- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Student: If the practice of feigning injury is accepted by society, should not this be sufficient?
Fuller: The judgment of an action should come from something deeper than passive acceptance. View the practice from the position, "If one can do it, all can do it!" and observe the results. If the catcher tries to make every pitch look like a strike, the game is not affected. Should there be an injury following every play in football, however, the game would soon degenerate into an uninteresting farce.
"Have you ever heard of a football player," the professor asked to clinch the argument, "who is not only a great runner and a fine passer but also great at faking injuries?"
Nobody could think of a glistening example.
At the close of the 1958-59 basketball season, 5-foot-11 Alan Seiden seemed like a little man with a big future. Named on just about everybody's All-America, the back-courter from St. John's University of Brooklyn had been his team's top scorer and playmaker, had climaxed his senior year by leading St. John's to victory in the National Invitation Tournament. It seemed only natural that the professional St. Louis Hawks should make him one of their top draft choices, and it seemed fairly certain that Seiden would perform as well for them as he had for St. John's. But last week a thoroughly disgruntled Alan Seiden was back in his New York home, all 5 feet 11 inches of him, asking the Hawks either to play him or give him his release.
"I can't help feeling the pros don't give a rookie who's small a real chance," he said. "Believe me, this is the first time I ever felt lost in the shuffle.
"At St. John's I was a star. I didn't even have to try too hard in practice. I built it up for the game. But in the two weeks I was at the Hawks' training camp I scrimmaged harder than I ever did in my life. One time we rookies played the vets for 20 minutes. We beat them 46-43 and I got 13. Three for six from the floor, seven for seven from the foul line. Slater Martin was covering me. Another time I played with Bob Pettit and Cliff Hagan for 12 minutes. I got 14 off Martin. Four field goals and six foul shots. I was scoring with Slater Martin covering me. It made me feel good. But I knew a scrimmage was no substitute for a game."
Up to now, Seiden's words had rushed out in a torrent. When he continued, his tone was more deliberate.
"Then we started on our exhibition tour. We played our first game at Los Angeles. I never even got in. We went on to Las Vegas, and I didn't get in there until the last three minutes when we were 14 points down. Sihugo Green had water on the knee. He played and I didn't. It was like a slap in the face. I asked the Hawks to play me or give me my release so I could try out with another club. They wouldn't so I flew home. I just couldn't see sitting on the bench.