SI Vault
October 10, 1966
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October 10, 1966


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Baby turtles aren't the only wild creatures Mrs. Szuch has, so to speak, taken under her wing. There is also, she says, "this here red fox named Charlie. I raised him from a pup and, funny thing, he don't know he's a fox. I love him." Charlie the fox repays her love by guarding the turtles. When they try to climb out of the fish box where Mrs. Szuch keeps them, Charlie nudges them back with his nose. "I don't think he eats any," Mrs. Szuch says. "Maybe I should count them, but I think he'd rather have a dish of fruit cocktail."


The other day ABC ran the film of the Floyd Patterson-Henry Cooper fight, which was held in London on Sept. 20, and for many viewers it was like seeing an old movie. Against the rather obliging Cooper, whom he knocked out in the fourth round, Patterson looked remarkably like the exciting, decisive Patterson of seven or eight years ago, not the confused, limited Patterson who was stopped twice by Sonny Liston and once by Cassius Clay.

Patterson, too, believes he has regained much of his past mastery. "I'm glad it showed," he said last week at his training camp in Marlboro, N.Y. "I don't want to make any big deal out of one fight, but I know I felt different, more capable. I was thinking in the ring for the first time in years. I guess you can say my mind went out to lunch and stayed away for seven years. In the past I tried to think and worry about too many things when I should have been thinking only about my fights. My camp was no help, either. I had eight men with me, but they only added to the confusion. Each one worried about his cut. Was he getting enough? Was the next guy getting more? One guy made $250,000 in five years. Then, when he thought I was washed up, he sued me because he didn't think he got enough. Well, the rats left the sinking ship.

"The only one who was loyal was Ernie Fowler. [Fowler came to the Patterson camp in 1960 as second chauffeur.] When I decided my back was O.K. and that perhaps I should try one more fight, Ernie and I began training in a small gym on Long Island. From the start it was like beginning all over again. First thing Ernie said was, Floyd, you've been fighting as if your right hand was sick, so let's concentrate on it. Another thing, your footwork is bad. You've got in the habit of bringing your right foot too far forward and it ties up your movement. Another thing, you're too flatfooted. I argued, but Ernie won out, and it was for the best. I asked him why he hadn't spoken up before. He told me he was just a little man and that his advice would just have added to the confusion. Maybe so. I don't have it all back, but I feel happy and satisfied for the first time in a long while."

Patterson will get another chance to show how far back he's come in December or early January, when he is supposed to take on Karl Mildenberger, perhaps in New York. Welcome back, old buddy.


The University of Plano, founded in 1964 outside of Dallas, is fielding a football team for the first time this year. In the words of a Plano (pop. 3,700) city councilman: "We hope it will be worthy of our high school team." Plano High won the state AA championship in 1965; Plano U. (enrollment 172), which is playing touch football for the time being, hasn't won a game.

" Plano will have to measure up athletically," says Dr. Robert Morris, Plano U.'s president. Dr. Morris presides from an office in what was once the Malaysian pavilion at the New York World's Fair; transported to Texas, the building now houses offices, classrooms and the Plano U. library. He had hoped to get the Danish pavilion, but a Connecticut restaurateur was willing to pay for it. Malaysia donated its building; in gratitude, Plano U. has established a perpetual scholarship for a worthy Malaysian.

"We have two arrows in our bow," says Dr. Morris. "We're building a strong liberal arts college in the traditional sense, and we are taking a new approach to the academic side with a neurological approach to education. Simply stated, we bridge the gap from the first zone, the mind, to the third zone, the body, by accentuating the intermediate zone, or the neurological zone. Many students with fine minds and fine bodies don't live up to their potential for one simple reason: the pathways between the two are underdeveloped. The whole neurological exercise blends into physical exercise, thus the importance of sports in our curriculum."

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