HEMINGWAY'S JOURNAL (CONT.)
Reviewing your 19TH HOLE section indicates dissent may be an affront to your editorial pride—there is so little of it printed. Surely no subject can have much vitality or worth if it creates no dissenting interest. With that I volunteer the possibility that I may be your only reader who thinks you added little of value to your magazine with the Hemingway collection of notes to himself (An African Journal, Dec. 20 et seq.). It is nothing more than a curiosity piece anyway.
For this admirer of Ernest Hemingway in his most vital and productive years, his reputation needs no enhancing or defending. A good thing, because this did neither. What a pity if there should be latecomers who will think this was the real Hemingway—that this was what Hemingway was all about.
I doubt that even the author cared much for this random collection of whatever you want to call it. His sticking it away unfinished and uncoordinated makes one wonder if he knew what to do with it. Inspiration one day might have whipped it into form—who knows, maybe even another masterpiece. But this is not it. And like all exhumation proceedings, this one, too, seems only sad.
EUGENE J. DESRUELLES
"The time of shooting beasts for trophies was long past for me"—Ernest Hemingway. For some less famous, less intelligent people, it never arrived.
EMIL J. SMITH JR.
I enjoy your magazine each week, but I was especially informed and entertained by Ernest Hemingway's African Journal. Hunting was the one sport I could not relate to. After reading the journal I cannot remember why.
Crown Point, Ind.
I am appalled at the insipid comment of one of your readers (19TH HOLE, Jan. 10) concerning your publication of Miss Mary's Lion. I find this journal to be not only a credit to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for its literary worth but also to the memory of the Nobel Prize winner who wrote it. Ernest Hemingway was an excellent sportsman in his own right.
DONALD R. NIMS
Cave City, Ky.
Of course there will be the usual bellowing about keeping sports in a sports magazine. This is to be expected from a few inarticulate readers. But the publishing of Hemingway's extraordinary manuscript marks a peak, I believe, in SI's own innovative endeavor to bring to its readers something more in sport than the usual weekly articles on current events. More than this, SI's publication of a major literary figure reflects a faith in the literate tastes of its readers that I, for one, welcome and congratulate.
CHARLES DE LISLE
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Best thanks to K. M. Bennett of Bellaire, Texas for letting us know (19TH HOLE, Jan. 10) that Hemingway was "the greatest user of the English language." We used to think it was Shakespeare.
It is a beautiful piece of work—tender, true, real and surprisingly very funny. His comments on wives, past and present, and on other authors are priceless. It proves that E.H. was a sensitive man who saw himself quite clearly and who thought deeply about things that mattered. And oh, how that man could write! Thank you for letting your readers share it.
After eight years as a "season-ticket" holder of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, I can no longer contain myself. Dan Jenkins' article All Yours, Nebraska (Jan. 10) is symbolic of the SI effort that transcends the boundaries of imaginative, factual reporting and treads deeply into thought-provoking, creative writing that challenges the mind of the reader.
Mr. Jenkins was bold enough to report what clearly was a misjudgment in the officials' safety call in the Rose Bowl game. Everyone in front of my set saw the mistake on the replay, but nowhere could we find support. Only in SI could we find justification for our feelings. Had Stanford lost 12-10 as a result of that dubious call, one wonders if anyone other than SI would have rallied to the defense of the spirited Pacific Eight challenger. It was indeed a sweet victory.
I have long been a fan of Nebraska football and have never quite thought they got a fair shake or enough credit in your magazine until the fine article by Dan Jenkins. I hate to admit it, but he almost overdid it!
MICHAEL J. CONRIN
I was deeply saddened by your snide reference to the "myth of Auburn, Pat Sullivan and the mesh jersey." Pat Sullivan and Auburn have been greatly, maligned ever since that fine young man was awarded the Heisman Trophy, and many good people deeply resent those critics who are not familiar with the accomplishments of Sullivan and Auburn under all circumstances. I can assure you that Auburn and Sullivan are no myth.
Sullivan and Terry Beasley (Underneath That 7 Is an S, Nov. 22) played at Auburn when that school was not blessed with a great wealth of talent. Nevertheless, Pat led Auburn to a regular-season record of 25 wins and five losses in three years and helped gain three bowl invitations while building up great statistics and many records of his own. I think that you and a great number of other people owe Mr. Sullivan and Auburn a direct apology.
ROBERT W. GERSON
It came out just as we figured it would. Nebraska and Alabama topped the bunch with a whopping 1,772 words. Michigan and Stanford followed with 564. Oklahoma and Auburn pulled a respectable 141. And, yes, football fans, Penn State was left in the dust with a dismal seven words for its mauling of Texas.
Was Dan Jenkins eating his turkey during the Cotton Bowl game? Hardly a mention of Penn State's accomplishment in shutting off Texas without a touchdown for the first time in 80 games. And on the Long-horns' own turf, too. Perhaps the sports-writers who downgraded Penn State after its loss to Tennessee are not big enough to eat their crow in public.
JOHN J. BUCKLEY
PICKS AND PICKERS
Every year my father, brothers and I have a contest to see who can correctly pick the Top 20 college football teams. Our selections are made before the first week of play begins and our systems of determining the winner is as follows: five points for each team correctly picked to finish No. 1 to No. 5; four points for each team correctly picked to finish No. 6 to No. 10; three points for each team correctly picked to finish No. 11 to No. 15; and two points for each team correctly picked to finish No. 16 to No. 20. In addition, we award one point for every team correctly picked to finish in the Top 20 and one point if you pick the exact position a team finishes in. We use the final Associated Press poll as our guide.
Based on our system, I won our contest this year with 29 points. My brothers and father had 24, 25 and 24 points respectively. As a basis of comparison, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED had the highest point total of all with 32 points. Other finishers were the Associated Press preseason poll with 24 points, Playboy magazine with 24 points and the Don Carr ratings with 29 points.
For the 1970 season, my older brother won our contest with 34 points, and the other members of my family finished with 31. SI also finished with 34 points that year. Other 1970 finishers were the AP with 32 points (or 36, if you count alternates; the AP picked three teams for the preseason No. 20 spot and two No. 20s in the final) and Playboy with 24.
Congratulations. The SI staff of pickers has remained undefeated (though once tied) for the last two years.
MICHAEL W. HUGHES
Congratulations on your fine article on the Kentucky Colonels (They Had to Let the Dog Go, but They Kept the Bite, Jan. 3). It is obvious to any knowledgeable basketball fan that the ABA is rapidly coming of age and that Kentucky, Indiana, Utah and Virginia could compete with any of the NBA teams. Also, the overall league balance in the ABA is rapidly improving with the influx of new young talent each year. NBA fans are going to have to swallow a bitter pill in the near future, the same type of pill NFL fans consumed a few years back.
RONALD ECKERT, M.D.
I do not agree completely with your editorial "Changing Times" (SCORECARD, Jan. 3). You noted that Condredge Holloway will probably become the first black quarterback at Tennessee next fall. This is true. He is a superathlete, but I do not think he will change the times at Tennessee. Tennessee and Kentucky were the first schools in the Southeastern Conference to open their doors wide to black football players. Lester McClain was Tennessee's first black gridder in 1967. Jack Walker, a black linebacker, made All-America at Tennessee this year. Walker was the captain of the 1971 Vols.
I agree that times are changing at Mississippi State and Alabama, but Condredge Holloway is just making the times great at Tennessee, not changed.
Now that the bowl games are over and the final football ratings are out, I'd like to offer a rebuttal to John Classé's letter (19TH HOLE, Jan. 3) concerning the Dream Bowl game and conference ratings.
Mr. Classé's statistics lead me to a different conclusion—the Big Eight, not the SEC, is the strongest conference. The Big Eight's 78% season winning percentage against other major conferences as compared with the SEC's 67% figure is undoubtedly the single most significant criterion by which to judge superiority. Though the SEC won 83% of its games against all other opponents as compared with the Big Eight's 77%, this factor must be considered in the light of the caliber of the nonconference schedules. On that point, the Big Eight would seem to rank with any conference.
The final national polls show a Big Eight sweep of the top three places, a remarkable achievement. There are probably many outside the Big Eight who agree that Nebraska and Oklahoma rank not only in a class by themselves this season, but also among the alltime best among all conferences.
If you average the two percentages (record against major-conference foes and record against all other opponents), the Big Eight averages 77.5% and the Southeastern Conference 75%, followed by the Pacific Eight 47%; Southwestern Conference 43.5%; Atlantic Coast Conference 41.5% and the Big Ten 34.5%.
If one were to use the bowl games as a comparison, the Big Eight won two of the three games in which the Big Eight and SEC were matched, and by convincing margins! However, LSU did whip Iowa State.
The Big Eight is the top football conference in the nation, with the Southeastern Conference a close second.
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