MAN WITH THE GOLDEN LEG
Though the Canadian Football League claimed the world field-goal distance record a couple of weeks ago—Bill Mitchell, Edmonton Eskimo center, booted a 58-yard three-pointer against the Calgary Stampeders—the U.S. expects it back. Pete Gogolak of the Buffalo Bills has already scored from 57 yards against the New York Jets. Not only that, he kicks like a soccer player, which is what he was before he and his family escaped from Budapest after the 1956 revolt. Astonished to discover that soccer is not played in Ogdensburg, N.Y., where the family settled, he took up American football.
The soccer kick—the ball is approached from a 45� angle and hit high on the instep—has been so successful an innovation that Gogolak may yet have imitators. At Cornell, Pete was successful in 54 out of 55 conversion attempts and set an NCAA record of 44 in a row. Cornell used him sparingly on field goals, but he did bang out one 50-yarder against Lehigh. And at Princeton his brother Charlie uses the soccer kick with almost equal facility.
Aside from his success with the long-range field goals, Pete's sidewinder kick-offs all but make a runback impossible. At 205 pounds and 6 feet 2, he might be considered rugged enough to scrimmage, but that leg is far too precious to risk and all Pete does is kick. Which is what he got into the game for in the first place.
For a couple of weeks now, some of the Cincinnati Royals have been conditioning themselves for the coming National Basketball Association season by playing a strenuous game called "hit-and-run golf."
All it takes is an iron (a No. 7 is recommended), a putter, good legs and plenty of wind. You hit the ball, run to it and keep running after each shot until you reach the green. You may take all the time you want lining up a shot or a putt. Jay Arnette, Royals' reserve guard, and Wayne Embry, pivot man, recently completed nine holes on Cincinnati's hilly, short (4,748 yards) Avon Fields municipal course in 35 minutes. Jerry Lucas, playing the full 18 holes with a No. 7 iron and a putter, shot a seven-over-par 73.
"It's a lot of fun and I took off seven pounds in one day," says Embry, who makes rather an unusual sight running pell-mell down the fairway in an astronaut like rubber sweat suit. "Of course, I imagine the rest of the golfers think we're crazy."
Hate to tell you this, Wayne, but you're right. They do.
SLOWDOWN FOR MICKEY