KISS OF WHAT?
I am led to understand from his article (Who Gets the Oscar? Nov. 10) that Dan Jenkins doesn't think three of Notre Dame's six Heisman Trophy winners deserved their awards. I'm referring to the rap he puts on Bertelli, Huarte and Hornung. I wouldn't try to change Mr. Jenkins' mind—that would take a miracle (something only God and Rockne could pull off)—but I would like to present some information that lends support to why these men were chosen Heisman winners.
Angelo Bertelli (1941-43) was chosen to six All-America teams in 1943. He is ranked fourth on the alltime passing list at ND, and he is No. 6 on the Irish alltime total offense list. John Huarte (1962-64) led the Irish to a 9-1 season in 1964 when he, too, was chosen to six All-America teams. He ranks sixth on the alltime forward-passing list at ND, and he holds the career records for the following: most consecutive passes without an interception; lowest percentage of passes intercepted; and highest average yards gained per play. Paul Hornung (1954-56) was chosen in 1955 to four All-America teams, while in 1956 he was on six All-America teams. He is eighth on the alltime passing list and fourth on the alltime total-offense list.
NORBERT A. SADILEK JR.
Congratulations to Dan Jenkins. Once again he and SIKOD (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Kiss of Death) have worked their magic. Your endorsement of Steve Owens just cost him the Heisman Trophy.
I don't know whether you've noticed or not, but college stars who happen to make the cover of your magazine have a remarkable knack for winning the Heisman Trophy. Now that Steve Owens' grin has been splattered all across the nation, only a total collapse on his part would give Davis of USC or Otis of Ohio State a ghost of a chance of winning the prize. And even a collapse now might not make a difference. Two years ago O. J. Simpson was considered the nation's most spectacular player until you ran that blurb calling Gary Beban "The Great One." It was all over right there. Beban was singularly mediocre for the rest of the season, including his throwing the interception in the USC game which, along with O.J.'s pressure performance, led to UCLA's downfall. Beban was even benched in his last game as a Bruin. Still, your backing was enough to win him the trophy.
I'm not saying that you should not publicize great ballplayers. That is your obvious duty. And I am not saying that Owens and Beban do not deserve acclaim. I am merely saying that being on SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S cover during the campaign gives a candidate too much of a pre-election edge over those with similar credentials but lesser press coverage.
This is from a loyal reader who considers SI to be one of the few consistently impartial publications on the newsstands.
TERRY M. BANKS
I am not too surprised at your vast coverage of Steve Owens, but your almost complete disregard for Missouri University and its football stars (namely Terry McMillan and Joe Moore) is certainly unfair to a football power. Certainly McMillan and Moore deserve some Heisman Trophy mention, especially after their stunning victory over Owens and his Oklahoma playmates (Missouri Waltzes to Victory, Nov. 17).
All Joe Moore did was outrush Steve Owens while he went over the 1,000-yard mark in rushing for the season. Terry McMillan did in the Sooners and Owens with his great passing, over 300 yards for the day and over 1,000 yards for the season.
How can you have the audacity to even suggest that any players other than Steve Owens or Rex Kern have a chance of winning the Heisman Trophy?
After reading Robert F. Jones' article (Eub Weebank's Mother Hens, Nov. 10), I wonder if Mr. Jones has forgotten who the real star of the New York Jets is. Let's congratulate Joe Willie on his excellent signal calling, but who is the guy who is winning the games? It's Jim Turner.
WILLIAM R. CASEY
Robert Jones wrote that Namath said "goddammit" when he underthrew a pass to George Sauer. I happen to know that Namath does not use God's name in vain. He says "goldangit" instead. It's bad enough people get on Namath for his long hair, Fu Manchu, white shoes and Johnnie Walker Red. Don't go putting words in his mouth—goldangit!
Many thanks to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for an excellent series on Lew Alcindor (My Story, Oct. 27 et seq.), and many more thanks to Lew for convincingly extending his athletic experiences beyond the world of athletics. Lew has encountered firsthand much of what goes on everyday: the ghetto, the city, California, the college scene, big business, racism, insensitivity, etc. He has reacted eloquently and with sharp anger to what is wrong, with deep pride to what is right and with a genuine hope that people will always be judged as people—no more, no less. The realities facing every one of us cannot be kept out of the sports arena. Lew speaks not as a superhuman gate attraction but as one of a generation determined to turn this thing around so that, someday, the world of sports can truly be representative of a larger world devoid of inhuman values.
The causes of black resentment in America today are too obvious to bear further elaboration by me. I can see why black people would want to learn more about their history and culture, create for themselves an "instant culture" or adopt the dress and background of African tribes.
What I cannot understand is the choice of many of them, Lew Alcindor included, of the religious faith of the Arabs. Not only are Arabs members of the Caucasian race, they are people who sold the blacks into slavery in the first place! They are still the only major world religious group widely accepting and practicing commercial slavery.
So Christianity is un-Christlike? I've been wondering since early Muhammad Ali why nobody has remarked on the irony of Black Muslimism.
Santa Fe, N. Mex.
Lew Alcindor can thank his lucky stars he's tall, talented and black. Otherwise, he'd be poor white trash like the rest of us.
Santa Monica, Calif.
ALL BETS OFF
Your SCORECARD question ("A Split Hair," Nov. 3) as to whether Tom Seaver "finished" the game when a pinch hitter for him drove in the winning run in the 10th inning, can be answered by considering what was the intention of the parties to the bet. In the case of a pitcher, a reasonable baseball fan would probably consider the player's job done when he completes his most crucial task: pitching. The pitcher is not expected to do much except pitch, and occasionally field. It seems, therefore, that Fan No. 1 loses. The common understanding of baseball fans is that a hurler finishes the game when he completes his pitching chore in the game.
The rulemakers of the game seem to agree, since a pitcher who is lifted for a pinch hitter is given credit for the victory if his team scores the winning run in the inning of his removal.
However, the answer to your question, "who wins the bet," is that unless the event took place in Nevada, or some other place in which gambling is legal, a prosecuting attorney would win.
Attorney at Law
I can't pinpoint the origin of the term "penalty flag" for you (SCORECARD, NOV. 10), but I can provide some information on its innovation.
Dwight (Dike) Beede, head coach here at Youngstown State University, is generally credited with inventing the penalty flag. Seeking a better way to signify an infraction than the small horn then used, Beede had his late wife, Irma, sew him four flags before the Youngstown-Oklahoma City game on Oct. 17, 1941 in Youngstown. Beede talked the game officials into trying the flags, and their use later spread.
The first flags were some 16 inches square. A Halloween costume provided the red material, and a bed sheet the white. Weights from draperies were sewed into the corners.
This past August, the last of the original flags was presented to the national collegiate Football Hall of Fame at Rutgers University. Incidentally, Beede, the oldest active college coach in the nation at age 66, is still going strong in his 37th year on the job.
In the PEOPLE column of your Oct. 6 issue there was an interesting story about the U.S. consul general in Istanbul, Douglas Heck, who swam the Bosporus in 1929 at the age of 12, which, your story indicated, "almost certainly" made him the youngest American ever to swim the strait.
I do not wish to discredit in any way the feat of my foreign service colleague, but when I was a vice consul in Istanbul in the summer of 1948 I was a member of a swimming party which included a 6-year-old girl. Fay Farquhar, who swam the Bosporus from the Asian side to the European side.
JAMES M. MACFARLAND
Because he has played the game against the roughest competition available, knowing that at any minute of any game he might be crippled forever, I nominate Joe Namath for Sportsman of the Year. He is cocky, egotistical and probably thinks he is the world's greatest quarterback, and he is absolutely right.
My nomination for Sportsman of the Year is Weeb Ewbank, for putting up with Joe Namath.
Battle Creek, Mich.
Like Mark Kram says in your Sept. 29 issue, "he is the antithesis of the other Negro superstars, the silent Henry Aaron, the serious Willie Mays, the combative Jackie Robinson and the suspicious Bob Gibson." My nomination for the Sportsman of the Year is the one and only Ernie Banks.
Star City, Ind.
I am writing to second the nomination of Gordie Howe for Sportsman of the Year. At age 41, Mr. U.S. Hockey is still the greatest athlete around.
If I were picking the Sportsman of the Year, I would set aside all the Namaths, Seavers, Alcindors and Hulls and pick Rod Laver—simply because he is the greatest living tennis player and practically dominates the sport.
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