SI Vault
Edited by Robert W. Creamer
September 29, 1975
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September 29, 1975


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She did not leave it at that. When she was eight months pregnant she played in another tournament, this time in Oregon, was eliminated in an early round and decided that it was too great a burden for her to play singles. When she entered the Yakima Valley Open a couple of weeks later she confined herself to doubles. Mrs. Bounds had been encouraged in all the activity by her doctor, but perhaps the last effort was too much. About halfway through her first-round match she suddenly dropped to her knees and quietly told her partner that this was it. They forfeited and nine hours later Mrs. Bounds gave birth to a baby girl.

The baby had arrived 22 days early but the timing was brilliant; the Yakima Valley Open is commonly referred to as the Labor Day tournament.


In doing work for his doctorate in English, a scholar named Richard Lederer came across a passage about football written by Phillip Stubbes, the essayist who was a contemporary of Shakespeare. Stubbes never saw Mean Joe Greene or Dick Butkus, but he had some vivid things to say about hard-nosed aspects of the game. The football Stubbes described was apparently an early version of rugby, even though rugby was not supposed to have been invented until 1823 when a chap named William Webb Ellis picked up a ball in a soccer game and ran with it. Maybe Ellis, who has a monument to his memory on the Rugby School campus, is an English counterpart of Abner Doubleday, acclaimed for inventing a sport that already existed.

In any case, 250 years before Ellis, Stubbes wrote as follows (the spelling has been modernized): "For, as concerning football playing, I protest unto you, it may rather be called a friendly kind of a fight than a play or recreation, a bloody and murdering practice than a fellowly sport or pastime. For doth not everyone lie in wait for his adversary, seeking to overthrow him and to pitch him on his nose, though it be upon hard stones, in ditch or dale, in valley or hole, or what place soever it be he careth not, so he may have him down? And he that can serve the most of this fashion he is counted the only fellow, and who but he? So that by this means sometimes their necks are broken, sometimes their legs, sometimes their arms, sometimes one part thrust out of joint, sometimes another, sometimes their noses gush out with blood, sometimes their eyes start out of their heads, and sometimes hurt in one place, sometimes in another. But whosoever scapeth away, the best goeth not scot-free, but is either sore crushed and bruised, so as he dieth of it, or else scapeth very hardly. And no marvel, for they have sleights to meet one between two, to dash him against the heart with their elbows, to hit him under the short ribs with their gripped fists, and with their knees to catch him upon the hip and to pitch him on his neck, with a hundred such murderous devices, and hereof groweth envy, malice, rancor, choler, hatred, displeasure, enmity and what not else? And sometimes fighting, brawling, contention, quarrel picking, murder, homicide, and great effusion of blood, as experience daily teacheth. Is this murdering play now an exercise for the Sabbath day?"

What sayest thou, Pete Rozelle?


A collection of very tough athletes representing Josef's Restaurant of Hillside, Ill. won the Amateur Softball Association's national 16-inch slow-pitch tournament in Marshalltown, Iowa a few weeks ago, and the way they did it should shame major league baseball players who grumble about playing doubleheaders. Because this year's tournament was run off in three days instead of four and was delayed by rain to boot, games were played one after another like freight trains going by.

Josef's, which lost its first game in the double-elimination event, had to go into the loser's bracket and fight its way back up, and in so doing produced an almost unbelievable feat of endurance. Starting at noon on the final day, Josef's played seven games in 14 hours, won all seven and wrapped up the championship at two in the morning. Slow-pitch softball is free-swinging: Josef's averaged 15 weary hits and 11 exhausting runs a game in that marathon stretch, yet finished strong. The team's last two victories were by scores of 16-2 and 10-3.

At 2:15 a.m., after they had received their championship trophy, the players looked around, saw no one else to play and, according to Manager John Cannata, "went back to the motel and drank until 7:30 in the morning."

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