceless men and we deplore it. Baseball apparently no longer wants the Durochers but dreams of a group of managers made of plastic, all dressed in tweed overcoats, snap-brim hats, cordovan shoes, pinch-collars and rep ties, who stride briskly through the season swinging tan attaché cases on which is printed in gold, THOU SHALT NOT BE CONTROVERSIAL.


•During Utah's 101-55 drubbing of Texas Christian, the basketball bounced over a fence at one end of the court and rolled behind the bleachers. "I hope," said TCU Coach Buster Brannon, "they don't find it."

•Coach Frank Broyles of Arkansas gives his quarterbacks a weekly warning: "I tell them that when they face a third down and seven situation they should never look toward the bench for me to call the next play. I remind them that they have four-year scholarships, while I have only a short-term contract."

•Before the basketball season began, Coach J. W. Russell of Tennessee's Dyer High School was glum. If both his boys' and girls' teams won 10 straight, he vowed, he'd go right out and dye his hair the school colors. Coach Russell now sports robin's-egg-blue hair with a white stripe down the center.

•Although Florida's Ray Graves was chosen Southeastern Conference football coach of the year, his prospects for a raise are dim. Graves makes $17,000 a year, just $500 less than School President J. Wayne Reitz.