- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
FEDS VS. FIXERS
The record of Congress in passing laws that might help sport is low, very close to .000, but last week the Senate sent to the House a bill that could very well cripple sport's biggest enemy—the fixer.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Kenneth B. Keating of New York, calls for fines up to $5,000 and imprisonment for 10 years for those who conspire to fix sports contests by bribery. Most important, the bill gives the Federal Government an authority in the area it has not previously had. It makes it a crime to use interstate commerce facilities to rig any contest, amateur or professional.
The law may not appear to have very sharp teeth, but neither did the anti-racketeering laws Attorney General Robert Kennedy put through last September. Just one year later these new statutes warranted a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED article (Sept. 3) called The Bookies Close Up Shop.
Much of the detail for the new bill was drawn up by that onetime football star Byron (Whizzer) White, then an assistant attorney general and since promoted to the Supreme Court, one who knows the importance of frightening crooked gamblers away from susceptible young athletes. Now, if the former athletes of the House will get together, it may just be possible to get the Keating bill through quickly, despite the current closing rush. If so, the fixers who have been able to dodge local authorities could be driven out of business by the thought that they would then be dealing with the feds.
THE PICK: PATTERSON
Last week Floyd Patterson told how he had dreamed about his fight with Sonny Liston—which will occur in reality in Chicago on September 25—but woke up before he found out who won. And Liston says he had a dream about Patterson. "The dream told me just how the fight would end," Sonny said. Beyond that he ain't talking. Well, we had a dream, too. Patterson won in 15.
Wishful dreaming, perhaps, but we're picking Patterson in 15 rounds or, as they say, less.
The champion's greatest failing in his title defenses to date has been a singular lack of attention and, consequently, application. With the exception of the nights that he knocked out Archie Moore to win the title and Ingemar Johansson to regain it, he has appeared bemused and confused, or perhaps just bored, in the ring. It is clear that Patterson is only as good as he believes his adversary to be.
Since it is inconceivable that he will underestimate the glowering Liston, Floyd should be at the top of his form next week: fast, resourceful and hardhitting. Sonny has neither Floyd's speed nor the versatility of his attack. He is a relatively elementary, one-track fighter, whose greatest natural resources are enormous strength and punching power.