Skip to main content
Original Issue

19TH HOLE: The readers take over

I hope you have time for a little philosophical speculation. There is much to be learned from Don Connery's fine analysis of Herb Elliott's success (SI, Nov. 10), lessons very apropos to our own survival. The lesson: the goals Elliott has set are his own, they come from within himself.

Here in America we live more and more by other people's goals. We are motivated by what we think others want us to do, by the values of the group we choose to live with. Call it other-directed (as does Sociologist David Riesman) or the organization man (as does FORTUNE'S William White) or the undiscovered self (as does Psychiatrist Carl Jung), it all boils down to the fact that we have surrendered our individualism for the safety and comfort of group thinking and group living. Unfortunately, great achievements come only from individuals whose purpose comes from within themselves, and this is as true of sports as it is of art, politics, religion or business.

Curiously enough, the Russians seem to have discovered this, for, despite their official drivel about the group supporting the individual, no political system makes greater demands on its individual citizens than theirs.

Mr. Cerutty's methods are not new but are quite similar to those employed in training the great Australian Thoroughbred Phar Lap. Those who saw him run in the Agua Caliente Handicap long ago will still maintain Phar Lap was the best horse ever to run on this continent. Although a horse has no character to build, I think that training (no matter how) and winning is a matter of promise and fulfillment to one's self and one's self alone. To put one's mind to achieving something and then doing it, as the Australians are doing in all sports, shows "character" as that word should be known.
Newport Beach, Calif.

Attached is a $5,000 check for Billy Morton's stadium in Dublin.

I wish there was some way in which we could arouse the Irish in this country to put up another $100 to $500 apiece.

I thought you might like to send this to Billy personally, since you initiated the matter through your articles (Mr. McDonongh's Magic Shovel, SI, July 22 and 29).
Parkersburg, W.Va.

•The check (see picture) having been duly delivered, Billy Morton, sports promoter extraordinary and Hon. Sec, Clonliffe Harriers, responded from Dublin as follows:

"I find it almost impossible to express how much my colleagues and I, in our club, appreciate this wonderful gesture from Bernard McDonough. I would like you to believe me when I say this: we are all dumbfounded.

"I can assure you that the name Bernard McDonough will be remembered as long as Clonliffe Harriers exist, and rightly so.

"Nineteen-fifty-eight will go down in our annals as a glorious year for Clonliffe Harriers, and with our three world records (Ah, It WAS a Magic Shovel!; Toward a Physiological Absolute, SI, Aug. 18) now ratified, so much thanks is due to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and Bernard McDonough. We look forward to next year, 1959, with great confidence and with our financial situation so much improved, and, granted a good year, it is quite possible that we may build a new concrete stand to seat an additional 2,000 people.

"May I conclude by thanking you so very much for everything you have done and, oh! for another Bernard McDonough."—ED.

I, too, would like to second my teammate at Michigan, Bennie Oosterbaan.

This year Bennie has gone up and down the ladder of success. First, the students at Ann Arbor praised him when the team did a fine job against Michigan State. A couple of weeks later the students hung Bennie in effigy because Michigan had lost so badly to Northwestern, but through all the vicissitudes Bennie has kept his head above water and has maintained himself with a sense of dignity and sportsmanship that has made his critics very little people.
Athletic Director
Brandeis University
Waltham, Mass.

Herbert Warren Wind's searching reports, on golf and golfers throughout the world are, for me, one of the features of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. However, kindly allow me to get in a word for our Irish golf courses by referring to your chart of "The World's Major Golfing Nations" (SI, Oct. 13).

Perhaps it was a matter of editorial convenience to bracket Ireland and Great Britain together with 1,600 courses and a population per course of 33,815. It may be of interest, therefore, if my statistical pen points out that there are 206 golf courses in Ireland, which has a total population of 4,330,000, representing approximately a population of 21,000 per course. That gives Ireland more golfing room per person than 18 of the 21 nations mentioned in your chart. Further statistical research reveals that exactly 25% of our courses were founded in the 1800s.
Dublin, Ireland

Reviewing some large fish catches in your Oct. 13 issue, you showed a picture of a small man with a very large fish, a striped bass. You did not tell this envious reader where the fish was caught. Please oblige.
New York City

•The 57½-pound striper was caught by Stan Karpowicz off Plum Island, Mass. during the Newburyport Striped Bass Derby.—ED.

If the author of Here is Your TV Ration (SI, Nov. 3) was serious, he must be aged, infirm or a mite lazy, for he didn't sound like a true-blue football fan.

He supposes a divine right of viewers to be exposed to all the college football it is possible to cram onto the television screen. Nonsense. Rather than moan, folks ought to be damn happy there's as much football televised as there is.

No real lover of the sport would raise his voice over the TV ration. He wouldn't be anywhere near his set on a Saturday afternoon. Last Saturday there was room for 3,145,000 persons in the stadiums where major college games were played. Add to this the small-college and high school schedules an virtually anyone could find a seat in a nearby stadium to watch plenty of football—in living action.

The TV variety of football leaves much to be desired, anyway. Take a pass play. You see two burly linemen clawing at the jersey of the quarterback and maybe eventually an end gather in the ball. Meanwhile, the real drama of the potential receiver feinting the secondary goes unnoticed. Endless such examples could be cited.

All told, my wife and I will take in seven high school, five college and four pro games this season. We'll have driven 2,935 miles by the end of the season. Expenses will run about $170, lessened a bit because we usually take my wife's Triumph, which gives better gas mileage than my car, and because postgame cocktails, foodstuff and lodging are often provided by friends.

Sitting in the stands, with the binoculars trained on a fleet back scooting for a TD, munching on hot dogs, drinking coffee to keep warm in the chill November air, and watching the band strut at half time—brother, that's football.
Merrill, Wis.

No one wants to see college football killed by TV, and maybe the NCAA's present solution is best. But if you think things are bad, you should live in eastern Tennessee where, for the past two weeks, we have seen nothing on Saturday, regional or otherwise.
Maryville, Tenn.

Springers Are Special (SI, Nov. 3) was a very pleasant and entertaining surprise, and all springer fanciers are undoubtedly grateful. Thank you, and congratulations to Ed Zern!
Wichita, Kans.

Although our interests lie with another sporting breed, we greatly enjoyed Ed Zern's article, Springers Are Special.

We are beginners, trying to steer a middle course through this bench vs. field business, but we wonder if the lovely "champion gun dog" pictured making a retrieve is not actually a bench-bred dog who also hunts. If not, we say hooray to the field breeders who bred this one!
Midland Park, N.J.

•The springer pictured was a working field dog.—ED.