Actual football playing, by Wicker's definition, is what happens between the time the ball is centered and the whistle blows the play to a standstill.
Wicker, armed with stop watch, scratch paper and much statistical data, has been carrying on a personal war to put football back in football.
He started stop-watching 10 games a year five years ago and was shocked to learn those 60-minute "iron men" actually averaged 11 minutes 35 seconds.
Huddles consume about half the time, and this seldom varies, Wicker says. But officials have been known to consume more than three minutes' time, from one game to another, simply by "lining up the ball, talking to other officials and looking up at television cameras."
Wicker pointed out that while the huddles in the Rose and Gator bowls took up approximately the same time (eight seconds difference), Gator Bowl fans saw 13 minutes 26 seconds' worth of football compared to 10� in the Rose Bowl because the officials did not take up so much time placing and misplacing the ball in the Gator Bowl.
Wicker does not leave these tidbits of information without a remedy for the ailments.
His cure: five-minute quarters with the clock running only from the time the ball is snapped until the referee blows his whistle. That way, he figures, the fans would get at least 20 minutes of the real thing.
"THEN I'LL TURN PRO"
When Ken Rosewall decided to turn pro after the Challenge Round last month, there was strong speculation that his Davis Cup twin, Lew Hoad, might do likewise.
Certainly, the circumstances were the same. Both are young men of moderate circumstances, the same age (22) and with newly-gained responsibilities of marriage. Hoad even has the extra responsibility of a young daughter, a year old.