As a transplanted Limey let me heartily congratulate and thank you for a wonderful article, Six Dreary Days—Then Saturday, on English soccer (SI, Oct. 12).
I think that Jack Olsen captured absolutely the attitude of the average fan towards his favorite sport. Even the dialects were authentic to the last detail. The most vivid and realistic scenes brought back nostalgic memories.
PATRICK A. NUTT
Kennett Square, Pa.
Although you gave a good, thorough description of British soccer, you failed to mention that betting on the games in a special pool that pays off on ties is the real national craze over there. One man recently won $841,915 on a two-penny bet.
Thanks a million. I listen to British football on the BBC on shortwave every Saturday, and I was very took on your surpassing article. After telling some friends about it, I was surprised to find that they bought your magazine just to have the football facts on Liverpool.
Congratulations on getting to a few Beatle fans.
VERNA JEAN BATES
At last SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has given us a definitive article on the world's most popular sport. Let us remind your readers that the game is played in the United States also by over 2,500 secondary schools, 600 universities and 5,000 amateur and professional clubs.
As the archdeacon of Westminster once said (PEOPLE, Feb. 24): "Do not despise soccer when thinking of the world's moral progress. It is a religious exercise, a ritual of high expertise and just to watch it is an exhausting occupation."
Although you generally seem ignorant of the fact that soccer is the world's favorite sport, you do a good job when you do write about it. Thanks for temporarily pacifying us soccer fans.
You said in your last issue, under a picture of Jim Bouton, that he had lost his cap 47 times in the third game of the World Series. As self-appointed Official Statistician in Charge of Jim Bouton's Hat, who kept count during that game—as I have done all season long—I would like to correct you. Jim actually lost the cap 37 times, surpassing his previous record of 20 (in 6 2/3 innings against Detroit Sept. 30). Jim also has three other records concerning his hat: 10 times in one inning (the fourth in the third game of the World Series), six times on one batter (Sept. 30—the batter was Bill Freehan) and seven times on seven consecutive pitches (Sept. 30)!
New York City
BRAWN AND BEAUTY
The fact that Dick Butkus is a great linebacker cannot be doubted (Brute with a Love of Violence, Oct. 12). However, is the University of Illinois running a football factory or an institution of higher learning? The day of the dumb football player is a thing of the past.
You say in your article on Dick Butkus that Pete Elliott "must be the handsomest coach in the business." Perhaps in college, but in the pro ranks I'll take Harland Svare of the Los Angeles Rams. As a single girl and an avid Ram fan, my enjoyment of the game is constantly enhanced by sideline glimpses of Svare, a gridiron Cary Grant.
HELEN R. WEISZ
FILLING THE VOID
Saturday's tough ones seem to get tougher and tougher. You twice picked the Oregon Ducks to lose to Pennsylvania teams, but they won anyway. Now you don't bother to pick their games at all. Actually, it's simple: Pick Oregon. If you need a comment, just say, "Oregon's Bob Berry can do more with a football than———." (Insert other team's quarterback in the blank.)
While I couldn't be more pleased with the attention given BGSU and its football teams under the leadership of Doyt Perry (He'll Never Leave Ohio, Sept. 28), I couldn't help but feel that some mention of Bowling Green's historically good basketball teams was missing. While we are justifiably proud of Eva Marie Saint and other notable alumni, so too are we proud of "Andy" Anderson and his basketball teams that produced over 500 wins for Bowling Green, with players like Don and Mac Otten, Charlie Share, Al Bianchi, Jimmy Darrow, Nate Thurmond and Howard Komives.
DONALD L. PACKARD
Your writers frequently indicate they have fallen for the NFL propaganda that pro football has displaced college football in crowd appeal. I expect, therefore, there will be quite a fuss about the NFL setting a new attendance record of 367,507 Oct. 4. Actually, the total attendance for the seven NFL games of that date was surpassed substantially by the attendance for seven college games the preceding day pairing the Big Ten teams or sending a Big Ten team into action against an exhibition opponent. Here are the NFL figures for Oct. 4: Cleveland vs. Dallas, 72,062; Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh, 59,394; Baltimore vs. Los Angeles, 56,537; Detroit vs. New York, 54,836; Washington vs. St. Louis, 49,219; Minnesota vs. Green Bay, 42,327; San Francisco vs. Chicago, 33,132; for a total of 367,507 and an average of 52,501. Here are the figures for games involving Big Ten teams the day before: Ohio State vs. Indiana, 81,834; Michigan vs. Navy, 70,608; Michigan State vs. Southern California, 70,102; Notre Dame vs. Purdue, 59,611; Minnesota vs. California, 53,000; Northwestern vs. Illinois, 52,062; Iowa vs. Washington, 48,000; for a total of 435,216 and an average of 62,173.
LIGHT THROUGH HAZE
I was shocked to read in your magazine that rookies were being forced to tape the ankles of veterans as part of their "hazing" in the Giant camp (The Makings of a New Pro Dynasty, Oct. 12). Tex Maule should know better. First of all, hazing of rookies in our camp consists of performing in the annual rookie show—which was presented this summer while Joe Don Looney was at the All-Star camp. Secondly, since our staff considers taping ankles to be so important that they levy a fine of $250 on any who do not do so, it follows that this task is entrusted to one of our three trainers or two doctors rather than to a rookie.
Vice-president, New York Football Giants
New York City
CHEW'N GUM AND CIGARETTES HERE!
Had I been born a cow I would be proud, but being born an American I am ashamed and disgusted with the entire Olympic administration that accompanied our athletes. I am referring to the very beginning of the Games, when the teams entered the Olympic stadium. In the very first row, before the Emperor of Japan and the eyes of the world, there came a lanky fellow. He was munching (on a piece of gum, I presume) so hard that his mouth opened up every second—a perfect image of a cow. No amount of gold medals can make up for such impropriety and barbarism.
New York City
You mentioned that the miler, Peter Snell, works for a tobacco company (Oct. 5). Since he is a record holder the question that immediately comes to my mind, if not to a lot more of your readers, is, "Does Mr. Snell smoke the cigarettes of the company for which he works?"
Congratulations to Mr. Charles Bang for his article, One for the Book but Not in It. Although it revealed a once-in-a-lifetime instance of a Thoroughbred beating a Quarter Horse in a quarter-mile match race, the author sufficiently explained the circumstances which permitted this to occur. The initial shock was further eased when the Quarter Horse was accorded his proper praise by the rival jockey in the final paragraph.
But why didn't you find it proper to capitalize the names of both breeds instead of only the one? Our continuity of thought was jarred each time we read "Thoroughbred" followed by "quarter horse"—somehow inferring a lower rank for the latter! The o her breeds such as Appaloosa, Arabian, Palomino, Standardbred and so forth come in for their share of capitals, and if you will extend the same courtesy to the American Quarter Horse, the 300,000 or more registered owners of these gentle and highly useful animals in the United States and foreign countries will be most gratified.
Mrs. V. E. QUAKENBUSH