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Original Issue


Thumbs up to Mark Mulvoy (On Paper, Dallas Is the Best, Dec. 6) for realizing that this is the year of the Cowboys. They have yet to lose in Texas Stadium and they have not lost since Coach Tom Landry named Roger Staubach as the No. 1 quarterback. The change in the quarterback position could also change the luck of the El Foldos. If the Cowboys are just a "paper" team, how come their opponents are the ones who are being spindled and mutilated? Look for Dallas to come up on top in Super Bowl VI.
Franconia, N.H.

What—another article on the Cowboys? They have a good team on paper, but will discover, as they have in the past, a new way of choking. The Miami Dolphins will prove that they are the best team in football when they win the Super Bowl.
College Point, N.Y.

Dan Jenkins' article on the Oklahoma-Nebraska game {Nebraska Rides High, Dec. 6) left much to be desired. In my opinion, he was grossly unfair to a fine Oklahoma team. Anyone who viewed the game knows it was played on a near-equal basis. But if anyone who did not see the game reads Mr. Jenkins' article, he will be led to believe that Nebraska turned the close, exciting game into a rout. That, of course, is far from what actually happened.

You billed the game as a battle between Oklahoma's Wishbone-T offense and Nebraska's "immovable" defense. Check the statistics; they speak for themselves. The 467 yards Oklahoma's Wishbone amassed against Nebraska proved that the Nebraska defense is no longer so immovable. The Cornhuskers won the game, but the Sooners won the Wishbone War.
Kirksville, Mo.

Dan Jenkins stated, "It is impossible to stir the pages of history and find one in which both teams performed so reputably for so long throughout the day."

It was a superb football game between two beautifully coached, explosive teams, but it does not stand alone. The 1946 Army-Notre Dame game was surely its equal. In terms of buildup, a word count of the sports pages of the major American newspapers would probably indicate that the 1946 clash was at least as anticipated as the 1971 battle. In terms of play, the Army-Notre Dame game was also perfectly executed. Two truly outstanding teams played up to and even beyond their capabilities. Each game reflected the best college football had to offer at that point in time, with the emphasis on defense in 1946 and on offense in 1971.

Two factors make the 1946 game even more memorable than the one played last Thanksgiving. First, Army met Notre Dame on a neutral field (Yankee Stadium). Second, the outcome in 1946, a 0-0 tie, was a more accurate reflection of the quality of the two opponents. By midway in the second half of the Nebraska-Oklahoma game it was obvious that whoever had the ball last would win, since neither team could keep the other from scoring, which is to say the two teams were equal. In the Army-Notre Dame game one had the feeling that neither team would ever score, so perfect were the defenses. The final score reflected the basic equality.
New Orleans

Dan Jenkins indicated that Joe Wylie was the last man to have a shot at tackling Johnny Rodgers on the first-quarter punt return. But the photograph on page 24 showed that the last Oklahoma defender with a chance was Jon Harrison, No. 12.

Films of the game have clearly and conclusively shown that Wylie was taken out of the play with a clip only 10 or 15 yards from where Rodgers gathered in the punt. John Atkins cut Wylie down from behind just as the Sooner speedster was ready to spill Rodgers. The intention here is not to downgrade a brilliant Cornhusker performance, only to correct a misconception.

This past summer I had the privilege of working with Diana Nyad (She Takes a Long Swim Off a Short Pier, Dec. 6) at Camp Ak-O-Mak. There I learned that marathon swimming is a grueling contest between woman (or man) and nature as well as a contest between competitors. It is possibly the most demanding sport in the world. The fastest or most well-conditioned swimmer does not always win. Rather, the one who has the most skill at reading tides and currents, the most luck and the most persistence (or stubbornness) wins.

Diana certainly combines the qualities of physical and mental toughness. Her accomplishments are objects of awe and inspiration to me and to the other swimmers who know her. Her friendliness, good nature and sense of humor have brightened many a glum workout. Intelligent yet sensitive, she can relate to all ages and all backgrounds. Thus, she is equally praised by the world's finest marathoners and the campers at Ak-O-Mak.

Diana Nyad is a winner because she dares to be; she has the courage to explore the limits of her capabilities. Dan Levin's story presents a pro athlete in one of the hardest of sports, who is more than a swimmer, who is a person of great depth. Thank you for letting more people know about her.

Thank you for your fine editorial on TV's tasteless way of announcing the Heisman Trophy winner, Pat Sullivan (SCORECARD, Nov. 29). Is anything happening today without TV making an Academy Award production out of it? The way in which it was done cut down on the drama of this fine award. I feel sorry for the fine recipient, Pat Sullivan, because of TV's mockery of his finest collegiate hour.
Kinnelon, N.J.

Cornell's record-breaking running back, Ed Marinaro, may or may not have proved he was the best college football player during the 1971 season, but his remarks about the Heisman Trophy award ceremony on national television indicate he does not have the most important quality a great athlete should possess, sportsmanship. After all, isn't that what it's all about?
Lexington, Va.

According to the article Buried Under a Sea of Troubles (Nov. 15) by Ron Fimrite, the NCAA seems to have based a good deal of its case on the erasures that Jim McAlister's ACT contained, the inference being that someone (yet unnamed) corrected his answers in order for him to achieve a passing score. Yet Eugene Jones' and Kermit Johnson's tests had 65 and 35 erasures, respectively, and they both failed the test. Why in the world would anyone make all those changes in the tests of Jones and Johnson and McAlister and not make sure that the other two also passed? To risk loss of eligibility for the athletes and NCAA censure for the school, the gain would need to be very worthwhile, would it not? What was UCLA's possible gain? Freshman eligibility, that's what. Hardly worth the risks involved. Johnson failed the test and he played varsity football as a sophomore. McAlister passed the test and he lost a year of varsity eligibility. Strange, indeed!
Los Angeles

Mr. Fimrite did a fine job in reporting the problems of the Pacific Eight Conference but, as a student at Santa Monica College, I cannot sit still when it is implied that Dr. Arthur Verge was guilty of tampering with McAlister's exam. Anyone connected with Santa Monica College who has known Dr. Verge will tell you that he is incapable of such an act.

Another point. Dr. Oluf Davidsen said the chances of the exam being changed in Iowa City were "one chance in a billion," since they are machine-graded. How does the exam get from the incoming mail onto the grading machine?
Sports Editor
Santa Monica College Corsair
Santa Monica, Calif.

On the basis of my current 3.5 GPA at San Diego State, I feel I can qualify as a "superior student," and when I took the ACT I conceivably made 63 erasures. This was not due to changing my mind, but due simply to the fact that I had intended to leave an answer space blank and return to that question. But by mistake I had put my answer to the succeeding question in that blank, making an entire row of answers incorrect and needing to be erased. This type of error, most often caused by concentration on the questions, can be a natural source of a gross number of erasures.

I must agree with Dr. Verge when he says the NCAA is trying to get itself off the hook.
Spring Valley, Calif.

In Whitney Tower's excellent piece on Jockey Laffit Pincay (He Has Them over a Barrel, Dec. 6), he mentioned that among Laffit's 1971 accomplishments were his 106 victories at Hollywood Park, which beat Johnny Longden's 105 set in 1948. He probably did not have the space to note that this is an asterisk-type record. Longden set his mark at a 50-day meeting, averaging 2.1 victories per day. Pincay's 106 were scored at a 75-day meet, his daily average coming to 1.4. Also, in Longden's era Hollywood Park ran only eight races per day as compared to nine a day during LaFeet's feat, thus making the new record even more deserving of an asterisk.
Lake San Marcos, Calif.

Happy endings are rare enough these days to qualify as news. So let it be recorded that Fordham University's ram mascot, Ramses XXIII (PEOPLE, NOV. 22), is alive, well and gamboling with the ewes on a farm in Stepney, Conn. after horn surgery. He will be on hand, however, for major athletic events on the Rose Hill campus.
Bronx, N.Y.

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