SI Vault
November 12, 1962
STARS IN MY CROWNThe slowly rising wave of criticism directed at the absolute dominance that college football coaches hold over their teams slopped a little higher last week with the word that Air Force Academy Coach Ben Martin is awarding his players stars for outstanding accomplishments on the field—intercepted passes, recovered fumbles, a large number of tackles, and so on. The stars are in the form of decals that are pasted onto the player's helmet. Remember how you felt back in the first grade when you did a perfect page of capital As and got a shiny gold star pasted in your book? Can't you just see a 220-pound middle linebacker writing home and saying, "Dear Mom, guess what? I got a star for gang tackling today!"
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
November 12, 1962


View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3

Early arrivals can lunch at the inn's Mermaid Tavern on such Anglo-viands as "Beeftake, Kidney and Oyfter Pye 4.95," and "Madras Curry of Chyken and Prawns, Pineapple Chutney 5.25"; or quench a thirst with a "Yard of Ale," which is served in a yard-long glass by quaint "English" barmaids. Recently, however, the management, realizing that Sir Laurence Olivier is one thing and Y. A. Tittle another, added uniformed vendors to hawk sandwiches and beer from door to door to "give some of that ball park flavor."

If Connecticut motels feature quality, the city of Detroit has long since had bootleg TV in quantity—at least on the west side of town. West of Woodward Avenue the Lions' games from Tiger Stadium come in clear on most average home sets from a TV station in Lansing, 85 miles away. An elaborate survey in 1959 satisfied the Lions that practically nobody in Detroit could pick up the Lansing station. One faithful surveyor trudged through 74 bars as part of the saloon TV census. Seventy-four bars he visited, and the Lions believed him. The west-siders think the Lions are crazy. They don't need a survey to tell them anything; they've got the whole east side in their homes Sunday afternoons. One west-sider says, "I'm going to send the Lions my bills for beer and food."

Around noon the driveways on the east side miraculously clear out. The only traffic jams in the Motor City occur in that mystic land west of Woodward Avenue. A more acute survey might show that the whole west side of Detroit lists so many inches each Sunday. "It's like a ship taking water," a Detroiter reports. "Things slide across the living room into the west walls. Then when the game is over and the traffic starts back across Woodward Avenue, everything slides back the other way. It's very dangerous."

In Green Bay and Milwaukee, alternate home cities of the Packers, and in Chicago the signals from such places as Madison, Wis. or Rockford, Ill. are too distant to be beamed directly into any of the home-game cities, but residents need make only a short drive out of town to find a bar that has the game on TV. It's the biggest boon to Sunday drinking in the Midwest since Carrie Nation moved East. "We don't charge anything to watch. Who has to?" says the bartender at the Paddock Club in Wheaton, Ill., west of Chicago. "Without a game we have only half a dozen people in here drinking, but with a good game we draw close to 60."

In San Francisco the ardor of 49er fans has been dimmed somewhat by a succession of also-ran seasons and by the 1962 glories of the baseball Giants. But a few years ago some enterprising promoters fixed up aerials and brought in a Chico station, 150 miles away. They formed a club, charged $2 dues and jammed thousands of members into auditoriums and hotel banquet rooms to see the game at Kezar Stadium. Unfortunately, the reception failed, and since no one could blame that on the coach, the members demanded their dues back. The club disbanded.

Now Reno has stepped in to fill the breach. Last month it invited visitors to attend its so-called Sports Weekend, which is something like Sodom pushing a church bazaar. The Reno bill of fare included a live exhibition by the pro basketball Warriors and TV of both World Series and 49er games. Unfortunately rain dampened both the Series and travel from California, and Reno was stuck with its usual complement of slot machines and divorce seekers.

Although some of the bootleg watchers act as though their TV activity has a speakeasy atmosphere, it can hardly be construed as unlawful. There is no limit to how far an FCC-licensed TV signal may be sent and seen. Still, a change may be coming. Detroit General Manager Edwin J. Anderson has made a preliminary proposal to Commissioner Pete Rozelle that the defined blackout area be amended to include all stations whose beams reach to within 75 miles of the home city. Since it takes about five officials to measure off the 10 yards for a first down, it is interesting to speculate exactly how the NFL is going to go about measuring beam lengths.

Maybe the league should drop the whole thing. Considering the number of fans being driven from hearth and family into the dens of liquor-drenched iniquity and TV, the NFL might just end up getting more trouble from the WCTU than from the AFL.

A baseball fan who was traveling abroad last month reports in a disconsolate note that in the overseas press there's no place like home plate. Struggling to keep abreast of the baseball news—the playoff and the World Series—he eagerly grasped at this straw from London's Daily Telegraph and Morning Post: "Today the Giants play their first game in the 'World Series' with the New York Yankees.... The 'World Series,' the Test matches of baseball, is decided on the best four of seven goals." Biting his tongue, our friend then and there gave up the chase until he came home again.

The Football Writers Association of America has just released its list of 168 nominees for the 1962 All-America team. From this list, drawn up after much consultation and thorough analysis, the football writers will make their final choice. We are rooting for Tackle Bill Wright of Princeton, who will be surprised and delighted—or maybe just amused—to find his name on this select roster. The football writers in their wisdom may pick Bill for first team All-America, but so far this season he's been no better than third team All-Princeton.

1 2 3