On the contents page of your Dec. 5 issue, the entry for the article, Fischer Would Rather Fight, concerning the Chess Olympics contains a snide reference to Coach Ara Parseghian and his decision to settle for a tie in the Michigan State game. Not only was this uncalled for and pointless, but the article that it introduces does more to vindicate Parseghian than to condemn him. Bobby Fischer could have settled for a draw in his last game, thereby winning the gold medal for outstanding individual performance. He didn't, and he lost both the game and the medal. Is that what you wanted?
"Offered a draw in a crucial match at the Chess Olympics, the U.S. champ proved he was no Parseghian."
I thought it was just Dan Jenkins, but it now appears that SI as a whole finds Ara Parseghian a compromiser. I can't blame you for failing to understand that Parseghian thinks of his team before he thinks of sports-writers, but your insistence upon coining the word Parseghian to mean quitter is irritating, to say the least.
ANNE STEWART IMPINK
A new term has entered into our country club's golf talk. It is called the Parseghian. It is used when you play the safest of safeties and settle for the easy tie, instead of trying to win.
RICHARD J. KRENEK
Ara Parseghian's one moment of weakness may cost him an immortality that will outlive football annals. Some liberal person who writes dictionaries may incorporate the word Parseghian into the English language. The name, like Hercules', readily lends itself to use as an adjective. Opposed to a Herculean effort, a Parseghian effort would be "weak-willed, compromising, exanimate." The thought that, centuries from now, the word may be used in a derogatory manner should make Coach Parseghian reconsider his ways. But he had better hurry to the dictionary publishers!
University Park, Pa.
You were correct in your statement that Bobby Fischer "was no Parseghian." Bobby Fischer lost. Ara Parseghian won. It's nice to be romantic and daring, but it's nicer to win. If he had tried to score in the last minutes Parseghian might easily have thrown away the national title Notre Dame deserved, just as Bobby Fischer threw away the gold medal he deserved.
RANK AND FILE
Congratulations on your excellent College Basketball Issue of Dec. 5. I was especially interested in the won-lost records of conference vs. nonconference teams during the past three years. By converting these won-lost records to a percentage basis, one can establish a standing for the 14 conferences. Here are my results:
Having long been an Eastern fan, I was a bit disappointed that the Ivy and Yankee conferences fell into the "second division." However, I take heart when I look at our strong independent clubs, which I feel can hold their own with any section in the country.
KENNETH W. PARR
We read with interest your recent article on the 1966-1967 college basketball season and were pleased to see that you learned from your mistakes of last year and deleted any national rankings. But now, perhaps you can concentrate less on depicting "the sun sinking through the Carolina pines, killing the brisk November day in Chapel Hill," and start sending scouts out to see what the teams are actually like—and we don't mean UCLA. They have jets into Durham, now, so y'all come see us, hear?
•For a report on Duke's performance at UCLA, see p. 42.—ED.
We think you made a mistake in excluding Virginia Tech from your synopsis of major basketball independents. The Hokies startled Duke in an 85-71 upset on Dec. 2, and they gobbled up Purdue 79-63 in a repeat performance on the next night. Both of these opponents were nationally ranked. In the coming weeks the eyes of the entire nation (with the minor exception of yours) will be watching Tech. We will try to keep you posted, so that when Tech appears in the playoff's you will recognize the name.
A. G. STEINER JR.
It is 10:25 p.m. in New York. I have just finished listening to the Vanderbilt-Western Kentucky game, won by Vanderbilt. I have also just finished reading page 60 of your Dec. 5 issue, which says that Western Kentucky has "a better chance of going through the regular season unbeaten than UCLA." Holy foot in the mouth!
JAMES P. LARKIN
Jackson Heights, N.Y.
The Mid-American Conference coverage was just excellent. All you wrote about was Bowling Green, Bowling Green and more Bowling Green. After all, Miami is the defending champion, and the Redskins are not going to roll over and play dead.
I almost cried. You completely ignored St. Joseph's.
Upon microscopic examination, I finally found the name of Providence College's Jimmy Walker in your article on college basketball. Does the finest basketball player in the country deserve such an accolade? Get on the ball, SI—the basketball, I mean.
Gary Ronberg's article on the Red Wings' Bryan Watson (The Boy on Bobby's Back, Nov. 28) was very informative. But Ronberg was a little too easy on the only hockey player who doesn't play hockey. I am a Black Hawk fan and an admirer of Bobby Hull and I might be a little prejudiced, but hockey is a game of finesse—not fists—and something should be done about Watson.