"They saw a good product and rushed it too quickly," says Cokes. "He was never taught the fundamentals. He knows nothing about ducking, blocking or slipping punches. We have to start from scratch. Terry is back in school."
Perhaps it is embarrassing for Daniels to be learning the basics of his sport at this point. It should be embarrassing for boxing, too—if boxing were capable of being embarrassed—to realize that such a fighter was given a bout with the heavyweight champion of the world.
WHAT PRICE HOCKEY?
Folks around Burlington, Vt. are really angry at the people in Montreal, 80 miles to the north across the border of Quebec. Burlington had been televising Boston Bruin hockey games, but the Montreal Canadiens insisted that the telecasts be halted because they impinge on Canadien territory. Burlington is outside the 50-mile territorial limit hockey imposes, but the Canadiens say the TV signal comes whisking up Lake Champlain and into Montreal loud and clear as a referee's whistle.
The issue is still up in the air (or not up in the air, if you want to be technical about it), but the Vermonters are fighting. They've sent wires and letters to Congress and to Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada. The latest ploy concerns a man named Wayne Carlson, a fugitive from Canadian justice who was arrested by Burlington police. A citizen phoned a local call-in radio show and suggested that Burlington make a deal with Canada: Carlson for the Bruins.
Fraser Kent, medical writer for the Miami Herald, recently offered the premise that what football fans really want is blood. "The greatest excitement," he wrote, "appears to be directly related to the potential for, or the probability of, serious physical injury." This seems badly overstated. While the violence and brutal body contact of football may appeal to a substantial number of spectators, the excitement is always found in accomplishment, not injury. Gale Sayers running with the ball is a lot more satisfying to someone who likes football than Gale Sayers crumpled on the turf with a ruined knee.
Nonetheless, as Kent did establish, injuries are far from an incidental part of the game. "Just about anybody who has ever played football for any length of time has suffered for it later," said John McMurty of the University of Guelph in Ontario. And Dr. James A. Nicholas, the team physician of the New York Jets, who is best known for holding Joe Namath's knees together, said a survey indicates that a 47-man squad in the NFL can expect 15 major injuries and five operations during a 20-game season. Noting that the average actual playing time in a game is about 800 seconds, Nicholas said this was the highest injury rate per unit time played for any sport.
There is little doubt that American football is the roughest major organized sport in the world. Even so, the average fan does not watch it hoping someone will be maimed but to see fine athletes accomplish feats of high skill under extraordinarily difficult conditions.