HOW TO GET THE JOB DONE
Football coaches like to talk about building character, but too many of them are merely interested in building winning teams, which is why we're going to tell you about Ed Emory, who coaches football at Wadesboro High School in Wadesboro, N.C. Emory is a white man, the student body of Wadesboro High is predominantly white and Anson County, of which Wadesboro is the seat, is what is called a hotbed of Ku Klux Klan activity; an integrated poolroom and two cars belonging to Negroes have been dynamited in recent weeks.
The other night five of Coach Emory's players, all Negroes, failed to show up for practice. Afterward Emory found the five boys and their parents waiting for him in his office. The players said they wanted to resign from the team. They didn't mind getting threatening phone calls and having Klan literature left on their doorsteps—what hurt was that one of their teammates had announced he was joining the Klan.
The player, a big, joking boy who is the son of a leading Klansman, had attended a Klan rally and then driven a motorcycle through the Negro section of Wadesboro, his white robe streaming out behind him. The next day Emory took the boy aside and told him he had the choice of joining the Klan or staying on the team. He chose the team. "I didn't know what I was doing," he told Emory. "I respect you as much as anything."
A few days later the boy's father and some 20 fellow Klansmen paid Emory a call. "They told me I had violated the boy's civil rights," Emory says. "I told them there aren't any civil rights in football. I tell the boys what to do when it's for the good of the team, and it's not for the good of the team when a Klan member is dressing next to a Negro. I've told my boys that when they put on their uniforms they're all the same.
"They said I didn't understand their views. I said, O.K., what are your views? They told me they aren't just against the Negro. They're against the poor white, too. I said, 'Well, that's all right for you, but I play the boy from across the tracks if he can get the job done. I just play the boy who can get things done. Maybe he's Chinese or Jewish, Negro or white. If he can get the job done I don't care."
Emory hasn't heard from the Klansmen again. He says the Klansman's son and the Negro players are "doing fine." Wadesboro has won two of its three games, and eight of its nine touchdowns have been scored by Fullback Tommy Peguese and Halfback Ed McCrae, both Negroes. Coach Emory, bless him, is quite obviously getting the job done, too.
IS THE DREAM OVER?
There is a dreamlike quality to Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats, a haunting, white land without a horizon. Ever since 1932, when Ab Jenkins first roared across them in his Mormon Meteor, men have raced the flats through air like bleached muslin, faster and faster, closing in on the speed of sound. Last week it was Art Arfons' turn. Art didn't break the 600.601 mph world land speed record, his first goal, nor the 720-to-750 mph sound barrier, his second. But his trials looked good (432.484 mph), and he will be back October 16 after remodeling his jet-powered Green Monster.
As hooked on the Bonneville dream as anybody, Arfons is now talking about setting the speed record by himself, and then—fasten your seat belts—stepping out of the car to try for the sound barrier. He says the Monster can be converted to a robot car for the latter run, with Arfons running it like a giant slot racer from the sidelines. Nobody knows what will happen if a 7,050-pound car hits Mach J. Arfons says scientists have told him that the paint will peel off, but that the car "might survive." Other experts say there will be one hell of a sonic boom, so big, in fact, that the slot machines in nearby Wendover, Utah will spew out their jackpots.
And if that isn't dreamy enough, a mysterious brown stain is creeping in on the flats, and the racing course may be doomed. One theory is that the salt is being dissolved by nearby potash pumping operations. Another, less plausible, is that dry salt and clay are being blown in, since any geologist worth his salt knows that deserts actually move.
Arfons is now back in Akron, fiddling with the Monster. Craig Breedlove, who holds the record (and who was out on the flats last week), wants another try if Arfons regains it. Meanwhile, that brown stain has stolen to within half a mile of the course on the western edge and is getting closer. Hurry up, Art. And you people out there in Wendover—stand by those slot machines.
TENNIS ON THE COUCH
While playing tennis have you ever said you'd rather look good than win? If so, you're being infantile: infants lack body mastery, which is compensated for by the fantasy of perfect ease. At least, so says Dr. Roy M. Whitman, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
Freud said love and work are life's goals. Whitman adds play—like tennis—which he says is a succession of developmental phases, beginning with auto-eroticism and ending in maturity, although the tennis of all players is not mature.
Indeed, Whitman sees the tennis court as being rife with murderous impulses that conflict with superego prohibition. "The latent importance of the racket as a weapon is indicated by the strength of the taboo against hitting a player with it," he says, and describes such defense mechanisms as displacement of hostility to ball boys and referees, and periodically losing to poorer players, both of which allay superego guilt. Constant self-beratement, so prevalent in tennis players, also balances guilt for being successful, as well as providing punishment for failing.
"Finally, guilt can exert itself following a victory," Whitman concludes, "as shown by its immediate and somewhat humorous intrusion when the winner umps the net and falls flat on his face."
ALMOST ALL FOR ONE
The dullest, most absurd play in the NFL is the extra point. With the goalposts on the goal line, it's no more an athletic feat than sinking a 12-inch putt. Tommy Davis once made 234 in a row. In college ball the posts are 10 yards back, but even there the conversion rate became so high the NCAA added an alternative in 1958: you could either kick for one point or run or pass for two, and if a coach had any guts he need never settle for a tie. The AFL, following the colleges' lead, adopted the two-point play in 1960.
Thinking the 15 NFL coaches must have found that their one-point conversions had become meaningless, we asked them if they wouldn't like to go for two, too. Hoo, boy! No, they wouldn't—12 to 1, with one I Don't Know and one Don't Bother Me.
Here, in part, is what a few of the coaches had to say:
Norb Hecker, Atlanta: "It's great for the spectators, but not for the coaches."
Joe Kuharich, Philadelphia: "It's worthless. It puts a team in an awful spot. Say you're winning 7-0 and they score. Now you give away a chance for winning or losing on one play."
Charley Winner, St. Louis: "It leads to too much second-guessing."
Vince Lombardi, Green Ray: "I like it the way it is. That's the way we've always done it. I'm not against it because it makes it tougher on the coaches. What's so tough about it? When you're behind you always go for two points, and when you're ahead you don't."
Harry Gilmer, Detroit: "I don't like it. The AFL has used it less and less. Statistics show that when they kick they make 98%, but when they try for two they make only 46%. Wouldn't you hate to wind up getting beat by one point when they scored a touchdown and you scored a touchdown and you scored yours last? You're forced to try to do something to win, yet percentagewise it's against you, and you wind up getting beat."
Tom Landry, Dallas: "I don't have much opinion one way or the other."
Allie Sherman, New York: "This is the farthest thing from my mind. One point, two points.... I'm too concerned over this season to comment."
And, in lonely dissent, Otto Graham, Washington: "While it may give you more ulcers, a two-point conversion would be very exciting. Of course, if you missed the one-point conversion, that would be exciting, too."
'WHAT WOULD THE WORLD BE...?'
In recent years our wetlands, or tidal marshes, have been rapidly disappearing because of indiscriminate dredging, land reclamation, pollution and waste-disposal projects. Since, for the most part, local laws have been inadequate to insure their survival, the Federal Government has decided to intervene. Last week the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee reported out HR 13447, which empowers the Secretary of the Interior to assist local governments in preserving and restoring estuarine areas, and the bill is expected to pass both houses.
This is grand news. Not only do the wetlands act as storm buffers, but virtually every fish caught in quantity by either commercial or sports fishermen relies on wetlands for spawning, as a nursery and for the production of food. Beyond that, although salt marshes often seem drab, dismal, or even fetid, to many they have a bitter and melancholy beauty that is peculiarly stirring. As Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote:
What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and wilderness yet.
THE GAME'S THE NAME
It can never be too early to pick an All-America team. So here goes. Ours, however, is not presumptuously based on the ability of players we haven't seen or the blarney of sports publicity directors. It is founded on solid, objective ground—namely, how well the player's name suits his position. To wit: quarterback, Bill Wise, Purdue; running backs, Del Gainer, West Virginia, Terry Bashor, William Jewell, John Buckman, Bridgeport; center, Dick Stoops, Davidson; guards, Ivan Brawn, Maine, and Joe Puhl, Furman; tackles, Bruce Gross, Gustavus Adolphus, and Wayne Mass, Clemson; ends, Barry Gallup, Boston College and Fair Hooker, Arizona State.
A SWING AND A MISS
The way the story goes, the hole in the doughnut was invented in 1847 by Captain Hanson Crockett Gregory of Camden, Maine, who was watching his mother make doughnuts and asked her to cut out the centers so he could hang the doughnuts on the wheel of his boat. The hole in the baseball bat was invented by Joseph Martino of New York. "I read that most inventions occur to someone with nontechnical orientation," says Joe. "That's me." Martino's bat has a hole where the fat part of the bat—or good wood—has heretofore been. He calls it the Prac-Bat and says it's useful for teaching a level swing. The idea is to swing and miss. If you hit the ball you're either golfing it or chopping down on it. Says Joe: "With my bat you know you've struck the happy medium when the ball passes through the hole."
POINT BEFORE TOUCHDOWN
Teen-age girls at the Rye Country Day School in Westchester County, New York are being shown football films and hearing lectures on red-dogging, the duties of the front four and the like, and we think it's high time. Maybe some day, if the good work spreads, we can raise a generation of women who will not take our heads off when we spend the weekend watching football on television, but will get in there and watch, too. At Rye, however, they may be rushing things. One girl, who had gained an appreciation of the blitz and other sophisticated tactics, asked the lecturer, "Now what about this first-and-10 business?"
THEY SAID IT
•Reggie Harding, Negro basketball player, after signing with the Detroit Pistons for $15,000: "They can talk about black power and white power. I believe in green power: money, man, money."
•Curt Gowdy, describing Dodger First Baseman Wes Parker on TV: "He was originally born in Chicago."