John Underwood has presented us with Ted Williams, Happy Chandler, Spiro Agnew and now Tim Rossovich (Burning to Be a Success, Sept. 20). Each story is a masterpiece. Without doubt, Underwood is the greatest sportswriter in America today. And that photo of the hirsute linebacker by Tony Triolo is a gem. It's Attila the Hun, Jesus Christ and Tim Rossovich all rolled into one. Thanks, SI, for a fine piece of journalism.
Tim Rossovich is fantastic. He eats glass, lets birds fly out of his mouth, sets himself on fire, appears nude and/or covered with shaving cream. Then when someone regards him as a kook, Tim reasons that it is because he has long hair.
THOMAS C. DUDDY
I, for one, want my two boys to get more out of sports than a third-degree burn or a fine for indecent exposure.
I just hope Tim can burn some spirit into the Eagles. I also hope you continue to write stories about such individualists.
It's good to know that there is a lighter side to football. Rossovich is a fine shot in the arm for the pro game. There ought to be more like him. So, go get 'em, Tim, and have another quart of oil on me.
DONALD M. ZIPPAY
University Park, Pa.
Thanks for doing justice to the San Francisco 49ers (Look Out for the 49ers, Sept. 20). Aside from the portrayal of the extraordinary actions of John Brodie, it was refreshing to see the faces of those who help to keep Brodie on his feet.
South San Francisco
Thanks. Your fine article on the 49ers was all the incentive the Atlanta Falcons needed to upset San Francisco 20-17 and force the NFL's Most Valuable Player into four interceptions.
Someone forgot that Phil Bengtson is the defensive coach of the San Diego Chargers this year (SCOUTING REPORTS, Sept. 20). Not only have the Chargers won their first regular-season game over a talented Kansas City team, they have not been outclassed during the exhibition season. Why not tell what Sid Gillman really has going here?
L. C. SEVERSON
Laugh if you wish at the backless aluminum scats in the New England Patriots' new stadium. No one was sitting down during the opening win against Oakland, anyhow.
Well, the pro football season has officially been opened: Tex Maule has picked the Cowboys as the team with the most talent in 1971 (Bigger and Better than Ever, Sept. 20).
ROBERT C. WALDRON
PRESEASON PROS AND CONS
Robert H. Boyle's article concerning attendance at pro football's preseason games (Late Summer Madness, Sept. 13) was very interesting and well written, but one point is misleading. He says, "Just a few years ago the Eagles and the Lions played before 19,000 in a Philadelphia exhibition. Last month the Eagles met the Bills, and the traffic jam was so horrendous that even the mayor couldn't get to the game on time."
The earlier game was originally scheduled to be played in Mexico City. Because of political strife in Mexico, however, it was switched to Franklin Field, and, with less than 48 hours' notice, a mad scramble ensued to have tickets printed in time. For the Eagles to muster 19,000 of us loyal fans was quite a feat.
I must take exception to the reference to Memphis as a "tank town" just because only 22,474 attended the Falcon-Bronco preseason game. I have lived in Memphis since 1965, and in all this time we have been offered, at most, two decent preseason games (one of which featured Joe Namath playing in only the first half). Both of these games produced a full stadium.
Until one looks beneath the surface, Memphis seems to be a city that cannot support a pro team. This is a fallacy, in that Memphis has turned out in spite of, not because of, the teams we have been offered. Memphis is sophisticated enough not to be sold down the Mississippi River year after year for preseason games that have no merit whatsoever. The enthusiasm is certainly here, it's the games that are lacking.
SHEILA W. UHLHORN
I resent the aspersion cast in your story on pro football exhibition games that my interest in protecting the public from the unethical practice of mandatory tie-in sales of preseason tickets with regular-season tickets was motivated by some personal dislike for the management of the Baltimore Colts.
My only interest in calling attention to this unsavory and despicable tactic is to fulfill the honest obligation every reporter has to himself, the newspaper he works for and the readership he represents. The Colts have attempted to change this intent to one of a personal feud when none exists—except apparently in their minds. In your story you claim I attacked the Colts' owners in "column after column," when, in fact, I have not attacked them but the policy pro football has tried to promulgate.
Attempts have been made to intimidate and stifle my interest in coming to the assistance of fans who do not want to face this unfair obligation imposed by most pro football teams. As a matter of record, I blew the loudest bugle of all in Baltimore when this city campaigned for the return of pro football in 1952. I offer no apology for the stand I have elected to take.
Baltimore News American
MICKEY OR VIDA?
Thank you for finally paying due tribute to Mickey Lolich, in my opinion the best pitcher in baseball (A Fat Record Made to Thin Applause, Sept. 13). While Lolich has improved with age, Vida Blue has possibly reached his peak at age 22. What will happen in five years when Blue can no longer blow the ball by the hitters? In the end, the fat man will win.
In Bil Gilbert's article about the Leeward Archipelago of Hawaii (Then Came Man and a Mustard Seed, Sept. 13), he states that the Leewards are of no practical, economic or esthetic value to either consumptive or nonconsumptive users of wildlife. It seems to me that he has failed to recognize two important kinds of non-consumptive use of that wildlife. First, consider the millions of albatross and other seabirds that breed there. Birds such as these often range thousands of miles from their breeding islands. Should they come across ships, fishing boats or boats filled with bird watchers, and should they be observed and appreciated, then at that moment of appreciation the observer becomes a nonconsumptive user of Leeward Archipelago wildlife.
Secondly, interesting facts have been learned about the wildlife of the Leewards, and interesting things experienced there. Many of these have been recorded, and this record will grow in the future. When such a fact or experience is shared and appreciated, the recipient becomes a nonconsumptive user of Leeward Archipelago wildlife. Indeed, readers of Mr. Gilbert's article fall into just this category.
RALPH G. MANCKE
I would like to congratulate you on your recent cover story on Jackie Stewart (How to Last Eleven Laps—and Be Happy, Sept. 6). It is about time that someone gave him credit for what he has done. Besides winning the world championship this year, he has already defeated the mighty Team McLaren twice in the 1971 Can-Am series.
West Paterson, N.J.
We all know Mark Donohue is the best driver in the world.
Mario Andretti is the greatest because the drivers themselves say so. The average man on the street never even heard of Jackie Stewart.
If you are going to talk about the world's greatest driver, you ought to be talking about Richard Petty.
Forest City, N.C.
The world's greatest driver in whatever category you choose is still and always will be A. J. Foyt.
Battle Creek, Mich.
We agree that Stewart is the best driver in the world, but Hugh Whall did an injustice to Peter Revson by stating that the only reason Stewart won at Mid-Ohio was that Denis Hulme's car failed. Stewart won only because Revson's car also failed—after 72 of 80 laps. Revson had led the entire race and was 22 seconds ahead when he had to drop out. At this writing, Revson leads in the Can-Am point standings.
I'm amazed that there hasn't been a single comment in 19TH HOLE about Dan Jenkins' article Out There with Slow-Play Fay and Play-Slow Flo (Aug. 9). It was the best golf story I ever read. But then, I suppose one must be a member of a small club such as our Lake Venice Golf Club to appreciate it. We have our men's and ladies' associations, the members of each erroneously thinking that management is favoring the other, leading to much bickering. We, too, have played host twice to the LPGA tour and have met Patty, Kathy, Mickey, Carol, Marlene, the Sandras et al. and marveled at their ability to outdrive and outplay our best. What a fine group of girls they are, and how quickly they deflate our golf ego. Would that we could have more stories as interesting as that one.
GEORGE F. GERDTS
REFLECTIONS ON A POOL HALL
Pat Jordan's article A Clutch of Odd Birds (Aug. 30) brought back a lot of fond memories of the good times I used to have in the neighborhood pool hall. But by the time I got to the end of the article, Mr. Jordan had given me an insight as to why I had really been there.
I suppose a brief withdrawal into the anonymous netherworld of a pool hall has helped more than one young man get a grip on his life and thereby enabled him to lead a more satisfactory existence later on. Mr. Jordan does a fine job.
WILLIAM C. GASSMAN
New Ellenton, S.C.
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