Apart from the active boxing calendar and racing results from Juarez, Mexico, the sports scene as reflected in the Times was decidedly local, low key, and in large part the preserve of a social elite that clearly merited the paper's attention. A six-mile road race in Yonkers, a few local amateur soccer matches, upcoming club hockey games and swim meets, a basketball game between the Young Mens' Hebrew Association and the Elindo A.C. (for those anxious to know, the final score was 63-50 in favor of the YMHA), and a trap shooting competition at the Larchmont Yacht Club filled out the two thirds of a page devoted to sports.
More space, in fact, was devoted to activity off the playing field involving amateur athletic organizations that were most decidedly preserves of society's upper crust. The upcoming annual meeting of the United States National Lawn Tennis Association received detailed coverage, its chief order of business the question of whether to continue to play the national championships at Newport or to switch to clubs in Philadelphia. The lead sports story on that first day of 1912 involved the internal deliberations of the New York Athletic Club, focusing on the Club's concern about the "acceptance of men whose chief quality is the ability to perform at some particular game just a bit better than someone else although they lack the true characteristics of a New York A.C. man, "as well as the "winking at the rules governing amateurism."
JANUARY 1, 1937
Twenty-five years later we encounter a vastly different sports world, as reflected on the Times's sports "page" that day (now pages, 4 in all). College football—that day's Bowl Games—leads the coverage, with an eight-column headline, "Pitt and Washington Rated Even for Rose Bowl Battle Today Before 87,000." Previews of the Sugar Bowl ("Rain Threat to L.S.U. Passes in Santa Clara Contest Today"), the Orange Bowl ("Mississippi State Set for Duquesne"), and the Cotton Bowl ("Air Battle Looms" between Marquette and Texas Christian), along with an East-West all-star game in San Francisco and news of "Havana Awaiting Gridiron Contest" between Auburn and Villanova, filled out most of the rest of the first sports page. The radio listings included that day's broadcast schedule for the bowl games, starting at 2:15 in the afternoon (Eastern Time) and continuing until 8 pm, with several sports highlights shows on the air in the evening as well. "Football," the paper's sports columnist wrote, "had a great year in 1936 and the chances are that it is starting a bigger and better one this very day."
Featured on the first sports page along with all the Bowl game reporting was the news that heavyweight contender Louis had been signed to fight Bob Pastor, who had boxed as an amateur for New York University, at Madison Square Garden in late January; it would be Louis's fifth fight since losing to Max Schmeling in June.