WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 1967
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
"Aber a rvvv_ 1
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 1967 THE MICHIGAN DAILY
UD A P'~ ~
r Margin for Error
By GIL SAMBERG
About six years ago, up came the kid out of nowhere. An Olympic
He. was young and naive and a pretty good boxer. And he got
the backing of a group of honest businessman who made him a cor-
poration. And he turned pro.
He found his niche in the times. The heavyweight boxing
championship was still what it had always been-the premier event
in sports. But some people were getting tired of its substituting
psychology forl talent as a draw. Cassius Clay gave them a circus as
a calling card and then backed it up with his fists. He was bush. He
was the underdog who kept coming through. He was featherfisted,
but he could dance. He was young and he was talented, and although
his technique was all wrong (he'd get his head handed to him soon)
he was a winner.
Cassius was simply what he was-an uncomplicated, inexperienced,
honestly alive person who could charm the underwear off sports
writers by being just that. And they loved him.
And so the Louisville Lip, the undefeated kid boxer, became the
Red, White, and Blue hope for wresting the heavyweight crown from
the clutches of the mob. With luck he'd never even meet Sonny
It was a good script.
Then Cassius Clay went and turned Moslem. No, worse-Black
Muslim. Cassius Clay, the pretty name for the pretty fighter, was
now Muhammed Ali. Foreign.
People no longer tolerated Clay's outbursts. Instead of going along
with the PR games, they criticized. And then predictably, the crud
began to fly-churned out. It was back to the basics.
Ali's silk-suited entourage of Muslims was the Black Mafia, modern
mobsters who surrounded him to keep him under their influence.
Clay was a dupe. He had to be one to believe the stuff they were
probably feeding him. Elijah and Herbert wanted a meal ticket and
Cassius was a big one, a kid with all the trimmings among the wolves.
And when the writers, making their subtle attempts at proselyt-
izing for "America," found Cassius spouting back dogma and starting
to preface his answers with "as the great and honorable Elijah Mu-,
hammed said," the break for most of the scribes became final.
Many people-the same people who are content to equate Buddhism
with an Oriental version of the chosen Christianity-denied but
made it clear that religion, or whatever it is, was at the center
"He's not a good influence for the youth of America."
And there were two ways of looking at it:
(1) His religion stinks. It's radical. It's violent. It doesn't sound
like our ideals. It's . . . I don't know .. . it's foreign. It doesn't make
and, (2) That's no religion. That's a business. They've done it
before to the niggers and they'll do it again. One smart one gets up
there and starts shouting "hozannah, hallelujah, we are free, we are
equal," and that man makes a fortune and they'll make him a saint.
They're not going back to Africa, and we're not gonna give them any
So we don't respect your "religion" Cassius, because we're not as
dumb as you are. If Elijah and the boys wanna tell you that the black
man is better than the white man, and you buy it and you're willing
to let them take all your money, it's a shame (you could been a rich
and happy, kid), but go ahead. Nobody else believes that junk.
What it means, Muhammed Ali, is that your are unfortunate.
Your religion is political and it is social. It seems preoccupied with
today in Harlem instead of tomorrow in Heaven. And everybody knows
that politics and things like that are fair game around here. But
mommy said that nowadays it isn't nice to call Izzy a kike (they
made a movie about it that won an Oscar) or Timothy a mackeral-
snapper. It doesn't sound good.
"He's not a good influence for the youth of America."
Clay, it turns out, is a cruel fighter, a cruel person. Witness his
unmerciful taunting of Ernie Terrell in the ring last week. Yelling
things at a bloody, beaten man ....
But the athlete lives on emotion. The man who wants it more,
gets it, right? In prize-fighting you don't want it more remember-
ing the Gipper. When you need to, you call out the big gun. Hate!
And the man who can channel hate into skill when he needs to
picks up a lot of pandas.
The press conferences, the weigh-ins, the interviews. "Charm
you one minute and repulse you the next." "Hystria,"' "The dignity
of a new man.' They say it.
Ali has always been a master of psyching himself up. When he
wanted to or needed to believe something, he did it in spades. His
emotions play on the extremes. Fear is haunting fear. Elation is total
elation. Conviction is complete conviction. Athletes have no use for
"semi-s" or "quasi-s,"
In the ring, for the fight, .Ali hated Ernie Terrell. And Terrell
hated just, as fiercely. Ali was the better fighter by far, and when
Terrell was a pigeon in the eighth, Ali took his revenge with words.
Other fighters with other impulses-for the man's tactic was cer-
tainly not the result of a conscious choice-would have done it with
And you have to wonder whether the taunts might have been as
bad for Terrell as the disdain of an enemy who could beat him at will.
You are paid to hurt, Cassius Clay. But you should not have
embarrassed a man of dignity that way. You are a good fighter,
Cassius Clay. But not as good as the memories of Joe Louis or Rocky
Marciano. You are a naive, dazzling kid, Cassius Clay. But you are
an obnoxious, cruel, and stupid man.
And somebody'll knock that chip off your shoulder too ... some-
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By DOUG HELLER
The Michigan swimming team
didn't play water polo this past
fall, but that didn't bother Ken
Wiebeck a bit.
It seems that he had a transi-
tion to make, from a sprinter who
didn't do anything else, to a 200-
yard freestyle man who could also
swim the 100-yard sprint.
In his first year at 200 yards,
Wiebeck has shown steady im-
provement, although he did have
trouble at the last meet with In-
diana, finishing third in the 200
and last in the 100. He says he
likes the longer race instead of
just sprinting all the time."
The stroke is also different for
the 200, and it even changes the
way the 100 is swum, "I started
off the year practicing the 200.
And once you get a stroke, you
feel a certain way in the water.
You are down more for the 100,
and not tight as in the 50 yarder
where you are on top of the
Wiebeck thinks his main trouble
in the 200 is the fact that he is
a sprinter going up to the longer
race, while others, such as Bill
Utley of Indiana, are middle dis-
tance swimmers going down. As a
result, Wiebeck can stay with any-
body for 150 yards, "but I haven't
had it at the end. It's not really
that others swim faster, it's me
Wiebeck started swimming with-
out any fanfare, but his problem
was that he had a little trouble
starting life at all. "I had pneu-
monia as a baby and almost died."
When he recovered, he looked
about the same next to the 98-
pound weakling as the 98-pound
weakling does next to Charles At-
As a result, his father condi-
tioned him on some exercises "run-
ning about two miles a day, 100-
sit-ups, 20 pushups" so that no-
body would ever notice anything
now. As proof, Wiebeck weighed
in September as the heaviest man
on the team.,
The blond Detroiter notes that
he started organized swimming
because of the money involved.
"I had always liked to swim, and
I used to go down to a place that
charged ten cents an hour. Once,
when I was twelve, my mother
gave me a dime to go swimming.
But on the way, I saw this big
candy bar in the store that was
justddying for me to buy it. So
When I got the pool, I tried to
find a way to get in for free. A
guy told me about the recreation
league they had there, and this;
was OK with me, of course. So
I was started.
Looking back at the Indiana
meet, Wiebcek observes that the
major disappointment were Paul
Scheerer and himself who lost the
200-yard breaststroke for the first
time this year. Otherwise the team
swam as well as could be hoped
for;it had actually been calculated
before the meet that Michigan
had little hope of winning.
It's He or I
The most unanticipated differ-
ence between Wiebeck and every
other swimmer except John Salas-
sa is that he is a junior. "At least
I know who my competition is,"
for next year's captain laughs
Next year the team will have lost
a large number of seniors ,in-
cluding Scheerer and other room-
mates Carl Robie and Russ King-
ery, but Wiebeck in no way thinks
that he is going down with a sink-
ing ship. He and coach Gus Stager
both agree that the sophomores
are at least as good if not better
than expected. In addition, many
freshmen look capable of filling
For his own personal future,
Wiebeck sees himself capable of a,
1:44-1:45 200-yard freestyle this
year (the NCAA record is 1:42.9)
and who knows how fast he will
go next. As for the 100, Wiebeck
swam 47.4 at NCAA's last year, in
the high altitude of the Air Force
Academy, which is a mere hun-
dreths of a second off the Michi-
gan team record. He will be dis-
apointed if he can't top that this
year at East Lansing.
And he won't have to pay ten
cents to swim there.
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UCLA STILL NO. 1:
Top Ten Scrambled
Rash of Upsets
By The Associated Press 'of the national panel of sports
The undefeated UCLA Bruins writers and broadcasters. The
play a comfortable repeat per- Cardinals accumulated 275 points,
formance while the schedule for which were awarded on a basis of
the other ranking teams in the 10 for a first-place vote, 9 for
Associated Press' major - college second, etc.
basketball poll appears to be less
hazardous this week than last. r
Five rated teams were beaten
last weekend, resulting in a shift-X
ing of positions.
UCLA, though, was the unani-
mous choice for first place for the
fifth straight week. The Bruins
lifted their record to 19-0 by
trouncing Oregon State 76-44 and
Oregon 100-66, and they play the
same two teams again this week-
Louisville moved into second
place in the voting by 32 members
Tickets will go on sale today
for Saturday's basketball game
against Ohio State University.
Tickets will cost $1 each and
will be sold at the Ticket Office,
which is located in the Athletic
Administration Building on the
corner of State and Hoover.
Princeton also advanced one
notch to third while North Caro-
lina, beaten by Georgia Tech, slip-
ped two notches to fourth.
The top ten, with first-place
votes in parentheses, season
records through Saturday, Feb.
11 and points on a 10-9-8-7-6-1
1. UCLA (32) 19-0 320
2. Louisville 20-2 275
3. Princeton 19-1 222
4. North Carolina 16-2 203
5. Western Kentucky 18-1 180
6. Kansas 15-3 167
7. Houston 16-3 96
8. Texas Western 16-4 55
9. Vanderbilt 17-2 51
10. Syracuse 17-2 38
Others receiving votes, listed
alphabetically: Boston College,
Brigham Young, Colorado State,
Cornell, Dayton, Duke, Florida,
Indiana, New Mexico, Provi-
dence, St. John's N.Y., Seattle,
Southern Methodist, Tennessee,
Toledo, Tulsa, University of the
Pacific, Utah State, Villanova,
Virginia Tech, Washington State.
HILLEL DELI HOUSE
This Sunday at 5:30
Speaks and leads a discussion on
A few tickets may
still be available
Those unable to be included
in the supper may attend
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