ROGER AND OUT
The other day a representative of Hochi Shimbun, the Japanese newspaper, appeared in the dressing room to ask Roger Maris 18 questions, the answers to which a baseball-happy Japan eagerly awaited. Among the questions, all politely presented to Maris, were these: What method of attack do you think is best to break any home run hitting slump? Is deliberate walking upsetting your equilibrium and your coordination? What do you do to maintain your playing condition? Is bat weight important? How are you reacting to the fuss over your home run race? Do you think Mantle will catch you and pass you?
Maris listened to all 18 questions and then said, "Mantle will pass me. That seems to answer them all." There is something we could say here about the relation of performer and press and about international good will. Instead, we'll just clench our fists, draw ourselves up straight, and say, "No Comment."
YOU PLAY TOO, COACH
The football teams that Coach Woody Hayes turns out at Ohio State are noted for their one-dimensional tactics. They rarely pass, they seldom kick, and their standard reaction to a crisis is a simple straight-ahead line plunge. It is extraordinary that the coach who teaches these tactics should himself react so differently to a crisis off the field.
Last week a reporter asked Hayes what he thought should be done about the bribery scandals that may be bearing down on college football. Hayes immediately tossed a wide lateral: the college deans, said Hayes, should help clean out gambling parlay cards from dormitories and other campus sites. Having thus thrown the defense into total confusion, on the very next play Hayes quick-kicked.
"You sportswriters have to back us up on that if you think anything of collegiate football. You've got to stay on top of this thing. You've got to make the player realize what an awful thing he could do to himself and his family."
This is quite clear. The deans must crack down on football cards, and the sportswriters must throw the fear of God into the athletes. We were wondering, Woody: what are the coaches supposed to do?
ANOTHER RECORD FALLS
According to the current issue of the sprightly magazine Audubon, a bird watcher has broken the record for total number of North American birds spotted in a single year. The old record of 572 species was set by Roger Tory Peterson in 1953. Now Stuart Keith of England claims he saw 594 in 1956. Soon the arguments will begin all over again: Are bird watchers simply better than they used to be, or was that the year of the lively bird?