IN THE POCKET
Bob Ottum's article, Wimpy Was a Sleeping Beauty (Jan. 9), captures the deep excitement of pocket billiards as no one else has ever done. Thanks for bringing your readers this kind of reporting on sports and events that need and deserve greater understanding.
STANLEY R. MARCH
The game of pool has never turned me on, but Bob Ottum's description of Luther Lassiter's and Cicero Murphy's tense world-championship match made me an excited member of the "gallery" at the Golden Q.
PAUL B. GREIN
Bay City, Mich.
As a student at Southern Illinois University, I would like to take issue with your classification of SIU as a school "that may be known in Dogpatch, Ky. but nowhere else" (A Win over Northern Cookin', Jan. 9). You mentioned that Louisville beat us by four points. This is true, but you failed to mention the double overtime. On January 11 we had a return match, this time on our home court. It was Louisville's first defeat of the season.
In basketball Southern Illinois has beaten St. Louis U., Texas Western and Louisville. The rest of the sports program is even more spectacular. Our gymnastics team has won national championships in both men's and women's divisions, and our baseball team last year moved up to the NCAA university-division tournament.
Please, give us just a little article.
Congratulations on the article Cops, Dogs and Snowmobiles Without Snow (Jan. 9) by Frank Sleeper. James Langley and Clark Dahlin are typical of our rugged and venturous Minnesota outdoorsmen.
However, in the interest of truth, may I point out that former Governor Karl F. Rolvaag did not ask the two snowmobilers to make a detour so that "he could be photographed having coffee with them." Governor Rolvaag wired Dahlin and Langley in Oregon before the start of the trip, offering his best wishes for their success and suggesting that, if they were in the vicinity of the State Capitol in St. Paul, they might stop in so that he could express his feelings in person. Since Governor Rolvaag had already been defeated in the November election, he was not attempting personal puffery. Governor Rolvaag was the greatest outdoorsman of any chief executive the State of Minnesota has ever had. In fact, when Langley and Dahlin arrived at the State Capitol, the Governor promptly hopped on one of the snowmobiles and raced it around the snow-covered Capitol lawn.
BRENDAN J. CONNELLY
Congratulations on some of the finest photography I have ever seen. Your cameramen always seem to know when a big play is going to pop up. My favorite picture had always been that of Notre Dame's Jim Lynch landing on his head in the November 28 issue of SI. However, the January 9 photograph of Boyd Dowler flying through the air is running a strong second.
Now I am anxiously waiting for some color pictures of the world's fastest sport—hockey—and the world's best hockey team, the New York Rangers.
Your Scorecard item (Jan. 2) stating that the equestrian events of the 1968 Olympic Games would be held at Oaxtepec, Mexico because of the lower altitude is quite misleading. There will be four equestrian events in the 1968 Games—grand dressage, individual jumping, team jumping, and the three-day event. The first three listed above will be held in Mexico City, with the team jumping to be held in the Olympic Stadium on the closing day, as usual. Competent veterinary authorities believe that in the dressage, which is executed at no more than a fast canter and lasts about nine minutes, and in the jumping, where the horse is required to cover a course of approximately 1,100 yards at a speed of 15 mph, the effect of the altitude on the animals will not be severe.
However, in the three-day event, where the horse is required to cover between 20 and 23 miles at speeds varying between nine and 22 mph, it is felt that the horses might be driven to the point of exhaustion and, possibly, death if this competition were held in Mexico City. Consequently, the three-day event has been transferred, with the consent of the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games, to Oaxtepec.
I hope you will insert this correction for the benefit of those who wish to see the equestrian events at the Games.
WALTER B. DEVEREUX
Secretary, American Horse
Shows Association, Inc.
New York City
Re Mark Mulvoy's article on Cornell Hockey Coach Ned Harkness (Poison Ivy in the Ivy League, Jan. 2), perhaps the greatest rap that we America Firsters have against Harkness and others of the same school of thinking is not their ability to win games with imported Canadian talent, but their total disregard of the development of American players for the U.S. national and Olympic hockey teams.
Our national teams rely heavily on the colleges for their player personnel. Since 1960, which saw the underdog U.S. team score an upset to win the Olympic gold medal, our efforts have rapidly deteriorated. Fortunately, American hockey can call on men like John Mariucci, former Minnesota coach, to guide this year's national and next year's Olympic teams. During his days at Minnesota, Coach Mariucci always followed an America First policy and sent a number of his players on to play important roles on some of the more successful U.S. teams.
The hockey potential of the U.S. is limitless. It's unfortunate that more college coaches don't have confidence in it.
CAPTAIN ROGER A. GODIN, USA
Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam
Congratulations on your fine article about Alex Hannum (Sarge Takes Philly to the Top, Jan. 2). As a partner of the San Francisco Warriors, I had the chance to appreciate Alex's talents as a coach. However, there is one side of Alex which you did not cover—Alex Hannum, the humanitarian.
Alex conceived the idea of holding a John Rudometkin Night once yearly at Los Angeles Laker games, where former USC letter-men pass the hat to help pay the expenses of Rudometkin, who has cancer and cannot play basketball or work. Not only did Alex conceive this idea, but he personally makes the appeal to the fans yearly and organizes the event with the Lakers and the USC letter-men. This is just one of the many things he does for others and for which he asks nothing, not even publicity, in return.
I personally would like to pay tribute to Alex Hannum, a man's man, a great friend.