As a follow-up to last week's cover article, The True Moral Crisis in Sport, and in line with comment that has been made on the Wally Butts-Bear Bryant affair, we offer an attestation by Fred Russell, sports editor of the Nashville Banner. Russell reports, and Coach Johnny Griffith of the University of Georgia concedes, that within the 24 hours preceding the Georgia-Vanderbilt football game of a couple of years ago, Griffith "somehow came into possession of a Vanderbilt 'scout report'," prepared by the Vanderbilt staff and containing "supposedly secret information on Vanderbilt's blocking assignments, its numbering of plays, checkoff system, summation of Georgia's strengths and weaknesses, Georgia's formations and the defenses Vanderbilt planned to use."
But Vanderbilt won, 21-0. The "scout report" was a fake, specially prepared by Vanderbilt and planted so that it would fall into the hands of Georgia. According to Art Guepe, Vanderbilt head coach in 1961, "we figured that Griffith was new on the job and might go for it."
Asked to give his version, Griffith said that at the time of the game he was not in charge of the Georgia team but, recovering from an appendectomy, merely sat on the sidelines. One of his assistants showed him the report a few hours before the game, he said, and he took a look at it "out of curiosity" but then "threw it into an empty locker." Griffith prefers to think that his team was beaten by the superior play of a couple of Vanderbilt men, notably Quarterback Hank Lesesne.
"If I were Guepe," Griffith said, "I'd hate to take any credit for winning away from them after what they did to us."
TOUR DE SPORT
The idea of travel just for the fun of travel is all very well, but more and more carriers these days are pegging their tours on sporting events. For instance, since April and continuing through October, Irish International Airlines will fly you from New York every Friday for a 17-day golf tour of Ireland and Scotland, where you will be welcomed to the very best courses. And next September 28 American Express and Irish Airlines will combine forces to take you to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Ascot. For those who would golf on islands in the sun, BOAC has available until December a tour of the links in Bermuda and the Bahama Islands. Even more extensive is the Matson Navigation Company's South Pacific golf cruise, Sept. 14, which promises for caddies such exotic types as pareu-clad Tahitian girls and Fijian Fuzzy-Wuzzies.
These are by no means prosaic approaches to travel and sport, but the one we find most fascinating is the grand tour to the Washington-California football game at Berkeley, Calif. Under the auspices of the Doug Fox agency, you leave Seattle on October 31 via Pan American jet for Honolulu. After a few days there, you sail to San Francisco aboard the S.S. Oronsay, arriving on Saturday morning, Nov. 9. A bus will be waiting at the pier to transport tour members to the game. After the game you are returned to Seattle via the bus, the Oronsay, Aeronaves de Mexico and Western Air Lines, which means you go to Acapulco and Mexico City first. We can hardly imagine a more attractive way to go to a football game.
VEGAS VADE MECUM
Ordinarily the house percentage against the player in a gambling casino may range as high as 16.7% in craps and up to 15% in blackjack—for poor players, that is. Average players do better. But with skillful play, says Major A. Riddle, who has won as much as $250,000 at a time shooting craps, the house's craps percentage may be reduced to 0.7% and blackjack may give you the biggest break of all, with a mere 0.6% against you. He tells you how to do it, and quite simply, in The Weekend Gambler's Handbook (Random House, $3.95), a book he has written with Joe Hyams.
It is odd that Riddle should be willing to reveal these secrets, since he is owner of The Dunes, one of Las Vegas' luxury hotels, which pretty much depends for its profits on what it makes in its casino. But Riddle, and nowadays all of Las Vegas, is more interested in encouraging the custom of the occasional gambler, in town primarily for a convention or a vacation, than the high roller. There are so many more weekenders than high rollers, you see.
As for Riddle's rules for narrowing the odds at blackjack and craps, they are so concise that either can be jotted down on the back of a visiting card and referred to during play. This is just the book to tuck into the suitcase for your next trip to Las Vegas. It may save your bankroll or the suitcase itself.
The New York Mets committed 10 errors, allowed 17 runs and played ball in loafers, T shirts and chino pants. On returning to their hotel, they were given a hero's welcome. They are not, perhaps, the Mets you know and love, the National League Mets, but they have a better right to the name than the National Leaguers do. Their Softball team is made up of members of New York's Metropolitan Opera, now on tour.
The operatic Mets played their first official game May 10 in Dallas against Southern Methodist's Sigma Alpha Epsilon team and were soundly trounced, 17-7. "It was a moral victory," declared Ray Gniewek, second baseman and concertmaster. "The wonder is that we scored at all." Pitcher-Manager Keith Brown, who plays first trombone for the Met orchestra, once played on the American Legion Colorado State Championship baseball team. After him, the class falls off sharply. One player hit what could have been an inside-the-park home run but was lucky to make it to second base. He walked.
The opera company management thinks the softball idea, first broached by Brown, is a wonderful one, according to Robert Herman, artistic administrator. But Herman could be prejudiced. His father is the former major leaguer Babe Herman, now a scout for the Yankees. The Mets are looking for games in Detroit. Then, when they get back to New York, they would like a Mets vs. Mets exhibition game. Too bad they didn't think of it last year.
SPEED VS. SPEED
A couple of seasons from now two National Football League teams will trot onto the gridiron equipped with unusual weaponry—each will have a back who races 100 yards in 9.2 seconds. One of the squads, of course, will be the Philadelphia Eagles, who own one of the world's swiftest runners, Frank Budd. The other club cannot yet be named, since it must be the successful bidder for the other 9.2 runner, Florida A&M's halfback Bobby Hayes.
Hayes's speed, even with a football suit on, was demonstrated recently in the A&M projection room. As the film unwound, it showed Quarterback Jim Tullis, running the "inside belly" series, shove the ball into the gut of his fullback, then pull it out, then get tackled. The ball bounced free.
Hayes, going to his left, scooped up the ball, reversed his direction and sped 80 yards to a touchdown around his right end. A key block and speedy jitter-bugging got him the first 40 yards. Sheer speed accounted for the second 40.
Hayes will graduate in 1965. Small wonder that half a dozen NFL teams want him as a flanker back.
The next start for the most heralded names in racing's 3-year-old crop—Candy Spots and Chateaugay (Never Bend is ailing)—will be in the Belmont Stakes on June 8. This year the mile-and-a-half classic will be run under less than ideal (in fact, slightly ridiculous) conditions. Belmont's tired steel girders await the demolition squad, and the 95th Belmont, instead of being run once around Belmont's mile-and-a-half track, will be held at Aqueduct, where the course is only a mile and an eighth.
This means that the field will break from a gate situated at the three-eighths pole, or roughly in the middle of the far turn, ft is easy to conjure up hideous pictures of what might happen to a high-strung field accelerating into full stride on a turn. However, there are consoling factors. By June 8 the rigors of a long winter and spring campaign probably will result in a Belmont field of half a dozen colts or fewer, thus reducing the hazards of a well-designed traffic jam. For the fan it will mean a chance to see the field pass the stands twice. As for the bettor—well, Trainer Mesh Tenney probably will have schooled Candy Spots so thoroughly that the spotted chestnut will not mind if they start him on a turn, on the straight or from the middle of the parking lot.
IN THE NONECUMENICAL SPIRIT
Since 1909 soccer games in Glasgow between the Catholic Celtics and the Protestant Rangers have been occasions for drunken orgies of broken heads, legs, arms and whatever else might be conveniently broken—not so much among the players as in free-for-alls among the spectators (SI, Jan. 14). Before 1909 the game was peacefully sporting, enough so that the players celebrated together, no matter who had won. Last week, in the playoff of a tie won by the Rangers, the situation was as before. There was not only rioting in the stands, there was rioting at sea, the latter so violent that a Belfast-bound ship put back to Glasgow after the game rather than risk the stormy passage. And after a specially stormy night in the specially nasty Glasgow slums, an elderly cop remarked: "Things are not any worse than they used to be, but they aren't getting any better."
They are indeed not, in the opinion of one London sportsman who has traveled up to Glasgow to see the last three Ranger-Celtic games. He noted that London newspapers, which have been carrying full reports about the rioting in Birmingham, "hardly ever mention the trouble in Glasgow."
THE PRICE OF DUCKS AND PROGRESS
Now that Alaska is a state, it is, naturally, an exuberant state—ambitious, energetic and lately filled with visions of a new gold rush. Alaska does not think any smaller than Texas thinks—as witnessed by its dream of a reservoir bigger than Lake Erie behind the world's biggest power dam. Rampart Dam would take 20 years to complete and cost pretty close to $1.5 billion. It would give Alaska five million kilowatts of electricity and, the dream goes on, would set Alaskan skies ablaze with the lights of industry—aluminum, other metals and chemicals, mostly.
It would also cost 1.5 million ducks and geese (who nest where the lake would be), about a million salmon, maybe 5,000 moose and the homes of 2,000 displaced Athabascan Indians. It would have a detrimental effect on the Yukon delta downstream, threatening even more millions of acres of the best waterfowl nesting areas on the continent.
The Interior Department thinks well of the idea as, you may be sure, do Alaska's new Congressmen, especially Senator Ernest Gruening, Rampart's foremost advocate. Long a campaigner for the project, Gruening stresses that in terms of what we spend on foreign aid it won't really cost so very much.
No? Well, we figure it will cost about $1,000 a dead duck—and we know of cheaper, more enjoyable ways to kill them. We do not expect Alaska to remain solely a game preserve and breeding ground for out-of-state shooters—but neither do we expect its officials, and those of the Federal Government, to discount casually such a vast incursion on the national wildlife treasure.
THEY SAID IT
•Birdie Tebbetts, Cleveland manager, when asked how long he intends to stick with his large crop of rookies: "If patience is a virtue, we will be a very virtuous club."
•Tony Lema, Masters tournament runner-up, asked about professional golf's Big Three—Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player: "I'd like to make them the Big Two, Three and Four."
•Lou Whittaker, climbing companion and identical twin of Jim Whittaker, who scaled Mt. Everest, on whether he regretted not having participated in the historic climb: "It's just as well I didn't go along. If I were there, we'd have had to stop at 27,500 feet and wrestle to see who went up first."
•Pete Rozelle, National Football League commissioner, on being referred to by a columnist as "the boring young Czar": "I was an amiable mouse before the investigation."