SI Vault
October 13, 1958
Lucy to the Shower The National Anthem is meant to rouse feelings of pride and re-dedication in American listeners, not to provoke laughter. It is our duty to report that the Lucy Monroe public address system version of The Star-Spangled Banner at the World Series in Yankee Stadium last week was a musical fright which brought embarrassment, smirks and giggles to attending thousands and listening millions across the country. It's time to send Lucy to the shower.
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October 13, 1958

Events & Discoveries

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The Fifteenth International Tuna Cup Match at Wedgeport, Nova Scotia, angling's most respected competitive event, ended the other day in dismal failure. Only four teams participated where there were once as many as 10. And, for the first time since the beginning of these matches in 1937, not one tuna was taken or one strike reported in three days of competition between Cuba, Mexico, British Commonwealth and the U.S.

This bitter ending was hardly unexpected. For a decade the catch from Soldier's Rip and other Wedge-port waters has been steadily declining. In 1949 sportsmen boated 1,760 giant tuna at Wedgeport, 72 of them during the match. By 1956 the summer catch had fallen to 55, the match score to 4. The entire 1958 season produced one lone tuna and brought the match face to face with the problem of survival.

That the cup match should survive there can be no question. At Wedgeport the spirit of contest was always subordinate to that of international camaraderie. Year after year, friendships were made and views exchanged in a quiet atmosphere devoid of resort trappings. Men journeyed from as far as Hong Kong, Johannesburg and Rio to enjoy this atmosphere. But they journeyed also to fish for tuna. Now the tuna are gone. Perhaps they will be back, perhaps not. But, if the match cannot survive without tuna, it can be relocated for the time being and carried on with all its dignity and tradition in an area graced with a dependable supply of tuna.

There are such areas but, regrettably, officials of the International Tuna Cup Match are showing little sympathy for this course of action. They have set dates for next year's match at Wedgeport and announced that if there are no tuna it will be postponed. S. Kip Farrington Jr. of East Hampton, N.Y., a founder of the match and chairman of its executive committee, has said: "The match will be held at Wedgeport or not at all. It is true that the tuna have frittered away, but there is more to this match than tuna. Sure, everybody and his dog want the match transferred, but any place I've heard of so far hasn't anything like Wedgeport to offer. My answer to transferring the match elsewhere, even temporarily, is a flat and emphatic no."

With all due respect to Mr. Farrington's many efforts in behalf of sport fishing, there are those who will find his statement unrealistic. Keeping the match in a Wedgeport bereft of tuna accomplishes no useful purpose for anyone concerned. The lobster fisherman who converted his boat every summer to serve the sportsman, and showed fine sportsmanship himself, will feel the loss of seasonal business no less acutely. The province of Nova Scotia which underwrites the match and which reaps worldwide publicity from it gains nothing if the publicity is poor. Certainly a genuine international gathering of anglers cannot be expected to support a fishless match year after year. A glut of fish is no prerequisite for a successful match. But there should be at least a few on hand and a few caught.

It is true that the precise atmosphere, boats and crews of Wedgeport will be hard to duplicate elsewhere. But is the bond between sportsmen so tenuous that a change of scenery will shatter it? It seems unlikely especially when the change offers the prospect of catching some tuna. Take Cape Cod. In September it offers much the same restrained environment that Wedgeport does and Cape Cod Bay is plump with tuna of all sizes in the fall. Other facilities are excellent. The same is true of the Point Judith, R.I. to Montauk, N.Y. area. The Bahamas, although vastly different in climate and geography, enjoy a legendary and unflagging run of giant tuna every May and June. All these places in 1958 had very successful tuna competitions. If offers to support the International Tuna Cup Match are made by them or any other legitimate tuna-fishing localities it is difficult to understand why they should not be seriously considered. After all, the World Series would still go on, wouldn't it, even if Yankee Stadium were to slide into the Harlem River?

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Sometimes the importance of winning at football is so great that it occupies a man's mind entirely. This is demonstrated on a large scale by Gerald Holland's The Coach, a fact-fiction dissection which you'll find on page 68. And it was demonstrated in a small real-life incident in a Little Rock hotel room just the other Friday.

Baylor was to play Arkansas the next day. It was the opening game of the new season, and the old season had not been good: 3-6-1, with Baylor finishing at the bottom of the Southwest Conference. Assistant Line Coach Charley Driver was chalk-talking earnestly at his blackboard while the Baylor team listened. Driver paused to light a cigaret. He struck one match and the fire didn't take. The players watched in wondering silence as he tried another. Still no luck. Exasperated, Driver took the cigaret from his mouth and looked at it to see what was the matter. And the trouble was that it wasn't a cigaret, it was a piece of chalk.

Long Shot in Bronze

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