Although my name is the same, I am not a relative of John McCormick and can comment objectively on his article, Score One for Today's Students (May 20). Sports certainly have "become a normal, natural part of life." No longer are athletes a unique and separated group as they were in the '30s. The term "jock" no longer possesses the derogatory implication it once had. The "middle-of-the-road" opinions are no longer acceptable on today's campuses and, as Mr. McCormick so superbly points out, the modern athlete is no longer a middle-of-the-roader.
I'm sure that there are many other student-athletes like myself who have been subjected to a certain amount of tension in wanting to be active in sports and yet fearful of being stereotyped, with a resultant loss of personal identity and ideas. It is refreshing and reassuring to know there are intuitive people like Professor McCormick who realize that athletes are not all of the same mind and mold.
Thank you very much for such an excellent appraisal of a current situation.
Congratulations to you and thanks to Professor McCormick. His article brought back much more than just our "left-wing," "egghead" view of sports. I had almost forgotten the feeling of college and lost causes in the late '30s and very early '40s.
Professor McCormick was so right about the underlying respect we gave to football in those times, despite our disclaimer. In looking back, I realize that the major reason for my pursuing graduate work at Cornell in 1945 was its Big Red reputation before World War II.
STEVEN E. SCHANES
University of San Diego
THE MASTER BOB
Your article on Bob Goalby (The New Life of Bob Goalby, May 27) is a well-put, well-timed, well-deserved defense of one of the finest veteran touring pros in America today.
On Wednesday, April 3 Bob was subjected to me as a partner for 18 rainy holes in the Pro-Am at the Greensboro Open. He was courteous and considerate as well as patient!
Congratulations to Bob Goalby, the Masters Champion for 1968, and congratulations to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for recognizing him as such!
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dan Jenkins on his fine article on Bob Goalby, not because he wrote so many truths about Golfer Goalby winning the Masters (he really did, you know, by shooting great golf), but because Jenkins didn't mention Goalby as the "All-America" quarterback from Illinois. Just for the record, Goalby never played even one minute of varsity football for the U. of Ill. Goalby came to the Illini as an 11-letter athlete but dropped out after completing only two semesters, which only goes to prove that some dropouts do make it big.
THE REVEREND BOB
Congratulations on your article concerning the Rev. Bob Richards, a truly great man (They Cheer When the Parson Is Pitching, May 27). I first met Bob Richards at the concluding ceremonies of the National Junior Track and Field Championships in St. Paul, Minn. It was quite an experience for me to see and talk with him. As a result, I feel fortunate to have been one of the many, many youngsters who have been moved by him and what he stands for.
I feel sure that the Reverend Bob is as concerned about America's youth as Robert Kennedy and Richard Nixon are about the summer of 1968. It was just last summer that Bob Richards helped me to make one of the biggest decisions of my life and I am thankful to him for it. I realize I am only one, but God only knows how many more have been influenced by this truly great man. It is with people like him that we can continue to help the youngsters of today to grow and mature with a purpose in life.
I might also add the reason for Bob's little success, financially, in his book sales—he gives too many away!
I have a great deal of respect for Myron Cope as a sportswriter, but it is apparent that he chose a very unworthy subject for this article. It has always been my belief that men of the cloth should shun worldly possessions and assume a life of frugality when they enter God's service. Yet you stated that the Reverend Bob earns in the neighborhood of $125,000 a year. That isn't quite my idea of frugality, just as four cars, including two Mercedes and a Cadillac, seem a bit preposterous for a family of five.
If religion should make you happy and successful, as Mr. Richards states, I wonder why the reverend doesn't make an effort to calm our riot-torn ghettos, where there is a definite lack of happiness and success, instead of padding his own pockets.
Here are the facts: I am the No. 3 man on the Watkinson School varsity tennis team. Wheaties is the "Breakfast of Champions." I have eaten Wheaties for 16 years. My record in scholastic play this spring is zero wins, 10 losses. I believe in God and Bob Richards. Where is all the magic in those "toasted whole wheat flakes"?
My son eats oatmeal, loves baseball and swimming, and I am proud of him. If, however, he ever tries to emulate Bob Richards, I will know I have failed as a father.
Myron Cope's They Cheer reminds me of Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt and Elmer Gantry, but Lewis, of course, was writing fiction.
New Windsor, Md.
We thoroughly enjoyed the deeply moving and inspirational article, They Cheer. Every young person who is mired in the "muck" of making decisions should find inspiration in the success story of a truly intellectual American such as Bob Richards. The younger generation is in good hands with able leaders such as Parson Bob, who are deeply involved with and keenly aware of the problems that are "bugging" today's youth. Problems such as "abstract education," "abstract religion" and, certainly, the "thwartation of ambition" deeply affect the intellectual thought of today's youth. It is amazing that this Avenger of the American Conscience with his cool intellectual insight into the Red Menace has not attempted a political office. We would all feel secure if this man with his keen business sense coupled with his dislike of "decadent socialism" should obtain an office. Parson Bob's strength would lie in his support by clean-cut, God-fearing youth. God bless Bob Richards! God bless Wheaties!
De Land, Fla.
BASEBALL, ANYONE? (CONT.)
Lee Wilson's article, A Fast Pitch for a Faster Game (May 13), was marvelous and I am wondering if he is the anonymous writer who wrote The First Federal Savings Bank Grand Prix (Feb. 21, 1966). You will recall that the article was signed only by a penitentiary number.
I wasn't even thinking about it until I got to the part of a sentence in Fast Pitch that read, "...football should abandon its arbitrary, artificial time limit and replace it with a natural time limit of 12 innings."
As clear as a bell I could hear Clarence the getaway man's words: "An automobile should have a stick shift, as God intended."
J. J. C. MARTIN
•Lee Wilson has strong convictions but has never been jailed for them.—ED.
I feel that I should publicly praise Lee Wilson for his visionary and thoughtful proposal for changing the game of baseball as it is now, so boringly, played. The ideas that he advanced seem to be well worth the careful consideration of Messrs. Eckert, Cronin and Giles. From the view of both the fan and the owners, who are, after all, in a business venture, implementation of the three-set concept would definitely lead to greater excitement and enjoyment of the game.
A case in point would be the Tiger-Athletic game of April 30, played in Tiger Stadium. The A's jumped to what proved to be an insurmountable lead in the first inning, and it became quite apparent to all present that they would miss nothing should they leave early. While application of this proposal might not have speeded up the game, it would definitely have made it more exciting and attractive.
I am sorely afraid, however, that this idea, not unlike the league realignment proposal of Bill Veeck, or the oft-repeated idea of interleague play, will be passed by without even a serious glance from any of the owners or the commissioner's office and shuttled aside. So the game of baseball will continue on its path toward more boredom and less excitement until it finally succumbs to football as the No. 1 sport of the nation. This should never happen, for baseball is singularly American in birth, and America is similarly enriched by baseball.
I applaud and thank you, gentlemen, for providing a platform from which men like Mr. Wilson can publicize their ideas. I only hope that someone else beside me is listening.
BRUCE T. MUTSCHLER