- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Latest support for our belief that harness racing needs a cleanup (SI, Sept. 10) comes in the disclosure of race fixing at Northville Downs, one of Detroit's three large trotting tracks. Posing as a would-be horse owner, a state investigator recorded a conversation with a trotting driver named Duane Hoose, in which Hoose blueprinted fixing tactics and documented this magazine's report that the winning driver in a fixed race often does not know the race is set up for him. (In such races, the conspiring drivers bet heavily on the sure, unsuspecting winner.)
Said Hoose: "They [the drivers] can arrange it so anyone they want will win.... You don't have to get in with many. All you have to do is contact the boys you figure will be ahead of you.... When it's done [setting up a fix] everybody concerned knows it in the middle of the afternoon. They know you've got a can't-miss horse.... Any horse I won with [at the recent meeting], I was a cinch." In answer to the question, "Can you always do it?" Hoose said, "Yes. Every time. Straight down the line."
One of Hoose's statements has prompted an investigation of all three Detroit tracks. Said he: "There is not so much fix at Hazel Park as there is at Northville and MRA [Wolverine]. I guess the boys at Hazel Park aren't smart enough."
BLINKY SWITCHES STYLE
The tart coolness which has obtained between SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and the tough guys of boxing has been thoroughly satisfying to live with. It has given a tang to the editorial chore. It has been a mountain breeze to sweating writers and balm to the sore feet of reporters. Fundamentally, it has been reassuring.
Now this agreeable modus vivendi seems threatened. On three occasions at the Basilio-Saxton fight (see page 19), Blinky Palermo committed acts of courtesy. His first breach of the code was to press a soft pink hand into that of a startled writer for this magazine and apologize for having snubbed him in Boston. The need for apology was disavowed but Blinky was insistent. "A man," he said, "can be big enough to apologize."
Next day he apologized for having contended that Referee Al Berl had stopped the fight too soon (not too soon for Saxton, though) and he complimented his most insistent enemy, Julius Helfand, for his fairness in assigning New York City officials to an upstate fight in order to guard against a home town decision for Basilio.
Blinky, who had just lost control of the welterweight championship, was emitting words of sweetness and beams of haloed light when he might more appropriately have been nursing a sore head. He was changing his natural fighting style, just as Saxton had done, and it was very confusing to those who must evaluate the way of the world. How explain such a change?
He may, of course, have taken on a public relations counsel of the old Ivy Lee school, but it seemed more likely that Blinky's euphoric gentleness had another source. He had, to be sure, lost the welterweight championship, but he looked to be on his way to the lightweight championship.
For Blinky had just taken over Larry Boardman, a tough little nutmeg from Marlborough, Conn. who the night before in Boston had knocked out Jimmy Carter, the former lightweight champion and protégé of Frankie Carbo. (The fight had overtones which brought boos from the Boston crowd.) Previously Boardman had won over-the-weight fights with Featherweight Champion Sandy Saddler, Lightweight Champion Bud Smith and Frankie Ryff.