It was reasonable to expect, in this expense-account society, that the promoters of next month's Patterson-Johansson fight would block off all of 7,000 seats in the Miami Beach Convention Hall and sell them as "ringside" for $100 apiece. But boxing is ready to push on to newer and costlier frontiers.
The Silver State Sports Club, which is promoting the March 4 middle-weight title fight between Sugar Ray Robinson and Gene Fullmer in Las Vegas, has put a price tag of $1,000 on 16 special ringside seats. There are advantages to watching the fight from these locations, but proximity to Ray and Gene is only incidental.
All 16 seats will face the television cameras, so that occupants may impress their friends throughout the evening. The seats will be leather lounge chairs, resting on a red carpet and set aside from all others by "plush" ropes. Free drinks will be served during the fight by suitably photogenic young ladies. Silver State says four of the seats have already been sold and that "people like Frank Sinatra" will buy the rest.
Adolph Rupp, onetime absolute monarch of Southeastern Conference basketball, charges that some of the insurgents now knocking his Kentucky team around are doing so by playing soft outside opponents and concentrating on the league schedule. In addition, some SEC schools are hiding behind segregation to keep from playing worthy opponents.
"Hell," he fumed last week, "we could do well in the conference if we warmed up against a bunch of teachers' colleges. We can't go around playing a bunch of patsies like Mississippi State does.
"Those silly people down at Tulane think they are fooling somebody. They sit down there and say they can't play against teams with Negroes. Well, practically the whole Tulane team is from Indiana or some Yankee state, and those boys are used to playing against Negroes. They say they won't let 'em schedule games against Negroes in Louisiana. What's keeping them from playing Negroes away from home?"
Asked to predict the conference champion after his Wildcats had lost their fourth league game to Georgia Tech, Rupp snapped: "The team with the most victories."
A sin of the times may be the excessive introduction of rules. A number of sports are, so to speak, over-ruled. Two of the finest games in the world are hurling and Gaelic football, kept alive in Ireland by the patriotic Gaelic Athletic Association (SI, Oct. 10). Fettered by few rules, these games are an invariable pleasure to watch and an obvious joy to play.