I MARRIED A COACH...
Whatever else the Reverend Theodore Hesburgh may have accomplished by his explanation of the firing of Coach Terry Brennan (SI, Jan. 19), he can certainly take credit for starting a new semantic fad.
Now it's Dal Ward of Colorado, fired not because of a poor record (heaven forbid!) but because he didn't provide "inspirational leadership." What a lovely, high-sounding phrase!
Ward's case is like many another—the men who fawn upon a coach while he's winning and call him a great leader of men (they said that about Ward) backtrack and run for cover the moment their opinion is challenged. Ward didn't give inspirational leadership? For years his teams have been the only ones in the Big Eight to look as if they belonged on the same field with mighty Oklahoma. Ward got his inferior material "up." That's inspirational leadership. But it doesn't seem to carry any coach through a full season.
I am married to a coach, and these men and all their ilk may have my public apology the day I read of a coach being fired after a highly successful season.
Please withhold my name and city. I freely admit the reason. Why should I be braver than the gallant men who run our institutions of higher learning?
Two ears and tail for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. You did it again, another magnificent bullfight article (Hail a Torero de Epoca! SI, Jan. 26).
It is too bad that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED was not around when Manolete was alive.
DAVID A. LAMENZO
The great thing about Mr. Tynan is his ability to comment very correctly on the corrida and its members.
Now for the matador in question. I suppose that Antonio Ordó√±ez would be considered the torero de época at this time. Certainly there are no Mexicans or South Americans who can dispute the title with him, nor are there any Spaniards. But I am not fully convinced of Ordó√±ez myself. The two great holdbacks he has for me are his fits of apathy, against both bulls and public, and his feeble and listless attempts with the sword. Another thing is his lack of decision in the ring. I've seen him "walk through" more corridas than any other matador, including Luis Miguel Dominguín. In fact I've seen him so bad and undecided that I was ready to quit going to bullfights. He was not punctilious, either toward himself or to the public. Pundonor, as the Spaniards say, was lacking. I had the good fortune of being present at the first Feria de Guadalupe at Mexico City in December of 1956, where Ordó√±ez performed his wonderful faena on Cascabel of San Mateo. That certainly was a great afternoon for himself, and I recall that he attempted to kill recibiendo before he finally sunk in a half thrust in the withers. I, too, believe this was the turning point in his career.
ANTHONY H. BRAND
Beverly Hills, Calif.
In a magazine notable for the extraordinary felicity of its writing quality, Tynan's piece shines brightly.
I have been a bullfight fan for many years and have read almost everything printed in English on the subject. Tynan is certainly the most literate and knowledgeable writer it has been my pleasure to read. It would not surprise me if the article would result in a great many SPORTS ILLUSTRATED readers becoming interested in this great and awesome spectacle.
Let us have more of Tynan and tauromachy!
EDWARD M. PAPP
Glen Ellyn, Ill.
TYNAN'S ARTICLE IS THE MOST KNOWING, PERCEPTIVE AND BEST-WRITTEN BULLFIGHTING PIECE I'VE SEEN IN ANY AMERICAN MAGAZINE.
Just a note to compliment Robert Riger and Tex Maule on the fine article Here's Why It Was the Best Football Game Ever (SI, Jan. 19). This article was one of the very best that I have read. All of the details of this great game were shown in the drawings and explained in style.
JOHN R. WEAVER
Remember this was the first time Baltimore could be overly proud of any athletic team. The drawings and story will be looked over and read many, many times for the next nine months. This article plus Colt ashtrays, glasses and pictures will be part of every living room, club room or den in this area for quite a while.
ROBERT H. COOPER JR.
Mr. Ian Hamilton's letter (19TH HOLE, Jan. 19) expressing his "disgust" because you failed to select his favorite, Herb Elliott, as your Sportsman of the Year is a good example of very poor sportsmanship. I can visualize Mr. Hamilton crying that he is going to take his toys and go home.
Please add one more year to my subscription to balance his cancellation request.
DON K. JOHNSON
"Glamour without girdles"? In spite of Esther Williams' lovely trim silhouette in a bathing suit (New Look at a First Lady, SI, Jan. 19), she's just not in the swim otherwise. If her girdle is a torture, your own reporter gave her the reason. She should check its size—if she can stuff hers into an evening purse, it must be too small!
We would be pleased to have the opportunity to prove that comfort in a girdle is the rule rather than the exception.
New York City
•Miss Osborne, the educational director of The Corset and Brassiere Council, should know.—ED.
Perhaps you might be interested in the siege of misfortune that has dogged Vanderbilt's basketball team (BASKETBALL'S WEEK, SI, Jan. 19):
Head Coach Bob Polk sidelined for the season after a November heart attack.
Forward Jack Pirrie sidelined for the season because of a shoulder operation.
Sophomore Center Bill Depp out four weeks of preseason practice with a broken bone in wrist.
Sophomore Forward Larry Banks out one game and now playing with hand in leather brace due to broken bone in hand.
All-SEC Guard Jim Henry out two games already with badly sprained foot sustained in the Mississippi game.
To top it off, the team was preparing to depart from Nashville's Berry Field Jan. 16 for Georgia Tech when the plane, a DC-3, which was being checked for the charter flight, nosed over in a freakish accident, causing extensive damage to a propeller. After a delay of hours, a switch was made to Eastern Airlines and on to Atlanta. But despite mishaps the Commodores are the only team to beat Kentucky's top-ranked Wildcats to date.
In EVENTS & DISCOVERIES for Jan. 19 there is a little error. The three white horses which were sent to Cyrus Eaton are the troika, a troika being three horses harnessed abreast with the center horse trained to trot and the outside ones to canter. The phrase "a troika and three white horses" has been a common error in the press during the past few weeks.
ELINOR J. McCARTHY
Upper Darby, Pa.
•Right. A troika is the team or the sleigh (or carriage) with the team, but never the sleigh alone.—ED.
BULLFIGHTING: BLASHILL'S RATINGS
I applaud Kenneth Tynan's Hail a Torero de Epoca! (SI, Jan. 26). Both bullfighting and its aficionados are fortunate that so many men of great literary talent have been drawn to (and inspired by) the measured spectacle of bull, torero and crowd, but I have a beef: There appear to be altogether too many n√∫meros unos in bullfighting. Both Dominguín and Girón lay claim to that distinction, and it would appear that Mr. Tynan covets it for Antonio Ordó√±ez.
•John Blashill, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's Madrid correspondent, has devised a rating system for 32 toreros based on the number of corridas fought (10 or more to be considered) and the number of ears cut. Of the 32 men who qualify on this pragmatic scale Antonio Ordó√±ez ties for the distinction of n√∫mero uno with Curro Girón. Blashill concedes that his system does not entirely take into account the qualities of art, command over the bulls, valor and ability to kill which many aficionados feel are definitive. But he adds: "These rankings can hardly be an attempt to settle the confusion but may bring it somewhat into focus. Their purpose...is to indicate which matadors have been most successful during the season and which have most pleased the public—not only the aficionado and critic, but also the masses who sit in sol and want action." The first three columns list total number of corridas fought, total number of ears cut and the average of ears per corrida. The next three indicate where the matador finished in relation to his rivals in these departments. The final column determines his 1958 standing by adding up his placement points.—ED.