NOTRE DAME (CONT.): MORE FACTS, PLEASE
I have just read The Facts of the Matter by the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, president of the University of Notre Dame (SI, Jan. 19), as well as the preceding article, Surrender at Notre Dame (SI, Jan. 5).
Father Hesburgh insists that he did not "surrender" to pressure from the alumni. He stated that he received only two critical letters from alumni during the last football season. But he made no mention whatever of the number of complaints that were received by Mr. Krause, the director of athletics, or the faculty board in control of athletics.
Father Hesburgh implies that Brennan was fired not for losing too many games, but because Notre Dame wanted a stronger man.
Father Hesburgh made no mention of the fact that Brennan's 1958 outfit was one of the most colorful ever to represent the famous university. He made no mention of the fact that Notre Dame was always within striking distance, even in the games it lost. And of course, having made no mention of these facts, Father Hesburgh therefore forgot to explain why, or how, some people could have thought that this team and its coach weren't trying hard enough.
Father Hesburgh made one more very great omission. He forgot to explain why Director Krause told a group of Chicago sportswriters that "Terry Brennan was a better coach this season than he was last year, and he will be at Notre Dame for many, many years to come." This was less than a month before Brennan's firing, when, according to Father Hesburgh, he (Krause) concurred with the decision of the athletic board.
Inasmuch as it now seems apparent that he was in full knowledge of the board's intention to fire Brennan and that he agreed with it, Krause is guilty of doing what many Easterners insist can be done only in Los Angeles: telling someone something one day and then turning around and doing exactly the opposite the next.
The Facts of the Matter might answer the questions raised by the firing of Brennan well enough to suit Father Hesburgh and the inner circle at Notre Dame. But to my way of thinking this article leaves at least half the really important questions unanswered.
Santa Monica, Calif.
THE DAVIS CUP
Three cheers and a bien hecho for your suggestion to exhibit the Davis Cup in Peru (SI, Jan. 12).
There is nothing, I think, that can better diminish the anti-U.S. feeling which exists in certain Peruvian elements than to allow the wonderful people of that country a rightful sense of identity.
I would like to add my support to your proposal. Though I am a college student, I would be willing to make a small contribution to financing the sending of the Davis Cup to Peru. And if it would do any good, I would be willing to write my Congressman and Senator asking them for their support.
Olmedo is the first player to win the Davis Cup for the U.S. practically single-handed. It was done for France by Cochet in 1931 and for Australia by Sedgman in 1951, but never for us. If the doubles is counted as half a point, Olmedo earned 2½ out of a total of 3 U.S. points. Tilden won 2½ for us three times, Budge and Kramer each once, but in each case our total was 4 or 5 points.
Olmedo's feat is all the more remarkable when it is considered that in the same year of 1958 he lost tournament matches galore, including all three meetings with Ham Richardson, the last one of which was the final match of the Japanese championships (6-2, 6-1, 6-1). It certainly proves the worth of Kramer as a coach for players of world stature. He is the best since Tilden in my opinion.
Could we see more of your handsome Peruvian tennis player and wife hunter?
I shouldn't think he would be too lonely—we think he is terribly attractive.
New Haven, Conn.
TRACK: FOREIGN IMPORTS
So the Big Ten collegiate track and field coaches want to bar alien students from the U.S. national amateur running and swimming titles (The Proper Study of Sportsmen, SI, Dec. 22).
I think it's time we realize that we can't be the best in everything, no matter how hard we try. There are a lot of people in the world who can do things better than Americans can.
Should a foreign student also be barred from making the honor roll, a fraternity or anything else the school offers because he is a so-called alien?
What will be the attitude of these coaches toward our Davis Cup victory since Alex Olmedo is from Peru?
OH, THAT APPLE!
Your picture of Miss Applebee, or The Apple, as everyone calls her (PAT ON THE BACK, Jan. 5), brought back a soul-shattering remembrance.
At hockey camp she thought I was not playing defense the way I should, so she whistled the game to a halt, strode out on the field and grabbed my stick to illustrate her point.
After a few acid remarks she whistled again for the game to begin, threw the ball to my opponent, walked off the field with my stick and tossed it as far as she could into the bushes.
There isn't a hockey player in the Philadelphia area who will ever forget her.
NANCY C. RANSOME
We were smart enough to run and run hard when The Apple yelled. Run with joy! Oh, that there were more ladies like Miss Applebee to inspire girls to activity instead of halfheartedly allowing girls to participate in mild exercise.
Miss Applebee's drive and enthusiasm inspire joy of doing, pride in accomplishment and love in all who know her.
JANICE METCALF HANSEL
THE BEST FOOTBALL GAME EVER
If I were Johnny Unitas I'm not sure I would appreciate the fact that Tex Maule, in his piece about the Colt-Giant championship game (The Best Football Game Ever Played, Jan. 5), failed to attribute to Alan Ameche the potent part The Horse plays in Unitas' success as a passer.
Maule apparently is unaware of the phrase "a fleet in being." Just as Britain's main naval power was compelled in World War I to remain close to home waters by the presence of Germany's "fleet in being," leaving the open Atlantic to the "forward passing" U-boats, so Ameche is the "fleet" that prevents opposing defenses from ruthlessly rushing the passer.
Conversely, a great passer does the same thing for such men as Ameche and Jim Brown. Unafraid of the Browns' passing game, the Giants sure ganged up on poor Jim in that playoff game.
The combination of Ameche and Unitas makes it possible for the Colts to divide and conquer.
E. S. KENNEDY
Kansas City, Mo.
PRO FOOTBALL: DEATH TO THE TIE
Now that pro football fans have tasted the sweet suspense of "sudden death" overtime (SI, Jan. 5 & 19), why don't the rulemakers get together quickly and make overtime play to a decision a permanent part of all football—high school, college and professional? Tie games are for the birds.
GERALD J. WEIPERT
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR (CONT.)
Great as was Rafer Johnson's triumph in Moscow, perhaps even greater was the success he scored on his little-publicized tour for the State Department during the summer of 1957. While in Pakistan I was privileged to have Rafer spend three days with me in the schools of Karachi as he passed through on his Asian junket. Whether speaking to groups of teachers and college students, staging demonstrations for hundreds of barefoot Pakistani high school youngsters on the playgrounds, or good-naturedly kidding with the crowds of curious urchins who always followed us in the bazaars and streets, he was a perfect ambassador of good will for the U.S. His sincere, friendly, unaffected manner and his willingness to do anything asked of him made a tremendous impression on everyone.
Though his knee was bothering him at the time and the climate and diet were certainly far from conducive to athletic performance, he unselfishly agreed to demonstrate most of his events—even hurdling. He played volleyball with the students and took part in a softball game—all at the risk of further aggravating his injury.
The really remarkable thing was that at that time Rafer's name was not well known in Pakistan. He captivated the people not because of his reputation but through the quiet force of his personality.
Hail to Rafer Johnson—not only a real American sportsman but an outstanding member of the human race! If we could only send ambassadors like Rafer to every country in the world, the prestige of the U.S. would rise to an all-time high.
Track Coach, Memorial H. S.
SKATING: FUN FOR ALL
Congratulations on your latest right inside sweep for the whole family. I am referring, of course, to the two-part article by Maribel Vinson on figure skating (SI, Dec. 22 & Jan. 5).
The text by Mary Snow and the drawings by Robert Riger are so easy to follow that even this mother was inspired to try a shaky leg on the frozen ponds. Father and four lively children are enthusiastically deep in Mohawks and sweeps.
Let's have some more of these illustrated fundamentals of sports that all the family can actually try out step by step. They build our appreciation of a sport and encourage our participation.
MRS. EDWARD J. EDMUNDS
West Harwich, Mass.