HOGS IN THE HILLS
It has taken the people of Arkansas many years to overcome the hillbilly image imposed upon it by radio's late and beloved Bob Burns. Now Dan Jenkins comes along and uses a hillbilly song as the theme for his description of the No. 1 Razorbacks' win over the Texas Longhorns (Arkansas on Top of the World, Oct. 25). We true fans prefer to forget the corny stuff and remember instead those athletes who have given our state a great sports image—men like Bill Dickey, Clyde (Smackover) Scott, Lance Alworth, Dizzy and Paul Dean, Paul (Bear) Bryant, George Kell, Johnny Sain and, more recently, Dick Sikes.
Little Rock, Ark.
After 19 consecutive victories, Arkansas is "on top of the world," yet Dan Jenkins portrays us as a gang of Cinderella hillbillies. Hogwash!
DAVID A. DANIELS
•For another Jenkins look at Arkansas and further reflections on notable Razorbacks, see page 30.—ED.
Dan Jenkins' article on Arkansas' victory over Texas was a truly colorful and accurate piece of reporting, except for one glaring error. He says, "Texas thus moved four points up...and not a 'whoooo, pig, sooey!' was to be heard anywhere." In truth, at that point, the loyalty of Razorback fans was demonstrated with the loudest, longest 'whoooo, pig, sooey!' yell of the day!
BETTY H. ALLEN
Little Rock, Ark.
It is quite evident that this Jenkins cannot hear too well. Immediately after Texas made its final field goal, there came a soul-shaking "whoooo, pig" like I have never heard before, and I have heard many of them during the past years. There was hardly a minute when the student body was not urging their beloved Hogs on.
N. R. POND
FOR THE BIRDS
SI and Walter Bimson really know how to hurt a guy (The Week 2,000 Pheasants Fell, Oct. 25).
I read Mr. Bimson's account of his week-long stay in Scotland immediately upon my own return from the first Pelee Island pheasant shoot of the year and it took me 14 hours of tramping over rain-soaked terrain to bag my liberal two-day limit of 10 birds. Mind you, I don't (unduly) covet Mr. Bimson his opportunity to live and shoot in the grand manner. But I do resent his calling the outing a hunting party.
Mr. Bimson may have been on a helluva shoot, or he may have participated in a bumper bird harvest—but hunt he did not. We of the tattered-canvas-coat-and-pump-gun set would call it a different sport.
Killing more than 2,000 birds in six days hardly qualifies as sport. My own conviction has always been that the killing is secondary to the relaxation and enjoyment of the fields and woods, but Mr. Bimson's article, apparently motivated by pride of accomplishment, seemed devoid of this understanding. Hunting, in the true sense of the word, is one thing, wholesale slaughter quite another. Coming home with the game pocket full is certainly rewarding, but an empty one should not imply that the day was fruitless.
THOMAS R. BROOKS, M.D.
I am sure you'll get a bushel of anguished protests against such "slaughter," but I really enjoyed Walter Bimson's Scottish shooting article. As Mr. Bimson said, few Americans realize that in Europe wildlife is the responsibility not of the public at large but of the landowners on whose property it is to be found. Hunting thus becomes a necessary harvesting job, to cull out a herd or flock to conserve it and keep it healthy.
My grandfather's generation shot birds in Scotland the way Mr. Bimson relates it. I frankly can't afford to do so, but it is wonderful to know that such exemplary shooting and hospitality exist for those who can.
Big Bill Russell's picture on the cover of your October 25 issue intrigued me enough so that I wanted to readjust how he "psychs" his opponents in the NBA. After reading the first paragraph, I knew if he can "psych" an SI author into confusing Noah and Dan'l Webster he can do anything.
I am certain that Russell's several years in Boston have kept him in the proper cultural milieu to know that Daniel Webster once saved Dartmouth College (and the validity of charters in general) by arguing before the Supreme Court with the immortal, "It is, Sir, as I have said, a small college, and yet, there are those who love it." Noah Webster, on the other hand, is the lexicographer who spent a lifetime writing dictionaries and defining such words as psychology.
This sample of "psyching" was probably included so that Rudy La Russo of Dartmouth and the L.A. Lakers and one of the rare Ivy League pros would be thinking of which Webster was which while playing against the Celtics instead of concentrating on the basket.
More power to Russell and all the Celtics. They provide a magnificent spectacle as the most proficient organization in any professional sport. Long may they reign!
WILLIAM R. COLLINS, M.D.
New Bedford, Mass.
Thank you for your absorbing article, The Psych...and My Other Tricks, by Bill Russell and Bob Ottum. Naturally, I'm a loyal Celtics fan, so I chuckled with delighted admiration as Bill revealed his "laws." Just one thing. Daniel Webster never stood at the top of the key but, like Russell, he was a master psychologist with a talent for gab. However, the grandfather of American lexicography was Noah Webster, still another New England boy!
I am sure that your recent selection of Lloyd Cardwell, The Wild Hoss of the Plains, as the legend of Midwest college football (Scouting Reports, Sept. 20) was enthusiastically endorsed by anyone who followed Nebraska football in the '20s and '30s and saw this great runner in action. Your recounting of his meeting with Jay Berwanger of Chicago on September 28, 1935 was particularly interesting to me, and it has prompted me to point out that you neglected to mention its climax.
It was late in the game when Berwanger, a heroic figure in a hopeless cause, suddenly broke over his own right tackle, cut to the middle and, with his peculiar high-kneed, half-sitting gait, charged straight for the goalposts and the lone figure that blocked his way. The lone figure was Cardwell, normally a halfback on defense but, on this occasion, the safety man in the old 6-2-2-1.
The excited crowd of 33,000 suddenly became quiet at this direct confrontation of the two stars. Berwanger looked unstoppable. To even attempt it invited suicide. Berwanger swerved neither right nor left as the Wild Hoss warily gathered speed, then charged upright into the mass of pumping knees. The impact resounded in the quiet stadium like the proverbial thunderclap. Both players crumpled flat on the turf, stunned. After about 10 seconds, the Wild Hoss staggered to his feet and remained in the game. Berwanger was assisted off the field.
I may be just an Ivy League jerk myself but, judging from her letter in defense of the Boilermakers (19TH HOLE, Oct. 18), I would say that Shay Kiel (Miss Purdue 1965) sounds pretty cool. My only question now is what does a Boilermakerette look like?
I would like to defend Dan Jenkins from Purdue's irate Boilermakers. I have been dating a lovely Kappa Alpha Theta from Purdue since I met her last April in Nassau. All this time I've been wondering why she has come to Princeton, with so many guys at Purdue. Thanks to Mr. Jenkins' article I now know why she has been traveling 650 miles to see me—I can do the jerk!
Re Howard Clark's letter, the Beta Zeta Chapter of Theta Chi fraternity from Michigan State University regrets to inform our brothers from Purdue that there will be no room available on the Theta Chi Club Car to the Rose Bowl.
East Lansing, Mich.
JUST FOR KICKS
Concerning Richard N. DeGunther's suggestion for returning the goal-line stand to football (19TH HOLE, Oct. 18), one thing is sure: a team would need a computer to figure it out. Using DeGunther's rules, just imagine this situation: With less than two minutes to go team A leads B by four points and has the ball. Quarterback A throws to his flanker and, as the flanker crosses mid-field, he must think, "Do I stop between the 20-and 30-yard lines so we have three downs in which to attempt a field goal, or do I stop before I cross the 10, giving us only two chances to kick, or do I cross the 10 where we have to kick on the first down or go for a touchdown, thus giving the other team a better chance of getting the ball?" Or pity the poor pass defender who, after intercepting a pass, must suddenly decide where to stop to put his team in the best scoring position.
If this goes through, every quarterback will have to be a math genius like Frank Ryan.
NED C. HOELZER
For the professional football fan who wonders why he finds himself trotting off for a hot dog when the field-goal team is trotting onto the field at fourth-and-one on the 12-yard line, I propose the following experiment: take one football, one 98¢ plastic kicking tee, and sneak onto the local high school practice field. Pace about 15 steps from the goalposts, tee up the ball and have at it. I think many a fan will be surprised to find that, with a minimum of coordination, he can put the ball right through the uprights after a few tries. After a brief warmup, my neighbor and I were 6 for 10 from 10 yards out (the main problem was getting the ball high enough), 7 for 10 from 15 yards, and 2 for 5 from 20 yards away. No Lou Grozas, to be sure, but we proved one thing: short field goals and extra points are too easy.
I don't want place kicking eliminated. A long field goal can be as thrilling as the long bomb. Tommy Brooker of the Chiefs booted a 48-yarder against Boston a few weeks ago that had the fans standing on their seats. But the only excitement I got watching Brooker kick his 104th consecutive extra point was seeing the fight in the stands over the ball.
My proposed rule change is simple: a team may not attempt a field goal when the line of scrimmage is inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Such a rule would restore prestige to the field goal by making it a feat of some difficulty. It would also restore the fourth-and-goal play to the fans, thereby replacing football's dullest play with its most exciting.
Kansas City, Mo.