- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
"The plastic roof—or tent—will admit light but keep out heat. It will be two sealed layers of plastic, the top blue, the bottom yellow. The cables will be anchored in concrete pylons at each end of the seating area, and they will be decorative in themselves. We'll gild them—not necessarily with gold leaf. Gold leaf? Why not? The seats will be in three rising phalanxes—separated by wide concourses—and each level will be reached by escalators. No climbing. There will be hot-and cold-water pipes under the seats themselves. On hot days the spectator—who will sit on an air cushion—can be cooled, and on cold days he can be warmed. Tunnels run back into the concrete slab. To bet, you can simply walk back a few steps to one of 800 betting clerks. There will be snack bars and a restaurant inside the slab as well. It can be built for $11,500,000—it would cost $18 million to seat 20,000 people in a conventional grandstand—and it will last for 300 years."
Wright then indicated, negligently, that he does not believe Belmont will adopt his scheme. "They have an expert," he explained. "An expert is a man who has stopped thinking. Why should he think? He's an expert. They have turned me down. I am here to make a rebuttal—but...." He smiled, gently. "Nevertheless," he said patting the plans, "this is the racing pavilion of the future. It is modern. No, no—how I hate that word modern. It is organic."
A PLEASURE OF THE MIND
Watching a race offers one kind of excitement, and running a race another, and in this fairly obvious fact lies much of the magic of sport. You may bake a cherry pie, or paint a house, or skin a cat, or write a Spenserian sonnet; and you may have a wonderful time, but nobody will get' much pleasure from watching you do it. But in sport both the man in the gallery and the man in the field find excitement and satisfaction. This ought to be enough, yet still another kind of pleasure is involved. It is known to a growing number of people and is largely a pleasure of the mind.
It is based on expertise. It comes from knowing your chosen sport and those who practice it, using precision judgment to predict the most plausible outcome of a contest, and finding your judgment confirmed.
The methods used in this sort of operation are as subtle and elaborate as those of a scholar sifting historical evidence. Imponderables must somehow be pondered. Form must be analyzed and style understood. The theorist makes his choice—and when events-prove that he chose well, his reward is intangible and yet solid as a rock.
The man ( SI's Boating writer) who looked long and thoughtfully at the dumpling-shaped Finisterre and said, "This is the boat to watch," knows this pleasure. So does the man ( SI's Horse writer) who said of Needles, "The Derby and the Belmont, yes; the Preakness, no." And so perhaps, in time, will the men ( SI's Boxing writers) who studied young Floyd Patterson and said, "Here comes a champion."
It's a fascinating thing, this business of knowingness. It adds the zest of living dangerously to the enjoyment of sport, for to be wrong is to court displeasure of the mind. Yet, ah, how musical is the phrase, "I told you so."
THE FIRST POLITATHLON
Shotputting, hammer throwing and broad jumping all developed from extremely informal beginnings in' the pastures of antiquity, and it seems only prudent to note that a new field event—possibly best described as the politathlon—has now been added to outdoor endeavor in the U.S. Its author, one Adlai Stevenson, was only, improvising as he performed (and invented) it the other day at the Northwestern Park Forest Preserve in Des Plaines, Ill., but time has a way of giving the oddest kind of political posturing an aura of solemnity. If the candidate of today has to prove himself by getting an army of supporters to hop up and down with signs at the national convention, it does not seem unreasonable to suppose that the candidate of the future might also have to prove himself by personally hopping about in public.