If it rains on Sunday, professional football players go out in it. For the pros there is, to be sure, no choice. The game remains the thing—mud and all. But just under the mud that covers the big man's uniform is still the thin skin and heart of the boy. Rolling around in the slop used to be something he only dreamed about, always fearful of a clothes-washing, child-spanking mother. Now, at maturity, the contrary is true. If a player can manage to come out of the mess looking like the man sitting on the bench (right), he will be roundly cheered by coach and fan. The layer of ooze that cakes his legs and knees and eyebrows becomes—win or lose—his special trophy, his glory of the day. Ironically, the heart and soul of the team, the quarterback, is often the last to be besmeared with the grimy cloak of honor. On the next page San Francisco's John Brodie stands out in a shocking display of cleanliness. But sooner or later one of those big linemen will get to him and make him part of the muddy throng.
Weary and incredibly dirty, the players move slowly off the field after a game. Soon they will be basking under a hot, hot shower. But for the fans who have paid good money for the privilege of sitting in a damp seat for two hours the journey to warmth is long. For an hour they will shuffle along in a steaming crowd of damp wool, still thinking what tough cookies ballplayers are.