FOOTBALL WORLD SERIOUS
Congratulations on your stand for an AFL-NFL championship game (The Two Pro Football Leagues Must Meet, Dec. 16). The sooner they arrange such a meeting the better for all concerned.
This guy Tex Maule must be right out of his head picking the NFL by 50 points in a championship game. Has he watched any AFL games this year or has he spent all season watching his beloved Dallas Cowboys?
Tex ("Perplexed") Maule has the greatest proclivity for being wrong of any writer that I have read. We have been through a similar situation during the 1946-50 period. At that time all the football "experts" agreed that the teams in the old All America Football Conference were far inferior to the NFL and said so in much the same vein as did Maule. Well, what happened?
The Cleveland Browns entered the NFL in 1950 and won the championship. The only team to defeat the Browns in 1950 was the N.Y. Giants. But wait a minute! They weren't really the Giants at all. They had become strong through an agreement that gave them the best players on the AAFC New York Yankees, including Tom Landry, Otto Schnellbacher, Harmon Rowe, Arnie Weinmeister and several others.
This Maule talks about Tobin Rote's performances when he was in the NFL as not being too good, compared to his better AFL performances (because the AFL defenses are bad). He wouldn't admit that possibly Rote has reached the top now, same as Y.A. Tittle has with the N.Y. Giants.
You can't take anything away from Tittle. He's great, there's no doubt about it. But his performances six or seven years ago were nothing compared to what they are now.
My nomination for Astronaut of the Year is Tex Maule. His prediction concerning a playoff between the NFL and AFL champs is really out of this world.
Lake Arthur, La.
Hooray, hooray, hooray. Three cheers for Tex Maule in sizing up a game between the AFL and the NFL. Any 5-year-old kid could tell just by watching an AFL game on TV that compared to the NFL the AFL looks like a group of 10-year-olds playing a sandlot game.
Overland Park, Kans.
To say that "the AFL could win the World Series" Dan Jenkins has to be slightly nuts. But to call Y. A. Tittle a castoff is a sure sign of insanity.
St. Bonaventure, N.Y.
The AFL is definitely five years behind the NFL. Joe Foss is lucky that Pete Rozelle has mercy enough to decline such a challenge, because, if he accepted, the AFL would definitely be trounced by a ridiculous score, say, 42-3—if they got that close. Mr. Foss had better keep his challenges to his own league.
The Bronx, N.Y.
The matter of who would win is only incidental. After all, how many World Series have begun with one league's team a heavy favorite? Does this kill the fans' interest? Seems to me that the Yankees were heavy favorites this last time!
H.L. (MIKE) MICHAEL
As one of Ring Lardner's boys might say: "Let's get the serious started."
Although I agree with most of the editorial positions held by your magazine, I am definitely opposed to your suggestions concerning the Olympic Committee's new system of selecting our Olympic track and field team (SCORECARD, Dec. 16). Your stand, which advocates the retention of the "traditional American system," is shortsighted and unrealistic and in definite contrast to your drive for more liberal policies in all sports.
Suppose John Pennel, Bob Hayes and Al Oerter all suffered minor injuries prior to the exclusive Olympic trials and were unable to compete. If your position were supported, then these great world record holders would miss the trip to Tokyo. The new system would prevent such an occurrence and would, furthermore, consider such factors as past competitive records, physical conditions and other significant performance trends that the past selective system neglected completely.
The Olympic Games serve as the testing grounds for the ultimate in athletic competition. Only if the greatest athletes are present can this be realized. The liberal selection system developed by the U.S. Olympic Committee is without question one of the most significant developments in American track and field history and will insure Americans our finest Olympic team in 1964.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is serving a valuable and useful purpose in this time of hysteria by opposing unwise legislation for registration of firearms (SCORECARD, Dec. 9).
Indeed, the record shows that areas with the most stringent firearms registration laws, such as New York, frequently if not invariably have the highest incidence of crimes of violence, including those perpetrated by firearms.
Conversely, areas which have no firearms registration statutes frequently if not invariably have the lowest incidence of crimes of violence and the lowest incidence of crimes involving firearms.
I know of no legislation before the Congress to restrict the sacred right of individuals to possess and to use firearms in a lawful manner which would have prevented the tragic death of President Kennedy.
Indeed, the gun which shot the President could have been acquired at a police auction, in a pawnshop, from a local wholesale or retail outlet, by borrowing from a friend, by inheritance from a parent or relative, by importation from a foreign country, through theft from a federal or state armory, by burglary of a store or home, through the small but active traffic in illicit firearms, as a war trophy from abroad or in many other ways which your readers could conceivably imagine.
The fact of the matter is that guns do not kill any more than do automobiles, airplanes, hammers, saws, pocketknives, ice picks, tire irons, kitchen knives, flatirons, ladies' spike heels, caustic soda, poisons, industrial explosives or any other instrumentality. It is the people who use them who bring about the evil.
It should be pointed out that Great Britain, which effectively disarmed its people, during and preceding World War II found itself faced with the unhappy situation of having to mount its home guard with pitchforks, flails, antique fowling pieces and wooden sticks when Hitler threatened his Operation Sea Lion across the English Channel in the early 1940s.
Certainly these facts should give serious pause to some of the hysterical proponents of antifirearms legislation, which so terribly threatens one of our fundamental rights and liberties already being eroded by an expanding population and housing boom.
JOHN D. DINGELL
YO-HO AND A HIGH SEA
Hugh Whall's piece on the Sunfish and Sailfish (Set a Sail on a Surfboard, Dec. 16) was a delight to this avid practitioner. But why didn't you show these boats at their two moments of supreme and most exhilarating performance? Sailing these things in a stiff breeze at the edge of the surf line is out of this world, especially if you catch a big roller to the beach and come in like an express train.
The joy of this is exceeded only by planing flat out before a 25-to-30-knot wind. When you've got a three-foot rooster tail off the stern and the shore line is zipping by faster than you think possible, there's only one thing to do. Yodel!
HARRIS E. ADRIANCE
Just how much effort did your basketball staff put forth this year to come up with the quite fictitious "top 20" (SCOUTING REPORTS, Dec. 9)? As of December 16, 15 of your top 20 teams had lost at least once with five of those losing twice, and one of those, mind you, losing four. Gentlemen, really! Who thought these predictions up? The San Francisco student body?
However, the blunder that really got under my skin and which you shall yet regret, was the complete snubbing of the Creighton University basketball power. As you observe Creighton playing in the NCAA tournament, you will once again have earned your reward—a second "stinking dead mackerel"!
The selection of the University of Texas as the No. 1 football team in the U.S. by both AP and UPI has made SPORTS ILLUSTRATED the outstanding prophet of 1963.
L. DEWITT HALE
Corpus Christi, Texas