As you may have surmised, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED writers are encouraged to express their opinions in their individual, bylined stories. The magazine also has its collective opinion, and the vehicle for its expression—our editorial page—is SCORECARD, which is presided over by Martin Kane. Not all of SCORECARD endorses views—often it merely reflects the odd or significant news of sport as supplied by our correspondents around the world. But in any or all of its moods, SCORECARD turns out to be one of the most enthusiastically read sections of the magazine.
Senior Editor Kane is necessarily deskbound in our New York office most of the time. Occasionally, however, he escapes to breathe some fresh air and renew his on-the-spot sporting interests. Last week he was at Aintree, near Liverpool, England, where, he reports, the rain fell mainly on the Kane. His account of the 124th running of the Grand National there appears on page 24. Kane, who has been associated with SI since a month before its first issue, previously covered sports for the United Press and was that service's night bureau chief in Boston, Chicago and New York. His interest in horse racing then was confined to booking the numerous bets of his newspaper colleagues. He thereby turned a pretty half dollar or two.
A bald, rubicund Boston Irishman blessed with a quiet wit and a calm erudition, Martin Kane has particular affinities for fishing, boxing—and James Joyce. He also has a sharp eye for chicanery and the skills of a detective in exposing it. Kane was a major figure in SI's investigation of boxing's dirty business 10 years ago, a series that altered the whole structure of the sport. At one point it was essential for him to find boxing's underworld overlord, Frankie Carbo, not then a resident of a federal penitentiary. He traced Carbo to New Orleans, where he was assured by authorities that his man was not in town. Knowing Frankie's habits, however, Kane turned him up at Diamond Jim Moran's, where he was dining with a dozen fellow hoodlums. Kane quietly bribed a waiter to get a table close by and picked up enough tidbits to permit the magazine to disclose—and scotch—an illegal boxing deal.
But Kane's first sporting love has always been fishing. In recent years he has refreshed his perspective as SCORECARD editor by pursuing salmon in Norway, dourado in the interior of Brazil, trout in Montana and bass on the St. Johns River in Florida. In London last week he lunched at The Flyfishers' Club. There, Lord Attlee, former Labor Prime Minister, sat as close to Kane as Carbo unwittingly had (unlike Frankie, Attlee gave away no secrets).
There, too, Kane saw Izaak Walton's very own creel with his initials scratched in the time-blackened leather. It was, he said, the high point of the trip—until Jay Trump won.
MARTIN KANE AT AINTREE