PITY THE POOR RED SHIRT
Draft boards in some sections of the country have adopted a ruling that students seeking deferment must complete college in eight semesters or four years. This could have an adverse effect on the popular practice of "red-shirting"—holding certain collegiate football players out of varsity competition for an entire season in order to give them a year of eligibility later on. If the ruling becomes accepted procedure everywhere, red-shirt now, play later, won't seem quite such a good idea any more.
SIGNS OF SNOW
A pert, blonde ski bunny named Gale Posnack of New Hampton, N.H., printed a sign that said, "Help Stamp Out Summer." It was only a mild gag, but it caught on with ski nuts in New England, and Gale wound up printing and selling over 10,000 "Help Stamp Out Summer" signs to skiers, shops, lodges and inns all over the country. Then she came up with a bumper sticker for autos that urges "Think Snow," and this, too, is going like cold cakes. All of a sudden Gale realized she was in business, so she and her husband, an industrial engineer, set up shop. The name of the new enterprise is Snow Jobs.
In some places they roll out a carpet for guests; in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles a few weeks ago they rolled up the grass. Rolled it up and stashed it in the bullpen in order to have a dirt floor in the stadium for a visit from Latin America's athletic comic, Cantinflas. Thirty horses and a bull trotted around Chavez Ravine, and a 40-foot cactus arose in what normally is center field. The explanation of this unwonted activity is that Walter O'Malley, a man with an eye for the main—and any other—chance, has decided not to let Dodger Stadium lie fallow from October until April. He is wooing exhibition and entertainment business. He started the week after the Series with a golf show, then hosted Cantinflas, with his horses and his cactus, and followed that with a packaging show that had display booths set up on erstwhile Dodger base paths.
Old baseball hands unnerved by this assault on the peace and quiet of the off season had better brace themselves. O'Malley's staff is already searching out shows and exhibitions for the on season, when the Dodgers are away from home.
Jerry Burns, head coach at Iowa for the past five years, was fired last week. In itself there was nothing terribly surprising about that, considering that Iowa, a Big Ten powerhouse a few years ago, had been going downhill steadily and was 0-7 in conference play this season, but the timing of the dismissal, which took place before Iowa played its final game, was startling. Equally so, in a way, was the rumor-makers' choice to succeed Burns. His name: Forest Evashevski, Iowa head coach in the great years, who, when he became athletic director in 1960, handpicked Burns to succeed him.
THE JAMES BANG LOOK
With American kids who know their hot rods best, fancy decals are Out and competition stripes are In as a way of making the car stand out in a crowd. But there is a new trend in England that could reverse all that.
The Old World's newest fancy, our Mod spies say, is a set of decals inspired by the James Bond-Aston Martin thing. These designs can be pasted in a staggered line on the car, particularly on windshields, for a real smashing effect. What do they look like? Bullet holes, what else?
Ben Schwartzwalder, Syracuse University volatile football coach, waxed truculent last week when it appeared that the winner of Saturday's Ivy League showdown between undefeated Princeton and undefeated Dartmouth (won by Dartmouth 28-14) might be awarded the Lambert Trophy, symbol of eastern college football superiority. Ben felt that Syracuse was a far more obvious choice. "We're not having a good year," he said, referring to Syracuse's 7-3 record, "but we'd be having a great one with those fellows. The Ivies won't play us, and they won't play Penn State, Pitt, Navy, Army or Boston College. They have a little wall around themselves. Their coaches keep saying how great their football is, and people start to believe it. Maybe if I coached in the Ivy League a few years I'd start lying, too.
"They recruit just as hard as we do, and they get just as many good ones. But their kids don't develop, because they don't have any opposition. I get to coach their best kids in all-star games. They're sad compared to other players, because they haven't toughened up. They haven't been hit. Our kids are no better than theirs are as freshmen, but they become real football players by tougher competition.
"I just wish we played in the Ivy League."
The Clay-Patterson fight wasn't enough for Las Vegas to worry about—there was money trouble, too. Well, sort of. Because of the nationwide craze for coin collecting, the silver dollar, like the buffalo and the Indian before it, has all but vanished as a symbol of the Old West. Its last stand was in Las Vegas and other gambling towns, where it was, in effect, the monetary unit. Now the cartwheels have been replaced by decorative slugs that can be used only for gambling in the casinos whose imprint they bear.
Although the slugs cost the gambling houses about 17¢ apiece, they have proved an unexpected bonanza. Souvenir hunters buy them and keep them, which gives the casinos—as if they were starving—almost a 500% profit per slug. Of course, this is no solace to Las Vegas cocktail waitresses, who in the good old days used to get a silver dollar as a tip for each round of drinks.
Now that silver dollars have disappeared, the coin hoarders have turned to the lesser coins, thus alarming the slot-machine operators. They immediately hurried off to hire Jerry Scott, who owns a plating shop. Scott artificially ages newly minted coins by an oxidation process. This makes them unacceptable to the collectors—they like BUs, meaning brilliant and unused. Scott charges¾¢ to make half dollars ugly and¼¢ for 25¢ pieces.
To think it was only a few years ago that the casinos hired scrubbers to make the silver dollars look brand-new!
As the proliferation of big dams increasingly threatened the normal life cycle of the Pacific salmon, conservationists feverishly sought methods of keeping spawning beds, where fry could develop, accessible to the fish. (Fish ladders and hatcheries were expensive and not really satisfactory in maintaining the salmon population.) Artificial spawning beds now appear to be the answer. These are 14- to 20-foot-wide channels through which the flow of water is controlled to duplicate conditions in natural spawning beds. The survival rate is about seven to 10 times that of fry in natural beds, and the fish, unlike hatchery-produced young, are as resilient as wild fry. Channels such as the 3,000 feet of gravel beds along Seton Creek in British Columbia are producing salmon in numbers equal to those spawned in miles of the lost streams.
EXHAUST IN THE AFTERNOON
An aspiring bullfighter in Las Cruces, N. Mex. named Fred Renk had a problem: no way to practice. South of the border he could have found small boys eager to push wheel-mounted horns for his practice sessions, but in the U.S. small boys play football. The resourceful Renk found a cooperative friend who each morning for three months roared around him with the horns mounted on a motorcycle. The friend aimed this toro mecànico at Renk's cape, and occasionally he would get Renk. Once he gored him with a handlebar.
Renk made his debut recently in a ring near Monterrey in Old Mexico. He killed two bulls, and he feels that he is ready. One is pleased, but one wonders if Renk could not start a bullfighting fad in the U.S. Think of that splendid day when Fred Renk dedicates his best motorcycle of the afternoon to Ava Gardner, or maybe Mia Farrow, and afterward is awarded two handlebar grips and a taillight.
STEPPING UP IN CLASS
Since 1956 the total number of letters and spaces permitted in the naming of Thoroughbred horses under the rules of The Jockey Club has been 16. Now the number has been increased to 18, and to those who, as they say around the racetrack, "are really tryin'," this comes as a welcome move. Nearly 17,000 horses a year are registered with The Jockey Club, and people run out of names.
Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, the master namer, is one who should really benefit from the change. Vanderbilt is considered the best because of his extraordinary ability to derive a witty and meaningful name from the names of a young horse's sire and dam. Some classic examples: Discovery-Bride Elect: First Glance; Sailor-Plucky Maid: Shakedown Cruise; Polynesian-Geisha: Native Dancer; Social Climber-Stumbling Block: Crashing Bore; Loser Weeper-Bride Elect: Crying Shame; My Request-Novice: Age of Consent.
We await December, when Mr. Vanderbilt, equipped with two more precious characters of elbow room, submits his next list.
A new approach to the problem that Olympic athletes will face when they compete at mile-and-a-half altitudes in Mexico City has been suggested by Dr. Bruce Dill, a physiologist at Indiana University. It is generally agreed that the altitude will have a deleterious effect on performances in distance events, and most authorities now hold that competitors in such events should train at high altitudes for a considerable period of time before the Olympics. Dr. Dill says just the opposite. He thinks that athletes in endurance events should be housed at a sea-level Mexican town and not flown to the Games in Mexico City until just before they compete. Extensive tests that Dill conducted with a pressure chamber on the Indiana campus convinced him that athletes will perform better within the first hour after arriving at a high altitude than they will after being there a day or more. Performances in short runs and swims are not affected.
SON OF ZOT
A few weeks ago we ran a short piece about the brand-new branch of the University of California at Irvine and its cheer, which featured an aggressive ant-eater's death-dealing "Zot!" Such esoteric cheers seem to be the thing this season. The Shoreline Community College of Seattle has voted overwhelmingly to nickname its teams the Samurai, after rejecting more prosaic suggestions like Bearcats, Breakers, Cobras, Sabres, Seagulls, Sharks and Wildcats because they sounded too much like names of new cars. Chief reason for settling on Samurai was the stimulus of a whole new field of yells and cheers. First sample:
Hit 'em high!
Hit 'em low!
Go, go, Samurai!
Down in Malawi (that's Nyasaland if you have an old atlas), a leopard leaped through a window into the Cape Maclear Hotel. The occupant of the room, Mrs. Rene Kennedy, picked up a rifle and shot it. The leopard ran outside and died.
Asked if she had ever shot a leopard before, Mrs. Kennedy said: "Yes, but never in my bedroom."
THEY SAID IT
•George Sauer, player personnel director for the New York Jets, on the large number of huge football players: "A few years back parents of a 6-foot-6 boy would hide him in the closet; now they send him out to play football and he becomes a millionaire his second season as a pro."
•Ray Walston, television actor, after Visiting Houston's Astrodome: "It shows what you can get if you really look through the Neiman-Marcus catalog."
•Dave Nelson, Delaware football coach and a critic of two-platoon football: "We've got to live with it, but the ball is actually in play for only 12 minutes the way the game is run today. This means a boy who goes one way sees six minutes of live action."