TIME WELL SPENT
To those who feel that God is dead, may I submit for their consideration that He is truly alive and well? He merely took a leave of absence and has been spending His time in the home-team locker room at Shea Stadium!
Every Oriole met his Met,
Every Baltimore Colt his Jet,
Every Bullet missed his Knick,
Every Baltimore fan is sick.
But cheer up, citizens of Baltimore, at least you got a piece of the playoff action.
This is in regard to your article on Doane College (A Small School, But You Can Learn to Hate It, Oct. 13). Skip Myslenski came to Crete to write an article on the Tigers' undefeated football team. Of the two pages, one page is devoted to misrepresenting Crete. Part of what he says is true, but the rest of it, and how he says it, is inaccurate and unfair. First of all the only females who wear their skirts anywhere close to their knees are over 50 years of age.
Mr. Myslenski failed to note that the train that ran through the dry cleaner's killed the owners in one of the nation's biggest catastrophes. The train carrying anhydrous ammonia derailed, killing nine people and putting many others in the hospital. A train running through a dry cleaner's may sound funny, but a great many people, especially relatives, couldn't find a thing to laugh at.
Is there something wrong with a town that doesn't have riots, drugs or parking meters? Must the whole world be a complete mess? People all over the world complain about today's teen-agers and how bad they are; so now we are told that it is ridiculous to be decent, neat, clean and have short hair.
You stated, very mockingly, that Doane College was nothing more than the clean-shaven and the short-cut, the sons and daughters of the Midwest. May I remind you that the greater share of the Midwest is this way, and most of the people who live here are proud of it. We don't believe it is necessary to have a beard or long, shaggy hair to be a true human being. As a matter of fact, I dare say that the majority of people who have made their mark in the world are not sloppy, long-haired bums, but basically clean-cut, normal human beings.
I believe it is necessary to bring to your attention the fact that the Midwest is not as far behind the times as you would like to make the remainder of the country believe.
Describing Crete the way you did was unique, and I thank you for the recognition of Doane College.
WILLIAM P. COLWICK
SIGHT AND SOUND
Wilfrid Sheed's observations on the mediocrity of television baseball announcers really hit the target (TV TALK, Oct 20). Isn't there anyone around who can intelligently handle a game? The professional commentators sound like used-car salesmen trying to sell an Edsel to Farmer Brown. The former players who are trying to hack it as announcers almost all have dull, flat voices, and they never seem to improve.
Probably the most competent announcer (radio or TV) to ever call a game was Mike Frankovich, the head of Frankovich Productions in Hollywood. Thirty years ago Frankovich described all the home games of the Los Angeles Angels and Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League over radio station KFAC in Los Angeles.
Southern California baseball fans who are purists will fondly recall his articulate, highly descriptive "word pictures," as he called them. Frankovich knew the players, the umpires, the rules, to say nothing of inside baseball—and he knew how to skillfully put everything together in the manner of a craftsman.
Compared to Frankovich, the metaphorical manglers the networks foist upon us today sound like rank amateurs. Unfortunately, they are paid professional rates.
PAUL R. MARACIN
I was glad to see a criticism of the World Series announcers for NBC television. As for myself, I turned off the sound of my TV and watched the last four games in silence.
What ever happened to Dizzy Dean?
A loud amen to Wilfrid Sheed's TV TALK. It was just one column long, but it should have been printed in capital letters and taken a whole page. Then copies should have been sent to all sportscasters.
I am a devoted baseball fan and listen to all televised games. I am so sick of the announcers' talk, talk, talk. Why don't they just call the game and then shut up?
MRS. JACK E. BUTLER
North Hollywood, Calif.
That SI carefully dissects TV sportscasting while TV does not criticize the press is an unfortunate paradox of our free-press system. May Wilfrid Sheed be reminded that while a sportswriter has the help of retrospect and his eraser, the sportscaster is not afforded these luxuries. He must think spontaneously and accurately for two to three hours in front of millions, and therefore some things get said that shouldn't.
For a sportswriter, Robert H. Boyle has a terribly short memory if he thinks the 1969 crop of pro football rookies is the best (The Year of the Rookies, Oct. 20). Has he forgotten 1952 and rookies like Hugh McElhenny, Frank Gifford, Ollie Matson, Gino Marchetti, Bobby Dillon, Billy Howton, Babe Parilli, Bert Rechichar, Ray Renfro, Pat Summerall, Duane Putnam, Ed Modzelewski, Dick (Night Train) Lane, Dave (Hawg) Hanner, Volney (Skeet) Quinlan, Howard Ferguson, Bill McColl and Jim Dooley?
The Year of the Rookies was a fine idea and interesting pictorially, even though you perpetuated the tiring overexposure of O. J. Simpson. But you really blew it when you neglected to mention Larry Smith. The names of rookies who have made a George Allen team since 1966 could be written on Tiny Tim's thumbnail. If you were to ask All-Pros Dick Bass and Tommy Mason why they are permitted so much time to relax on the sidelines this year, they would answer with two words: Larry Smith.
The bread-and-butter back of the Rams this season has consistently been this 21-year-old from Florida, and the Rams could be a superteam in 1969. However, in this day of the Broadway Joe attitude among athletes, it is no wonder that Smith, whose teammates have nicknamed him Silent Larry, has received so little publicity in SI. His is a quiet performance on the field.
CYRIL A. JACKSON
Santa Monica, Calif.
Your article was interesting, although to me it seemed incomplete. How was it possible to omit professional football's future 60-minute player, Leroy Keyes of the Philadelphia Eagles?
Congratulations are in order for your article on Gordie Howe, who has been, is now and always will be the greatest NHL player (Stadiums Aren't for Sleeping, Oct. 20). He is the Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb of hockey. When at a Detroit Red Wing home game Alex Delvecchio was being honored for reaching the 1,000-point level, no mention at all was made that Gordie Howe is about to reach the 1,000-assist level. This puts Howe almost 700 points ahead of Delvecchio. And Bobby Hull couldn't come near Howe even if he had five 50-goal seasons. Gordie Howe is the king, and the young "superstars" respect him as Mr. Hockey.
Harper Woods, Mich.
Every sport has had a number of superstars. However, no man has ever dominated a sport for so long and with such brilliance as Gordie Howe. I would like to nominate Howe for more than Sportsman of the Year; he deserves the honor of Sportsman of the Century.
My nomination for Sportsman of the Year, or should I say Sportsmen, are the amazing New York Mets. Now all us Charlie Browns have a chance.
CLARITA DE LA GARZA
I am proud to nominate for Sportsman of the Year Tom Seaver. And Cleon Jones. Jim Turner. Willis Reed, Matt Snell, Agee, DeBusschere, Swoboda....
Not to mention, of course, Super Broadway Joe Willie Namath. And Kooz, Maynard....
Too bad Baltimore doesn't have an NHL team.
DAVID A. HARMIN
My nomination is Gil Hodges. He earned it by leading a ninth-place team to the world championship.
For Sportsman of the Year, the most consistent performer in victory or defeat, with a broken nose or gimpy leg; the inspiration that vaulted the Los Angeles Lakers to a near miss—Jerry West.
ROBERT L. PROCHASKA
East Dubuque, Ill.
Is there any question? Joe Namath!
STUART H. HARRIS
I would like to nominate Ernie Banks. Even while the Cubs were beginning to slump, he kept his faith, along with his humor, and fought until the end.
I was pleased to see SI take a stand against the deliberate and excessive violence encouraged and condoned in professional hockey (SCORECARD, Oct. 13). Certainly the recent injury to Ted Green was senseless and absurd under the circumstances.
But the sport by its nature is violent, and the death of a Minnesota player two years ago and Green's own account of a previous fight point up the necessity of requiring that appropriate helmets be worn by all players. The argument frequently given that it will ruin the fan's image of hockey as a virile sport is nonsense in the light of the fact that pro football players are padded from head to foot with no loss of respect.
As in the cases of pep pills in athletics and the grizzly-bear problem, I think it is SI's duty to crusade for mandatory use of helmets by all professional hockey players—now, before more serious head injuries occur.
La Jolla, Calif.
CHANGE IN THE WEATHER
Tell Lewis M. Joseph of Jacksonville (19TH HOLE, Oct. 20) that he is all wet. The saying really went, "Spahn and Sain and two days of rain."
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