Downs for Churchill?
By a tradition that dates back to the mid-19th century and is itself as stuffy as a Victorian parlor, Presidents of the United States absent themselves from a sport that has long been hailed abroad as one worthy of kings. No corner in all of England is more respectable or sought after than the Royal Enclosure at Ascot, where the taint of divorce can mean exclusion; yet on her last visit to this country Queen Elizabeth was dissuaded from attending a horse race at Belmont Park on the grounds that it might shock many Americans.
If any such Americans exist, we on this magazine are inclined to believe it is time they were shocked, for we ourselves are shocked at such absurdity. We believe, moreover, that the time is at hand to put a stop to it.
Sir Winston Churchill, a man of some distinction in world affairs and a fancier of horseflesh whose enthusiasm for the turf ranks second only to that of his Queen, is coming shortly to this country to pay a call on President Eisenhower. He will arrive, as plans now stand, just two days after the running of the Kentucky Derby.
At the risk of presumption, we respectfully suggest that Ike send Winnie the dispatch that robust old sportsman would surely like to receive: COME A COUPLE OF DAYS EARLIER AND LET'S BOTH GO TO CHURCHILL DOWNS.
We'd be glad to arrange for tickets, or give up our own if need be.
Sanity and the '60s
West coast football fans have been grieving for years over the pummeling their teams have been taking from the Big Ten; last week their grief increased as, with burning ears, they listened to the sounds coming from Big Ten country.
In Columbus, Ohio the 80-man Faculty Council of Ohio State University has voted a haughty no to the idea of any more trips to the Rose Bowl—and has instructed its delegate to the next Big Ten meeting to oppose any renewal of the long-standing West Coast- Big Ten Rose Bowl pact. Ohio State's alumni magazine, shooting its cuffs and picking the lint off its crossed knees, paraphrased the faculty's thinking. "Signing a contract with the four successors of the Pacific Coast Conference is actually dealing with those whose flagrant violations of rules brought the probationary action that stung them into breaking up their Conference.... Rose Bowl pressures led the Pacific Coast Conference into dissolution after one of the rottenest scandals in the annals of intercollegiate football."
Before the Coast could recover from that one, the University of Illinois senate joined the chorus and voted against further participation in the series (in its two trips to Pasadena the Illini rolled up 85 points to 21 for the opposition, so their boredom with the whole thing may be understandable).