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December 20, 1954
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December 20, 1954

The Wonderful World Of Sport

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Sir Gladwyn brings his gun into position. He reportedly accounted for 56 birds.

Norwegian ambassador Rolf Andvord draws bead on pheasant overhead.

White-Smocked soldiers who served as beaters and loaders bring in some of the day's bag. The preserve normally contains about 10,000 pheasants and the weekly depredations of visiting firemen plus the transfer of stock to other French forests requires the government to add about 8,000 birds yearly to supply sufficient targets for guests.


Ordinarily a rather unattractive substance to deal with, mud sometimes adds a certain zest to a sporting event, just as a dash of bitters contributes an indefinable something to an Old Fashioned. Recently sportsmen in two widely separated lands held traditional contests where good gooey muck was as much a part of the proceedings as the contestants. In the Florida Everglades the 6th annual Swamp Buggy Derby took place on a quarter-mile track known as the Mile o' Mud, and a sloppy time was had by all as the swamp-going vehicles churned over the track.

Across the Atlantic, Eton schoolboys wallowed on a muddy field in the 114-year-old Wall Game. When their days were done, swamp buggy jockeys and Wall Game players knew they had forged another link in traditions, covered themselves with an aqueous glory.

Swamp buggy derby begins on soggy track near Naples, Fla. with 5,000 spectators lining the course. The derby officials made mud hole even sloppier than normal by flooding it before the race. Most of the vehicles are ordinarily used for hunting the Everglades' wild game—boar, deer, turkeys. Almost all of the buggies are specially adapted for swamp travel with high chassis to clear mud and oversized tires for better traction. Derby rules require contestants to stop buggies 100 feet from finish line, get out, slog around vehicles, climb aboard and start up again. With rules like that even a driver who stayed out in front would have a hard time keeping himself clean. Cigar-smoking William A. Brook (above) shows what a loser looks like.

Wall game begins with players wearing clean uniforms, their schoolmates cheering from atop one wall. The field itself is a long, narrow oblong, walled on two sides and the goals are a door in one wall, an elm tree at the other end of the field. Object of the game is to touch the ball to the opponents' goal. Both teams attempt to move the ball by massive formations and employ all forms of physical violence short of manslaughter; very few points have been scored in the 114 years of this mayhem. On a muddy day the ball occasionally disappears beneath the ground, players look as if they crawled from beneath it when the game is finished.


A standard reward for Sporting achievement nowadays—along with the prize or the prize money—is a buss from a beauty queen. The resulting picture has become a sports-page standby.

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