PALMER SPEAKS OUT
The biggest voice in golf, Arnold Palmer, did some talking last week and it is hoped that someone was listening. Palmer is a pleasant man, and it goes against his grain to be publicly critical. He has long avoided the role of spokesman. But now, with the Professional Golfers' Association engaged in open war with tournament sponsors over TV rights. Palmer decided to speak up. He said it was "ridiculous" that important decisions on long-range PGA policy—including TV rights—should be in the hands of a players' committee. Touring Pro Jay Hebert, who heads that committee, should not be in the position of negotiating such vital and complex issues, said Palmer, and it can only be expected that Hebert would be the first to agree. As to the tournament manager of the PGA, Jim Gaquin, Palmer called him a "very fine guy and quite capable in his field—but his field is public relations." Gaquin is a most able organizer, but, said Palmer, "he knows little about the actual operations of the tour." What the PGA must have, said Palmer, is a single strong executive—in short, its own version of a Judge Landis. Gaquin reacted with understandable ire. "Why, Arnie would love a czar until the fellow told him to do something he didn't want to do and then Arnie would turn on him," he said.
Perhaps. But the point Palmer is making should not be lost in an exchange of angry words. The fact is that the PGA's problems keep getting more involved as golf keeps growing. It is time for a classified ad: "Wanted—a very tough administrator."
A major difficulty in raising show dogs is that inbreeding tends to concentrate faults just as intensely as good points. In Britain, a group of veterinarians has just finished surveying 120 breeds and has found only 17 free from defects. Among the healthy breeds: foxhounds, Irish wolfhounds, otter hounds, Gordon and English setters, springer spaniels, Manchester terriers and Italian greyhounds.
There are five main defects that breeders will now try to eliminate: weak hips (noted particularly in Alsatians, Labradors and boxers); slipping kneecaps (miniature and toy poodles, Yorkshire terriers and griffons): bad eyes (miniature poodles, Irish setters and Labs); soft palates (bulldogs, pugs and Pekingese) and ingrown eyelids (Chows, spaniels and golden retrievers). Breeds that were once among the most popular in Britain are dropping further because of bad temperament. Cocker spaniels and miniature poodles are particularly afflicted. Says ex-President Brian Singleton of the Small Animals Veterinary Association: "Our standards must be altered. The standards of prize-winning are obviously not compatible with healthy dogs. The situation can only be altered by scrapping standards which may be thought pretty but which border, frankly, on monstrosities."
HARD TO FIGURE
The Kentucky Derby is only 10 weeks off, and in most years there would be a definite winter favorite at this stage. But right now the experts feel the race is unusually hard to figure. Caliente's Tony Alessio, whose famed Derby Future Book will not open officially until next month, has Raymond Guest's Chieftain and George Pope's Hill Rise (Pope won with Decidedly two years ago) as co-favorites at 4-1. Right behind them come the Canadian-owned Northern Dancer, Roman Brother and Ishkoodah.
High school and college authorities are understandably angry because the American Broadcasting Company now proposes to televise five National Football League games on Friday nights this fall. The schoolmen contend that the televised games would damage, if not annihilate, attendance at their games. The arguing has gotten rather high flown, so much so that one would think from published comments that Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine had locked horns over the nature of grace. What is involved here is nothing so weighty. This is a business argument. Some of the business may be sharp, but it is a business argument nonetheless.
The Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League are so desperate to win a game that they will try anything—even reading. Just before the Leafs took a train to Montreal last week for a game with the Canadiens, a breathless messenger arrived with 25 copies of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking. The books had been bought by Coach Punch Imlach, who ordered the losing Leafs to spend the trip reading. The players read the book on the train, but, alas, they lost to the Canadiens, 4-0.