SI Vault
February 17, 1964
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February 17, 1964


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The sculptures are massive, as tall as 8 feet, because, he says, only size can convey the importance of sport. All in all, we think, Jensen is a most agreeable fellow.


Big Eight officials are putting a cheerful face on the termination of the conference's contract to appear annually in the Orange Bowl. Along with Orange Bowl spokesmen, they stress that the parting was amicable and that quite likely Big Eight teams will be visiting the Bowl often.

The hard fact is different. Ending the contract was a severe blow to chances of a Big Eight team appearing in one of the four major New Year's bowl games. The Rose Bowl is out because of its tie-up with the Big Ten. The Sugar Bowl, still segregation-minded, is not likely to favor a team from a conference with so many Negro stars. And the very reasons that caused the Orange Bowl to end its Big Eight contract will work against frequent selection of Big Eight teams in the future. The Big Eight area is geographically remote from Miami, and so there has seldom been a mass migration to fill hotels and bars at bowl time. Television sponsors, noting the lack of great population concentrations in Big Eight country, have found the conference unattractive. They would rather have a couple of teams from heavily populated sections so that more home folks would be tempted to tune in the game.

That leaves the Cotton Bowl and the fact that two of the most likely opponents, year in and year out, Texas and Oklahoma, meet annually in a regular-season game in Dallas. So it would seem that the Big Eight will be looking most hopefully toward the Bluebonnet or Gator bowls in the years just ahead. Meanwhile, the conference can console itself with the fact that its teams won seven of the 11 games played under the Orange Bowl contract.

Soon there will be a JASCAR as well as a NASCAR. Nagahide Mori, chairman of the board of one of the world's largest trading companies, with headquarters in Tokyo, is at Daytona International Speedway completing arrangements for establishment of stock-car racing in Japan. Bill France, president of the Speedway and of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, has agreed to assist in creating a similar body in Japan, licensed by NASCAR and governed by the same regulations. Mori, in turn, will build what amounts to a replica of the Speedway near Tokyo.


Chances are that Columbus, Ind. was so named because Christopher Columbus helped establish that the world is round like a basketball. The town dearly loves the sport, and this winter it has a crack high school basketball team as its reward. It also has a crack rooter in Evert Frank Stillabower Jr., who never misses a game. Evert has a nephew playing on the team—No. 43, Dave Stillabower—and is so proud of his brother's boy that at games he wears a jacket on which is lettered: "I am No. 43's uncle."

Uncle Evert cheers as joyously as the school kids when Columbus wins. When the team loses, Uncle Evert cries like a baby. Which is understandable. Unk is 4 years old.


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