SPORT OR DIRTY BUSINESS?
The Gavilan-Saxton turkey trot deserves a thorough airing. In fact, it may be time to ask again, as responsible sportswriters have been asking so long, whether boxing is going to be a legitimate sport or a dirty business? Jim Norris, the personable president of the IBC, as an honorable man and a true fight fan should welcome an investigation of the dark underside of boxing. It can destroy the sport as the Black Sox conspiracy might have ruined baseball if an effective commission had not been set up to protect our pastime from its inside jobbers. To say this is not to attack boxing but to attack the boxing racket.
BUDD SCHULBERG, NOVEMBER 1
ONLY THE BRAVE
He is the enemy. He is a bull—big, perhaps 1,000 pounds of lightning speed and smashing power. The whole top of his neck is a tossing muscle capable of flinging a horse into the air. The muscle flexes and humps tight when he is angry. He comes trotting out of his dark box into the bright sunlight of the ring, head up, looking nervously about. He charges and the sand sings under his feet.
JOHN STANTON, JANUARY 17
WHAT IKE DID FOR GOLF
Golf has been good for the President, and the converse is no less true: he has been extremely good for golf. Since 1913, or ever since Francis Ouimet's surprising triumph in the Open championship started to take the curse off the game as the affected importation of the upper crust, golf has steadily become a more and more democratic and popular pastime. Today it is as all-strata in its following as fishing, and if anything, the driving range may have even replaced the poolroom. At the same time, until President Eisenhower took office, wearing his scorecard on his sleeve, golfers remained somewhat suspect in the eyes of many of their countrymen who persisted in viewing the breed as die-hard Tories who, if you didn't keep a watchful eye on them, would ask for a finger bowl at a hamburg stand, and in French. "Before Ike came in," a New York enthusiast recently confessed, "every time I carried my golf bag down to Grand Central and boarded a train for a golfing weekend, I could count on running into disapproving faces and at least one slur carefully delivered so that I could hear it—you know, something like, 'Don't strain yourself, Reginald.' Now it's all changed. Strangers look at me as if I were a member of the 4-H Club. And when they speak to me, they give me the warm smile and a cheery word like, 'Looks like a grand weekend to get out of doors.' All of a sudden, I'm on the same level with the Fourth of July and Mom's apple pie, and I like it."
HERBERT WARREN WIND, JANUARY 24
AN INNOCENT AT RINKSIDE
To the innocent, who had never seen hockey before, it seemed discorded and inconsequent, bizarre and paradoxical, like the frantic darting of the weightless bugs which run on the surface of stagnant pools. Then it would break, coalesce through a kind of kaleidoscopic whirl, like a child's toy, into a pattern, a design almost beautiful, as if an inspired choreographer had drilled a willing and patient and hard-working troupe of dancers.
WILLIAM FAULKNER, JANUARY 24
THE WINTER OF THE GOLFER
For most golfers—excepting always the fortunate herd which heads for the South—wintertime is a tough passage. They drive by their home courses and their eyes meet the bleakness of snow, slush or frozen ground, everything drably white and black and gray, not one green blade of grass, not one lousy buttercup. It is enough to drive a man to brooding. The golfer, a talented brooder at any time, begins to dwell, as he never does in the heat of a summer round, on the variegated beauty of the natural settings in which he pursues his game: the soft, green, breeze-swept courses along the edge of the sea; the rolling meadowland courses, with bright seasonal flowers busting out along the borders of the holes; mountain courses, where the best line off the first tee is a yard to the left of that topmost pine; tropical courses; lakeside courses, and that plain course down the road that becomes extraordinarily beautiful when spring or autumn touches it. Several more weeks of long, hard waiting still lie ahead until, as Geoffrey Chaucer, an early outdoor man, put it, the sweet showers of April have pierced the drought of March to the root, and once again the majority of our golf courses are ready to handle the traffic.
HERBERT WARREN WIND, FEBRUARY 28
BRANCH RICKEY'S RIDE
Rickey was the first to reach the sidewalk. He paced up and down, flapping his arms against the cold. In a moment Mrs. Rickey came out and the ride downtown in Rickey's Lincoln began. As the car pulled away from the curb, Rickey, a notorious back-seat driver, began a series of barked directions: "Right here, Guido! Left at the next corner, Guido! Red light, Guido!"
Guido, smiling and unperturbed, drove smoothly along. As the car reached the downtown business district, Rickey, peering this way and that, shouted, "Slow down, Guido!"
Guido slowed down and then Rickey whispered hoarsely: "There it is, Mother! Look!"
"What?" smiled Mrs. Rickey.