In academia it is often the thing to put the knock on sport as one of the more frivolous enterprises. But sport has lately found a new and formidable champion in, of all places, the Max-Planck-Institut for Physiology of Behavior in Bavaria. Its director, Dr. Konrad Lorenz, has written a remarkable new book in which he investigates the nature of intraspecific aggression—fighting among members of the same species—a useful instinct man inherited from his animal forebears but which, despite his power of reason, he has not been able to channel constructively. Indeed, the self-destruction of Homo sapiens, who Lorenz believes might well be the long-sought missing link between animals and the truly humane being, must nowadays be considered more than a likelihood.
Lorenz feels, however, that in sport lies one of the best hopes for the salvation of the species. Sport, he writes in On Aggression, is "a specifically human form of nonhostile combat, governed by the strictest of culturally developed rules. [It] is not directly comparable to the fighting play of the higher vertebrates.... The enjoyable play of two dogs, however different in size and strength, is made possible only by the strict exclusion of all competitive elements. In sport, on the other hand, even in those kinds in which the enjoyment of skilled movements for their own sake predominates, as in skiing or skating, there always is a certain pride in doing it well, and there is no sport in which contests are not held."
Lorenz believes that the principal function of sport today is the "cathartic discharge" of the aggressive urge. Even more valuable is the fact that sport "educates man to a conscious and responsible control of his own fighting behavior," and to the "value of the restrictions imposed by the demands for fairness and chivalry which must be respected even in the face of the strongest aggression-eliciting stimuli."
Of still greater importance, Lorenz contends, sport furnishes a safety valve for the most indispensable and most dangerous kind of aggression—collective militant enthusiasm, another autonomous instinct we share with the beasts, which, in its direct form, has led men absurdly to war, and in its finest, inspired art and science.
"Sporting contests between nations," Lorenz concludes, "are beneficial not only because they provide an outlet for the collective militant enthusiasms of nations, but also because they have two other effects that counter the danger of war: they promote personal acquaintance between peoples of different nations...and they unite, in enthusiasm for a common cause, people who otherwise would have little in common."
Ever since 1954, when it was first televised, the Miss America Pageant has appeared on CBS and, over the years, it has been one of the most highly rated programs in all of TV-land. Please don't ask why. Nevertheless, on Saturday night, September 10, Miss America will cry pretty tears for NBC. No tears for CBS viewers; they've got something going for them in the same time slot: Green Bay vs. Baltimore in the NFL opener.
ROAD SHOW AND DOLLAR FLOW
Muhammad Ali is close to realizing his boast of a few years back, to wit: "I will be the first real world's heavyweight champion. I will give all the people of the world a chance to see me fight." In March he fought in Canada, in May he graced England with its first modern title fight; now he plans to give Germany its first, after having another go in England.
This one is tentatively scheduled for August 6, and the opponent is supposed to be Eduardo Corletti—C-o-r-l-e-t-t-i—who has a great loss to Floyd Patterson's kid brother, Raymond. Then, on September 10 Ali intends to meet Karl Mildenberger, the European champion, in Frankfurt. It looks like Ali is out to make a quick million this year. In fact, he is going to do better. Ali is guaranteed $400,000 in Germany, about the same in England. Add that to the $150,000 he made in Toronto with Chuvalo and the $365,000 he received for busting up Henry Cooper and see what you get.
Since, for the most part, Ali's 1966 income will come from overseas, it has got to help stem the dollar flow and partially restore the balance of payments. For this the U.S. should be grateful, if not them Viet Congs.
THIS WAS THE WAY IT WAS
Dizzy Dean, who in 1934 was the last to win 30 games in the majors, says Sandy Koufax or Juan Marichal could do the same, or better—but they won't.
"That's because I pitched 15 or 16 times in relief," Dean explains. "Nowadays a starter of this type wouldn't go to relief more than once or twice in the last few weeks. I won a lot of games in September.
"You see, in my days baseball was something you did without prompting. I'd get to the park at 9 o'clock in the morning and put on my uniform, just to admire myself in it. I'm not talking about Marichal or Koufax now, you understand, but the other day before a game I heard a player say, 'I sure hope it rains today, 'cause I gotta keep in contact with my stockbroker.' "
In the casinos of Nevada there's a game called Keno, which the Chinese played, which is how they raised the money to build the Great Wall. There are faster ways to throw away money than Keno, like off the back of a moving train, but that takes practice. If the wind's blowing the wrong way, you might get some of it back. However, there are a couple of games where if you know what you're doing and get lucky you might break even. One of them isn't roulette. As Raymond Chandler once wrote: "She loses, which is what roulette is for."
One of them is twenty-one, in which the odds are only around 3% in favor of the house. But for some dark days last week the casino bosses in Harrah's Reno and Stateline, Nev. clubs kind of thought they'd go for 4%, and ordered their dealers to shuffle the deck after each hand rather than when the pack ran out. Apparently, too many wise guys were memorizing the cards that had been played and were thereby beating the dealer in the late going.
Harrah's claimed the fast shuffle would make for more blackjacks—which was greeted with a round of silence. Anyway, at week's end they rescinded the order. All that shuffling was hurting the house where it hurts: it reduced the volume of play. So a sucker can still get a nearly even break.
In a factory in Swansea, Wales, 2,000 employees, working in three shifts, turn out more Mustangs than Ford, more Sting Rays than Chevrolet and more Berlinettas than Ferrari. Of course, all these cars are only a few inches long. In fact, they are Corgis, one of several lines of miniature autos that are now enjoying an extraordinary boom. While life-size new-car sales in the U.S. are currently off 3.3% from last year, miniatures are running 300% ahead of 1965, which even baffles the Corgi public relations people. "It's fascinating," said one dazed PR man last week. "The cars don't do anything, like slot racers. If they did something perhaps you could understand it. But they just sit there!"
Actually, they do do something: doors, trunks and hoods open and shut, seats tilt and so on, and in the case of James Bond's Aston Martin D.B.5, Britain's Toy of the Year, Bond's assailant is ejected smartly through the roof.
The little cars are remarkably accurate reproductions of their namesakes; indeed they are often made from blueprints supplied by the big-car manufacturers. But collectors are rarely satisfied. As one of them writes in C.A.R.S. (for Collectors Automotive Replica Society), a newsletter, "One of my personal gripes is the unexplainable stinginess that most companies have about tires." And while Corgi faithfully puts 10 spokes on the front wheels of its Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, and 14 spokes on the rear wheels, as in the original, its Model T Fords are painted a heretical yellow, rather than the true black, because black didn't sell.
However, the collector's principal complaint is that since the demise of "those lovely prewar Tootsietoys," hardly any decent models have been built in the U.S. "Being a model car collector anywhere in the world has its drawbacks as well as its glories," another C.A.R.S. contributor writes. "But I think the American collector has problems completely foreign to the European collector.... Europe is definitely where it's at for the miniature car nut, and between us and Europe lies one Atlantic Ocean. As if that weren't bad enough, the geologists tell us we're moving westward three inches a year!" Appropriately enough, C.A.R.S. staffers think minuscule.
HE WHO DRIES UP MAY BE ALL WET
The Sultan River in Washington is renowned throughout the Northwest for its superb run of winter steelhead. The Sultan also provides water for Everett, the largest city in Snohomish County. Last month Everett Water Superintendent Charles More, desirous of inspecting the underwater concrete of the waterworks, diverted the Sultan for three days, thereby drying up 12 miles of the river. He couldn't have picked a worse time of year. At least 47,000 young steelhead, many due to head out to sea in a few weeks, died, as well as infant silver and Chinook salmon and cutthroat and rainbow trout. Moreover, spawning beds that had just reached a critical stage of development dried up.
The Washington State Sportsmen's Council passed a resolution condemning More's "willful, wanton and reckless" act, asked the state attorney general to prosecute the city and urged the Federal Power Commission to investigate on the grounds that Everett's federal license for the waterworks was granted with the understanding that the city would "preserve and protect fisheries and recreational resources."
Said Commissioner More: "Should we cater to a couple hundred fishermen, or to 135,000 people worried about their drinking water?" Rejoined the Sportsmen's Council: there was no specific threat to the city water supply.
On June 27 the Washington State Game Department presented a bill for $6,000 to the city of Everett—the cost of restocking the Sultan with steelhead. The bill does not include punitive damages, cost of restocking other species, nor the value of the lost recreation to fishermen. But it does seek to establish a momentous precedent: that multiple users of public waters be legally required to consider the best interests of other users.
Our man in Philadelphia is smitten with this Marcia Schmid. He says she's a leggy, full-blown, green-eyed, dark-haired doll, who looks like she must do some kind of wild frug and hang out in bikinis. Forget it. Miss Schmid can't frug, and her bathing suits are all of one piece. "What I am is terribly aggressive in the office," says Miss Schmid.
The office is that of the Philadelphia 76ers, and Miss Schmid is, officially, administrative assistant to Owner Irv Kosloff. But since the 76ers have hacked around for six months with the vacant general manager's job, and since Miss Schmid will and can do everything except, perhaps, get Wilt Chamberlain to attend practice, she may well be, unofficially, the only female general manager in professional sports.
"I love working in a man's world," says Miss Schmid, who worked previously for the Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers, and the San Francisco Warriors. "It's terribly unique, like being a petunia in an onion patch. I'd really like to end up as commissioner of the NBA."
THEY SAID IT
•Norbert Schemansky, Olympic weightlifter and now a candidate for the Michigan legislature: "Me and L.B.J., the two strongest Democrats in the country."
•Bill Frost, $50,000 Giant bonus baby, after being assigned to Fresno of the California League: "I'm taking a little chunk of my money and buying myself a big pillow for the bus."
•Sharon Searight Snell, bride of Jet Fullback Matt Snell: "I follow games with a lot of love and a little misunderstanding."