UP THE IRISH!
Dan Jenkins' article on the Notre Dame-Purdue game (Leroy on the Loose, Oct. 7) is at best irrelevant and pointless and at worst tasteless and disgusting.
It seems that in his headlong rush to disparage a religion, a community and a university, the game itself became a secondary issue. That is unfortunate, because it was a fine game between a good team and an outstanding one.
Commentary of this type is insulting and does a disservice to both Purdue University, which has a tremendous football team this year, and Notre Dame, which has a matchless football tradition.
PETER J. KERNEY
University Park, Pa.
Whether Mr. Jenkins is anti-Notre Dame or just uncontrollably glib, I do not know. In either case, his insults to a game team and a fine tradition are ill taken. To a sports fan, this kind of writing is not analytical or revealing but a barefaced and vindictive attempt to ridicule a defeated team.
In the vernacular of football, Mr. Jenkins is a cheap-shot artist who is prone to gloat.
As a student at the University of Notre Dame, I was amused by your article. Mr. Keyes and Co. played an excellent game against us. It is a shame that Dan Jenkins saw fit to cheapen his article on their performance with derogatory remarks aimed at the Notre Dame student body, team and tradition. I must admit, though, that his references to "Rockne in the clouds," the Four Horsemen slapping at shoe tops and "Frank Leahy's grinning face with a halo over it" were childishly clever. Apparently, articles of this kind are the price a university must pay for greatness.
MATTHEW ST. GEORGE
Notre Dame, Ind.
You made an error in assuming that the only Columbus that could produce a quarterback like Mike Phipps is Columbus, Ohio. Not so! Mr. Phipps is a 1966 graduate of Columbus Senior High School in Columbus, Ind.
An All-America in his senior year there, Phipps was noted throughout the state for his quarterbacking ability under the coaching of Max Andress.
A correction of your statement might be in order if you plan to visit Indiana again soon; Mr. Phipps's father is an Indiana state policeman.
JOHN DAVID HOPKINS SR.
•We herewith correct our statement and will drive carefully on our next trip to Indiana.—ED.
AYES HAVE IT
In Pat Putnam's report of the Grambling-Morgan State game (A Man Has Got to Go with What He Believes, Oct. 7) he stated that one official ruled Grambling's last effort a touchdown and that another official ruled no, and then continued, and I quote, "Of course, the official who said no prevailed."
Let me set you straight. If any one official calls a touchdown—that's what it is. It is not necessary for more than one official to see the ball on, over or above the goal line.
PHILIP E. GENTHNER
•The first official was asked to reverse his decision, which he did.—ED.
WILD ABOUT HARRY
Myron Cope's article on Harry Caray, the voice of the Redbirds, was most entertaining (Harry Has His Own Ways, Oct. 7). He neglected, however, to make mention of Jack Buck, Harry's co-broadcaster, whose perceptive, objective analyses blended with Caray's Cardinal chauvinism give St. Louis the best broadcast team in the country.
Having listened to him for four years while attending Southern Illinois University, I can attest to the fact that Harry Caray does give baseball all the enthusiasm of a devoted fan.
As a play-by-play announcer, he is the greatest today. But the Chicago Cubs had one of the best in the late Jack Quinlan. These two men could have been formed from the same mold, judging by the devotion and respect given them by their teams and fans.
Baseball needs more people like Harry Caray to bring excitement to a game some people say has lost its luster. For this type of fan, Harry Caray can help bring back that glitter of imagination.
SEAMAN JACK LAMBKE, USN
Harry Caray is a Cardinal! Your article on the greatest sports announcer was just terrific! To fire Harry would be like trading Brock and Shannon for a utility infielder. He gets my vote.
BILL BURREY III
I had a professor in engineering school who displayed anger only once in the four years that I was in contact with him, and that was when Mr. Caray's name was mentioned. Because of Caray, the man would not even root for the Cardinals.
I'm 180° out of phase with my prof, though, as I think Harry Caray is the greatest. He makes the game worth your attention.
Well, one of your writers finally came out with an article on a baseball announcer, but unfortunately it was on the wrong one. Vin Scully of the L.A. Dodgers is by far the best announcer in baseball. Comparing the announcing ability of Harry Caray to that of Vin Scully is like comparing a Little Leaguer to Bob Gibson.
I would like to see your magazine come out with an article comparing sports announcers. Being able to announce a game and make it enjoyable is an art in itself, and these men deserve some credit from your magazine (the bible of the sports world).
I live in San Diego and listen to all Los Angeles teams. Vin Scully and Chick Hern make the Dodgers and Lakers easy to follow, while the San Diego announcers (I will not mention their names) are so bad they'll either give you a headache or put you to sleep.
Harry Caray haters of St. Louis look on the bright side. You could have had to put up with Phil Rizzuto.
East Meadow, N.Y.
The Problem Olympics (Sept. 30) article was the most comprehensive, accurate coverage of the Games I have read. It captures the spirit that a former participant can relate to.
The most poignant part of the story was that of Hayes Jones and his statement, "It wasn't the medal that mattered, don't you see, it was the experience." That sums up my feelings.
I remember lounging in the Russians' Olympic dormitory four years ago in Tokyo, and how glad we all were that our rowing competition was finally over. A Russian oarsman, who had been a friend for years, suddenly began dispensing water glasses full of homeland vodka (terrible). On the wall of the small room was an embarrassingly large print of Lenin. The conversation turned into a sarcastic but friendly political discussion. Soon, amid laughter and good cheer, my Russian friend rose, glanced at Lenin and toasted with a grin, "Sport and schnapps, yes; politics no." I'll never forget it.
NO LAUGHING MATTER
I have read your magazine for years with pleasure and almost universal approval.
But your recent article (Lost Laughter, Sept. 30) by a visitor to Kenya on their athletes, coaching and mismanagement (as judged by a white visitor) distresses me very much. It is unduly critical of an African nation not as old or as sophisticated as the U.S.
It gets involved in supporting a white foreigner against a native Kenyan and then gets into African politics. If the English had turned more responsibility over to native people in Africa long ago they would not be so incompetent. The change must come now, even though performance suffers. The blacks demand it, justifiably so.
Then your writer is most rude, insensitive and offensive to my feelings in his quote of Temu—"Where did Billy Mills went?" Like others in the article, it seemed designed, chosen to belittle, to humiliate. I have found many Africans who might make a few errors in English, but they also spoke French, Arabic and surely one or two or even more tribal languages. How does Writer Underwood sound in Arabic?
Then worst of all is the racial hostility that glares out through the article. Your writer is so naturally insensitive, or so blocked by bias, that he seems to approve his hero's urging Kenyans to deny their race, color, political dedication and volunteer to run with South Africans. That might please Underwood, but where would it leave the black athlete in black Africa?
I am a lifetime track enthusiast, a graduate of Cornell, Columbia and Harvard, a professional worker in behavioral science and experienced in Africa. On the basis of this professional training and experience, I say this is a racist article. It can only stir up further trouble in Kenya and even in Mexico City. It is far below your usual excellence.
I will watch the Kenyans next week with hope and sympathy. You have added a heavy emotional burden to their tasks.
Upper Saddle River, N.J.
You did the racing world a great favor by printing the photograph of the driving (?) finish of the Woodward Stakes (Mr. Right Wins for Dr. Fager, Oct. 7). Mr. Right was certainly extended, but Damascus had his ears pricked while Jockey Baeza sat with his whip uselessly pointed at the sky! A horse that pricks his ears at the finish is not generally regarded by horsemen as one who is driving all out to the wire. I'm glad that your picture gives those racing fans who did not see the race an idea of the kind of ride that Baeza gave the 1967 Horse of the Year.
Damascus has ostensibly lost this honor in 1968 by reason of his last two races, in which he received "atrocious rides" from Baeza. Frank Whiteley should have gotten Kathy Kusner to ride Damascus—at least she would be trying!
DAVID S. WILSON
Regarding the article by Charles Goren on Omar Sharif's Bridge Circus (The Circus Under Omar's Tent, Sept. 9), I was most surprised to see (in the New York Post, Sept. 12) that Bridge Columnist Alfred Sheinwold presented an entirely different version of the hand played by Sharif in Toronto against the Dallas Aces. According to ST and Goren, Omar played the hand brilliantly to make the four-heart contract. According to Sheinwold, Sharif went down one and did not even make the second best play. Who is right?
I had the pleasure of watching the Bridge Circus in person and feel that Omar can hold his own in the best of competition.
Forest Hills. N.Y.
•Charles Goren got the story from Sharif's teammate, Leon Yallouze, who accepts full responsibility for the misunderstanding. Yallouze had not seen the hand played either, but had the impression that this was how Omar played it. "Particularly regrettable," says Goren, "because I had other examples of fine play by Sharif and selected this hand only because it seemed both simple and dramatic."—ED.