I've read every issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED since you've been in business, but I think this time you went too far (Players Are Not Just People, April 29).
Being a transplanted Detroiter, I cannot see how you can condone the action of NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle in giving Alex Karras the same treatment as Paul Hornung. Judging from all published reports, Alex's offenses weren't anywhere near as bad as Hornung's so far as size and number of bets are concerned.
I cannot figure out what the critics expect from Pete Rozelle. There is a sign in the locker room of every clubhouse in the NFL. Briefly, it states: "Do not bet on pro football games." Each player's contract contains a similar clause, with penalties of up to lifetime banishment for violation.
Now two guys (the "brightest stars," say the critics) get caught and get clouted. What the critics don't take into consideration is that the few who may have escaped detection will henceforth be leading puritanical lives. Hornung sincerely regrets his mistake and knows that his professional life is not ruined. He'll probably be back in 1964 to make life miserable for the rest of the league. It will be a cleaner and healthier league thanks to Pete Rozelle.
FRANK A. SIEVERMAN
I am quite glad that Tex Maule and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED take Pete Rozelle's side of the story. Ever since his decision about suspending Hornung and Karras, everyone seems to be against him. No one seems to realize that he did what he did to protect pro football.
New York City
Re Dr. Albert Hammond's article The Intolerable Squeeze (May 6): the $2 bettor (of which I am one) doesn't stand a chance. In our competitive society the edge always goes to the group that is organized. Racetrack bettors, by nature unorganizable, can only hold the short end of the stick and console themselves with two "truths": 1) they aren't forced to bet; and 2) one bettor has no inherent advantage over another.
The gradual, "painless" hikes in mutuel take will continue until the increase in taxation does not balance the decrease in money bet. One wonders how long this will be.
DANIEL P. SHINE
I quit reading about halfway through, because horseplayers (I used to be one) are addicts pure and simple—mostly simple. The addicted ones make 75% of the take. They don't care what the take is—they are hooked and you know it! I am not referring to the guy who goes on Mother's Day. Webster says of "addict"—"to apply habitually, as one's mind to speculation; to give (oneself) up or over as a constant practice." Horse racing is supported by addicts, but who cares? Probably the state less than anyone. I must admit I enjoyed going to the races, but one day I realized I had become an addict, and it sickened me, so I quit.
When your April 29 issue came in the mail, I thought, at first glance, I was looking at a picture of Robin Roberts. I saw the words "New Hope In Philly" and I thought I was getting a 1950 copy by mistake. Then I saw the name Art Mahaffey. Not only does Mahaffey look like a young Roberts, but the situations are very similar in many ways. Once again the Phils, a doormat for many years, are hoping to ride to the National League championship on the arm of a young hurler and a lot of other untried ballplayers.
I have just read the "Advantage Talbert" article in the SCORECARD section of your May 6 issue. Congratulations!
When USLTA President Edward A. Turville was granted equal time [on CBS Radio's Worldwide Sports] to respond to Bill Talbert's suggestions for improving amateur tennis in the United States, he was asked both verbally and by letter to stick to the issues. He chose, however, to use a portion of the time to criticize Mr. Talbert personally. Because we did not want to infringe on his editorial freedom, we did not remove any of his words from the tape.
Because we highly endorse Mr. Talbert's views, he has been invited to appear on our program whenever he chooses.
JOHN G. CHANIN
Producer, Worldwide Sports
New York City
Maybe Frank Mahovlich wasn't excited about the Stanley Cup series (Dregs from the Cup that Enriches, April 29), and maybe Writer Rex MacLeod likes regular-season games better, but to some like myself it was a fine finish to an excellent season.
As we listened to a mixture of the radio announcer's voice and occasional static, we marveled at Keon's rushes and Bower's great saves, while I trembled every time Gordie Howe got the puck. Certainly the NHL can be proud of a great and prosperous year.
FRED KOLB JR.
Baseball has its World Series, which extends into the hockey season; football has a championship game, plus a game for the second-place teams, with the added attraction of an All-Star Game that has to be played in the South because mid-January is just too cold up North to bring out a crowd. The National Hockey League climaxes the year with the thrilling Stanley Cup playoffs. Anything can happen in the playoffs, and I'm sure that all hockey fans thank Lester Patrick for his wonderful idea to extend hockey into the baseball season.
PAUL R. POWERS
Fort Benning, Ga.
Your article on the Toronto Maple Leafs winning the Stanley Cup finals is the worst piece of rubbish I have ever read. To us Canadians, hockey is our most wonderful pastime, as baseball is to you. The Toronto team is a terrific team and deserves much more credit than given in the article. As for the hockey season being long and boring, I see nothing more ridiculous than having 154 (or whatever it is!) ball games for each team in one season. Phooey.
Speaking of those Tom Swifties you talked about in SCORECARD (May 6) here's one that reflects one of the Giants' big problems this year: "I don't like Orlando Cepeda either," Tom told Alvin, darkly.
CECIL H. LONDON
"I'll never feed a mouse to a lion again," said Tom, offhandedly.
Just a belated note to thank you for your flattering words about me in the article on Sally Langmuir and her yawl Bolero (Long Voyage Home, April l). It was an excellent article all around, and I was deeply touched by its totally unexpected tribute to me.
This weekend I expect to go swimming—I am entering the eliminations for the National Singlehanded championships on the Sound, in a Finn, no less. They accepted my entry, to my horror! Guess they want a woman, just to say it is open to both sexes. Well, I just hope the water is not too cold. By the way, I'd trade all my trophies for that Bolero!
ALLEGRA KNAPP MERTZ
Your article on Pat Duane (The Flying Lady of the Flying Dutchman, April 22) was excellent—a fine tribute to a fine skipper. However, I do not feel your description of the Snipe scoring system ("a complicated piece of arithmetical squares") added to the article.
Over 14,000 Snipes are using this method, and no one who can add and divide can miss in determining the winner of a race or a regatta. It was the race committee that deprived Pat of a title if they changed the rules—not a "complicated" scoring method.
Jack Olsen flipped a few feathers when he drew a bead on the frigate bird (A Mob of Marlin in Panama, April 22). The bird is designed magnificently for soaring, but mother nature threw him a curve when he went into the air. Unlike a cormorant, who is well equipped to catch fish and fly, the man-o'-war can't take off with wet wings. He has to steal from others or starve to death. So, if Mr. Olsen were a frigate bird, he would be beating cormorants on the head instead of a typewriter. Assuming, of course, that he enjoys eating.
FLORENCE A. POSTE
West Palm Beach, Fla.
In regard to your item on the Nenana, Alaska ice pool (SCORECARD, April 29): the pool is not illegal. The 1960 legislature passed a bill permitting both the Chena and Nenana ice pools as well as a number of lotteries despite the state's antigambling laws.
Yay! Rah, rah! You finally mentioned the New York Mets (The Quaint Cult of the Mets, May 6). But when will your magazine recognize the Mets as a baseball team? Although they can't be considered as contenders for the National League pennant this year, the time is not far off. With rookies like Ed Kranepool, Ron Hunt and AI Moran, the Mets' future looks bright.
New Haven, Conn.