Boiled way down, every passer who has ever had his yardage counted has been measured again. From all this historical data a standard scale from best to worst has been established and converted into percentages. A passer with a rating of 60% on the scale is ordinary, an 80% passer excellent, a 100% passer well-nigh perfect. Well-nigh but not quite, because according to the new scale Roger Staubach reached 104.75 during Dallas' Super Bowl year, and Bart Starr in 1966 was even better: 105.1. The famous Sammy Baugh was 109.7 back in 1945, and the best of them all—a bit of a letdown here—was Cleveland's Milt Plum, with 110.4 in 1960.
As disconcerting as the intelligence that Plum had the single best season of any passer in history is the NFL's list of the 10 top career performances: 1) Len Dawson, 83.9; 2) Sonny Jurgensen, 82.4; 3) Bart Starr, 80.3; 4) Fran Tarkenton, 79.7; 5) John Unitas, 78.8; 6) Otto Graham, 78.1; 7) Frank Ryan, 77.7; 8) Sid Luckman, 75.8; 9) Norm Van Brocklin, 75.3; 10) Earl Morrall, 74.9.
Never mind John Unitas down there at No. 5 and Sid Luckman at No. 8 behind Frank Ryan. Where is Joe Namath? Bob Waterfield? Y.A. Tittle? Where is Baugh, who led the league in passing six times, completed 70.3% of his passes one year and averaged 56.5% for 16 seasons?
Back to the drawing board, NFL.
Some colleges are antagonistic to pro football, but not the University of Tampa, whose president, Dr. Bob Owens, says, "The University of Tampa believes the Tampa area is ripe for pro football. We at U-T wish to help if we can."
He said the school's practice field and training facilities would be available for a pro team to use until it could build its own and added, "I would hope we can work together. We could cooperate on things such as season-ticket sales, developing lists, enriching the market."
The various groups trying to land the franchise have pledged cooperation with the university, and one even said it might try to arrange for the university to acquire a small percentage of the pro club to help finance its athletic program. "We would not be disinclined to consider such an investment," said Dr. Owens.
The ivory poachers who were always trying to shoot down Tantor the Elephant in the movies of the '30s are back. In Kenya it is reported that wild elephants are being illegally slaughtered by the hundreds for their tusks. A Kenya game department official says, "There are two reasons why elephant poaching has run wild. First, general monetary unrest in the world has led to hoarding of ivory as a stable commodity, especially in Hong Kong and Japan. Second, there is the ivory loophole for wealthy Europeans and Asians being forced out of the country. They are not allowed to export dollars or pounds sterling, but they can ship ivory out." By buying and exporting a single tusk, a man can send a thousand dollars out of Kenya. As a consequence, black-market ivory has gone up from $1.43 a kilo in 1971 to $21.43 a kilo now. Thus, to a poacher, a well-tusked elephant can be worth $3,000. Dead elephants are found with their faces hacked open and the tusks gone. Dhows—the graceful, shallow-draft Arab sailing vessels—come up creeks and rivers from the sea, load up with clandestine tusks and off-load onto cargo vessels outside the 12-mile limit.