SPARE THE ROD
Based on last week's action in the Nationals at Forest Hills (page 105), there are many things that are obviously wrong with U.S. tennis, but perhaps the most annoying is that our players continue to behave like spoiled brats. Dennis Ralston looks tormented when things are going well, is peevish and sulky when he begins to lose. Cliff Richey stomps and rages around the court. Ditto Clark Graebner. Marty Riessen, once a model of deportment, hurls his racket in disgust. When Billie Jean King, the Wimbledon champion, learns her second-round match is to be umpired by a man she dislikes, she petulantly goes through the motions and loses.
The U.S. would do well to look to the foreigners. Australia's Fred Stolle overruns a lob, swings at the ball, misses and breaks into a foolish grin. Manuel Santana of Spain shouts ¬°Olé! when an opponent whistles a shot past him. Englishman Mark Cox gets a rotten call from a linesman at set point and merely shrugs his shoulders.
So what is the United States Lawn Tennis Association doing about this? At midtournament it awarded Ralston the annual William Johnston Sportsmanship Award.
Now that Emanuel Celler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has turned down Pete Rozelle's request that pro football be granted immunity from antitrust statutes, Rozelle has once again threatened to cancel the supergame between the NFL and AFL champions. As he has said before, Rozelle last week reiterated that the game is merely part of a total package including a common draft, expansion franchises, standard player contracts and television contracts, and if there is doubt about the legality of any one of these, the entire NFL-AFL merger is "in jeopardy."
As we have said before (SI, June 20 et seq.), the only benefit accruing to the fans from the merger is the supergame, and we can't quite see why its existence should depend on privileged legislation. In fact, the game would make more sense without any merger. Rozelle, of course, is seeking to rally public support for his cause by dangling the supergame in front of us like a carrot.
But, says one of our more idiosyncratic colleagues, who needs his old game? If it does come off next January, the NFL will win it by three touchdowns and ruin all the interminable saloon arguments about who really plays the better brand of ball. And then what is everybody going to talk about? Whether Rocky Marciano in his prime could have licked Joe Louis in his prime?
Who has run the world's fastest mile? If you say Jim Ryun, with a 3:51.3, you're wrong. It's Kipchoge Keino, who last week revealed to John Lovesey, our correspondent in London, that two years ago in a training session in Kenya he ran the mile in 3:50.
Says Lovesey: "What Keino said he had done was to run five 440-yard laps without any intervals—meaning without stopping—clocking the first three in 2:52, and the fourth lap in 58 seconds, to give him a mile time of 3:50. Even more amazing, he claims he went straight on to do the fifth lap in 60.4. There is an ingenuous quality about Keino that makes it impossible to doubt his word, but his English is by no means perfect. So to insure that he had been understood correctly, the details of his performance were checked back with him twice, the second time by being typed out on a piece of paper, which was shown to him and translated into Swahili, his native tongue, by the official traveling with him."
A few years ago experts would have dismissed such a claim as so much mumbo jumbo, but such is no longer the case. Keino has run the world's second fastest mile in competition: 3:53.4, and that was achieved with notoriously uneven laps of 60.1, 58.0, 56.9 and 58.4. He is a hopelessly naive tactician and by his own admission is unable to start in top gear. Indeed, Keino is disenchanted with the mile, saying it "is over too quickly," and he intends to concentrate on longer races. But the memory of that 3:50 run on the grounds of the Kenya Police College, where he is an instructor, is obviously haunting Keino. As he told Lovesey last week: "I think if I continue in one mile, I can get it."
The star of the West Virginia football team is a running back by the name of Garrett Ford. The broadcasts of West Virginia's football games are sponsored by Chrysler-Plymouth dealers. Louis Oliveto, president of the region's Plymouth Dealers' Association, has a suggestion for Sportscaster Jack Fleming, who doubtlessly will be obliged to talk "Ford" throughout the game. Says Oliveto: "He can say he runs like a fury."
As Augustus Post, one of the grand old men of ballooning, once said: "Any balloon flight is a prolonged emergency." But for a group of frantic balloonists in Nashville, a state of emergency existed before they had a chance to get off the ground. They had got hold of an oxygen tank, had sewn together a 30-foot hose and had begun work on the balloon proper when time ran out.
The idea was to feed the oxygen to a fire, which, hopefully, would then give off a terrific amount of heat; the hot air would be conducted through the hose to inflate the balloon, which would carry its designers, inmates all of the Tennessee State Prison, over the walls. Alas, the scheme was foiled by guards returning to duty in the prison's tailor shop, where they discovered the oxygen tank (stolen from the welding shop), the hose and the uncompleted balloon.
"I believe the idea was crackpot," said Nashville Meteorologist Harold J. Smith, "and I doubt if the prisoners were expert enough to know exactly what they were doing. But the truth is, it could be done. The element of surprise would have been to their advantage."
A SOUND SOLUTION?
For the past five years Japanese long-line fishermen operating in the Gulf of California have taken more than their share of marlin sailfish and totuava. Now the Mexican sport fishermen intend to fight back. Tom Jamison, a sport-fishing-fleet-owner from Guaymas, has this plan, see. The sportfishing boats will encircle the Japanese fleet and blast rock 'n' roll over the waves. Jamison figures the big sound will scare off all fish within a radius of five miles. What Jamison hasn't taken into account is that they might get hooked on the beat.
CADS AND CADDIES
The earnings of professional golfers have increased notably in recent years, but caddie fees have not kept pace. This inequity came to light last month at the Philadelphia Golf Classic when Don January, who received the winner's check of $21,000, paid Caddie Mike Brett $500, or somewhat less than 5% of his purse.
Although several of Brett's co-workers felt January was a cheapskate, he was, as it turned out, rather liberal. Says a veteran caddie at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, where the Classic was played: "If January gets a rap, then many others deserve it more. It's a crime what a lot of them—half of them—pay. One guy won over $3,000 and paid his boy $80. Another made nearly $2,000, paid $60 in cash and said he would send more when he found out what he had won. He already knew. Listen to this: a guy was cut after 36 holes, but he played four days and gave the boy $30. Then there was So-and-So. He's made $60,000 this year. He paid $50."
According to the caddies, only Jack Nicklaus and Arnie Palmer have been known to pay over 10% regularly, but then they are millionaires and can afford that kind of largess. In all fairness, making the tour is an exceedingly costly business; however, it stands to reason a caddie should at least get the minimum wage of $1.25 an hour. Perhaps the PGA at its annual meeting next month should consider setting some sort of uniform tournament caddie fee.
There are, in the main, two kinds of show bettors: the smart money guys who bet $10,000 or so on a "starker," or sure thing, for the obligatory 10¢ on a dollar profit, and women, whose motives are enshrouded in the essential mysteries of their sex.
On September 6 at New York's Aqueduct, Husband, a previously undefeated and inappropriately named 3-year-old gelding, was bet down to 3-5 in the Attention Purse. He showed some early foot but faded in the stretch to finish sixth in a seven-horse field. When the tote board lit up, it was accompanied by one of the deepest roars ever heard at the Big A. Bold and Brave paid $7 to win, $4.20 for place and $11.60 for show; Understanding paid $7.20 for place and $25.20 for show; and Sparkling Johnny paid $17 for show.
The show pool, enriched by smart money and dumb broads, was $70,602. Of this, $60,717 rode on the weary, faithless Husband.
GO, SALUKIS, GO!
As the following pages attest, college football is here again, and so are all those Tigers, Wildcats, Bulldogs, Bears, Yellowjackets, Eagles and Panthers. Taking the field this fall will be 25 Tigers (including Princeton, Auburn, LSU, Clemson, Memphis State, Missouri and Hampden-Sydney), 20 Wildcats (among them Northwestern, Kentucky, Arizona, Kansas State, New Hampshire, Davidson and Bethune-Cookman), 18 Bulldogs, 14 Bears (not counting Bruins and Grizzlies), 13 Yellowjackets, 12 Eagles and nine Panthers.
No imagination? Thank God. Could you imagine more than one Gorillas (Pittsburg State), one Kangaroos (Austin College), one Salukis (Southern Illinois) and one Anteaters (University of California at Irvine)?
THE ANSWER TRUE
For the first time since the turn of the century, tandem bicycle races were an official part of the World Indoor Bicycle Championships, which took place in Frankfurt, Germany recently. The only reason the tandem events were scheduled is that they are on the program of the 1968 Olympics. Indeed, when the French criticized the "fossils who run the Olympics" they invariably pointed in derision to "their grandpa tandem bike races."
But when millions of Frenchmen (who can't be wrong) watched their compatriots, Pierre Trentin, 22, and Daniel Morelon, 21, whiz across television screens at 45 mph to win the 1,600-meter event, they changed their tune. Crowed the French sports daily L'Equipe, which had heretofore roundly assailed the "old fogeys" who staged tandem races: "[Our boys] have given a new vigor, a new popularity and a new youth to the tandem of our grandfathers by hanging a gold medal on the handlebars. They have led us to rediscover the athletic qualities of this bicycle." In a word, to amateurs passionés de cyclisme, World Champions Trentin and Morelon looked sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.
The following item appeared in the Baltimore Evening Sun last week under the headline WEDDING BELLS:
"Two Duke football players were married this summer—Junior Tackle Malcolm Travelstead and Senior Guard Rodger Parker."
THEY SAID IT
•Alex Karras, Detroit Lions captain, who was suspended three years ago for betting on games, asked by the referee to call the flip of the coin before a game: "I can't do that, sir. I'm not allowed to gamble."
•Lieut. General Sir Kenneth Darling, commanding officer of Captain John Ridgway and Sergeant Charles Blyth who rowed a 22-foot boat from Cape Cod to Ireland in 91 days: "An interesting way to spend the summer—and very cheap."
•Hayden Fry, SMU football coach, on his 5-foot-5 quarterback, Ines Perez, and his 5-foot-6 receiver, Zeke Sanchez: "We're going to put them both in the game at the same time and throw under people."
•Ralph DeLeonardis, Pacific Coast League umpire, accused of blowing an easy play at the plate: "Well, I blew it the way I saw it."