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Original Issue

19TH HOLE: THE READERS take over

May I, on behalf of Ducks Unlimited, convey to you the very sincere thanks of our organization for the splendid story written by Coles Phinizy (Be Kind to Your Web-footed Friends, SI, Oct. 21).

The story is most accurate indeed and we wish to congratulate SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for a wonderful job well done.
Executive Director
Ducks Unlimited
New York City

Mr. Phinizy's article on Tom Sterling and the work he is doing with ducks is most interesting and instructive to the 2 million who love them.

Ducks Unlimited has undoubtedly done wonderful work. Could you enlighten us where our contributions should be sent?
Fletcher, N.C.

•To Ducks Unlimited, Inc., 165 Broadway, New York City.—ED.

I just read George Plimpton's article (Newport Gets Some Tips from the Top, ST, Oct. 14) and enjoyed it very much.

He included little details which were very interesting to me as a golf professional, and I trust to many other people.

If he plays golf as he writes it he should be captain of the Walker Cup team.
Tuxedo Park, N.Y.

I enjoyed taking Mr. Goren's test (SI, Oct. 14) very much, and I think it was a very fair test of one's bidding knowledge. The one hand which caused me trouble and a bottom score was No. 13 (see below). I was under the impression that a takeout double provided support for any suit my partner might bid. The chances are very good that my partner is going to bid diamonds, and if his hand is weak, we are going to be set. I chose two clubs, assuming rubber bridge, as the best of bad bargains because the chances are moderately good of taking five tricks, and it gives us a good idea of how to defend against our opponent's possible contract, especially no trump.
Millers Falls, Mass.

13 Neither vulnerable. Your right-hand opponent opens the bidding with one heart. What is your bid?

[Queen of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[7 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[King of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

•Says Mr. Goren: A two-club over-call risks the penalty of doubler's ax without compensating for that risk by offering good hope of reaching game. Such hopes lie primarily in the direction of spades or, possibly, no trump. If partner must respond in diamonds, there is some prospect that this may actually be your safest haven.—ED.

Mr. Goren's second hand (see below) intrigued me. Naturally I bid one spade because I thought that you bid the highest when you had suits of equal strength.

2 You are dealer and vulnerable. What is your opening bid?

[Ace of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]

Also, if the singleton ace had been the ace of clubs, Mr. Goren's rationale of bidding the suit beneath the singleton ace leaves me without an answer—perhaps he would supply one.
Rochester, N.Y.

•Since partner's strength lies probably in hearts, your one-diamond bid allows him to respond with one heart, making it possible for dealer to mention his spades at the one level. If singleton ace had been in clubs, bid should have been one spade.—ED.

Problem No. 14 (see below): Why not a three-spade bid?
Riverside, Conn.

14 Neither vulnerable. Your right-hand opponent opens the bidding I with one heart. What is your bid?

[Ace of Spades]
[King of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[King of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]

•Three spades, indicating a long spade suit, but not much else, is too weak a bid for this magnificent hand, which must be forced to game.—ED.

The staid and sometimes study Ohio Conference, which sprawls across the Buckeye State with some 14 members (ranging in size from 2,000 at coed Ohio Wesleyan to the 500 at all-male Kenyon) has gone somewhat progressive this football season—the excuse being "experimental," yet it could be something which would be universally adopted next year.

One player is permitted to go to the sidelines and talk things over with the coach during a called time out on the field.

This basketball-like piece of business is at first startling to the informed spectator, but it apparently is working out well. The coaches seem to like the stunt, for the boys are running pell-mell to them at the first toot of a whistle. And they are coming back with news of import for their teammates. Defenses suddenly shift and changes in offense are noted immediately.

Another variation of the NCAA version of rules finds the Ohio Conference also permitting each player two appearances in each period—still not platooning, but coming quite a step closer.

This latter adaptation means that the umpire (with his red arm band) and the field judge (with his green arm band) must take down the number of each player starting each period.

At the Akron-at-Wittenberg game, when the umpire lined the 11 players up and had them call out their numbers to him, Referee Don Elsass was heard to mutter to himself, "Bingo."

As a former sportswriter (26 years with the Columbus Dispatch) and the umpire in three of these games this year, I find all of the above quite confusing.
Columbus, Ohio

Football, both Canadian and American variety, is a great spectator sport. However, one part of the game has become a drab, unexciting anticlimax. I refer to the conversion.

Once upon a time the quarterback had the option of throwing a pass, trying a spectacular end run, or innumerable other devices to score that single point. If one of today's quarterbacks called a shovel pass plus a double lateral end run, instead of a safe but unthrilling placement, the coach would feed him pigskin instead of steak after the game. It just isn't feasible to risk a point, even if the fans do get some excitement.

The conversion, as it is today, isn't worth a stubbed toe. It is the supreme example of "the old automatic." If a placement specialist misses two in a row, he might just as well take up marbles.

There is a remedy for this ailment. Come conversion time, if a team decides to kick a placement, continue to give it one point. But let's give them the option of trying a running play or a pass for two points.

Think of the tension. A team just scored a touchdown. They are still one point behind with half a minute left. What will they do—kick for a draw, or go for the bundle and risk losing?
Calgary, Alta.