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MONOPOLY IN THE AFTERNOON
Wasn't it bad enough that we had binoculared little men sitting in the press box telephoning down to the bench, and coaches sending plays in by the shuttle system and shortwave, and team films that are studied and diagramed all week long, and innumerable other techniques for taking the game out of the hands of the natural athletes on the field and putting it into the hands of pot-bellied, bald-headed, 53-year-old coaches pushing buttons on the sidelines?
This videotape business should be thrown the hell out. What is going to happen to the little schools that can't afford $25,000 worth of electronic equipment? Will future scouting reports point out that "Dormant State U. opens strong but tends to bog down in the second half because of inferior video equipment"? Will RCA buy Fordham and make it No. 1 in the nation by overpowering the other teams in electronic know-how?
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED must continue to speak up against such absurdities on behalf of the millions of us squares who like our sport au naturel, minus gimmickry and gewgaws. We want the game returned to the athletes who take the knocks and the fractures. There is a popular argument to the effect that a superscientific age is inevitably going to be reflected in superscientific sport. But inevitability is no defense. Ketchup was inevitable, too, but I don't see your food editors recommending it.
College football's Establishment (i.e., its coaches and athletic directors) is trying to turn a rugged, graceful competition into a life-size Parker Brothers game in which each coach can roll the dice, pass Go, collect $200 and get an extra throw to prove his genius and manliness at the expense of the players. I say take their toys away from them; let them teach the game during the week and turn it over to the players on Saturday, the way the good Lord intended.
Nevertheless, we hereby humbly invite you to join us on the Theta Chi Fraternity Club Car to the Rose Bowl. We will leave the "dull-red buildings on the plain of West Lafayette, Ind." on the 27th day of December 1965. If Dan Jenkins can make it back to New York still thinking we're a bunch of engineers, well, I'll eat my slide rule.
First of all, Purdue is uniquely a living demonstration that truly intellectual, down-to-earth people still exist in what has become a pseudointellectual world. If you will note, this is the 20th century. The study of science and technology has made a place for itself on an equal plane with philosophy.
Moreover, large industrial, urban areas such as Gary, Ind. would have fewer headaches if their young "adults" would stop doing the jerk (which you mentioned as one of the signs of "coolness" at Northwestern, Michigan, etc.) and transmit their energy to some good old-fashioned book-learning.