SI Vault
November 30, 1964
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November 30, 1964


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"Why not?" he asks. "It's the fifth largest industry in the country. Not so long ago you couldn't get a degree in dentistry."

The isolated camera and the flashback technique have added an enjoyable new dimension to life for the living room football fan. Unfailingly, however, they follow only backs and ends, and that is a disappointment to those who believe that football games are won largely in the line. Once in a while, at least, give us a camera focused on the mischief in the middle. Show us the cross blocks, the red dogs and the artfully tossed elbows. That would really be a new dimension.


The announcement the other day that Yogi Berra, the fired manager of the Yankees, had signed on as a coach with the Mets made us wonder. Certainly Berra will draw more people into Shea Stadium and we would not be at all surprised if the last-place Mets outdraw the Yankees by 2 to 1 next year instead of a mere 500,000—the 1964 figure.

Moreover, by the luck of the draw the Mets open the season on April 12 against—of all teams—the Los Angeles Dodgers, and that means that Sandy Koufax will be pitching and that the Mets should have the largest crowd in their young history. But CBS, new owner of the Yankees, thinks not so much in terms of large, live crowds as in large television ratings. When and if Yogi comes to bat as a Met, New York's television watchers will certainly not be tuned to the Yankee broadcast on Channel 11 nor to CBS itself on Channel 2. The audiences will be watching the Mets on Channel 9, thus enabling Berra—not normally considered a fast man—to execute a marvelous corporate double steal against his former employers.

Should Berra get a key hit (we seem to remember him getting 1,243,009 key pinch hits as a Yankee), he will be an immediate immortal—the man who enabled the Mets to win their first Opening Day game in history; should he strike out and leave fellow Mets on the bases he might even replace Marvelous Marv Throneberry as a new Met idol.

Although CBS does not yet televise the Yankee games, the network must be considered a prime sponsor and, as sponsor, it might just as well get ready for one of the biggest ratings defeats in the history of professional sports.


Among the meaner features of the southwestern deserts is their vegetation. The catclaw acacia is known to cowhands and hunters as "devil's claw" because its short, curved thorns rip clothing and lacerate skin. Mesquite and its cousin "screw bean" are not much better.

This fall the New Mexico Game and Fish Department offered a suicide salad of such greens to its imported herds of ibex, kudus and oryxes. The crazy critters, who had been dining and thriving on alfalfa, loved the stuff. The idea was to find out if such animals can survive when, one day, their descendants are turned loose to be hunted.

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