Make no mistake, this magazine is not exactly against the genteel sporting manners peculiar to England's cricket pitches, where the stickiest wicket often engenders no rougher response than a mumbled "Bad show, old boy." Nevertheless, it has been well said that a difference of opinion is what makes horse racing, and it cannot be gainsaid that a point of view, strongly held and forcefully enunciated, lends a wonderful zest to the flavor of sportsmanship, like a pinch of red pepper in nourishing porridge.
Here and there in the bland blue skies that smiled on the world of sport last week, there was more than one sign of potential squalls ahead. Small, wispy clouds they were, no larger perhaps than a man's clenched fist, but we hail each of them as bright testimony to the fact that there are still sportsmen who care. There is, for instance, ex-Dodger Coach Billy Herman who, after being summarily fired by the Bums, is now starting off on a new season with Milwaukee's Braves. "I've got a lot of good friends on the Dodgers," said Billy, with the air of a man who must do his duty as he sees it, "but I've got to call a spade a spade." And with that Coach Herman went on to call his old friends not only spades but a number of other picturesque names as well, including "prima donnas, pouters and complacent athletes who have to be forced to work." The Dodgers as a whole, said Billy, "is a dead ball club that badly needs a transfusion of young blood." A strong opinion to be sure but one that Dodger General Manager Buzzy Bavasi dismissed with an elegantly tossed spitball: "That's why we changed coaches."
Then there was Yankee Manager Casey Stengel, never a shy man with an opinion, who suddenly found himself the object of a bitter attack by, of all people, a Red Sox outfielder who objected to remarks Manager Stengel had made about his own boy Mickey Mantle, whose fielding, it seems, had not been up to par. That Stengel, said Boston Center Fielder Jimmy Piersall in defense of his kind, is nothing but a "bush leaguer."
But baseball had no monopoly on the rhubarbs. North Carolina's Basketball Coach Frank McGuire has some pretty positive views himself, mostly about the treatment of visiting cagers by overzealous home-team rooters. Last week after fuming through two halves of Duke University catcalls in a critical Atlantic Coast conference game, McGuire refused to let his boys leave the floor of the Duke gym even with police protection, insisted instead that they huddle together in center court until the floor was cleared. The gesture was carefully noted by Bill Murray, Duke's football coach who just happened to be one of the fans present. "It was the most revolting exhibition by a college coach that I have ever witnessed," said Murray. To which McGuire promptly snarled, "What business is it of his anyway?"
So there you have it—good insurance that a lively spirit of give and take will prevail on at least three major fronts. Even the genteel atmosphere of lawn tennis was rocked slightly when Top Pro Pancho Segura announced himself in favor of both cheers and boos from the grandstand. And it may be noted in summation that a vitriolic debate in the town council of Saskatoon, Sask. over whether or not to license female wrestling did little, perhaps, for the sport itself but succeeded in attracting a capacity crowd to the Council Chamber for the first time in its history.
Name, Age, Collar Size
Just as a builder specifies the grade of lumber he wants in a house, so Notre Dame has outlined the minimum requirements of raw material for its athletic teams. Reduced to handy check lists, the information was mailed off to alumni (mostly Notre Dame lettermen) as a sort of guide to high school stargazing. With it went application blanks (Weight? Height? Age? Collar size? Married? Single?) to be filled out by any young athlete who meets the standard and thinks he might like to go to Notre Dame.
"Mainly," says Football Coach Terry Brennan, "we are trying to get an earlier notice on kids who can help us. Often we never come in contact with an athlete until he is committed somewhere else or until our quotas are filled."
From the figures it is clear that Notre Dame's athletic standards are going to remain at least as high as its already high scholastic standards. All football players should be at least 6 feet tall except halfbacks, who may come in sizes down to 5 feet 10. Such small fry should weigh at least 170 pounds, however, and be able to run 100 yards in 10.2; quarterbacks (180 pounds) must do it in 10.5; and so on up to the lumbering tackles (215 pounds minimum), who must be able to cover the distance "in 12 seconds. "We would like to make it quite clear," says a note at the top of the page, "that these specifications should not be regarded as the absolute minimum. They have been established to give you some idea of what the coaches would like to have in the respective positions."