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Original Issue


In what bar did Tex Maule and Edwin Shrake rate the teams in the NFL and AFL (Pro Football 1967, Sept. 18)? In the first place, they rate teams with zeros. How can a team be given a rating of nothing? They tell us that Quarterback John Stofa of Miami is "poised, intelligent and a good deep passer." But he is rated zero in the charts.

Second, the "great" Green Bay Packers are rated 83 points, but the Buffalo Bills are rated 84 points. Does this mean that your magazine is picking Buffalo to defeat Green Bay in the next Super Bowl?
San Diego

I have been a subscriber for almost a year now, and I have been very pleased with SI. But I am afraid that in the September 18 issue you made a terrible mistake. While you were rating the pros, you gave the Buffalo Bills 84 points. I think this is fine, but when you rated them ahead of the Green Bay Packers you made an unforgettable mistake. As everyone is well aware, should the Packers play the Bills, Green Bay would win.

•As we stated, each team was rated only in terms of its own division.—ED.

Good idea, this one about rating pro football teams, although I believe that the rating system needs some revision. Why should the offensive line be rated less than the defensive line? And why do running backs rate only half as much as receivers? And since when arc linebackers twice as important as defensive backs? But Edwin Shrake's real problem in the ratings seems to be connected with his home state. Somehow he seems to think Houston (25 points) is five times as good a football team as the Miami Dolphins (five points).
Lauderdale, Fla.

I want to compliment you on your great magazine. It is the finest sport publication ever. I even enjoy the articles on subjects on the fringe of sports. But those Texans, Maule and Shrake, are wonders!
Garland, Texas

How in perdition you can rate the Giant and Viking quarterback situation as equal is beyond me. But that is forgotten when you actually state, in print, that Pittsburgh can win in the Century Division over Cleveland and St. Louis.

Your attitude toward the AFL is made even' more obvious by your ridiculous charts. You give Kansas City, which no longer has Mike Mercer, a four in kicking while giving Boston, with Gino Cappelletti. a two. Then you knock the New York Jets and the AFL, in that order, as you progress into the Eastern Division. How does SI rate Joe Namath? As a one-and-a-half-legged quarterback whose presence doesn't make much difference! The Jet front four is one of the best in the league. Just ask Ron Mix, Jim Otto or anybody else unlucky enough to play against them.

I was outraged and rather surprised when I saw Atlanta's supposed future ratings in your fine magazine. The Falcons almost defeated the Colts in their first game on Sunday the 17th. I suggest you watch Atlanta this year because they will be anywhere but last.

I was happy to read your glowing report about the Los Angeles Rams (Rams' Year in Coastal, Sept. 18). If your ratings hold true throughout all four NFL divisions, then it seems the Rams haven't too much to worry about.
Springfield, Mass.

George Packard's story about "touch" football (It Was Only a Game of Touch, Sept. 18) was hilarious! It was also too funny to be fiction.

Sock it to 'em, Howie, Fitzy, Ham and Doc!
Albany, Calif.

George Packard's reference to North Paterson, N.J. as a more likely place than Princeton to find such legendary characters as Tree, Ham and Buffalo is a credit to the residents of that mythical town. At one time there actually was a North Paterson. It is now known as Hawthorne, N.J. However, the older natives still often refer to this geographical location as North Paterson and, therefore, George's mythical site still does exist. As a Hawthornite I welcome George to our community.
Hawthorne, N.J.

Thank you for George Packard's article about the Harrison Street Athletic Club. It's good to have "memories" of Buffalo and Fitzy to carry through the winter, while waiting for summer "tryouts" to begin.
Middlebury, Vt.

Edwin Shrake's article, For Babe, a Week to Forger (Sept. 18), was a sympathetic piece of writing, especially at this moment in the doleful affairs of the Boston Patriots. The idiot phone calls to Babe Parilli's wife and all that inhuman jazz were enough to make anyone simpatico. But the whole thing soured at the end—for me, at least—when, after another early-season Patriot defeat, Mr. Shrake described the Boston locker room as being "as gala as a polio ward." Where was the copy editor at that point, I want to know, and where was Mr. Shrake's sense of decency? The fact is that there is more plain gutsy fortitude in a polio ward than there has lately been in Patriot locker rooms.

With Chevrolet as the sponsor, Southern Methodist's Mustangs were referred to as the Ponies throughout the SMU-Texas A&M football telecast. The possible repercussions stagger the imagination. We can see it now: the many Wildcats (such as Northwestern and Kentucky) will be banned from the tube unless Buick is a sponsor. And if the Ford Motor Company is the sponsor, only names such as Falcons (Air Force), Mustangs (SMU) and Cougars (Houston) will be permitted over the airwaves.
Arlington, Va.

Congratulations on an exceptional college football issue for 1967 (Sept. 11). Dan Jenkins' story about the fight for No. 1 (This Year the Fight Will Be in the Open) was stimulating. However, Dan need have no fear about the National Football Foundation and Awards Committee bowing to pressure regarding MacArthur Bowl recipients. To date, the bowl has gone to championship-caliber teams on the East Coast, in the Midwest, South, Southwest and Far West. The Hall of Fame dinner, traditionally a sellout, features the new Hall of Famers, the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes of the Year, the gold-medal winner, as well as the MacArthur Bowl recipient. The Mac-Arthur Bowl winner is not selected until the results of the last big weekend of the season are in. By then, the dinner is already assured of a capacity crowd. What is more, the Hall of Fame Awards Committee includes men who have played, coached and written about the game during the past 50 years. Otherwise, Dan bats .900 on his fine preseason roundup.
National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame
New Brunswick, N.J.

It takes a special kind of person to single out two teams from the past and say they were not worthy of national championships. No one was more deserving of a No. 1 ranking in 1958 than Iowa. The Hawkeyes manhandled all but Ohio State in what was then the toughest conference in the U.S., the Big Ten. They had an All-America quarterback and end and a halfback who averaged nearly two touchdowns per game. They also had peerless Forest Evashevski for coach.

From that team and the preceding one these outstanding pros were developed: Alex Karras, Jim Gibbons, Willie Fleming, Bob Jeter and Curt Merz. The 1958 Iowa team also rolled up an impressive score in the Rose Bowl. Remember, Dan?
Fort Benning, Ga.

Yes! The college football polls do mean something. I am still upset by the 1960 final ratings. My alma mater, the University of Missouri, technically finished I l-O (a loss to Kansas was later reversed by a forfeit), but no one picked Missouri as national champion. In fact, the best the Tigers could do was rank No. 4 in the final UPI tabulation.

Let's face it, it's only human nature to feel a great deal of pride and accomplishment when a group of knowledgeable people pick you as the best in your field. Ask those who have been picked or been close.
Kansas City, Kans.

There is no doubt now that the polls are everything in college football. However, I think that if the polls are so important they should be completely free of prejudice in any shape or form. I suggest that the coaches and the NCAA get together in the near future and draw up some kind of elimination tournament. This has been suggested by several of the top coaches, and it would solve many problems and close many mouths. It will also eliminate all the politics and prejudice that are involved with the current system, and settle once and for all who is really No. 1!
Portage, Mich.

We at the University of Kansas may have been accused of a number of things over the years, but this is the first time we've been shunted into the poorhouse {Outlook in the Conferences, Sept. 11).

How can you call us residents of the poor-house when we have the largest endowment and alumni support of any school in the Big Eight conference and a library that contains 1,250,000 volumes?

Or were you speaking merely athletically? If so, our facilities rank most favorably among our associates: a football stadium that seats 51,500 and a 17,000-seat field house that is the second largest college-owned plant in the nation.

Last year we led the nation in home basketball attendance, with 13,208 per game, and, even with a losing football season, averaged 35,614 paid admissions for home games.

This poorhouse talk is a far cry from the way some of our rivals were referring to us a few years ago after Wilt Chamberlain decided to come to Kansas to play basketball and Gale Sayers showed up for football.
Lawrence, Kans.

In your September 11 PEOPLE section you refer to King Constantine of Greece as being protected to the point of distraction while sailing in the Dragon Class world championships in Toronto. Certainly there was protection for King Constantine and Queen Anne Marie when they were on shore but, while racing, neither the King's yacht nor the 70-odd other competitors in the world championship and the John Foster Dulles Trophy were in any way bothered by police patrol boats or overenthusiastic spectators.

Incidentally, for a man who hadn't sailed his boat for more than a year, I would say that His Majesty did very well. Sailing in a fleet of 35 topnotch Dragons in a seven-race series for the world championship, he finished 11th, coming on strong toward the end. He had two thirds in the last two races, and was nudged out of second place in the last race by a matter of two feet.
Commodore, Royal Canadian
Yacht Club