THE ALTITUDE LAG
In the 30 months since Mexico was awarded the 1968 Olympics there has been a lot of offhand worrying and some sober investigation of the effect the thin air of Mexico City will have on performers. In the AAU swimming championships held at sea level in Brandon, Fla. last week, the swimming worriers were able to measure the damage using a very human (but very dependable) standard: Roy Saari of Southern California. Although Saari placed only second in each event, swimming in water a trifle chilly, he clocked 16:41.5 in the 1,650-yard swim, 4:42.0 for 500 yards and 1:43.4 for 200 yards. In contrast, three weeks ago, winning the same three events in the NCAA championships at the Air Force Academy (altitude 5,900 feet), Saari was 26.7 slower at 1,650 yards and 8.6 and 1.6 seconds slower respectively at 500 and 200 yards. Furthermore, his times in the two longer events were very much slower than those he recorded as a junior last year, racing at Iowa State, and as a sophomore in the Yale pool. In simple terms, a Saari-by-the-Sea can beat the trunks off a mile-high Saari any time.
BIG ENOUGH FOR BOTH?
The question is not whether the coming season will be a success at South Carolina U. under Paul Dietzel, late of Army and LSU, who is developing a reputation as the oldest established permanent floating football coach in the land. It is whether the state is big enough to contain both Dietzel and the gentleman from Clemson, Frank Howard. When it was announced that Dietzel had signed for $35,000 a year Howard received a needling telegram saying Dietzel must be twice as good a coach because he was getting twice as much money. The salty Howard, who maintains he has helped oust eight coaches from South Carolina, said, "Yeah, I know old Colgate Paul." Didn't he mean Pepsodent Paul, a nickname given Dietzel because of his bright smile? "Nawww," growled Howard. "Colgate Paul. Because Colgate beat him, too."
All this adds competitive fire to the traditional Clemson-Carolina game, which doesn't really need any more. Further, the LSU ticket office is swamped with eager requests for its September 17 opener against South Carolina, assuring a 67,000 sellout crowd for Dietzel's return to his old school. It promises to be a dandy football season down South.
THE SINGING NONE
As tender in track as it is tough in basketball—Ivy League champion this year—the University of Pennsylvania has ended another indoor season without a win. No matter that the school has no indoor-track facilities. "Villanova kids will run in the snow," said Penn Track Coach Boo Morcom. "They're track men. Ivy League kids won't. They're students who go out for track."
To prove his point Morcom produced a letter written to him by one of his runners before the annual Polar Bear meet against Princeton and Columbia.
"Dear Boo," the letter said, "I will not be going with the indoor track team today. For a number of reasons I am not prepared for this meet and I refuse to humiliate myself and the university by putting in an unsatisfactory, token performance. Realizing my failings, I have decided to go with the glee club to Boston, since my voice, at least, is in good shape...."
On Lake Texoma, whose waters overflow the borders of Texas and Oklahoma, every boat is a pew and every fisherman a member of the congregation. Three times each Sunday, in season, the Rev. Tom Arney, using his own 17-foot runabout for a pulpit, begins a sermon over a loudspeaker system: "Come, let us worship God together." This week, to celebrate Easter Sunday, nine additional preachers spread out along Texoma to join Arney in a sunrise service.
Arney is a well-built, handsome Presbyterian with a crew cut, and he wears a clerical collar over his black sport shirt. His customary service includes records of organ music and hymns by Tennessee Ernie. The range of the speaker is half a mile, and listeners are, of course, free to move their boats outside it. Most fishermen stay where they are.
"For some of those people," says Arney, "the weekend is the only time the family can all get together for some outdoor fun, but in many cases they feel guilty about not getting to church. We simply meet a very human need."
Says Britt Swain, director of the Lake Texoma Association: "I send 'em, and he saves 'em."
TRACKS OF TROUBLE
Dog tracks in the sand traps—one of those little things that make golfers apoplectic—have prompted Tampa's historic and cleanly manicured Palma Ceia Country Club to take stern action. In one of those rulings that only a greens committee can dream up the club has announced that any dogs straying onto the course will be captured, bound and held for the dog catcher. Another knotty problem solved.
Not entirely. Hearing this news, one dog-loving resident of a home facing a Palma Ceia fairway notified the club by letter that any golfer found in his yard in search of a lost ball would be captured, bound and held for the police as a trespasser. Furthermore, the writer said, should the golfer resist and go so far as to bite one of his yardmen in the struggle, the golfer would be confined for a period of five days awaiting the results of a rabies test. Have any more edicts, Mr. Chairman?
There is news about Johnny Unitas' damaged knee, the knee that kept pro football's top quarterback out of three games last season—good news. "John has made a beautiful recovery," says Bill Neal, the Baltimore physical therapist who has been treating him. "Right now he can do everything on that knee that he could do before. He can run. He can cut. He could play tomorrow."
Well, back to the bench, Gary Cuozzo. Back to halfback, Tom Matte. And back to your oldest unsolved problem, National Football League.
SUPER SUPERMARKET CAR
There is no place like New York's International Automobile Show for spotting motoring trends. We looked in as the show opened last week and, unmistakably, cars are getting fancier and more expensive. Surprisingly, the hit of the show was not a low-hung sports car. It was, of all things, a station wagon.
England's new Aston Martin Shooting Brake is the sort of car Mom can drive to the station—at 160 mph—stick-shifting or using automatic transmission, as she chooses. It holds four in air-conditioned, soft-leather comfort. The rear window is heated, and a dial on the dash will adjust the suspension system from a stiff ride to a floating ride.
The one Shooting Brake on display was in Roman purple, the color of a highly waxed Concord grape, and was fitted with a wicker picnic basket, a magnum of champagne and a chamois rifle case in back. This model—and the others to follow—will sell for $22,000, which some may consider a reasonable price to pay for the name alone.
A CHEER FOR JOE LUTZ
Let stuffy purists moan, we say good luck to Joe Lutz, the new baseball coach at Southern Illinois University, and to his new deal on the SIU diamond. When SIU opened the season against Memphis State, Lutz dispensed with the customary visiting dignitary and his customary limp throwing-out of the first ball. Instead he had three of the school's parachute-club members dive from 12,500 feet above the field. Diver Gordon Cummings won the right to toss out the first ball by coming down directly on the pitcher's mound.
Lutz wasn't through. For bat boys he substituted eight comely coed bat girls. He brought in a campus combo to entertain the audience between innings. Without tampering with the game itself, he made it more fun, which is to the good. Won the opener, too, by a score of 7-3.
BEACH BRUTES, 1966 STYLE
When he-man Clark Gable consented to have his chest shaved for his role in It Happened One Night, in which he appeared shirtless in one well-remembered scene, the idea was to tone down the shock of such unusual exposure. Times have changed. A London shop has begun selling chest toupees (at about $150 per toupee) to men who want to look more virile at the beach, and one Dallas wigman says they will soon be available here. Presumably the chest rugs look real and will stay anchored in place even under water.
THE VISIT TO LAUGHING COYOTE
Mountain creativity, it seems, has suffered a setback. The Adventure Trails Camp School of Mountain Creativity, Laughing Coyote Mountain, Blackhawk Colo. is a place meant to give city lads a taste of roughing it. Last year the camp received a visit from the state department of welfare to determine whether it should be licensed. Inspectors Wayne Klish, A. A. Graber and Miss Nancy Swank were alarmed to note 18 violations of the Child Care Act (Minimum Standards and Rules and Regulations for Children's Camps) "No designated space was provided," the inspectors reported, "for children's belongings." Their distress was not allayed by Camp Director T. D. Lingo's explanation that the permitted belongings were nothing more than a duffle bag, spare jeans and underwear, an ax and a knife
The inspectors also found structures "unheated, not screened, and probably damp." That was probably true, said Lingo, because each boy built his own structure out of eight aspen poles and a sheet of canvas.
"Hand-washing and bathing facilities consist of basins filled from a tub of water warmed on a stove or open fire. Obviously inadequate," the inspectors reported. Moreover, there was no accredited dietitian. Lingo admitted it all, even agreeing that "food was usually prepared out in the open."
The license was denied, and Lingo's appeal is now roughing it in the courts.
ROUND BALL FOREVER
From Kentucky comes another reminder that the sun never sets on the basketball season. Louisville's Freedom Hall is already sold out for the NCAA finals next March. Capacity is 18,000 each night of the two-day tourney; 24,000 seats were sold in a sort of mail-order lottery (mailbags were piled up and opened at random). The other 12,000 seats go to the four visiting teams. Sales add up to $144,000 one year in advance, a bank deposit that will earn the NCAA $7,000 in interest by game time in 1967. And there are still more than 26,000 requests in those unopened mailbags, with more coming in.
BONDS FOR BIRDIES
Thanks to Jack Nicklaus, the Masters and U.S. Open tournaments are giving U.S. Savings Bonds as part of the prize money. The Masters (page 36) issued a $100 bond to each contestant and the Open will award bonds up to 10% of their winnings to the first three finishers.
Not long ago Nicklaus was asked to pose for pictures as part of the Treasury Department's publicity campaign for the 25th anniversary of the savings bond. "You fellows ought to talk the golf people into giving some of these bonds out as prize money," he suggested. Treasury's Raphael O'Malley sold the idea to Cliff Roberts, the Masters tournament chairman, and to the United States Golf Association.
"I'd like to see bonds given out at every golf tournament," says O'Malley. "Golfers have no pension plan like baseball and football players. This could be their kitty for the future."
THEY SAID IT
•Frank Ryan, Cleveland Browns quarterback, analyzing his defeat at a parlor-table football game: "I looked through the play-selection cards and couldn't find one with Jim Brown's name on it."
Eddie Stanky, insisting that he had no qualms about becoming manager of the Chicago White Sox although the job had been spurned by other men: "It's like the fellow marrying the girl who had been engaged three times. I feel like the victor."