Two weekends ago, after the finish of the Army-Navy game, I sat talking with a friend—both of us in the relaxed frame of mind which comes each fall Saturday afternoon when hardly anything seems more important than to lean back and quietly chew the game over.
After a while he said, "You hear coaches talking more and more about peripheral vision—the wider range of vision which allows some players to see not only what's directly ahead but what's happening on either side of them. I'll bet you won't mind my telling you what I've liked about SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S football reporting. It's your peripheral vision—the way your boys keep their eyes on the game from a lot of different directions."
Last week as I browsed back over our football coverage, peripheral vision did seem to describe what our editors have achieved in reporting this remarkably complex game.
To begin with, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has, of course, looked at the national picture with sectional previews, reviews and the stories of the big games. But it has also sat on the bench with Coach Art Lewis as Pittsburgh spoiled his West Virginia Mountaineers' dreams of a bowl game; sat behind a desk with Yale's President Griswold as he weighed the problem of recreational athletics on the scales of university education; sat in the stands as Harvey Knox watched son Ronnie perform; and stood in a quiet locker room as Adam Walsh, Notre Dame captain in the days of the Four Horsemen, explained why a coach can be proud of a team like Bowdoin's, no matter what its won-and-lost record.
SI has entered the "pilgrimage and picnic" atmosphere of an Ivy League weekend at Princeton, the prank-ridden mood of the Clemson-South Carolina game, and the dreams of glory of the Air Force Academy's very first game. And it has presented football from the varying perspectives of Oklahoma's Bud Wilkinson, Ohio State's Woody Hayes, TCU's Dutch Meyer and the great Frank Leahy.
From any direction, it's a great game. And while this year's chalk lines are fading from almost all of the nation's football fields, it's alwaya a pleasant fact about football that this year is never over until next year. So SI will be on hand ahead of time, in its Dec. 26 issue, with previews on scouting reports for next year and its bowl games.