Carleton Mitchell's coverage of the defense of the America's Cup (In 20 Fatal Minutes, Australia's Try Was Doomed, Sept. 25) should be ranked as a masterpiece of its kind. I am no yachtsman, yet I read the article with intense interest. Through it I got a better view of the races and a better understanding of the merits of the two yachts, their designers, their crews and the strategies they used than if I had been off Newport in one of the observation boats.
New York City
Like many other fair-minded Americans, I am an infracaninophile—a friend of the underdog. I think that it would be good for the sport if someone else won the America's Cup for once. When the Yankee dynasty in baseball ended I think it fair to say that many Americans were relieved; and now we have the fantastic battle for the 1967 pennant in the American League.
Nevertheless, Carleton Mitchell revealed a spirit of sportsmanship in his fine article, which was charitable without condescension and fair-minded without being falsely sympathetic. He gives the devil his due and the Australians credit for their fine and commendable effort.
WARREN E. TURNER
On a visit to Montreal and Expo 67 on September 20 I saw a sign displayed in the Australian Pavilion. It said: "Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to display the America's Cup." Congratulations to worthy challengers and good sports.
HUGH D. BLACK, M.D.
GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM
Congratulations are in order for Paul Gallico's excellent article concerning crew (Tale of an Ancient Mariner, Sept. 25). Being an oarsman, I know only too well the excitement and pain described so vividly by Mr. Gallico.
We oarsmen at Marist College practice daily on the old Regatta course, amid the old boathouses and painted cliffs. We are trying to rebuild the tradition and honor that crew once had both in the Hudson Valley and on campus, and we are rapidly gaining prominence in the small-college category.
I'm sure this article was enjoyed by oarsmen everywhere, and more coverage of this sport would surely be appreciated.
Captain, Marist crew
Thank you for giving us oldsters this tale of the past. Having had fraternity brothers who were members of Syracuse University's crews during that time, I could appreciate it.
Collegiate rowing has a lot of merit and it is growing, as shown by the many crews at the Intercollegiates and other regattas. At the same time few persons realize just how much downright hard work crewmen go through. Paul Gallico told about some of it as only a master storyteller can.
LYNN D. HEPINSTALL
Your September 25 SCORECARD article on the white-winged dove ("La Paloma, Prestige Bird") warrants some correction. You state that there is but one place in the U.S.—viz. Texas—where the white-winged dove may be hunted and that the season there is open for little more than 24 hours, from 1 p.m. to sundown on each of two Saturdays and Sundays.
Arizona, not Texas, is the white-winged dove capital of the U.S. Based on 1966 banding returns, our whitewing population is over nine million birds as contrasted to the 750,000 birds you mentioned in Texas. The season in Arizona lasts for a full 24 days, September 1 through 24, from one-half hour before sunrise until sunset. The bag limit on whitewings is 25 birds per day plus 12 mourning doves.
Furthermore, much of the nesting habitat and shooting is on public, rather than private, land, so there are millions of acres of open land available to hunters, who come from all over the U.S. each year. Just recently the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which administers these public lands, classified a 100-mile strip of land along the Lower Gila River—approximately 65,000 acres—for retention in public ownership to protect what is considered to be the most productive whitewing nesting habitat in the country.
FRED J. WEILER
State Director, U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Your Texas correspondent, who shed his customary modesty to inform you of the white-winged dove hunting in McAllen, certainly had much to be modest about. For one thing, that is not the only place in the U.S. where whitewings may be hunted. For another, the hardships endured by visitors to McAllen will not be encountered in Yuma, Ariz., where nearly a hundred hotels and motels and more than a score of fine restaurants entice thousands of out-of-state shooters each year. If the editors of SI (or the couple from Minnesota) care to jet into Yuma's International Airport, they will find themselves in the company of hundreds of hunters who bag their limit daily.
However, the selection by your football writers of Yuma's Curley Culp as the college lineman of the week (FOOTBALL'S WEEK, Sept. 25) proves that your magazine isn't all bad.
The Yuma Daily Sun
In a letter from Mr. P. K. Connelly (19TH HOLE, Sept. 25) it was stated that Purdue has outscored Notre Dame 213 points to 175 in the last decade. Granted; but that covers only the last decade. To find out which team is the better of the two we have to add all of the scores. The first game staged between the Boilermakers and the Irish was in 1896. Since then we find that Notre Dame has outscored Purdue 730-555. This is a different story.
BILL BRACKEN JR.
Franklin Lakes, N.J.
•It was a different story last week, too (page 20).—ED.
OUT OF HIS LEAGUE
I'd like to question your citation of San Diego Coach Sid Gillman as an expert in the comparative rating of Bart Starr and John Unitas (Runaway in Central, Sept. 18). You quote Gillman as saying that Bart Starr "has been ahead of John Unitas for a long time. Nobody can touch him." This may be true, but how is Coach Gillman so certain? Has he spent that much time away from his job with the AFL Chargers to completely satisfy himself as to the relative merits of two NFL quarterbacks who quite possibly will never play for him?
As a Washington Redskin fan, I boost Sonny Jurgensen for the No. 1 spot. Therefore I am not concerned about Bart Starr or John Unitas. I just think that the statement would have been more apropos and more entertaining to read if it had been made by either of the two men who have watched these quarterbacks meet head-on twice a year for the past four seasons, Don Shula or Vince Lombardi.
DAVID A. POST
WHEELING AND DEALING
In your September 18 pro football issue you name Eagle Coach Joe Kuharich as the biggest wheeler-dealer in the coaching ranks today (Capitol Stays West). You also speculate as to whether Kuharich can come up with one of his inspired trades to make up for the Eagles' obvious quarterback deficiency. If I remember correctly, a couple of years ago Joe made a trade that sent Sonny Jurgensen (now No. 1 quarterback of Washington) to the 'Skins for Norman Snead (now No. I quarterback for the Eagles). Could this possibly have any relation to the fact that in your charts the 'Skins' quarterback got a rating of 16, the highest, while the Eagles' quarterback got a rating of four, the lowest?
You also listed Ray Poage as one of a fine set of Eagle receivers. Well, old Joe just let Poage go. If this was an inspired move, I would just like to know where Joe gets his inspirations.
Drexel Hill, Pa.
I noted with considerable interest the comments by Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes in SCORECARD (Sept. 11) regarding protective headgear. I am particularly concerned about his statements that "in order to do a good job of blocking and tackling, you have to aim with the head.... If that headgear isn't protective, however, it's a dangerous weapon. But we can't get many other schools to go for protective headgear."
I would certainly agree that, under the circumstances that Mr. Hayes describes, the headgear is indeed a dangerous weapon. As a matter of fact, the technique of aiming with the head, or spearing, is particularly hazardous. Dr. Richard Schneider, a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Michigan Medical School, has been working for several years to study carefully the mechanisms of injuries occurring in football players. The technique of spearing is a prime offender and has been responsible for many head and spinal injuries.
There may be a very good reason why the other Big Ten teams have not been completely enthusiastic about Mr. Hayes' teachings. It should be made clear that outside padding alone is not going to eliminate the possibility of this kind of injury.
GEORGE D. ZUIDEMA, M.D.
Director, Department of Surgery,
Johns Hopkins University