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His system was not based on a deep or wide knowledge of either gambling or football. On the day he won, for reasons best known to himself, he decided to put his faith on teams whose names began with a C or an S and bet them (as one must in the treble chance) to tie their opponents. Accordingly he filled out nine lines on the card, at tuppence a line, expressing a hope rather than an opinion that Colchester would tie Swindon, Stirling Albion would tie Celtic, Sheffield United would tie Swansea and Cardiff would tie Stoke. Obviously (to anyone playing the C and S system) these four games were foolproof. What made Webb's choice difficult was the fact that he had also to pick Charlton, Shrewsbury and Chester to tie teams that began with an L, a Q and an N. But, wonder of wonders, it happened. Webb's choices were the only seven tie games on the card that week.
Arthur took his luck in characteristic calm. "At 70," he said, "I don't really want all that money. But we'll get a bigger house for sure."
On the Road
Shortly after dawn breaks over Hancock Field in Syracuse, N.Y. this Thursday, a chartered TWA Constellation will thrash ponderously upwind, lift its nose and head west for California. Aboard the airliner, scrubbed, combed and sanguine, will be 38 football players, 10 coaches, an athletic director and his assistant, a doctor, a dentist, trainers, managers and assorted supernumeraries. Some 10� hours later the plane will touch down in Los Angeles, and its passengers will walk down the unloading ramp, waving to photographers. The University of Syracuse football team, the nation's only major college team still unbeaten and still untied, will have arrived to play the University of California at Los Angeles in its final game of the year. It will be Syracuse's first visit to the coast in 35 years, and it will represent a good eight months of planning.
Phased with the precision of a minor military operation, which it almost is, the transcontinental trip is a logistical exercise first taken in hand last April by James Decker, assistant athletic director at Syracuse. In the execution of his duties, Decker received bids from competing airlines for the charter service, reserved 36 rooms in Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel, engaged Greyhound buses to ferry the Syracuse contingent between airport and hotel. A man who has been shepherding Syracuse teams since 1947, Decker forgot no details (insofar as he could remember), even mailed approved football training menus to the Ambassador chef (sample items: sirloin steak for breakfast before the game, ribs of beef for dinner afterward).
Responsibilities bearing more directly on the game itself are those of Head Coach Ben Schwartzwalder. Proved or otherwise, the notion persists that any college football team lured in late fall from the harshness of the East to the bland climate and pastel distractions of the West is a setup for an upset. To minimize the chances (and UCLA was the first to upset Southern California), Schwartzwalder's pregame schedule leaves little freedom for sightseeing and socializing; at an alumni reception in the Ambassador Friday night, for example, the team will be introduced with discreet brevity and then shuffled off to bed. Other times, the players will be expected to dwell long and thoughtfully on the instructions they have been hearing all week from their coaches.
Moreover, they will be expected to glance occasionally at a mimeographed fact sheet handed to them before their departure from Syracuse by Assistant Athletic Director Decker. On all game trips Decker prepares schedule sheets and appends at the bottom some inspiring words from military history. In the past he has selected such exhortations as Admiral William Halsey's "Hit hard, hit fast, hit often," West Point's No. 1 axiom "Never underestimate the enemy" and Churchill's "You ask what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory!"
For this week's western expedition Decker has turned to Ulysses S. Grant's western campaign in the Civil War. If partisans of the UCLA cause on Saturday are in any doubt about the serious dispatch Grant sent to the Confederates' General Simon Bolivar Buckner in besieged Fort Donelson—or the spirit with which Syracuse is dispatching the Syracusans this time—here's the message: "No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works."
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