It was not that long ago when the accepted wisdom in football was that the running game had to be established - that was always the obligatory verb: established - before passes could become effective. My, we know how that has changed. Now the pass is established from the get-go, and running is an afterthought.
I remember one time I wrote something very, very critical about Wilt Chamberlain. The next time I saw him - and Wilt was not a man, as huge as he was - he was not a man of confrontation. And we were in the Lakers locker room. And he sent Jerry West over, and he said, 'Frank, Wilt would like you to leave.'
In the summer of 1963, my second with 'Sports Illustrated,' Jerry Tax, the basketball editor, got the Celtics' Frank Ramsey, the NBA's first famous sixth man, to do a piece for the magazine revealing some of the devious little tricks of his trade. Things like surreptitiously holding an opponent's shorts - nickel-and-dime stuff.
When I was covering games, and this is back in the '60s, you'd go into the manager's office. I can still visualize Earl Weaver from the Baltimore Orioles. I can just see Earl now in his underwear... with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other, holding court. And that was the way it was done then.
Remember when John Roberts was seeking confirmation of the Supreme Court, and he said judges should be just like umpires, just calling balls and strikes? Well, turnabout is fair play. What baseball needs behind the plate are umpires like those judges who are called strict constructionists, which means you follow subtle law to the letter.
You can stand at a bar and scream all you want about who was the greatest athlete and which was the greatest sports dynasty, and you can shout out your precious statistics, and maybe you're right, and maybe the red-faced guy down the bar - the one with the foam on his beer and the fancy computer rankings - is right, but nobody really knows.
How did females become 'guys?' How did everyone become 'guys?' Remember, too, that a male guy was something of a scoundrel. And a wise guy was a fresh kid, a whippersnapper. In its most other famous evocation, men in Brooklyn said 'youse guys.' Damon Runyon referred to hustlers, gamblers, and other nefarious types as guys.
Once again it is peaceful at Augusta National Golf Club, after some rather ugly stand-offs in recent years, when the club balked at changing its all-white, all-male membership tradition. African-Americans and female Americans are on the club manifest now along with other golf-Americans, and all is serene once again.