HOLDOUTS ON RYE
It is refreshing to read a straight-down-the-middle article like Jack Mann's The $1,000,000 Holdout (April 4). It was loaded with fact for the reader's own assimilation and it was totally free of the editorializing garbage so many of the prima donna-type reporters are prone to use. Jack's accent on plain old cause and effect wrapped it up real tight.
Now that the holdouts are settled, will the fans once again cry out, "Open up the gates, ya creeps, me sandwiches is meltin'," or did that spirit die in Flatbush?
On January 2, 1965, Joe Namath rode the glory trail for affixing his signature to a pro football contract. Then along came Koufax and Drysdale. I can hardly wait until next spring. Kranepool, Swoboda and Hickman may hold out for $2 million!
Was it a holdout or a holdup? Perhaps Sandy and Don should be called Jesse and Frank.
C. E. LAMBDIN
Port Arthur, Texas
In your enthusiasm for the 1-2-3 finish of the Fords in the Sebring race (Victory and Death, April 4), you failed to point out some significant facts about the 12-hour classic. Sebring is actually several races in one. In addition to competing for the overall championship, big cars compete against big cars, small cars against small cars. The victorious Fords have 7,010-cubic-centimeter engines. The Porsche that finished fourth and the Porsches that finished sixth, seventh and eighth have engines under 2,000 cubic centimeters. Yet, despite its small size, the fourth-finishing Porsche beat all the Ferraris, the Chevrolet Sting Rays, the Jaguars and all the Fords except the front-finishing trio.
The 1966 Sebring, a race so punishing that only 30 of the 64 starters were able to finish, offers additional evidence that the Porsche is truly the giant-killer among cars.
Here is a summary of the 1966 Sebring showing the first 10 finishers: 1) Ford XI (7,010 cc), 2) Ford MK II (7,010), 3) Ford GT 40 (4,727), 4) Porsche Carrera 6 (1,991), 5) Ferrari Dino 206/S (1,996), 6) Porsche Carrera 6 (1,991), 7) Porsche 904 (1,966), 8) Porsche Carrera 6 (1,991), 9) Chevrolet Sting Ray (6,997), 10) Ford Cobra (7,010).
EUGENE T. HOOVER JR.,
Henry J. Kaufman & Associates
Your report omitted what many aficionados had hoped to see recognized for the fantastic feat it was—the high finish positions and generally excellent performances of the Porsche cars, whose engines were less than half the size of the gargantuan Fords.
FRANKLIN P. SHERRY
Your article entitled Of Lost Days on a River (March 28) made very interesting reading to me since I have made three trips into the Lacandón jungle myself. However, Mr. Phinizy states that his whole party wanted to visit the Lacandón Indians, but that the pilots told them that the Lacandones had been "shooting arrows and bullets at planes. Furthermore, one pilot insisted, the Lacandones have a cute trick of rolling logs onto the runway just as a plane is settling in."
This makes exciting reading, but nothing could be farther from the truth. If it were not for the Indians cutting the tall savannah grass, there would be no airfield at all. They spend long hours of hard, backbreaking work keeping the field in usable condition. As far as Indians shooting at planes is concerned, this, I am sure, is incorrect. The Lacandones are a very friendly and peaceful people to whom I owe my life.
•Settlers of the neighboring Monte Libano colony might not agree. The Lacandones reportedly massacred 17 of them last summer.—ED.
Lindsey Nelson's account of his broadcasting experiences with Gordon McLendon's Liberty Broadcasting System (A Stadium Inside a Studio, March 28) reminded me of the time I was living in Denver, and very grateful for re-created major league games beamed that way. I was particularly fascinated by McLendon's use of the simile.
I was so intrigued I began writing down the phrases, because I could never remember them all to tell my friends. I still have that piece of paper. Here are some samples: happy as a jackass in Texas, fast as the lead dog in a coon hunt, uncertain as a dish of Tuesday's hash, close as the tea in a teabag, hard as using spaghetti for shoelaces, mad as a rooster that overslept and dangerous as a radio announcer without a script.
Thank you for re-creating the legend of the re-creator—Gordon McLendon. I now find it easier to convince my St. Louis neighbors (who, alas, were in Louisiana) that I actually listened to broadcasts of baseball games played from the 1880s to the early 1950s over the fabulous LBS network.
What joy it was to hear, "firsthand," of John L. Sullivan allowing the pitcher of the day to bounce baseballs off his bare chest between innings in the handlebar-mustache days and to listen "semi-live" to a description of the first curve ball or the time-outs necessary for the fans to retrieve the foul balls that had ricocheted into the buggy racks.
The Old Scotchman, that imaginative "octogenarian," was unique and believable. Live baseball broadcasting can't hold a candle to the moon-faced mike jockey.
H. CHRISTOPHER MUGLER JR.
Dan Jenkins (It Was Fun Time in the Thirties, April 4) must be kidding: "Going on the pro golf tour now is as easy as getting through the University of Houston. Birdie four holes in a row at Bleeding Birch Country Club and...a day later you are...on the tour."
What about the PGA school for rookies; the lectures on sponsor relationships, conduct, rules of golf, etc.; the 144-hole qualifying tournament; the few tour berths available through the PGA? Easy? Keep up to date, Dan.
ROSS F. HAYCOCK
As a student in the U. of H. college of engineering, I would like to state bluntly that getting through the University of Houston is not easy. I am not able to take time off from studying to do the research necessary to support my statement, yet this lack of time is the basis for my argument. At the U. of H. average grades require extreme dedication; superior grades require, in addition, outstanding intelligence.
MICHAEL W. WINKLER
In his story on the U.S. Alpine championships (France Has a Picnic in Vermont, March 28), Dan Jenkins states that Bill Kidd injured his ankle in a "minor" race in Steamboat Springs, Colo. This race happened to be the first annual Werner Classic, which is in memory of the late Bud Werner. Steamboat Springs—Ski Town, U.S.A.—is the birthplace and training ground of Werner and other top racers.
Even though the Europeans were not present, we had 75 of the top U.S. racers, and this is far from minor as far as I am concerned.
CHARLES J. LECKENBY
Steamboat Springs, Colo.
In reference to your article on the NCAA basketball championship (Go-go with Bobby Joe, March 28), I did not particularly care for the condescending remarks that were made by Coach Don Haskins and Dave Lattin about the game of girls' basketball. Exactly one week before the Texas Western-Kentucky game in College Park, Md. I was privileged to be a spectator at 18 games in Austin, Texas which decided the state championships in four classes of girls' basketball. In the more than 10 years that I have been playing and/or watching the game of basketball, I have seen several girls' teams that could soundly whip many boys' teams.
I would also be interested in hearing Lattin expound further on the subject of "baby fouls." For his information (and yours also), teeth can be loosened by any elbow, whether it is thrown by a boy or a girl, and I think that the officials would call such a foul no matter what the sex of the player.
As avid readers of your magazine, we were really shocked to read your article about the NIT in New York's Madison Square Garden (BASKETBALL'S WEEK, March 28). Your coverage of the final game between NYU and Brigham Young was well deserved, but we cannot overlook the fact that you failed to mention that a Most Valuable Player was picked in the tourney, and he was none other than Bill Melchionni of Villanova University.
You gave Richie Dyer credit for holding Melchionni to 17 points, but you failed to mention Bill's fantastic scores of 33 points against St. John's and 29 against West Point.