THE CAP FITS
The National Bumbling Association, also known as the National Boxing Association, has done it again. Given a choice between putting on a thinking cap or a dunce cap, the NBA always picks the one that best fits its pointy little head. Standing in a corner with its back to the class, the organization that pretends to rule boxing has announced that Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson may not fight the most recent Boston strong boy, Tom McNeeley, in September, as planned. Instead he must take on any of the top six challengers—Ingemar Johansson, whom Patterson has already fought three times; Sonny Liston, whose right to be in boxing at all is questionable (see page 22); Eddie Machen, just beaten by a light heavyweight; and the likes of Henry Cooper of England, George Chuvalo of Canada and Alejandro Lavorante of Argentina.
It is perfectly obvious, to everyone but an NBA commissioner, that the proposed McNeeley fight is intended only to keep Patterson in action while not unduly risking his title. It is equally clear that under the present tax laws Patterson has every right to meet an occasional inferior opponent provided he seriously lays the title on the line once a year. To ask otherwise is to demand that he chance defeat for virtually nothing, since the income tax bite on a second 1961 fight would scarcely leave him with training expenses. Would the NBA like to see Floyd Patterson in the bottomless tax pit that Joe Louis dug himself into?
Sometimes a sports event is just made to come out a particular way. One such occurred last week at Kempton Park in England.
A new race was on the program, called the Aly Khan International Memorial Gold Cup. Among the starters, and highly favored, was a silver-gray 5-year-old mare, all wire and whipcord, named Petite Etoile. Winner of both the One Thousand Guineas and the Oaks in 1959, she had gone on winning last year and this over both colts and fillies and was beginning to be called one of the greatest mares England has ever known.
But Petite Etoile had other reasons for winning, too. Since she had been bred and owned by the late Aly Khan, how could she miss tossing a salute to the man who at his death controlled one of the most powerful racing establishments in Europe? How could she fail to fix her own place in horse history?
Hand us the arsenic—she came in second. Maybe Lester Piggott gave her a bad ride. Maybe it was an off track. Maybe she was slammed by one of the boys in the race. Or maybe it was simply in the books that she was to be beaten by a 4-year-old colt, High Hat, whose owner is noted for his sense of history—Sir Winston Churchill.
One soft, cool summer morning recently, some 100 students from the University of Paris arrived at New York's Idlewild airport. They had been flown across the Atlantic by the Flying Tiger airline, and, though the flight had been delayed six and a half hours, the young men and women were not complaining. Their round-trip fare had cost only $99.