Most support for the move comes from New York fans and New York writers (who had to cover the game in Chicago in an unheated press box); none has yet come from the Chicago area. That is not to say that only sour grapes are involved. At Wrigley Field on December 29 one end of the ground was frozen and slippery, and it was so cold that the players' hands were numbed. Why, it is asked, should pro football's biggest game not always be played in conditions permitting the best possible exhibition of football skills?
The players themselves don't seem to feel that way. Their working season now extends from July to the end of December. They expect to start playing in 90� temperatures and end in freezing weather, and in between to play good football in rain, mud and snow. We think that is the right attitude.
Even more important is the point of view of the fan who has followed his team all the way to its divisional title; he would never see the biggest game of all except by paying his way across the continent—or on television.
The trend toward more sport viewing on TV and less in the flesh has so far been fairly well resisted by the NFL with its black-out policy, but the proposed move of the championship site would be a significant concession to that trend, which, of course, history may prove to be irreversible. That doesn't mean we have to like it.
THE SLEEPING GIANTS
Since hotels and airplanes pretty much refuse to recognize the existence of persons more than 6 feet tall, playing on the road is more wearing on basketball players, as a class, than on other athletes. The so-called "home-court advantage" is to some extent a result of what might be termed "the home-bed advantage." So, anyway, thinks Pidge Burack, the stubby but empathetic manager of the Olympian Hotel in Los Angeles. The Olympian caters to the basketball trade. Featuring chefs who specialize in training table meals, it has become Los Angeles headquarters for many college teams and all but two professional clubs. Burack even has a sort of gym away from gym in the works—a complete training room with a trainer in residence.
This is all very fine, but it is the new wing of the Olympian that the players are awaiting so anxiously. In each of the wing's 30 rooms, the Olympian will install beds seven feet long.
Burack's move is, in fact, part of a trend. According to John W. Hubbell, vice-president of the Simmons Company, supersize Beautyrest mattresses were less than 6% of sales in 1951, reached 25% in 1963. If the trend continues, as Hubbell believes it will, and basketball players on the road find themselves sleeping well for the first time, gamblers will have to start figuring the bed spread into the point spread.
THE NEWS HAWKERS
The bald eagle, say its detractors, is a stupid, nasty-tempered scavenger and a rotten national symbol. Now a convention of American eagles has given the lie to the stupidity canard. Few of us humans have been aware of the recent kokanee salmon spawning time in Montana, but every half-bright bald eagle residing in 17 western states knew of it. That is better news dissemination than national network television and a pretty fair testimonial to aquiline intelligence. Apparently every unemployed bald eagle in the West turned up for the swooping and salmon-snatching exercises. Glacier National Park Ranger W. E. Welch counted 352, the most in years, in one 10-mile stretch along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. That is one-quarter of all the bald eagles in the western U.S.
MOST INVALUABLE TROPHY