"The pig psychs us up," says Don Wetz, defensive tackle. "We go over and touch it before running out on the field, and we all scream, 'Root Hogs! Oink, oink, oink! Snort, snort, snort!' "
At the end of the football season Big Red will be invited to the team banquet—where, the unsentimental players say, he will be served as the main course.
Newspaper, magazine, radio and television sports departments are plagued by phone calls at odd hours of the night—most often just before closing time in local bars—asking for information on one sports question or another to settle a bet. Hawaii, a latecomer to organized sport in the U.S., seems to have attained a special place of importance in this scheme of things. A phone rang late the other evening in the sports department of The Honolulu Advertiser. Ron DeLacy of the sports staff answered it.
"Listen," the caller said, "can you tell us who the player was that the Los Angeles Rams got several years ago when they gave up 11 players to the old Dallas Texans for one? It's to settle a bet."
"Wait a second," DeLacy said. As he searched through a file for the answer—it was Les Richter—he asked the man on the phone where he was calling from.
"Yeah," the man said. "We had to settle this argument but it's 3 a.m. here. We figured you were the only sports department still open."
Rugby Union is one of the roughest sports in the world, with injuries commonplace. No one was too surprised, therefore, to learn that Mike Blackburn, a hard-tackling London player, was out with a back injury. The only thing was, Blackburn did not get hurt in a game. A Roman Catholic priest, he slipped a disk while taking off his vestments after saying Mass.