After reading Edwin Shrake's article (How the West Has Won, Nov. 23), it is quite obvious that Mr. Shrake is prejudiced. The only reason the Western Division of the NFL has won so handily in the previous seven years is the fact that the Eastern Division title is constantly up for grabs until the last few weeks of the season. Last year, for instance, the leader was not decided until the last week. This constant struggle for league supremacy, week after week, is enough to wear out any team physically. The Bears last year and the Packers before them have practically coasted in year after year. Every team of the "manhandled" East plays a championship game every Sunday afternoon.
Here's a solution for the imbalance. First move Baltimore to the Eastern Division and Dallas to the Western Division. The fact that Baltimore is in the West and Dallas in the East renders the geographical titles of the divisions meaningless. Next, put Detroit in the Eastern Division with St. Louis replacing it in the West. Thus, two of the three best teams in the West would be moving to the East. To make up for the West's loss, they would receive two of the exciting young teams that have shown signs of becoming league powers in the near future.
Although Shrake predicted league balance in a few years, I feel that this plan would bring it about sooner. Also the change might be good for the teams involved.
What gives? An Austrian ski instructor on your cover demonstrating a "modified Austrian" approach to parallel skiing (Throw Away that Stem, Nov. 23)?
Get with it. American Skiing has come of age. It can stand on its own skis and its own method of instruction—the American Technique. We no longer need to look to Europe for equipment or for competent ski teachers.
CHARLES H. QUINN
Salt Lake City
PLUGGING THE DRAIN (CONT.)
Robert Boyle's article (America down the Drain, Nov. 16) was a terrific example of how a strong report in a magazine such as yours can sting the public conscience. I, for one, was unaware of the extent of the problem that exists concerning the conservation of our natural beauty, resources and wildlife. But I am familiar with the Beaver Kill and Willowemoc Creek in southern New York, and they are certainly unique. To alter or destroy them would be an irretrievable waste.
Secretary of the Interior Udall also had a valid point when he said that sporadic outbursts are not enough.
I fully share Mr. Boyle's concern, especially as it relates to our crowded Northeast situation, where we are rapidly running out of paving space for the highways of the future. This is one of the principal factors behind my proposal for a high-speed intercity rail system in the Northeast states. Since a single set of railroad tracks can do the job of as many as 18 lanes of highway, we can easily perceive the close relationship between sound conservation planning and preservation of our railroads.
With specific reference to Boyle's article, I must disagree with his assertion that "newspaper campaigns have no effect." The Providence Evening Bulletin series on "Rhode Island the Beautiful," to which he referred, contributed a great deal to the establishment of receptive attitudes to conservation matters in our state, where the voters approved by a nearly 2-to-1 margin a $5 million bond issue for our so-called Green Acres program November 3. These state funds will supplement federal grants to finance purchase of land for new state parks, beach development and woodland and marshland preservation.
The excellent publicity by the Evening Bulletin helped greatly to inform the Rhode Island electorate and to encourage intelligent voting that will lead to a program of banking our resources for the future.
In Maine we long ago recognized the problem and are now doing something about it. Such things as increasing the facilities of our state parks, developing new summer and winter outdoor recreation areas, new laws to outlaw the abandoned automobile, building our highways through low cost or blighted areas where practicable, an honest, energetic program underway to clean up our rivers and lakes, a national citation for the finest and most effective anti-litter program of the 50 states, urban renewal and transportation and traffic studies in our major cities, huge municipal sewage construction underway and legal preservation of our own wilderness area, the Allagash, are blunt testimony to the fact that we do care.
Boyle's article could have been just as forcibly written from the opposite viewpoint. Down with Down the Drain.
Regardless of the route—indifference, ignorance or other—Americans who savor outdoor recreation and untampered natural scenery as a necessary ingredient for making life more livable may find out too late that our "fat" society is providing the means of getting all dressed up (more leisure time, fine sporting equipment, etc.) at a rate of acceleration precisely equal to production of no place to go. At least no place close to home. Both Canada and Hell are possibilities, but they can't be gone to every day.
The fight to preserve natural resources could be likened to an inept boxer: 99% defense, 1% offense, with most of his time being spent in preventing something catastrophic from occurring, and the tiny remainder in asserting his own talents.
WILLIAM H. KELLY III
Livingston Manor, N.Y.
Bravo for Boyle! While we in Canada have not yet managed to despoil and pillage the land, we are certainly on our way.
For example, a British Columbia cabinet minister earlier this year proposed that mining and logging companies should be allowed to chew up the land and cut trees in provincial parks. All in the name of progress!
Perhaps our "advanced" civilization could learn something from the traditional beliefs of the Plains Indians who held the land as sacred and not to be despoiled. How about a formation of a militant lay organization; perhaps the North American Conservation Society?
When Louis B. Mayer imported Alibhai from England as a 3-year-old, he of course had no idea of the magnitude of the venture. But the facts as now set down suggest that this, for American racing, was an epic event. Alibhai's grandson is the great Kelso—five times Horse of the Year.
E. E. ANDERSON JR.
Lake Tahoe, Nev.
In your story "Great Gelding" (SCORE-CARD, Nov. 23), you give Kelso's birthplace as Mrs. duPont's Woodstock Farm in Maryland. This is a mistake. Mrs. duPont, Kelso's owner, was a shareholder in the stallion Your Host, who sired Kelso. Her mares often foaled at Meadowview Farm in New Jersey, where Your Host was standing. In 1957, however, the year Kelso was dropped, his dam, Maid of Flight, was booked to Ambiorix, at A. B. Hancock's Claiborne Farm in Bourbon County in Kentucky and was sent there early in the season to await breeding time. Therefore Kelso was conceived in New Jersey but foaled in Kentucky.
Head Librarian, The Morning Telegraph
New York City
Kelso was not foaled on May 4, 1957, as many believe, but on April 4 of that year, at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky. This is the birthplace of many great racehorses, including Bold Ruler and Round Table, who were both born there in 1954. But it may interest some that May 4 is the birthday of his gracious owner, Mrs. Richard C. duPont.
KERRY B. FITZPATRICK
EYE ON THE INEVITABLE
Now that both sides have had a chance to present their arguments on the subject, one thing remains clear: an NFL-AFL championship game is not very far off. To prepare for it, I suggest the following plan be adopted. Starting next fall, let each NFL team play the regular 12 games within its own conference, but instead of the scheduled two interdivisional games let each team play only one game with a team in the other NFL division, one game with an AFL team. All games would count fully in the standings of each league.
The scheduling could be done very simply and would eliminate the staking of a vast amount of either league's prestige on only one game. Only seven Sundays of the 14-week season would be involved. On each of these Sundays the two NFL teams which would normally play the interconference game would each play an AFL team. One game would be played in the scheduled NFL city, and the other game would be played in an AFL city. Thus all NFL teams would still play seven home games and seven road games.
DAVID G. Fox