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Sports inevitably mirror the societies in which they exist. If at one time life in the U.S. was thought to be pure, simple and easy to understand, that's fine. But today, this is surely not the case. Today, the world is complex and confusing. Wishing that sports would be anything else is asking a bit much.
Aside from enjoying the thrills of victory and suffering the agonies of defeat, being a dedicated sports fan today proves most enlightening. What better way to understand modern man than to study such pure products of the system as athletes? What better way to learn about the workings of society than to dissect one of its most cherished institutions? If our country has reached a point where we can no longer cope with the growing complexities of modern life, if we expect all issues to be black and white, good vs. evil, winning vs. losing, we may be in sorry shape. Days of innocence are memories. Effort is required to function effectively. We can't turn back. Those who don't keep up will get left behind.
So while others lament the loss of the Good Old Days, mourn the march of progress and cry, "These are the worst of times," I, for one, will enjoy the games we play—be they good, evil or something in between—and proclaim, "These are the best of times."
LAYDEN & CO.
There is a story behind Costello's number. Niagara beat Siena College in six overtimes in a celebrated 1953 game. Costello played 69 minutes and teammate Ed Fleming all 70, which is why they later got those numbers. Layden mostly kept stats on the bench in those days, but coach Taps Gallagher called on him in the fourth overtime against Siena because he was the only rested player on either side. It was a winning move: Layden scored a career-high eight points. Gallagher's '53 team produced three NBA coaches: Layden, Costello and the New York Knicks' Hubie Brown.