Every Olympics has its problems and disagreements, but the host for the 1968 Games in Mexico City is keeping cool and sunny. In a recent speech Dr. Josue Saenz, president of the Mexican National Olympic Committee, contrasted the attitudes of the participants: "The athletes are fighting for the prize. Spectators are looking for something spectacular. Politicians are using the Games to prove that one society is better than the others. The professional agitator is trying to set one race against another. So," concluded Dr. Saenz, "the Olympics has something for everyone."
GOD'S HELPING HAND
There are all kinds of alibis for a baseball team not getting into the World Series, but Mrs. D. J. Edmonson of Annandale, Minn. has come up with one for the failure of her beloved Twins that Minnesota's ballplayers never would have thought of. Mrs. Edmonson recently wrote to the editor of the Minneapolis Star: "I believe that God guides our destinies at all times and in all places. The Twins were virtually the best team in the American League. With a little help from God, the pennant would have been theirs. I don't believe it is a coincidence that they lost it the same year the State of Minnesota voted to sell liquor on Sunday."
God may have been nodding. Boston, whose Red Sox beat the Twins in the pennant race, has permitted Sunday liquor selling for a long time.
CHEWING ON A BIG WAD
For three years dentists at Case-Western Reserve, a college in Cleveland, have been doing research for the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare on the "act of chewing." The studies have been limited mostly to methods of correct chewing, but the researchers say they believe that chewing greatly aids athletes by reducing muscular tension and giving them a sense of well-being. Dr. Theodore Messerman, who heads the project, would like to test his theory that big-league chewing—that done by, say, the Twins' Ted Uhlaender or the Yankees' Steve Hamilton—is a "neurotic activity." But by the time the research has advanced that far the doctor's wad may be expended. The government allocated only $142,798 for the project. So far, $71,000 has been chewed up.
College football coaches complain each year about the harassing noise of the partisan crowds they must face on the road, at such places as Notre Dame, LSU and Georgia Tech. As the game has become more complex, it is increasingly important that a quarterback's change of plays at the line of scrimmage not be drowned out by a roaring crowd.
"I think it is time we did something about the noise," said UCLA's Tommy Prothro after his Bruins just got by Penn State amid the din at University Park, Pa. "The rules say the officials can penalize the home team 15 yards, but I have seen it done in college football only once in my career."
When USC arrived at Notre Dame for its game with the Irish last weekend, it was the No. 1 team in the country in both polls, but the betting line had the Trojans as 12-point underdogs, largely because of the cheering in South Bend. "You can't hear anything in that stadium," USC Coach John McKay said prior to the game. "Sixty thousand people scream so loud you can't change a play at the line of scrimmage. Nobody can hear the signals. You've got to go with what has been called in the huddle. In effect, Notre Dame has a 12th man in the stands."
As it turned out, the problem did not materialize last week in Notre Dame Stadium. On the first play USC Quarterback Steve Sogge had trouble calling his signals. He appealed to the officials. They appealed to Notre Dame players, and the players, in turn, waved at the crowd to be quiet. The fans obeyed.