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19TH HOLE: The readers take over


Robert Cantwell's article (The Poet, the Bums and the Legendary Red Men, SI, Feb. 15) on Marianne Moore and the Carlisle Indians brought back many memories. I was at Harvard, 1900-1904, and saw the Carlisle Indians pull the hidden-ball trick on Harvard. It was at kickoff of the second half. The ball went near the right sidelines, about the Carlisle 5-yard line. Carlisle players grouped around the receiver in a sort of crude flying wedge and started toward the other end of the field. Harvard came rushing downfield. They blocked out one player after another, blocked out all in front of them, and nobody had the ball. And there, midway between the sidelines and about 35 yards from the Harvard goal was a Carlisle Indian with a big hump on his back—the ball under his sweater—and running like a deer. That sure was something to see.

Carlisle had not then reached the heights it attained later with Jim Thorpe. They did not beat Harvard the years I saw them play, but they played a good hard game and drew large crowds. Football then was quite different from now. Five yards to be gained on three downs, no forward passing, and if a player was taken out he stayed out, as in baseball today. Carlisle had few reserves, and they left their men in the game as long as they could wobble. I remember one big fullback who was decidedly All-America in ability. He would invariably gain some ground, but would get so weary that they had to take time out to revive him for the next play. And finally when he was completely exhausted they would take him out. And while this giant was playing in the backfield, they had some little Esquimaux that looked to be about 5 feet or 5 feet 2 in the line. Maybe they really were Indians, but we called them Esquimaux.
Princeville, Ill.

I read with interest Robert Cantwell's fine article and his account of some of the legendary feats of the amazing Carlisle Indians. One statement is pure legend, however. The records indicate that Carlisle never defeated Yale in football. The schools met five times during the period of 1895-1900...with Yale winning rather decisively each time. In 1900, the last meeting of the two schools, it was Carlisle's (not Custer's) last stand, as Yale's national championship team massacred the Indians 35-0.
Wallingford, Conn.

•Reader Bozzi is right.—ED.

Ivan Erdos' letter (19TH HOLE, Feb. 8) sounds like a defy from Los Angeles to New York City's bridge players.

While Los Angeles has some fine players, including Mr. Erdos, we very definitely do consider New York numero uno and will happily field a team to prove it.

Instead of the six-man team Erdos suggests, however, let's make it three or four teams of four, playing as a team-of-12 or team-of-16 match, New York vs. Los Angeles, on a home-and-home basis. The year 1960 would be perfect for such a test; our top players will be going to Los Angeles to compete in the Summer National Championships of the American Contract Bridge League; theirs will, no doubt, be coming to New York in November to compete in the Winter Nationals.

A match, with suitable provision for public kibitzing, might take place just before each of these Nationals, under the joint auspices of the Greater New York Bridge Association and a combination of the Los Angeles area units of the League.
IRA BRALL, President
Greater New York Bridge Assn.
New York City

•Any takers?—ED.

The article by Jeremiah Tax about Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman, A Brave Man and A Good Friend (SI, Feb. 1), is one of the most moving stories in sports of the year, and I want to thank you and Mr. Tax for doing it. If there were more people of the several races and the several faiths being this helpful to each other, we would be a lot better off in Georgia and in New York.

•See page 4.—ED.

I thoroughly enjoyed your article on Georgia Tech's basketball team (Father Knows Best, SI, Feb. 15). It is high time they received some accolade other than irate letters from writers who cover the so-called superior conferences.

However, there is one matter in which I disagree with you. You describe Bobby Dews as a speedy guard "who gambles excessively at stealing the ball and is an erratic shooter." Since I have witnessed all of Tech's home games and listened to the others, and since I know Bobby quite well, I think I am fairly well informed on this. Bobby's value to the team is tremendous. Some people rate him on a par or above Kaiser as an all-round player. And many of his "gambles" end with Dews having possession of the ball and the opposing player wondering where he came from. After talking to a starting LSU guard after the Tech-LSU game (in which Kaiser hit 30 pts.) I came away with the idea that he was more impressed with Dews than Kaiser. All that he could say was, "Boy, that Dews is good!" Speedy he is—he runs the 100-yard dash right at 10 seconds flat. But he is not an erratic shooter. He does not take as many shots as Kaiser or Denton, but his percentage is 40% on field goals. It is seldom that Kaiser and Denton are both cold, but the only time that it happened this year—in the Alabama game—who took up the slack? Bobby Dews! In the first half, while Kaiser and Denton were finding that they were cold, Bobby shot four times and hit two. But in the second half all Bobby did was hit seven out of seven field goals—all 20 feet plus, and finish with 18 big points. In the Vanderbilt game, with 30 seconds left and Tech behind by 2 points, who hit a 20-foot jump shot that tied the score? (Tech won in overtime.) This was also Bobby Dews. In the Kentucky game Dews was assigned to Bernie Coffman, UK's most productive shooter. Result—Bernie got no field goals and one free throw. Fairly good defense I'd say. Bobby also does much to demoralize the opposing ball handlers with his hawking. They've got the ball, dribbling—and poof, there goes Dews, the ball and the players' confidence.

The only thing that keeps Bobby from achieving outstanding success is the fact that he is so slightly built. At 6 feet, 160 pounds he is too slight to last the full 40 minutes, playing at the pace that he does.
Georgia Tech

I am writing in regard to an incident which your magazine called attention to: the scoring of 135 points by one high school basketball player from Burnsville, West Virginia (SCOREBOARD, Feb. 8).

It seems to me that there are some coaches who have a tendency to lose perspective of what they are supposed to be teaching young boys. If this particular player was good enough, I'm sure that the colleges would have had him in mind for a scholarship. Instead, this coach probably gave instructions for the rest of the players to feed the ball to one boy so a meaningless record could be set. Granted, it is nice to see a boy receive a scholarship and continue his education, but is this the proper way to go about it?

What about coaching ethics? College basketball received some adverse publicity a few years back. The same thing could happen to high school basketball.
Bagley, Minn.

J. Bracken Lee is an able and dedicated public servant. I am indeed distressed to find SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ridiculing his honest efforts to clean up the city government (EVENTS & DISCOVERIES, Feb. 1). Five hundred poorly informed golfers may boo and hiss, but there are approximately 200,000 more people in Salt Lake who are applauding.
Salt Lake City

Since you have rightly accepted politics as fit for designation as a sport, I think it should be pointed out that Mayor Lee plays his game more fairly and squarely than the vast majority of politicians in the country today do.

We golfers were given a chance to express our opinions. This is quite a contrast to the deal that set the whole thing off. A couple of years ago, the then commission decided that it would be nice to sell one of our nine-hole city courses and use the revenue to build an 18-hole course, as well as another nine-holer. They locked themselves in their little room, and when they emerged, the deal had been completed. We, the people, got word next day and didn't like it one little bit.

Regardless, things went ahead, and by the time Mayor Lee was elected most of the money from the sale had been expended on the new project. Since it had gone this far, the majority of the golfing public felt it should be completed. When the evidence was presented at the commission meeting, Mayor Lee lost, and it was decided that the project was to be continued.

What's that old bit about "It's not whether you won or lost, but how you played the game"? Anyhow, as far as these eyes could tell, Mayor Lee deserved the sportsmanship trophy for this event, if for nothing else than letting the second-stringers into the game before it was over. (Incidentally, I am not related to the mayor.)
Salt Lake City

May I congratulate Joe David Brown on his straightforward report, Yoga Comes West (SI, Jan. 25). Too frequently popularizations of yoga result in distortions which may be embarrassing or incredible to those who have scientific or practical interest in it. Brown has given your readers a fair and balanced picture.

However, I would like to offer some corrections on the report as it applies to our work at the University of Michigan Medical Center. It is riot correct to say that Dr. Wenger and I "were unable to persuade meditative yogis to sit" for our electroencephalograph test. We got a few. Among the meditative yogis was Swami Shantananda, who participated in both the Indian field trials and the tests here at the Medical Center.

The Delhi man's pulse-and-heartbeat-stopping experiment described by Brown is a form of the Valsalva maneuver, well known to cardiologists, perfected by practice and not especially a yoga accomplishment. This phenomenon was thoroughly investigated by us by electrocardiogram, X-ray, etc.

Apart from this, you have presented a good popular summary of the subject, and we appreciate your interest.
Chief of the Section of Electroencephalography
University of Michigan Medical Center
Ann Arbor, Mich.

•In summarizing their report "Electro-physiological Correlates of some Yogi Exercises" (The First International Congress of Neurological Sciences, Brussels, 1957, Pergamon Press), Bagchi and Wenger state: "It can be said that physiologically Yogic meditation represents deep relaxation of the autonomic nervous system without drowsiness or sleep and a type of cerebral activity without highly accelerated electro-physiological manifestation but probably with more or less insensibility to some outside stimuli for a short or long time." They add that this type of scientific research into yoga practices is valuable "as it may throw light on hitherto unknown or little emphasized physiological and psychological mechanisms and may help to reemphasize some of the essentials of physical and mental well-being." As part of their investigation into pranayama breathing exercises, Bagchi and Wenger recorded a heart-sound-stopping experiment. This is accomplished by two yoga techniques: uddiyana (raising the diaphragm) and jalandhar bandh (chin lock). "Heart sound and pulse at wrists as checked by two internist physiologists," reads their report, "were diminished or definitely stopped for a few seconds but not the electrocardiogram." The Valsalva maneuver consists of increasing the pressure in the chest cavity while holding nose and mouth closed and forcibly blowing out. The increased pressure directly affects the flow of blood to and from the heart. An experienced yogi may gain enough knowledge of his own heart cycle to know when to cut down the venous flow to the heart through breath control, thus slowing or even stopping the heartbeat. The Valsalva maneuver is used by pilots when making a fast descent to force air into the middle ear to counteract increasing outside pressure.—ED.