Floyd Patterson gives Heavyweight Champion Clay-Ali a rather severe berating in his article that begins on page 78 of this issue, and there are those who will wonder if the religious-ideological issue between the two Negro fighters is not being exaggerated to help the gate for their November 22 fight. Such maneuvers would not be without precedent in the boxing business.
In this case, though, while there is no reason to believe that the promoters are trying desperately to suppress news of the feud, it is clear that Floyd Patterson is perfectly sincere in his resentment; that resentment is directed against the segregationist Black Muslim movement, to which Clay adheres. In so adhering, Patterson feels, Clay is a disgrace to his race, his country and to boxing. Some of what Patterson writes is illogical, but his attitude is likely to evoke a great deal of public sympathy. Sentimental favorite for the fight he will be—although unsentimentally he may wind up at 2-1 against.
As for Clay, there are some points to be made about him. He is a young man who, in his quieter moments, can exercise much charm. The movement to which he belongs is repugnant to most Americans, regardless of race, but it is not illegal. Finally, Clay has an unblemished record as a citizen—which is more than can be said for a number of prominent present-day boxers.
Out of 158 rookies who made NFL or AFL squads this year, seven are from the University of Wisconsin. That is three more than the closest rivals (like Tulsa, Grambling and Florida State) and six more than Arkansas, the national champion. Badger Coach Milt Bruhn should be proud—and he is. Perhaps embarrassed, too, because Wisconsin won only three games last season.
Before student vigilantes string up the coach's effigy, however, a few points should be made.
Tackle Roger Pillath (Los Angeles Rams) was a senior in 1963 and played for the minor-league Canton team last year, not for Bruhn. Defensive Back Jim Nettles (Philadelphia Eagles) lacked eligibility and stayed in school to get his degree. Fullback Ralph Kurek (Chicago Bears) and Defensive Back Carl Silvestri (St. Louis Cardinals) were often on the injured list.
Still, Bruhn feels a little nervous. "I'm real pleased that these kids are doing so well," he said. "But I've got to win some games."
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EYE IN THE SKY
Over the weekend it began to appear that next year's college football season will see increasing use of videotape instant playbacks to detect weak spots in offense and defense. The experience of Texas Tech in three games this fall is a vivid testimonial to the value of electronics in football.
Tech installed the system for its Kansas game, thanks to a past president of the Red Raider Club (a booster organization), who made $25,000 worth of Ampex equipment available. Two assistant coaches watched the television sets in the press box, a pair of portable video recorders beside them. The recorders can rerun any play. Another set was on at the Tech bench, and a player could be called there and shown the opponent's defensive spacings and secondary adjustments.
"You discover instantly," said J. T. King, Tech coach, with some amazement, "the things you normally would turn up in the film by Monday."
Tech won the Kansas game but could not take the bulky equipment to Austin for the following week's University of Texas game. Texas had a small Japanese set of its own that captured essentially the same images as Tech's bigger, more refined equipment. The Longhorns won.
Back to Lubbock for the Texas A&M game last Saturday, and Tech was trailing 10-0 after its first series of downs in the third quarter. Assistants in the press box saw how the Aggie linebackers were coming up to stop runs by Donny Anderson, All-America halfback. They told Quarterback Tom Wilson to fake to Anderson and pass to an end. Later in the quarter Wilson called the play for a first down and three plays later passed to Anderson for a touchdown. Still further use of the equipment resulted in another touchdown, and the final score was Tech 20, Aggies 16.
Cost has been a prohibitive factor for the colleges, but John Kane, an Ampex representative, says the gear that now sells for $25,000 may be available next season for as little as $10,000 to $12,000 because broadcast quality reproduction is not necessary.
FIT FOR GOLF
When Ed Butterworth, assistant professor of communications at Brigham Young University, decided to give up golf 12 years ago he was shooting around 100. Last spring Ed's children discovered his old clubs in the attic, and Ed was moved to instruct them in the basics of grip, stance and so on. And, in due course, the golf bug bit him again. In the months that followed he found himself, to his astonishment, shooting in the low 80s.
The improvement was a puzzle until he finally worked out a theory:
•He has become nearsighted. Peering over the bottoms of his bifocals helps keep his head down.
•Plastic surgery left him with a touchy right foot. He gets off it fast, transferring weight from right to left quickly.
•After an appendectomy, permanent stitches were left in his right side. The side is tender, and to protect it Ed keeps his right elbow in close.
•He has developed a touch of arthritis in his left elbow, and it hurts when he bends it.
•In his early golfing days he went hatless. Now he wears a Sam Snead hat over his thinning pate. "That gives me confidence," he says.
So swiftly did Bob Hayes, the Olympic sprint champion, make the transition from track man to professional football player that in just two weeks he won all awards available to the Dallas Cowboys. First he took the Outstanding Play Award (for a 45-yard, screen-pass touchdown). That earned him a month's supply of milk and a set of matched luggage. Next his teammates gave him the ball for two touchdowns against Washington. That also netted him $100 worth of clothing. And he was named outstanding offensive player for September, thus winning the Golden Helmet Award presented by Coca-Cola.
His acceptance speeches for all these honors could get him an Academy Award. He has been fracturing Cowboy Club luncheon audiences every Tuesday. When asked if Johnny Sample, Washington defensive back and a notorious chatterbox, had said anything to him, Hayes replied, "No, but the first couple times I tried to block him he slapped me on the helmet. Then I hit him in the jaw, and he didn't give me no more trouble." Whereupon he remembered that Sample had indeed said something.
"When I got in the end zone after that end run," Hayes recalled, "I looked around, and there was Sample lying on the ground. He looked up at me and said, "Good move.' "
THINKING MAN'S BEANO
The prospect that the U.S. will convert to the metric system some years hence has been disturbing Beano Cook, the University of Pittsburgh sports publicist, because, as he pointed out on a recent visit, its effect on sport will be profoundly confusing.
"A football field," said Beano, "will no longer be 120 yards long. It will be 109.728 meters long. And instead of first down and 10 to go, it will be first and 9.144 meters. The cliché about baseball being a game of inches will no longer be true. It will be a game of centimeters."
Still, some eternal verities will prevail, he feels.
"Somebody will ask Ford Frick how this will affect the measurements of a baseball diamond," Beano said contentedly. "And Frick will reply, 'It is a league matter.' "
TROUBLE AT THE CHRISTENING
Stadium managers across the country are well aware that naming a new sports palace is a bit of a problem. The connotations of the name, its sound, label fitness, and so on, must suit what the public relations people call "the image." Some directors, to get as much publicity mileage as possible, as well as to get naming committees off the hook, have instituted naming contests. A few gems turned up for San Diego's recently voted community sports arena: Go Go Stadium, Payola Park, We Shall Overcome Field, Taxpayer's Hole and Herman Beauvai Stadium. That last one was submitted by Herman Beauvai.
ANCIENT ORDER OF CROQUET
Since it was introduced into England in the middle of the 19th century, the assumption has been that croquet originated in France. The game arrived in the British Isles by way of Ireland and, a pair of savants now hold, it actually originated there, where it was played as early as the 7th century.
In the current issue of an erudite British monthly, Notes and Queries, A. S. C. Ross, professor of linguistics at the University of Birmingham, and R. L. Thomson, a lecturer in English at the University of Leeds and a specialist in Celtic languages, carefully outline in an article with 17 footnotes evidence that the game did indeed find birth in Ireland. They dismiss as without support the theory that the name of the game derives from the Old French croc, meaning a crooked stick. Rather, they say, it more probably comes from "crooky," an Anglicized version of the Irish word cluiche, a verb-noun meaning "play."
Like good detectives, they have spotted a clinching clue. In the old (7th century) Irish story, The Cattle Raid of Cooley, the hero, Cuchulain, interrupts a ball game. The game described in the text has previously been taken to be something similar to hockey or hurling. But Ross and Thomson point out that in the game Cuchulain loused up, each player seemed to have his own ball. Nobody ever saw hockey or hurling played that way.
YEAR OF THE BEAR
In an average year New Hampshire's Fish and Game Department receives 11 complaints from farmers about marauding bears. Thus far in 1965 there have been 31. Game officials attribute the increase to the drought. Fruits and berries on which the bruins normally feed have not ripened and, as a consequence, hunger has driven the bears to attack livestock, mostly sheep.
Most notorious of the marauders has been a large (more than 500 pounds) male, known as Old Spooky, who had been feasting on stock for two years in the vicinity of Canaan. Between July 1 and September 27 he killed 15 sheep from the flock of a single farmer. A clever rogue, he had eluded hunters, traps and dogs but was felled a couple of weeks ago by a special Lebanon police officer, Robert O. Letourneau, who surprised him as he was dining on a sheep.
New Hampshire has no bounty on bears, but it should be an excellent hunting season for several varieties of game. Grouse are expected to be 500% better than last year in several sections.
A nonresident hunting license that allows one deer of either sex costs $25.25 and is a bargain because Sunday hunting is allowed. Limits are five per day for woodcock (plentiful in the Pittsburg area), four on grouse, three on rabbits.
And, of course, all the bear you can shoot.
THEY SAID IT
•Dick Sisler, Cincinnati Red manager, on Sandy Koufax's elbow: "If his elbow hurts him, it certainly isn't between the first and ninth innings."
•Langston Coleman, Nebraska end, on luck: "It's what you have left over after you give 100%."
•Emmett Ashford, who moves from Pacific Coast League umpiring to the American League in 1966: "It's like trading chipmunk meat for caviar."
•Bobby Dobbs, Texas Western coach, on his 165-pound flanker back, Chuck Hughes: "We don't ask him to run over anybody. We tell him to run away from them."