FOOTBALL: ROSES AND BRICKBATS
Thanks for a very enlightening article in Lay Those Elbows Down, Mike (SI, Nov. 16). Having read the article and observed the picture, it is clear to me that McKeever intentionally elbowed Bates in the face. Yet everyone sits back in their rocking chair talking about how unfortunate the whole situation was, while men like Tom Hamilton and Don Clark, the USC coach, sit back and almost praise what McKeever has done. In my own opinion, McKeever should not only be eliminated from the football field but be suspended from school.
W. Haverstraw, N.Y.
Attached is the mailing label from the Nov. 16 SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. Will you please see that the proper authority is given it immediately with instructions to cancel the subscription at once?
Your biased, slanted and blasphemous write-up of Mike McKeever can do no good, but untold harm to athletics, athletes and the university program in general. Your inferences to Don Clark's coaching are uncalled for.
W. W. WILSON
San Pedro, Calif.
Another of the reasons I subscribed was shown in the story of Mike McKeever. Your straight-to-the-shoulder, no-doubletalk reporting rates SPORTS ILLUSTRATED as an outstanding magazine serving a useful purpose with the interest of the reader in mind first.
I agree that the coaching staff is responsible for this slaughter. I was amazed to read that there was some excessive use of the elbow last year which resulted in McKeever's being kicked out of the game. When coaches are so win-thirsty themselves that they seem to close their eyes to this type of play, I would say there is something wrong with the morals of the coaches, not necessarily the players.
KEN JUDGE GLANGER
Goodness gracious, another fellow has been hurt. We're just going to have to do something about that game called football. It is just getting to be too rough a game. Yes, put those bully boys aside. As you say, "McKeever's injury of Bates may have been unintentional, but the boy does misconstrue aggressiveness as modified manslaughter!"
Actually, the entire content of your article is completely biased.
MARK DU BOURDIEU
Long Beach, Calif.
The hypocrisy of the McKeever football incident has reached a new low. Coach Clark of Southern California claims he does not have to apologize for the football team—which implies he condones the play of McKeever, who has been kicked out of the last two games for excessive roughness and who has a record of illegal play. The president of Southern California apologizes for the incident but claims nothing will be done to McKeever. Obviously, the money to be made at the gate rears its ugly head, as McKeever is unquestionably a vital cog in the winning of football games for Southern California and is needed to win. Nobody at Southern California worries too much about Bates. I believe all the people who love football should take stock of this situation and wonder what can be done. Let us hope something is done.
HERMAN H. RITZWOLLER, USN
CONSERVATION: USE OF RESOURCES
My congratulations on your publication of Peter Matthiessen's article Slaughter and Salvation (SI, Nov. 16). The greatness of the U.S. rests ultimately on the use of its resources, and to the present it has used these resources shamefully and must in the future save them.
If we do not value these things and maintain a reverence for them, then we can conclude our reverence is for things like the University of Southern California's McKeever, and I, personally, would rather watch a single antelope than a whole herd of McKeevers.
Sauk Centre, Minn.
THE TOOTHLESS ELKS
An eloquent statement in support of conservation of our wildlife, to which I am certain that the members of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks agree in overwhelming numbers.
With reference to the killing of elk to obtain tusks for sale to members of this order, the facts are that the elk's tooth never was an emblem. Some members did wear them in the early years, however, and this no doubt led to the conclusion in some quarters that slaughter of the elk to supply this market was an important reason for the animal's decline.
When President Theodore Roosevelt stated this belief in a message to Congress on Dec. 2, 1902 recommending legislation to protect game, the Grand Exalted Ruler of the Order of Elks, in a telegram to the President on the same date, said:
"In behalf of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, I thank you for your recommendation to Congress looking to preservation of the elk." In succeeding years, the Order of Elks exerted its influence in support of measures, both federal and state, to protect the elk and to establish and enlarge game reserves. Meanwhile, in 1916 the Grand Lodge had adopted a resolution asking members of the Order to discourage the wearing of elk tusks in order to eliminate any possible incentive from this source for killing elk.
JAMES R. NICHOLSON
New York City
Your excellent article on wildlife conservation was inexact in stating that tule elk are now extinct in the wild state.
Here in the Owens Valley of California there is a herd of approximately 300 wild tule elk. They are a source of constant irritation to local ranchers, on whose land they compete with cattle for food. To keep them from becoming too numerous, the California Fish and Game Commission issues hunting permits for about 150 of them (by drawing) whenever the herd reaches 400. Such hunts are held every few years.
As an additional measure in reducing the herd the game commission people consider requests from legitimate zoological enterprises that guarantee adequate facilities and continued competent care. Further, the commissioners will transplant surplus animals in a wild state on a new range provided the area furnishes sufficient food and that the elk will not compete with already existing wild or domestic range animals or be a detriment to agricultural interests. To date, the tule elk are still quite a problem: the State of California can't find any takers able or willing to meet the stiff qualifications set by the commissioners in the best interests of conserving a rapidly vanishing species.
REV. C. H. BOPP
HARNESS RACING: THE AMBASSADORS
May I commend SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for its interest in harness racing? This is one of the few truly grass-roots sports in this country. It has run the chance of injury through being pushed into a big-time thing by the wrong people. Fortunately, the Western Harness Racing Association is not of that kind. The French ambassadors Jamin and Riaud were indeed all your story (SI, Nov. 2) tells of them—maybe more, too!
SIDNEY F. HECKERT JR.
Santa Barbara, Calif.
SKIING: SIERRA DEVOTEE
Ski preview articles were tremendous (SI, Nov. 23)! Coverage of western skiing more than made up for the overindulgence in ski fashions.
The Sierra trails will be a welcome sight during the Christmas holidays to the many true devotees of the sport, especially those of us who can temporarily escape the college grind. As a Californian, I can assure the readers that Sierra skiing is the greatest!
ALAN H. TRACY
University of Pennsylvania
FOOTBALL: A TEAR FOR FUN
Your article on tiny Huron College (SI, Nov. 16) and its outstanding football team which ended with, "This is really what college football is all about" brought nostalgic tears to my eyes. Nostalgic because I was on that last conference championship team of 1934, and tears because the article so beautifully echoes my sentiments about small-college football! The fellows who play in the big time have no idea how much fun they are missing!
MILO A. YOUEL, M.D.
San Diego, Calif.
FOOTBALL: SEMPER FIDELIS
I am not a literary genius, but dear Mr. J. B. Priestley in his article, Outrageous View of Football (SI, Nov. 16), has confirmed my beliefs about the English. Along with my stepfather and a few other fellow American characters, I will be one of the first to re-enlist in the Marine Corps when the President again declares war on England.
BENJAMIN F. HARRISON
Anybody whose hackles are raised by J. B. Priestley's article should have his sense of humor examined.
This is the most delicious description of our particular form of idiocy I have seen, and could only be matched by some irreverent American with Priestley's talent writing about the deadly pomposity and "Well done, sir" gentility of a major cricket match.
GEORGE C. HOLT
AUTOS: GRATIS SAFETY
We all applaud your dignified presentation of Racing for Safety (SI, Oct. 19) and appreciate its clear statement of the importance and value of this often misunderstood sport. I believe that your readers may wish to have copies of the Cornell Laboratory report discussed in the article. Upon request, copies of the report will be sent gratis by the librarian at Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, Inc., Buffalo 21, N.Y.
JOHN C. FITCH
Lime Rock, Conn.
GOLF: CAN YOU TOP THIS?
Here is the short story of a most unusual series of golf shots that your column readers might be interested in. The 4-par hole made in birdie-3 strokes rivals or surpasses the hole in one for amazing skill and luck.
Stated another way, how is it possible to make a 3 on a par-4 hole but yet drive no ball onto the fairway or rough, and not onto the green either?
This was done by the writer, at the Westchester Hills Golf Club in White Plains, N.Y. on Saturday, Nov. 14 while playing in the company of V. Prins and his wife. The 18th hole was being played. The drive was into a sand trap about halfway to the green, which was then played from the trap with a six-iron to a deep trap in front of the green. A nine-iron sent the ball into the cup on the fly without hitting the pole, and without use of a putter on the green. If any readers are despondent of ever making holes in one, let them hang onto their clubs a bit longer.
HORSES: TRUE TO FORM
Thank you for Arabs at Laurel (SI, Nov. 23). Your excellent and interesting account of the first race between Arabs in this country makes us anxious to hear the results of their second race at Pimlico. Also something about how the Arabs responded to training.
MRS. LYLE A. SHORTZ
•Arabian horses seem to run true to form. Ofir, winner at the Laurel International, won again at Pimlico with the same jockey, Charlie McKee, aboard. Second was Mrs. William Hewitt's other entry, Indraff, and in the money once again was the New Hampshire gelding, Ibn Lwow.
Unmindful of their ancient heritage, the Arabian steeds found the hard-packed surface of the Pimlico track more to their liking than the loose sandy drifts at Laurel and romped the 2½-mile course in 5:04[1/5]
Owners and trainers of Arabians, united in their opposition to the Thoroughbred world, are equally united in their extolment of the virtues of their breed. They staunchly claim that intelligence, coupled with spirit, good manners and a gay competitive spirit, make the horses very easy to train. Contributing to the equability of temperament is the obvious fact that most Arabians are first of all family pets and fine pleasure saddle horses. All, with very little experience at the starting gate, broke perfectly, and the winner, Ofir, was all set to gallop another two miles at the finish line. He may well have the chance, for the owners have accepted an invitation to return to Laurel and Pimlico next year and may race at two other major tracks. Within the next two years, owners of the best horses will pit their pets over four-mile courses against the best competition that Europe has to offer.—ED.