After reading your article on the Monday-night hex (TV Wins on Points, Nov. 2), I think the players are acting like a bunch of crybabies when they complain about missing their extra day of rest. For one thing, preseason games are scheduled in close intervals. For another, Thanksgiving Day used to bring two doubleheaders, with all eight teams playing with only three complete days off between games. And in the final weeks of the season, when college football is over, a few games are moved up to Saturday, again upsetting the regular between-game format. I personally believe that the players are just not in very good shape this year. They missed three to four weeks of training because of their strike. Thus, when they did start, they began playing games instead of conditioning.
RICHARD W. HUMPHREY
According to the Monday-night hex theory, the Cleveland Browns should be complete physical and mental wrecks by Dec. 12. They are scheduled to play the Houston Oilers on Monday night, Dec. 7, and the Dallas Cowboys only five days later. The way Dallas and Cleveland have been playing so far, the Dec. 12 game could mean a divisional championship, or the loss of one. Jimmie the Greek could have a field day with this one.
F. V. ESPOSITO JR.
Your article seems to have been written a bit prematurely. As you are no doubt aware, the Minnesota Vikings' Monday-night win over the Los Angeles Rams was followed on the next Sunday by the Rams' victory over the Saints and the Vikings' defeat of the Lions.
ROBBIE A. HELM
East Chicago, Ind.
I would like to commend you on a fine article. Robert Boyle's story said a lot. I would also like to say that the Monday-night hex may, after all, be real. Consider the Vikings-Rams game. Both are excellent teams, offensively and defensively, yet the game was singularly empty of action.
It seems to me that there is a very simple solution to combat the "Mondays" and the subsequent physical hardships to the participating teams. All the schedule makers have to do in the future is to schedule a return match between the same teams on the following Sunday. This happens many times during the baseball season without any loss of interest on the part of the fans. I believe, in fact, that giving the defeated team an immediate chance to retaliate would further stimulate pro football fan interest.
FRANK A. GANSZ
Jerry Mays' inability to touch his toes prior to the Denver game proves only one thing to me: he could easily have been defeated in a toe-touching contest.
LIEUT. T. M. RAU, USNR
In reference to your SCORECARD item (Nov. 2) on the financial plight of the Atlantic Coast Football League, who says football teams have to play on weekends? Maybe Wednesday night football is what the ACFL needs. That would put their games midway between Monday-night NFL games and Friday-night high school games. If not Wednesday, how about Tuesday or Thursday? The reduced competition might result in increased attendance and income.
Basketball, baseball and hockey all draw during the middle of the week, why not football? Midweek games would also allow the teams all weekend to practice. The idea may sound silly, but then, some thought the ABA's now successful regional franchise idea was silly, too.
In reporting on Muhammad Ali's sense of the dramatic as well as his unequaled boxing ability (Smashing Return of the Old Alt, Nov. 2), Mark Kram has described why Ali is one of the most electrifying and perhaps socially significant personalities in the world. His lack of formal education has certainly not prevented him from gaining an intense understanding of himself and his importance to the public as a black champion and a pacifist. In order to evaluate Ali it must be recognized that he is a member of a society currently suffering racial turmoil and facing difficult questions regarding the moral and religious convictions of individuals that conflict with the responsibilities placed upon them by government.
Ali may not remain the man no one could defeat, but we now know that it will not be Jerry Quarry or Lester Maddox who drops him for the count. And if he should regain his title by defeating Joe Frazier, there will remain only the U.S. judicial system to prove him mortal.
DEEMS WEBSTER, USA
APO New York
Muhammad Ali's performance after a 3½-year absence was certainly impressive. Although the fight did not last long enough to convince the skeptics of his endurance, his speed and agility (along with his previously underrated punching power) were present in all their grandeur during the three rounds of combat with Jerry Quarry. All the qualities of the old Ali are present in the new one. You've had your fun, Joe Frazier, but the champ is back.
I have to admit your article was a pretty good one, but Muhammad Ali doesn't stand a chance against Joe Frazier.
I would like to thank Pat Putnam for the super article on small-college football (They Don't Play No Mullets Down There, Nov. 2). It's about time somebody gave the NAIA teams some credit. They play good football. And some of these teams, such as Texas A&I, Arkansas State, Westminster and Wittenberg, could most likely come out with an 8-1 record against the powder-puff schedule that Ohio State plays.
Thanks for the story and the mention of Westminster College of New Wilmington, Pa. Dr. Harold Burry, Westminster's very successful coach, seems to have the formula for keeping the alumni happy, too. Burry-coached teams have never lost a homecoming game. That covers a span of 19 years!
R. DEAN ENGLISH
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Obviously Pat Putnam could not include every top small-college team, but how could he fail to at least mention the University of Delaware, the No. 1 team in the East for the past three years? Consider the Blue Hens' record: two consecutive Lambert cups and two consecutive Boardwalk Bowl wins. Consider, too, the fact that their only losses last season were to major colleges (Villanova and Boston University). Delaware also owns a backfield that recently has been compared by one newspaper to Notre Dame's Four Horsemen.
KEVIN J. NEARY
There is another small-college giant. North Dakota State has won 67 of its last 71 games, captured or shared the conference title six consecutive times, been named No. 1 in 1965, 1968 and 1969 and just completed its fourth straight unbeaten regular season. The Bison bowl record for this period includes a 20-7 drubbing of Grambling, a 23-14 victory over Arkansas State and last year's 30-3 pasting of then-No. 2 Montana.
Fargo, N. Dak.
I would like to congratulate Pat Putnam for his article on the small colleges. I would also like to point out that the University of Montana has been ranked second in the nation and is currently on its way to another 10-0 season!
Down here in South Carolina we have a college called Wofford which now has an 18-game winning streak. As of this date we're way down in the eighth spot in the AP poll, but we're moving up.
A large "welcome" sign should be hung up at Forest Hills for Dick Miles and his refreshing ideas on how to enliven the game of tennis (Bloodthirsty Tennis, Anyone?, Nov. 2). I have only one suggestion: Rather than eliminating one of the traditional two serves altogether, perhaps it might be more interesting if each player were allowed the option of taking one double serve in each set with the additional option of accumulating the unused extra serves for use at a later and more opportune time in the match.
Regarding Dick Miles' article on tennis, it seems to me that he would be the type who would make crashes mandatory at the Indy 500 and do away with huddles in football. In my opinion, he would be better off if he stuck to playing the so-called sport of table tennis rather than writing articles about one of the few sports left with a little class.
ROBERT H. ROSENBAUM
Since I went into business in 1967, many articles have been written about my company, All-Pro Enterprises, Inc., specifically and the subject of black capitalism generally. But never before in my experience have I seen this acutely significant subject treated in such a blasé and flippant manner as was done by your "renowned restaurant critic," Gael Greene, in the Oct. 12 edition of SI (A Guide to All-Star Indigestion).
Although I'm sure the article was written for the entertainment of your readers, Miss Greene's description of the All-Pro Chicken franchise in Harlem was objectionable to us on so many counts that space won't permit me to enumerate them—to say nothing of having black capitalism classified as something like a side order of french fries. It is obvious that Miss Greene did not get this information from me or from any of my staff.
For the benefit of your readers, I would like to point out that the emphasis of our All-Pro Enterprise program is not on sports but on providing jobs and business opportunities for blacks all over the country, which we have been doing by the hundreds. The All-Pro Group also includes All-Pro Equities, Inc., Young Professionals, Inc. and Inter City Development, Inc. as well as Brady Keys' Kentucky Fried Chicken. Before 1971 is over, the number of people we have helped will be in the thousands.
BRADY KEYS JR.
All-Pro Enterprises, Inc.
I am glad to see that still another NBA coach, Jack Ramsay of the Philadelphia 76ers, has come out in support of legalization of the zone defense. The original need for outlawing the zone—to prevent a slowdown—has since been satisfied by the 24-second rule. The main opposition to reinstating the zone seems to come from NBA Rules Committee Chairman Eddie Gottlieb, who apparently believes that the paying spectator will not like the zone.
As an avid follower of both professional and college basketball, I fail to see the validity of this belief. In my opinion, there is nothing more exciting in the game than a well-executed full-court zone press—and nothing more boring than watching some superstar score 40 points a game because no one can stop him man-to-man. The zone defense would not kill professional basketball any more than the blitz has killed pro football. Instead, it would call for and bring about a higher degree of teamwork, both in employing the zone and in attacking it—and teamwork is what sets basketball above other sports.
But why argue about it? If Mr. Gottlieb really wants to please the spectators, he should find out where they stand on the issue. The NBA could pass out ballots to the fans at one designated home game of each team. I believe this to be the fairest method of settling this controversy.
I commend you and your staff for your constant interest in and defense of all forms of conservation. In particular I refer to your stand on pollution of the waterways by atomic power plants and other sources, such as the Penn Central Railroad (My Struggle to Help the President, Feb. 16).
Your SCORECARD report, "Mutiny with a Bounty" (Oct. 12), may have pointed out one way to interest an apathetic citizenry in programs concerned with water pollution. We may not be willing to clean up the environment so that we can breathe more easily or drink naturally purified water, but perhaps if more people can be made aware of the fact that they stand to receive half of the fine assessed against a water polluter that they report, we can get some action.
ROBERT C. KELLY
UP AND AWAY
I read Harold Peterson's article, Lift, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness (Oct. 19), with considerable interest and can assure you that hot-air ballooning is just as he describes it. Defiance College owns a Raven balloon and offers a course in hot-air ballooning. It is taught by a virologist and a Civil War historian, both of whom are licensed balloonists.
DAVID G. RUFFER
Dean of Faculty
The Defiance College
Your Oct. 19 issue contained a terrific write-up on balloonist Link Baum. Thanks to Harold Peterson for conveying the thoughts and insights of this sky dweller. It was refreshing to us earthbound people.
Boulder City, Nev.
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