MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
The contrast President Kennedy points out between our top athletes and the rest of our young people (see page 12) is a poignant commentary on our "star system" in sport, a system in which only those who are physically fit to make the team are, in the end, physically fit.
There is something in the American character that does not respond warmly to regimented drill, as in mass displays of gymnastics common to other nations, and it is just possible that that may be all to the good. There is also something in the American sporting culture that tends to distinguish meanly between athletes who are "heroes" and hackers who are "bums," to regard anything less than a four-minute mile, these days, as an inferior performance. The good hard try does not make headlines.
Well, it never did. But it still does give satisfaction to those who make the try. The fun and value of sport does not lie so much in the winning as in the playing. The winning is the whipped cream on the strawberries. But who is to deny the sweetness of the strawberries? And that's where the vitamins are.
The problem of how to sell our children this concept begins in the grammar schools, where physical fitness at present is a sometime thing, emphasized only at the whim of an occasional enlightened principal. It extends to the high schools, where the star system starts because the ambitious high school coach knows that development of stars is his surest ticket to the college big time . It reaches its ultimate in the colleges, which must constantly police each other against violations of the vaguely denned and vastly permissive recruiting rules.
Sport needs its stars, of course, as inspirational symbols of excellence. But America needs millions of good, rugged kids who will grow into good, rugged men and women.
THE DEADLY SHORELINE
Tricks to deceive fish are numerous enough to fill an encyclopedia and some of them even work. The latest is now fooling fish—and snakes and humans—on Falcon Lake, Texas.
Noting that professional guides paint their boats in drab, inconspicuous colors, Marvin Williams, past president of the Dallas Anglers' Club, decided to go them one better.
"Why not camouflage the boat to look just like the shoreline of a lake?" he asked himself. He hired a sign painter, who airbrushed on a basic aquamarine color, added lily pads, tree stumps, cattails and brownish grass.