It is known throughout the football world that the AFL is creeping up on the NFL in popularity and caliber of play. But in my mind the Buffalo Bills set their league back several years.
If they felt such a sigh of relief because of Lincoln's serious injury (Foggy Feast for Buffalo's Faithful, Jan. 4), they should have kept it to themselves. I consider this very bad taste on the part of the Buffalo Bills and derogatory to professional football players.
JOHN A. DEBENEDETTO
The Bronx, N.Y.
The article in your January 4 issue finally made up my mind for me. I quote, "But Lincoln, one of the toughest backs in the league, lay as if he had fallen out of a third-floor window. 'A thrill went up and down our bench,' said Buffalo Assistant Coach Joel Collier...." Wonderful character building. Wonderful example. I realize as well as anyone that they aren't in it for the sport but for the money. But in this country we are used to separating businessmen with principles and those without. I see no further reason to watch or support professional football.
Further headlines reveal owners giving ridiculous amounts of money to players in the college ranks and even unashamedly signing players before they have finished their college seasons. It was recently revealed that a Georgia lineman, Wilson, was even signed before the season started. What a ridiculous set of standards to live by—illegal signings, cutthroat tactics and exulting over injury of an opposing player!
Since they are pros even the most hardened apologist would have to admit that the only difference between the winning and losing sides is the money in the bank account. So it seems they wish the worst sort of harm to someone else just for the money (or would it even be better if it was just to win the game?).
COLLIN E. COOPER, M.D.
The statements made by Buffalo Assistant Coach Joel Collier and the reaction of the Bills' offensive unit after the injury to Keith Lincoln only lead to the conclusion that, with Lincoln and Lance Alworth playing, the Bills would have been shmeared—and they know it!
ROY E. LIEBER
Injuries are certainly to be expected in this game, but it is a little hard to accept, complacently, the thrilled attitude of triumph as evidenced by the Buffalo team and coaches over the fallen San Diego player, Lincoln.
Perhaps, in the heat of battle, all competitors in all sports may temporarily feel such high enthusiasm. But the most disturbing thought is that this "trample the other guy—for keeps" attitude may become the type of "sportsmanship" that our young people will see practiced daily in all aspects of life.
FRANK E. NELSON
It is tremendously amusing to hear the cries of outrage from Walter Byers and other NCAA officials because some college football players signed pro contracts too early (SCORECARD, Jan. 11). Who cares? After all, these athletes have already been paid for four years by the colleges that hire them to entertain us every Saturday in the fall—so why be upset when these boys elect to continue their pro career in the NFL and AFL? And what matter when they sign? A pro is a pro is a pro.
And why the righteous indignation by coaches whose bowl teams lost players due to early signings? Why blame the NFL and AFL? After all, the boys are only repeating tricks they learned when the very same college coach was recruiting them in their high school days.
Walter Byers should forget the NFL and AFL, count his bowl game millions and go back to clubbing the track-and-field athletes into submission in time for the 1968 Olympics. After all, that's more TV money.
ARLIE W. SCHARDT
I would like to take an opposite position regarding the contract just signed by Joe Namath of Alabama. What justifies such a contract? Our Joe DiMaggios and Mickey Mantles, our Stan Musials justified their contracts the hard way—by adding to the gate, promoting baseball, boys clubs, etc. Has Namath yet done so? No. Nor has he proved he can make the jump from college football to the majors.
He will be getting more money than his coach! As much as the President of the U.S.! Yes, there are movie and TV stars who have received more, but they have proved their worth at the box office. Joe Namath has not.
Surely a "ceiling" must be put on such contracts—for the good of football, for the good of sport and for the good of the individual.
ROGER S. PHILLIPS
West Falmouth, Mass.
Your article on Brigham Young University (Land of Cuties and 12 Tall Cougars, Jan. 4) was superb. Bob Ottum must have spent months at BYU or have a special gift to put in words an honest picture of the BYU student body and basketball team.
Hooray for BYU's girls, their basketball team and your article.
CHRISTOPHER T. JONES
As an ardent girl watcher for many years, I wish to take exception to Bob Ottum's statement that Brigham Young University has the prettiest girls in the world.
Utah girls are cute, to be sure, but classical beauties are actually quite rare. I have traveled extensively through 49 states, and there is only one university worthy of such a claim. From the standpoint of sheer quantity and quality, the University of Arizona has no peer.
EDWARD B. HILEMAN
Salt Lake City
We of the International Federation of Model Generals Clubs, whose membership includes most of the states of the Union as well as chapters in Canada, Puerto Rico, England, France and Algeria, should like to express our appreciation for the excellent article on Connecticut Charter Member Charles Sweet's war game (A Little War Can Be a Lot of Fun, Jan. 4).
It might be of interest to your readers to know that the most important figure in popularizing war games is H. G. Wells, whose book, Little Wars, first published in 1913 and now a collector's item, provided the initial impetus and direction for most of the rules and activities characteristic of the hobby today.
Although collectors of figures have several magazines at their disposal, the war-game hobbyists are especially dependent upon two publications: Jack Scruby's Table Top Talk (P.O. Box 89, Visalia, Calif.) and Don Featherstone's Wargamers Newsletter (69, Hill Lane, Southampton, England).
GERARD DE. GRÉ
As much as I enjoyed seeing a signpost to "New Canaan" and "Poundridge" in the photograph accompanying the article, I feel I should point out an anachronism. New Canaan did not exist before 1801. Up until then and including the Revolutionary War period, it was known as Canaan Parish. Upon incorporation as a town in 1801, a New was put before the Canaan due to the prior existence of another Canaan, Conn. to the north.
BARRY DE LAPP
New Canaan, Conn.
Having been interested in basketball for many years, I have wondered why my interest has lagged lately, and after some thought have come to the conclusion that it is the ease of scoring that makes it tiresome. When you compare it with ice hockey, football, baseball, etc., it seems sort of juvenile to have the scores up in the hundreds—and all too frequently the difference between the winner and loser is only two points.
My suggestion is to make it more difficult to score by having a moderately slow-swinging basket so that the player would have to learn to time his shot to the split second-when the basket is at rest or when it is at the low point in its orbit. True, this would require a radical change in the equipment, but why worry about this when it would inject a brand-new element in a game that now requires little science to score? The players would, I feel sure, welcome such a change, as they could devote their energies to a more scientific angle of play, and less to a mere marathon—debilitating to them and boring to the observers.
H. MALCOLM GILLETTE
Robert Boyle's article, The New Wave in Sports (Dec. 21), was great—except that it failed to mention soaring. Until about five years ago, a lack of training facilities restricted this sport to a select few, but since then there has been a rapid growth in commercial sailplane schools around the country. Now several thousand newcomers a year are discovering the thrill of silent flight in a sailplane. The fact that the FAA approves of solo flight by 14-year-olds is eloquent testimony to the safety of sailplane flying.
WILLIAM B. CLEARY