DISHING THE DIRT
How dare you accuse the New York Giants of deliberately trying to beat up Jimmy Brown of the Cleveland Browns (A War on Ferocity, Nov. 11)! No football player deliberately goes out to injure another. Are you some kind of a nut to publish such an outrageous story?
Walter Bingham's tirade against Jimmy Hill was most reprehensible. As one who saw the game and the game movies, I agree that Hill should be rebuked for his temperamental outburst and his forearm blow after the conclusion of the play. Nevertheless, Bingham's implications and omissions transform the article from one which could have helped to one which does a great disservice to Hill, to pro football and to your usually accurate publication.
Bingham fails to mention that Hill's first jolt was a completely legal block; that the first stiff-arm Hill administered to Starr was legal; that Starr hit Hill simultaneously with the same type of blow; that after Starr was tackled he kicked Hill in the teeth and ribs, probably unintentionally; and that after the game, Starr, in his nationally syndicated column, exonerated Hill of all blame.
I wish Mr. Bingham success in his war against violence in pro football, but I hope that in the future he will be more careful in choosing his weapons.
I for one have enjoyed watching the rough and tough play of pro football, the savage fighting play of the lines, the crisp tackles, the running of Jim Brown, the keying of Huff on Brown, etc.
Now Walter Bingham comes along and wants to go to touch football. He should go to Harvard. They have a good tiddly-winks team there; that seems to be his sport.
I believe your point against unnecessary roughness is well taken. It seems to me that deliberate fouling which results in injury should be penalized by more than the usual 15 yards. I believe that a player who deliberately fouls and injures another player, so that the latter is out of action for a period of time, should be suspended from playing for a period of time equal to the time lost by the injured player. The decision for such a penalty could be made by the commissioner of football in each of the professional leagues.
JACOB SIRKIN, M.D.
Fifteen yards, and possibly a game suspension for one man, is little enough to pay for removal of a Bart Starr or a Jimmy Brown. I suppose that fines can be paid by the club, but if a man knows that he is facing a season's suspension that may affect his own future livelihood, it might deter him from doing his coach's dirty work.
Statements to the effect that, "The war against roughness is a continuing war," from Commissioner Rozelle will do little. The only thing that will stop it is the realization by the individual players that if they hurt another man purposely, they are going to get hurt, too—in the pocketbook.
DONALD C. HAMILTON
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
I will be the first to agree that to insure the dignity and future of pro football the officials must crack down on roughness designed to really hurt an opposing player. However, football is a rough sport, and too much officiating is as bad as not enough. I wish you would remind the officials of both leagues that whistle-happy referees as well as dirty football players can ruin the game.
Big Deal! So Elbert Joseph Coffman spent a weekend drinking and dashing about Texas so that he could see no less than four football games (The Disciples of St. Darrell on a Wild Weekend, Nov. 11).
I can just hear him now, pushing his patient wife to get things organized so that he could get to the ball game on time; so that he could make all sorts of raucous remarks at the ball game; so that he could rip off to the next city to catch a lot of beers and a few bleary-eyed glimpses of the opposing teams—ad infinitum. Yuk!
Please don't misunderstand me. I couldn't care less if Big Joe got stoned from Friday through Sunday but, please, don't bother to tell me and 180 million other people about it.
FRED W. PULVER JR.
That big Texas weekend brought back pleasant memories for me. Everything was just as Dan Jenkins depicted it. TU-OU weekend must be the wildest weekend in the country, anytime, anywhere. The three games played in Dallas over the weekend added up to as much excitement as I have ever seen on the gridiron. I might add to the article by saying that the Oklahoma fans must have been wary of things to come, because downtown Friday night I heard from only a handful of Sooner fans. The entire area was a boisterous "Hook 'em Horns."
By the way, Nasty Jack doesn't have a whole lot on me. I hitchhiked the 800 miles from Peoria to Dallas in 23 hours and I'd do it over and over for a few more weekends like that one.
How refreshing to see a story completely devoted to the fan. That Joe and Mary Sue Coffman can sit next to me and share my flask anytime.
Montgomery City, Mo.
NO ROOM AT THE TOP
We suppose a chap named Whitney Tower is entitled to a flight of fancy now and then, but not to such dizzy heights as he attained in his article, Move Over, Man o' War (Nov. 11).
He bases his premise on faulty mathematics: Man o' War won 20 races in 21 starts to average 95%. Kelso has won 31 races in 45 starts to average 69%. The amount of money a horse wins "is as chaff which the wind blows away," and being Horse of the Year for four years, great as it is, compares feebly with being Horse of the Century.
There is no room on the top of Big Red's totem pole for the likes of Kelso, fine as he is; for Big Red will still be king when Kelso, Tom Fool, Armed, Citation, Whirlaway, Nashua, Native Dancer, Swaps, Gallant Fox, Equipoise, Exterminator, Alsab, War Admiral, Count Fleet, Round Table and Carry Back (a dead pigeon now) are all forgotten.
Man o' War, Jim Thorpe, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb are not there to be beaten, but to serve as criteria for all other competitors.
HERBERT H. CAHOON
I'm glad someone has finally realized that Kelso is great, and that Man o' War isn't all that great.
Many thanks for Rex Lardner's excellent article on platform paddle tennis (It's Wintertime, So Let's Play Tennis, Nov. 18). We have long wondered when SPORTS ILLUSTRATED would "uncover" this wonderful game. It was well done, and the artistry of Eldridge King shows he is a true devotee.
It is too bad that your article could not have appeared a week sooner, for paddle tennis players everywhere were saddened by the death of the game's founder, Fessenden Blanchard, at last weekend's Harvard-Princeton football game. Many aficionados are not only indebted to him for his efforts throughout his long and useful life in promoting paddle tennis, but also for his excellent books and articles on cruising and sailing. He was the true amateur sportsman.
JOHN PICKERING JR.
I noted with interest your description of a three-dimensional game of pool in outer space (SCORECARD, NOV. 11). Apparently you didn't take into account Newton's third law, which states, "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."
What happens when the cue ball slams into the 35 ball "rack" and sends them flying in all directions in the weightlessness of outer space? With no gravity to slow them down, the balls would carom off the walls, ceiling, floor, each other and the players until the players, I fear, would be in pretty sad shape.
It would be worse than throwing a golf ball against the wall in a tile bathroom, and I don't think you'd want to try that to get your exercise.
ROBERT E. CAIN
The item in your November 4 SCORECARD in which you refer to the five perfect bridge hands that have been dealt seemed to our group to have the ring of disbelief on your reporter's part.
I've been dealing and shuffling cards a long time, and this is the first time such a thing has ever happened to any of our group, and I don't expect it to ever happen again, but if it does I'm going to let your magazine know about it immediately.
When we reported our perfect bridge hand we had no knowledge of the other hands except for a vague remembrance of the Kankakee hand, and we were under the impression that theirs was a 13 spade hand. We've since learned that theirs was a perfect hand, too. We had no knowledge of the other hands that you report as having been dealt.
MRS. E. K. McILRATH