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Tip to a Trend
Statisticians, as is their wont, have been doing some counting these days, this time on what they are sure to call the return of the foot to college football.
What they've found is that the game's wider goal posts—nearly five feet wider—and freer substitution rules have led to a profusion of field goals soaring through the heady autumn air. Some of the kicks have been pretty good, too, like the boot which won for Tennessee over Auburn last Saturday and those of a University of Maryland end named Scottgun Scott, who kicked three pro-length field goals of 31, 41 and 48 yards in the West Virginia game.
But what impresses us even more was a rare event at New Orleans the other night. Like you, we have always believed that the drop kick went out, and forever, roughly with Prohibition: it is just too hard to drop the modern narrow ball on its svelte nose.
So what happens? Bobby Joe Green, a Florida halfback, brings back 50 years of football memories by beautifully drop-kicking an extra point against Tulane. The drop kick was no accident either. Tulane had been warned by scouts that Green could be expected to try it.
Chortled Lynn (Pappy) Waldorf, former Northwestern and California coach and now head scout for the San Francisco 49ers, who have already drafted Green: "I thought I was being carried back to another time stage. That's the first drop kick I've seen in—must be 30 years—and I can't even remember anything about the last one."
All of which brings to mind a prophesy of the late Herman Hickman, who wrote (SI, Jan. 27, 1958): "Farfetched as it may seem, I look for a return of the drop kick." These days that doesn't look so farfetched after all.