1960s SI & TSN (continued)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sat Sep 4 08:42:16 UTC 1999

     The "whole nine yards" search continues.  As usual, I didn't find it in
the 1960s football articles in Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News, but
I found a lot of interesting stuff that made the time worthwhile, anyway.
     The NYPL is closed tomorrow (Monday is Labor Day, so they close Saturday
as well!), but maybe I'll go to the Brooklyn Public Library before I leave
the country on Sunday.
    Here goes:

THE TURK, The Sporting News, 21 September 1968, pg. 52, col. 4.  The NFL
season is starting soon and teams must cut down to the roster limit.  Those
players cut face "The Turk."  Obviously, "Turk" is not new, but the football
version has not been recorded.
     POTPOURRI: This is the time of "The Turk" in pro football and most
coaches will tell you it is the most difficult aspect of their jobs--making
those last few cuts to get down to the regular-roster limit.

WOUNDED DUCKS & FLUTTERBALLS, The Sporting News, 9 November 1968, pg. 5, col.
4.  A really weak football forward pass.  Neither term is in the RHHDAS.
     (Brian--ed.) Dowling throws the ball side-arm--he used to throw almost
underhanded, but brought his delivery up when his passes often were knocked
down at the line in freshman games--and his soft arching passes wobble
conspicuously.  They are called "wounded ducks" in Yale practice sessions.
But they get there, at distances up to 70 yards, and they are easy to catch
once they do.
     _Defenders Puzzled_
     "Call them flutterball passes or whatever you want to," said University
of Connecticut Coach John Toner, "but he fooled our defenders time after
(FWIW, this pun on the theatrical play WE BOMBED IN NEW HAVEN is in col. 3:
"So All-East quarterback Dowling calmly faded and bombed a 60-yard completion
to Hill!  Dowling regularly 'bombs' in New Haven, and the Yale Bowl crowds
love it."--ed.)

CRUNCH, Time, 8 September 1967, pg. 40, col. 3.  This is useful for the later
phrase "crunch time."
     _A Maximum of Crunch_
     As the Franks said to the Romans, "It must be fun to be a Hun."  Or a
Green Bay Packer.  Preseason games are supposed to be exhibitions, and that
is all last week's Green Bay-Dallas game was: an exhibition of brutality in
the purest Packer tradition. (...)  But the effect was the same--a minimum of
razzle-dazzle and a maximum of crunch.

JITTERBUGGING, Sports Illustrated, 19 September 1966, pg. 72, cols. 2-3.
This phrase is no longer used in football, except perhaps by real old-timers.
     (Navy Coach Eddie--ed.) Erdelatz' first order of business was to devise
a new defense for his small, light line.  He taught his players to scramble
from one side to the other and in and out of the line to confuse the
opposition's blocking assignments.  Although common today, "jitterbugging,"
as Erdelatz named this style of play, was a novelty back in 1954, and it
helped his linemen survive when it seemed often that they would be murdered.
With less inspiration, Erdelatz called his offense "ham and eggs."  It
consisted of equal measures of passing and running, and if the phrase
disappeared, the records the backfield set using the offense have not.

NOT IF, BUT WHEN, Sports Illustrated, 22 August 1966, pg. 21, col. 2.
Something certain to happen in the future--the only question is _when_ in the
future.  "If" is sometimes "whether" and "when" is sometimes "how soon."  I
haven't yet checked OED, but I haven't found it in the books I have here.
     The real question is not _whether_ the rookies will take over, but

19 October 1968, pg. 36, col. 1.  "Talked a good game" probably derives from
"all talk and no action," with a transfer to sports.  "They wanted it and we
didn't" is a cliche I haven't seen recorded.  I don't know what the RHHDAS
has on "period."  Three cliches at once, from quarterback Otto Graham of the
Washington Redskins.
     "They just kicked the hell out of us, period.  This game is mostly
desire.  Last week, we wanted it (referring to the 38-28 victory over the
Bears).  This week, we talked a good game.  They wanted it and we didn't."

THE MAN UPSTAIRS, The Sporting News, 19 October 1968, pg. 36, col. 1.  The
RHHDAS has "man upstairs" from 1969.
     Two of the key plays in the comeback were reverses and when asked where
the calls came from, Winner replied:
     "They came from upstairs," meaning the scouting box.  And then he added
with a grin, "From way upstairs."

GHOST WRITER, The Sporting News, 19 October 1968, pg. 26, col. 3.  See the
ADS-L archives for another baseball "ghostwriter."   This, from an obituary
of Fred J. Bendel, should be earlier than that Ty Cobb "ghost."
     In addition to baseball, Bendel was noted as a boxing writer.  He
covered his first World Series in 1909 as a "ghost" for Jim Corbett.
     "Gentleman Jim was playing in Newark vaudeville and the New York Evening
Star made him sports editor," he once related.  "They hired me to write the
stuff under his name."

WHIZ KIDS, The Sporting News, 12 October 1968, pg. 32, col. 3.  An obituary
for Harry Grayson, a sports editor of the Newspaper Enterprise Association.
Paul Dickson's BASEBALL DICTIONARY has: "A nickname for the 1950 Philadelphia
Phillies, who took the National League pennant with a starting lineup of
players all under the age of 30.  Compare _Wheeze Kids_."
     _Coined "Whiz Kids" Tag_
     One of his proud possessions was a cigarette lighter that was inscribed,
"In appreciation to Harry Grayson, the man who named us the Whiz Kids."  It
was a gift from the 1950 National League champion Phillies.

PLAY ME OR BENCH ME, The Sporting News, 5 October 1968, pg. 14, col. 4.
Later "play me or trade me."  This is not in Paul Dickson's BASEBALL
     When Phil Lintz was known as "super-sub" with the Yankees and made the
famous statement, "Play me or bench me," he meant it.  But eventually he was

LETS THEM PLAY, The Sporting News, 5 October 1968, pg. 9, col. 4.  Said of a
manager who doesn't over-manage, but lets players make their own decisions.
In theory, all managers "let them play"--that's why they're called "players"!
     _Red "Lets Them Play"_
     What's so good about (Red-ed.) Schoendienst as a manager?
     "His biggest assets are his personality and leadership qualities,"
Devine said.  "Those qualities are pretty consistent with the type of player
he was.  He doesn't let the job affect his excellent personality.  He keeps
the players relaxed and just lets them play."

Sporting News, 24 August 1968, pg. 14, col. 3.  Paul Dickson's BASEBALL
DICTIONARY has a variant under Cadillac Trot: "The term certainly can be
traced to a famous line uttered by slugger Ralph Kiner in the 1950s: 'Hitters
of home runs drive Cadillacs, singles hitters jalopies.'"  A Ford is a
jalopy?  Have you driven a Ford lately?  It's been extended to other fields,
with Cadillacs=big money and Fords=small money.  Not in the RHHDAS.
     In this day of pitching dominance, baseball ought to kill off the old
saying that "home-run hitters drive Cadillacs and singles hitters drive

ONCE A YANKEE, ALWAYS A YANKEE, The Sporting News, 19 October 1968, pg. 16,
col. 4.  This term is not in Paul Dickson's BASEBALL DICTIONARY, although it
probably dates from the late 1930s or early 1940s.  Later, team-loyal players
such as Tom Lasorda would "bleed Dodger blue."
     "The old saying of years gone by probably will hold true of me also,
     "'Once a Yankee, always a Yankee!'"

SWISH, The Sporting News, 9 November 1968, pg. 33, col. 1.  Basketball
announcers say things like "He swished it!"  It's not the origin of the term
"swish," but I don't know what the RHHDAS will have on the basketball use.  I
heard it first from New York Knicks announcer Marv Albert.
     _An 88-Foot Shot...and Swish!_

THEY'RE PRETTY GOOD EATERS, The Sporting News, 9 November 1968, pg. 51, col.
2.  A euphemism for "my family needs the money."  Also sometimes given as
"they like to eat."
     It seems certain that for a while at least, everywhere (Hank--ed.) Bauer
goes, he'll be asked The Question:
     "Why did you come back?"
     "I think one of the reasons I'm here," Bauer explained, "is because I've
got three sons and a daughter and they're all pretty good eaters."

DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH!, Sports Illustrated, 22 August 1966, pg. MR4.  An
advertisement for Continental has a nice visual of a person holding his
breath for lower airfares.  Partridge has 1971 and 1975 citations.
     don't hold your breath!

SERVICE WITH A SMILE, Sports Illustrated, 29 August 1966, pg. 47.  Did an
airline first offer service with a smile?  When?  Where is it recorded?  This
is a story about tennis great Arthur Ashe.

100%, The Sporting News, 19 October 1968, pg. 25, col. 4.  Just an example of
the phrase.  I believe that Pete Rose ("Charley Hustle") coined "110%" on the
Cincinnati Reds ("The Big Red Machine") in the 1970s.
     "Everyone really put out on this club," Fergie (Pitcher Ferguson
Jenkins, not the British Weight Watchers spokeswoman--ed.)  said.  "Everybody
gave 100 percent."

FULL WHACKO, Sports Illustrated, 19 September 1966, pg. 48, col. 1.  Perhaps
this is related to the whole nine yards?  "Full whacko" derives from "half
whacko" or "half-assed."
     Full whacko, as they say in TV.  Freak--as they say--o-rama.

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