SI Vault
November 24, 1969
TURN 'EM LOOSEThe Big Ten rule that will doubtless keep the nation's best football team from playing in a bowl game obviously is absurd. But so is the whole system of bowl-conference alignments that almost always prevents the best teams in the country from meeting in postseason showdowns. To have such unbeaten powers as Ohio State and Texas glaring at each other at the top of the heap and not to match them is to stand in the way of nature. The NCAA should reorganize the whole bowl system so that it will determine the nation's No. 1 team before any more dream games slip away.
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November 24, 1969


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After a quick lunch it was out to the University of Iowa's stadium for the homecoming game with Michigan State, though the Cileks really did not expect to see too much there, since their 21-year-old Mike was only second string behind Quarterback Larry Lawrence. But with less than three minutes to go and Iowa behind 18-12, Lawrence was injured on a third-down play, and Mike was called into action. He picked up the first down with a fourth-down, five-yard pass, followed a few minutes later with a 22-yard pass to the six and then threw a touchdown pass to tie the game. The extra point was good, and Iowa won 19-18.

Said Mike afterward, "Now I don't have to listen in silence to those other three quarterbacks telling me how they won their games."

The Chicago and North Western Railway has equipped its commuter stations near Chicago with bicycle racks to accommodate businessmen who, in search of fitness or in flight from fatness, have resolved to pedal partway to work. The idea should, pardon the expression, spread. Not only would it relieve urban congestion by reducing per-businessman volume, it might even aid certain commuter railroads in their own struggle to get in shape—provided, of course, that some of their customers, once exposed to cycling, might prefer to pedal all the way to work. And beat the train.


When Jack Ramsay coached St. Joseph's College, defeat often sent him on long walks into snowy nights. Now steering the Philadelphia 76ers, Ramsay is walking again, and things are going so badly for him he can't even make up for the absence of snow by getting mugged.

The 76ers flew into Detroit last week following their fourth straight home-court defeat, a club record. After a 90-minute workout in Cobo Arena, Ramsay was hoofing it back to his hotel when an accompanying radio announcer noticed a bus-stop sign that read BOARD COACH HERE.

"This is where we jump on you," the announcer said to Ramsay. In a flash Ramsay flung himself to the pavement and stretched out supine in the middle of the roadway. "O.K.," he said, and then he lay silent. A group of pedestrians glared at Ramsay and moved on shaking their heads.

The same response was even more appropriate the next night, when the 76ers lost to the Pistons. At 104-104 in regulation, Philadelphia had possession for the last 41 seconds without taking a legal shot. Guard Archie Clark missed everything with a corner jumper just as the 24-second clock expired, Matty Guokas got the nonrebound, Philadelphia was improperly allowed to keep the ball, but the 76ers couldn't get a shot in the 17 seconds before the buzzer—Hal Greer dribbled the time away. In the first overtime, the score tied again, the Pistons doubled-teamed Clark and the 24-second clock expired with three seconds remaining. In the second overtime the Pistons won.

So Ramsay went for a long walk, looking for mortification. "I tried to get mugged for two hours." he said, "and nobody would handle me. I walked the worst street in Detroit waving a roll of bills and nothing happened."


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