Kyle Rote Jr. is 5'11", 180 and does the 40 in 4.7. Although only a sophomore, he would probably have been the starting defensive halfback at Oklahoma State this fall—but Kyle Jr. isn't at Stillwater anymore. This month he transferred to The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., because Sewanee competes in the tough College Athletic Conference along with Centre, Southwestern at Memphis, Washington University of St. Louis and Washington and Lee. Competes in soccer, that is. Kyle Jr. has given up football. "I'm not saying anything's wrong with football," he says, "but I believe I can help make soccer a major sport." Kyle Jr. became a convert last year when he toured England with the Longhorn Soccer Club. "English soccer is rough soccer," he says, admiringly. Kyle Jr. started playing the game three years ago when professional soccer was introduced to Dallas. Says Ron Newman, coach of the Dallas Tornados, "He scrimmaged against us one day and scored two goals...clean as a whistle whacked 'em into the back of the net. I was quite impressed. He would be a very good center forward prospect in England."
Dr. C. C Humphreys, president of Memphis State University (and a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Silver Anniversary All-America) reports that an awards banquet where he was to speak was delayed by a long line of people who wanted O. J. Simpson to sign their programs. One man came up to Simpson and pleaded, "O.J., will you write on my program, 'Herbie, I like liver,' because his mother wants Herbie to eat more liver because it's good for him, but Herbie doesn't like liver, and if you say you like liver he'll eat liver?" Said O.J., "But I don't like liver."
"My interest at the moment is baseball. I'm very keen on the Mets," says the creator of the immortal Jeeves, namely the also immortal P. G. Wodehouse. "They're wonderful, a wonderful team. It must be great for Gil Hodges, I mean, he's picked them up from nowhere." As for his own current athletic endeavors, Mr. Wodehouse says, "I just watch sports now. I am 88, you know. But I do watch most of them, though I'm not very fond of professional football. Very sad about Arnie Palmer, he seems to have fallen back—there seem to be so many new people in golf—fellow named Shaw won a tournament just the other day; I had never heard of him." Asked about his own pursuits back when he was pursuing them, Mr. Wodehouse made it clear that the years had not clouded his memory, nor had the distance in time lent any enchantment. "Of all of the sports I have indulged in," he said, "well, actually, I was not very good at any of them."
Claudia Cardinale bought her son Patrick a bicycle and gave him lessons in the garden of her villa north of Rome, though she hasn't ridden herself since she was a child. Attempting to ride pillion behind Patrick, La Cardinale slipped and brought down son and bicycle. "One sees I am not made for sport," she observed ruefully. Hmmm.
Senator Edmund Muskie came down with a bad case of golf two years ago and it appears to be getting worse. "He has a fine swing, he has good hand action," says pro Bill Burns of Webhannet, Me., "and I get a kick out of the Senator's impatience." Muskie was impatient the other day, all right, toiling around the Webhannet course. "One day I hit them pretty good and I find myself a bit encouraged," he mourned, "but then I hit one like this [driving into an alder patch] and I wish I'd stuck to digging clams." It didn't help that the bushes were full of tourists, watching the every move of the man who may be the next Democratic Presidential candidate. Muskie's run-on observations ("I have been coming to this part of Maine since my college days, like all of Maine, this is beautiful country, I can't get back here often enough, we're indeed lucky to be State-of-Mainers—now look at that shot, isn't that awful? What am I doing wrong now? Gracious, oh boy, I'm ashamed of myself for playing so badly!") sound like the words of a man trying hard to keep his eye on the ball and the main chance.
English show-jumping champion and Olympic silver medalist Marion Coakes recently married David Mould, the Queen Mother's national hunt jockey. Conspicuous among the guests at the reception was the new Mrs. Mould's celebrated jumper, Stroller, but no one was so base as to suggest that the bride married just because she really needed a groom.
Earl Weaver has not been the best-known manager in the majors, but, with the Orioles having clinched the American League's Eastern Division, things have been getting a little better. "Sometimes people walk up to me now and say, ' Mr. Weaver, may I have your autograph?' " he reports with modest pride. Aglow with this new fame, Weaver dropped in to see a favorite singer, Brenda Lee, at a Baltimore club and, sure enough, she stopped the show to introduce him. "Ladies and gentlemen," she said, "there is a sports celebrity in the audience, the manager of the Baltimore Orioles, Earl Warren!"