The hats of an entire university, countless alums and 13 defeated opponents are off to Frank Deford for his fine article on Ohio's University of Miami (The Real Miami Stands Up, Feb. 1). He not only captured the warmth and spirit of the "real" Miami's campus life but he also gave the basketball team some of the national recognition it richly deserves. Miami's Redskins are one of the nation's finest teams and a heretofore little-noticed record proves it.
Not only is Miami University a far older institution (by 116 years) than "Water-Ski U" but the Redskins can boast of the finest head-football-coach production in the world and a near record for the most consecutive nonlosing football seasons. There can be no question as to which is the real Miami.
I would like to thank Frank Deford for recognizing "Miami-brackets-Ohio" as one of the country's great basketball powers. Miami is 14-1 in the season and 9-0 in the Mid-American Conference, but still it remains unranked. Maybe after reading Mr. Deford's article somebody may try to find "Miami-brackets-Ohio" on a map.
Well, the "real Miami" certainly did stand up—the University of Miami of Florida, that is. And at 100-85.
Frank Deford's statement that "Miami is the birthplace of college fraternities" is erroneous. In 1825 Kappa Alpha Society, the oldest Greek-letter social fraternity, was founded at Union College in Schenectady. The first locally organized fraternity at Miami of Ohio was not founded until 1839, 14 years later.
THE BROTHERS OF DELTA CHI
EAST VS. WEST
Although I'm a native New Yorker, I have never considered myself either a New Yorkophile or a Californiaphobe. In fact, I think California is a lovely state. But under no circumstances can I agree that California has "twice as many professional teams" as any other state in the Union (LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER, Feb. 1).
Let's start the count with the Jets, Mets, Giants, Yankees, Knicks, Rangers and Bills. If you can count L.A.'s minor hockey team, the Blades, then what about the minor league baseball and hockey teams all over New York state?
When Chavez Ravine has monuments in center field comparable to those in Yankee Stadium, when the Lakers beat the Celtics, when the Rams and/or 49ers win a championship, when Dodger fans can watch a game without having to have Vin Scully explain what's happening to them, when California learns what tradition is, then, and only then, can California consider itself the professional sports capital.
New York City
Now that the bluenoses and the college boys have all had their silly say about your "nudity cult" issue (19TH HOLE, Feb. 1), may I add a quiet word of praise and thanks for A) Sue Peterson's wholesome and lovely appearance on the cover, and B) Liz Smith's interesting and entertaining discussion of the sometimes startling current beach fashions? Both were eminently worthy of SI's always intelligent approach to the phenomena of life and leisure, vintage 1965, and had about as much in common with girly magazines as does the graceful and seminude performance of Olympic gymnasts with a Minsky burlesque show.
New York City
I had to reply to the Rev. Robert Obermeyer's implication (19TH HOLE, Feb. 1) that your cover picture of Sue Peterson resembled that of a girly magazine, when, in reality, it is the direct antithesis.
To the eyes of this middle-class, middle-aged, middle-sized Mama Bear, Sue appears as a lovely, glowing girl. And, to bring up a point that your other correspondents missed, she accomplishes this despite the ugliest bathing suit I've ever seen.
MRS. BARBARA ANN ZANI
As far as I'm concerned, a tank suit, or a nylon racing swimsuit for those who are not familiar with the sport of swimming, will accomplish the same purpose.
New York City
The Rev. Robert Obermeyer and Mrs. Murray ought to be thankful that America's youth can read about "the nudity cult" sensibly and realistically in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, rather than through the "girly" magazines or the grapevine of society.
ON TOP OF OLD GORGY
I'm afraid my first reaction to The Battle for a Mountain (Feb. 1) was rather emotional. I ski whenever I can and find few sports that combine such a keen sense of invigoration with an outdoor setting which almost forces the beholder to admire its natural beauty. Such times are not only richly rewarding but—for me—forms of personal fulfillment.
Yet I can remember the times, years ago, that I was in the San Gorgonio area, and the one time I found myself at the top of that mountain. Sensations of solitude, accomplishment and many more left me without words, and I would rather turn away from skiing entirely than have to give up the memory of those moments—or deny them to anyone else. These wilderness areas—like our redwoods—cannot be replaced once destroyed, and I would no sooner deny them to my children or grandchildren than I would any other of their birthrights. Further, I would never want their sense of vigor to sacrifice the spiritual insight such solitude and beauty should give them.
But it is more than emotion that makes me worry: If such a dispute can take place now, what new sport will become the clarion-call for wilderness destruction in the future?
HARRY N. HORNER
I think we all know who will win Mt. San Gorgonio. After all, what chance does natural beauty stand in a land where the dollar is sacred and the developer's word is law? In a section fast becoming nothing but one glorified housing development, something must be done to protect the wilderness for the future, or coming generations will be aware of it only through books. As soon as people, in numbers, move into an area, the animals retreat, and I can see no sense in crowding them into extinction. And they will be. It seems unrealistic to believe that once one piece is carved out of the wilderness for commercial development, the remaining part will be safe.
SALLIE A. JONES
El Cajon, Calif.
Since inception of the wilderness area, the total acreage set aside has been growing in size, not shrinking as some persons believe. In southern California there are five wilderness areas with a total of 628,584 acres. The 3,500 acres desired in the Mt. San Gorgonio region is a small part of this vast acreage; however, it is the only area which assures consistent snow for skiing. For skiing you need snow, and San Gorgonio has it.
Two people, or maybe three, must be awful mad at your story about the Crosby (Double, Double Toil and Trouble, Feb. 1). I refer to Jim Lange, the disc jockey you said was the idol of San Francisco's rock 'n' rollers and to Bel Air's Golf Pro Ed Merrins, who shot the hole in one you credited to Al Mengert. Then, of course, there was that caddie who was protecting Tony Lema from the wind and got blamed by you for standing in Tony's lee.
In Double, Double Toil and Trouble you make reference to Ken Venturi's partner in the Pro-Am Division of the Crosby as "Jim Lange, who likes to describe himself to his rock-'n'-roll followers as Captain Showbiz." Get yourselves a good strong receiver, tune in station KSFO, the station Lange is affiliated with in San Francisco, and you will soon agree that it is No. 1 in the Bay Area because it chooses not to play any rock 'n' roll.
Jim Lange plays good music, and he doesn't scream, yell or scratch on the air. In short, he just isn't rock material. They couldn't use him, for one thing, because he's literate.
San Mateo, Calif.
My condolences to an unnamed but maligned caddie. The person who captioned that picture is undoubtedly the type, were he aboard ship, who would throw bilge water to wind'ard. And he should.
LESTER E. BEMIS
•Our apologies to all, especially Los Angeles Teaching Pro Ed Merrins, who shot an ace on the 7th hole at Pebble Beach in what he called "as great a shot as I ever hit on a golf course and the greatest I ever hit in competition."—ED.