A typical Mothian preamble to his selections goes this way: "What a wonderful world it would be if everyone went to the racetrack. What lovely lessons could be learned. Like what happens when we go to the track and lose and it's only the fourth race. We go home.... It seems that the benevolent autocracy that guides our nation has not gained the wisdom of the racetrack.... Like when they run out of resources, the warm bodies of Negroes, Mexican-Americans and poor whites, they just dig a little deeper and send college grads and law students. Anyway, Moth has one more year of grace before leaving Golden Gate Fields for Vancouver Downs, so let's look at the races." Presumably, The Moth forgoes touting any entry that runs with a saddlecloth marked 1-A.
O SAY! CAN YOU SEE
A petition, signed by more than 120 Southeastern Conference track team members from all 10 schools, has been presented to SEC Commissioner Tonto Coleman. Very simply, the statement declares that the athletes will no longer compete at any event where the American flag is not flown. The ultimatum is in special reference to the SEC indoor meet that is held annually at Montgomery, Ala., the original Confederate capitol, where often only the Stars and Bars have been displayed.
Prime movers of the petition were Tennessee's star athlete Richmond Flowers, whose home town is Montgomery, and Jim Green, a Negro freshman at Kentucky. They were inspired to take action when they stood for the national anthem at this year's meet and suddenly realized "we didn't know where to look," as Flowers says. "It gave us a strange feeling."
Commissioner Coleman expects no difficulty in having the Stars and Stripes also flown next time in Montgomery. If so, it would be a rather timely concession. Alabama was welcomed back to the Union exactly 100 years ago this month.
THE BABY BULLS
The furor that recently arose during the San Isidro Fair in Madrid when a matador named Miguel�n leaped into the bullring in his street clothes and casually stroked the warm nose of a supposedly ferocious bull named Ventilador, goes far beyond a conflict of personalities.
Miguel�n's "rudeness," for which he got a night in jail, was at first thought merely an attempt to humiliate his more successful rival, El Cordob�s, the popular hero of the corrida who was about to ventilate Ventilador when the interruption occurred. It was that, all right, but it had a more important purpose: to demonstrate the amiability of the animals which have helped Cordob�s attain his reputation for bravery.
The ploy succeeded beyond Miguel�n's hopes—it sent all of Spain into an absolute dither. For the first time it brought into the open serious questions concerning the quality of modern fighting bulls. Lay aficionados finally were ready to join critics in saying: they sure don't make 'em like they used to.
In an article in this magazine last summer (SI, July 24), Rutgers Professor John McCormick, a noted American bullfight authority, stated the issue directly: "The entire art is in danger of disappearance for lack of the essential animal." Many of the toros today are really novillos—3-year-olds—fattened on enriched feeds, who are known quite aptly as "apparent" bulls. However imposing they may appear, they are actually indolent, buckling in their own baby fat. They make one charge and then are content to watch the matador carry on about them with crowd-pleasing histrionics.