SI Vault
August 13, 1962
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August 13, 1962


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The U.S. Travel Service has been laboring tactfully for months to induce foreign tourists to visit the United States. It has prevailed upon Customs and Immigration to make entry into the country easier and more pleasant. It has encouraged lower fares. It has persuaded cities and resorts to offer special attractions for the foreign tourists.

Last week, largely as a result of U.S. Travel Service efforts, the British liner Canberra eased into New York harbor bearing 1,680 Englishmen, most of them economy-minded citizens from the solid middle class. The passengers used the ship as a hotel for the three days they were in New York. Everything was fine, even splendid, except that the U.S. Travel Service forgot to reckon with those lovable ambassadors of good will, the New York taxi drivers. New York cabs are metered, and the fare on the meter is the fare for the trip, whether there is one passenger or five. But when five Englishmen shared the same taxi some of those jolly old cabbies, who may not be birdwatchers but who know pigeons when they see them, charged each passenger the full fare shown on the meter. Well, the tourists came to see New York and, brother, that's New York.


Television has been demanding, and getting, more and more control over the sports it turns its cameras on, so perhaps what happened two weeks ago was inevitable—a TV director overruled the referee of a league event. The place was Baltimore; the sport, box lacrosse, a hybrid game that crosses hockey's walls and basketball's maneuvers with field lacrosse. In a televised contest on the TV station's own field, a team from Washington D.C. played to a tie with Mount Washington, the national club champions of field lacrosse. This called for a sudden-death overtime—but first, a word from our sponsor. The unthinking referees somehow missed their cues and put the ball into play—and Mount Washington threw in the winning goal—before the commercial was completed.

The Mount players congratulated each other and headed for their cars, followed by suddenly live cameras and anguished TV officials, who demanded a replay for the TV fans. The station pointed out it had formed the box lacrosse league, with TV in mind. The Mounts protested; after all, they said, they had been taught this quaint old rule about the referees' being in charge on the field. But they played another overtime, and won a second time. ""I wonder about this," said Mount Washington's Frank Riggs, a former football captain at the University of North Carolina. '"We won again, sure, but it's not much of a game when you have to win it more than once."

Could this happen in a major sport? Well, at the All-Star football game last Friday the public address announcer said: "Hadl will punt for the All-Stars, immediately after the commercial."


Track and field fans have been jarred the past year or so by the consequences of football's long and moneyed reach.

Glenn Davis, Olympic 400-meter hurdles champion and one of the most exciting competitors ever to appear on a track, signed with the Detroit Lions. Ray Norton, another Olympian and our national sprint champion two years ago, is playing with the San Francisco 49ers. Frank Budd, holder of the world's record in the 100-yard dash and the latest "world's fastest human," has become a Philadelphia Eagle. Now Jerry Tarr, the best high hurdler in the world and a winterbook favorite for the 1964 Olympics, has joined the Denver Broncos.

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