Nowhere that we know of is the wide sweep of sport more closely watched than in a large running file called the "Futures Book"—which is to SI's editorial department what a master timetable is to a railroad.
Before me, for example, an excerpt from it for the early days of 1955 shows sports humming merrily into a Happy New Year with such diverse fare as the National Singles Shuffleboard Tournament in Lakeland, Fla.; the Nipawin Car Bonspiel, or curling in Saskatchewan; European figure skating championships at Budapest; and cricket test matches in Australia for the Ashes. The Futures Book also lists a packed schedule for major U.S. sports. While the Jan. 1 crop of three-year-olds sorts itself out at Santa Anita and Hialeah, golf, after a brief hibernation, comes right back with the Los Angeles Open. Chicago hosts the All-Star Bowling Tournament. Basketball and hockey continue their furious business at the old stands. And of course the skiers will be jumping from Bear Mountain to Garmisch to Africa's Atlas Mountains.
The Futures Book is the hub of a carefully organized system for keeping our editors far in advance of the sports parade. Researchers select the book's thousands of entries from hundreds of sources. Our world-wide network of Time Inc. bureaus and stringer-correspondents constantly wire dates and details of local events which merit national coverage. Their reports are added to information gathered from daily newspapers, newsletters, magazines, the AP and UP sports wires and schedules from sports organizations.
Eventually, the Futures Book itself is edited and emerges, uniquely and conveniently, in SI as Coming Events (page 79), which, beginning next week, will look 10 days ahead and thus give our on-the-go readers an extra week for making their weekend sports plans.
One of our most welcome sources of information for the Futures Book is your own letters—telling us about events of special interest to you. While space may limit what we can print, it is nonetheless true that just about everything in sport which interests readers always interests editors.