ENGLAND'S CIVIL WAR
Any Football Association Cup final in soccer-mad England is a dramatic struggle but when, as Hugh McIlvanney points out (But the South Shall Rise Again, May 17), the final brings together North and South, Wembley becomes a battlefield. Among the 100,000 fans that fill the venerable stadium, only a handful of titled visitors in the royal box can claim impartiality.
The Liverpool-Arsenal clash was the second classic North-South Cup battle in two years, and the Arsenal win made it two in a row for the Rebels. The 1970 struggle between London's Chelsea side and Leeds United was an epic that took two overtime games to decide (One Replay That Cot Away, May 11, 1970). The Arsenal supporters pictured in SI seem timid in comparison with the Chelsea partisans of a year ago.
The South will remember Arsenal, but it will not forget Chelsea.
Thanks for your article on the English soccer rivalry. I am constantly amazed that this sport, the most popular in the world, hasn't received more coverage. It is a shame that America's public is oriented to football (or should we say "armored rugby," since it is a game played by 250-pound hulks whose only interest is to smash the opponents before they themselves get flattened), basketball and baseball, and hasn't even noticed soccer except to throw us off the fields during the spring baseball season. Those who scoff at the game don't know the stamina required to keep up with the constant running of a good team. I daresay that most baseball and football players don't have it.
I'm looking forward to more articles on American as well as European and British soccer.
In light of the fact that both Marty Liquori and Jim Ryun were officially clocked in 3:54.6 in the Dream Mile in Philadelphia (A Dream Comes True, May 24), we think your readers might be interested to know the results as recorded by the Bulova Accutron Phototimer, which was used to assist the judges at the International Freedom Games.
Measuring according to the new torso rule, the Phototimer picture shows Liquori finished in 3:54.54 while Ryun finished in 3:54.75—a difference of more than .2 second.
These times are unofficial, of course, but we find them interesting because usually, though not in this case, the times recorded by the Phototimer are slower than those recorded by the officials. (Most timing officials tend to be slow on depressing the stopwatch plunger at the start but fast, or anticipatory, on depressing the plunger at the finish.)
Bulova Watch Company
New York City
I opened your May 17 issue like a lion, ready to pounce on you with a thunderously critical letter about the absence of a volleyball article after the 1971 nationals. After reading about frontenis, a sport which, admittedly, only a couple of dozen people in the U.S. play, I was really steamed. But I decided to finish the magazine before exploding on paper.
Then I turned to the article on page 72, First Stop for the U.S. on the Road to Havana, and I was so surprised and excited that I forgot to feel ashamed for my premature criticism. I do now, and I thank you for a fantastic article on the world's most fantastic game.
The article by Joe Jares on the U.S. Volleyball Association championships at Binghamton, N.Y. was excellent. Considering how little recognition this outstanding sport receives, you are to be commended by all volleyball enthusiasts. My only disappointment was that you didn't give the women's competition more coverage. The performance of these teams was as outstanding as any of the men's. Terry Condon of the champion L.A. Renegades-Red, who was selected as the Rookie of the Year as well as being named to the All-America team and pre-Olympic squad, competed in the finals with a sprained ankle, no small feat when you consider the constant jumping and diving demands of this sport.
Many other girls turned in standout performances during the four-day competition, and they certainly drew the applause from the crowds for their many thrilling plays. The U.S. will be well represented at the Pan-Am and Olympic Games.
At last a real, honest-to-goodness article about volleyball. It will be of interest to thousands of Noon League types as well as thousands of the more highly skilled players of which the Binghamton affair was comprised.
We mildly criticize your implication that the Olympic volleyball committee was a millstone around Coach Al Scates' neck. "Skulking" you called our observing. After all, we are the same people who have been around in the stands observing, taking notes, cheering the good plays and groaning at some decisions when there were no Olympic selections being made. We don't need to skulk and we sure as heck don't increase the pressure on players who are interested in being observed for their potentiality.
MERTON H. KENNEDY
U.S. Volleyball Association
We were stunned by your recent SCORECARD entry, "Local Option: No Sleds" (May 10). With justification, the staging of the 1976 Winter Olympic Games is being questioned by the Colorado public. The bobsled run that you insist must be built somewhere would cost at least $1 million to construct and would remain a little-used eyesore on the already threatened scenic lands of Colorado. California balked at constructing a bobsled run at Squaw Valley for the same reasons Colorado legislators have cited: too great an expense for minimal use.
As for what Denver must do to fulfill its pledges to the IOC, Denver never had a voice in making these pledges. The proposal for staging the Olympics in Colorado was put together by a small group of businessmen and government officials who based their sales pitch on incomplete assumptions about site selection, finance and suitability of existing facilities. Neither the people of Denver nor of Colorado were consulted through the democratic process on whether they wanted the Olympics. Once the announcement of Denver's "award" was made, many voices rose against the potential hazards to the environment as well as the enormous financial burden. The Denver Olympic Committee has given only vague answers to the public outcry. Its members obviously sold themselves as well as the IOC on dreams that do not endure careful scrutiny.
MR. AND MRS. RICHARD DREW
I'd like to set you, Ralph Garr and the Atlanta Braves straight on who is the real "Road Runner" of the National League (Two Beeps, a Cloud of Dust, May 10). It just so happens that long before anyone ever heard of Ralph Garr, Pittsburgh's Manny Sanguillen was burning up the base paths. Manny is the fastest catcher in the National League, and he has been known as the Road Runner ever since he joined the Pirates.
As for Garr's batting average, he should take a look at who finished third in the league last season. So all this talk about it being illegal for any other athlete to use "Road Runner" as a nickname really means nothing, since the real Road Runner isn't even involved.
The Oakland A's Campy Campaneris is baseball's original Road Runner. Campy has been called that for years and has earned the nickname by leading the American League in base stealing five of the last six seasons. Granted, Ralph Garr is a promising young ballplayer, but let him be christened with an original nickname. There is only one Road Runner in baseball, and he plays for Oakland. Beep, beep!
CHAD A. ANDERSON
Don Delliquanti's short article on Atlanta's Ralph Garr was of interest to me. As an avid Syracuse Chiefs fan, I remember a lot of games against Richmond when Ralph Garr played. It seemed as though every time he came to bat, he landed on base. Not only is Garr a great singles hitter, but as Henry Aaron said in the article, he is the fastest runner I have ever seen. The way he is playing now, I see no reason at all why he can't bat .400 or even .500 or .600 for that matter.
ANOTHER YONKERS VOICE
To put it as kindly as I can, your LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER (May 17) introducing Bud Greenspan's article on Clem McCarthy, The Man Who Blew a Derby, did me a disservice in that I am not even mentioned as having been a part of the Yonkers and WHN broadcasting team. For the record, Marty Glickman and I were the announcers at Yonkers Raceway starting with the second meeting in the track's history. This was in August of 1950. All in all, I was employed there for a total of 21 years, up to and including the winter meeting of 1970.
During that time, whenever Glickman was unavailable, I did the WHN broadcasts. Other radio broadcasts by me were over WNEW, WOR and NBC's Monitor. Later we did a prime-time TV show, in which Glickman was the M.C. and I did the call of the races. These shows appeared, over various years, on Channels 5, 7, 9 and 11. The ratings on these shows, both radio and TV, were high. After Glickman's departure from the Yonkers scene, I was the No. 1 announcer there and continued to do radio broadcasts on a nightly basis.
In fairness, I should like to have you print this as a clarification of the true situation, announcingwise, at Yonkers Raceway. But don't get me wrong; I love SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
Long Island Press
I disagree with your SCORECARD item, "Wilt Could Get Kilt" (May 3). If a boxing match should take place between Wilt Chamberlain and Muhammad Ali, I believe that Chamberlain would have the advantage. He is undoubtedly an incredibly strong man, and he most likely would pick up boxing quickly. As was proven in the Ali-Frazier bout, the stronger man or slugger has the advantage. It is unfortunate that Chamberlain and Ali will not have an opportunity to prove my point.
You mentioned me in connection with Wilt Chamberlain's ambitions as a prizefighter, but you gave the impression that my attempts at boxing were a total failure. This is far from true. Surely, my pursuit of a fighting career was short, but this was due to financial conditions and not to a lack of success in the ring. I fought some 10 or 11 times and lost only one match. The main reason for the loss was that I was rushed into my first match before I was conditioned well enough for the boxing ring. Having to raise $125,000 a year to support the Paul Anderson Youth Home, I found that I did not have the additional finances to hire sparring partners and maintain a training camp.
Now that you are evaluating Mr. Chamberlain's abilities for the ring, possibly a bout should be arranged between Wilt and me to see what we as champions of different sports can do when testing our abilities with the gloves.
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