I must comment on the great work John Underwood did in his article about the Miami running duo, Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick (The Blood and Thunder Boys, Aug. 7). It reveals how these two men play the game: for laughs, thrills, glory and, more or less, for fun.
Miami is a good team, and more articles should be written on its leaders.
John Underwood's article on Jim Kiick and Larry Csonka was excellent and I enjoyed every bit of it. I was glad to read that Kiick, like so many participants in sports at all levels, dislikes practice. It is my belief that most other pros feel the same but don't want to jeopardize their positions by admitting it. Then again, if one is as good as Kiick or Csonka, he doesn't have much to worry about, does he?
Once again you have praised the Dynamic Dodos, Botch Casualty and the Some Dunce Kid, alias Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick. You spoke so highly of these two last year you had your readers believing they had some talent. But after the Super Mismatch, where Csonka and Kiick stumbled, bumbled and fumbled their way as the Miami Dolphins were totally annihilated, fans realized they were overrated and undertested against a good defense.
To whom is Larry Csonka's derisive gesture directed? As an alumnus and former athlete of Syracuse University, I want to apologize for Larry's blatant arrogance. Not all athletes from Syracuse are as childish as Larry appears to be on your Aug. 7 cover.
JAMES A. ROSELL
Congratulations for a splendid article citing the origins of the All-Star football and baseball games founded by my father, Arch Ward (When the Stars Cross, Aug. 7). I disagree, however, that he would have been surprised at the reluctance of some of today's stars to play in the games. In fact, he personally recruited numerous football players during World War II when talent was scarce, and injuries always have worried rookies with futures at stake. He had to hard-sell both games at the beginning and kept selling right up to his death. I think he would be amazed at their continued success.
I thoroughly enjoyed the article, but I am one of those who think Mickey Lolich should have started for the American League instead of Jim Palmer. Lolich was leading the majors in wins, and he could become a 30-game winner despite the shortened season. He is also climbing on the alltime strikeout list, but he has never won the Cy Young Award. Last year it went to the fluke from Oakland, Vida Blue.
As can be easily verified upon examination, the remarks of Avery Brundage at the Amsterdam Session of the IOC had no more effect on the voting for the venue of the Games of the XXIst Olympiad than the July 24 issue of SI (Defender of the Faith). There was little in my remarks that had not been said before. They were not intended to affect the vote, nor did they influence even one vote. The members of the IOC had made up their minds which city they were going to support long before.
To say "Avery sold out the United States" is ludicrous. Such a criticism might be directed against Los Angeles, since it killed the oft-repeated invitation from Detroit by circulating reports that "Detroit is a dirty factory city." The assumption that Los Angeles is the United States is typical. I voted for Los Angeles, not because I thought it had a chance, but because I was sure that after the crude maneuvers it would be a debacle. One need only read Mr. Kilroy's description of his campaign to obtain the Games for Los Angeles to know why he did not succeed. Nothing less calculated to impress members of the IOC could very well have been devised.
The long-functioning and more sophisticated Los Angeles Committee for the Olympic Games, which operated for many years under the chairmanship of Bill Henry, the Los Angeles Times columnist, and other prominent citizens with a knowledge of Olympic procedure, was practically ignored.
International Olympic Committee
I was extremely excited and very glad to see that your article on the National Team Championship was devoted almost entirely to Jack Lewis Jr. (Teaching Junior the Palmer Method, Aug. 7). As a classmate of Jack's at Wake Forest, I can assure you without hesitation that anyone who was at Wake Forest with Jack does not consider him an unknown. His brilliant play and unfailing sportsmanship as captain of Wake Forest's golf team made him something of a celebrity. I find it hard to understand how sportswriters making a living writing about golf could have failed to hear of this former Walker Cupper, North and South champion and the only amateur to qualify for and then complete all four rounds in both the Masters and the U.S. Open in 1968.
I remember Jack as being a genuinely all-round nice guy with a tremendous talent for life as well as golf. I believe anyone who knows him well would agree he deserves to go far, and with his earnest dedication I am sure he will.
Myron Cope should be praised for his reporting of the Arnold Palmer-Bruce Crampton argument. He did not do such a bad job covering Palmer's choice to replace Jack Nicklaus, either. But if he was attempting to write about the National Team Championship, he failed. Babe Hiskey and Kermit Zarley won the tournament, yet their names were hardly mentioned.
Palmer, Nicklaus, Crampton and others make news every week. So when unknowns win a tournament, how about letting us know something about them?
When are journalists as a whole and SI in particular going to refrain from sacrificing a lamb or two or three in order to display the sharpness of the wolf's teeth? Although this approach sometimes seems humorous to a portion of the population there are many of us who find it nauseating. Has it finally become necessary to publicly intimidate and ultimately destroy Bruce Crampton in order to positively guarantee Arnold Palmer's future assignment as Greenskeeper Emeritus of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Peter's?
Galleries, to use the alleged words of Bruce Crampton, are "unruly and discourteous." I have caddied for Miller Barber while he was playing with Palmer, and the gallery's behavior was totally out of place and not fair to anyone. Also, several years ago I played golf with Bruce Crampton in a pro-junior event. He was charming as a person and exceptional as an instructor. At the recent Byron Nelson Classic, Crampton was the only contestant who signed virtually all of the autographs that were requested of him, while Palmer, Nicklaus and the rest escaped after token signings.
Why must SI resort to gross character distortion and dreams of events that never were instead of reporting the feats of two fine athletes, Kermit Zarley and Babe Hiskey, 72 magnificently played holes and the merits of the PGA National Team Championships?
C. EDWARD NOYES
To cope with Myron Cope in the sports arena is analogous to defending oneself with an unloaded BB gun against a 300-pound grizzly! His coverage of the National Team Championships at Laurel Valley Country Club, and especially his insight on the one-sided team effort of one A. Palmer and J. Lewis, was, to say the least, a sizzler. I look forward with avid interest to the day when SI dares to write an article on Marvelous Myron. A Howard Cosell he ain't, but he is just as colorful.
Thanks to Harold Peterson for bringing attention to the amazing Cesar Cedeno (Hail, Cesar! And Hello, Aug. 7). Only 21, he is the sparkplug of a talented Houston team that is bidding for its first pennant. The Orange Crush may not make it this year, but the rest of the league, the Big Red Machine included, had better be on the lookout for it in the years to come.
Your story was extremely timely. On Aug. 2 Cesar hit a single, a double, a triple and a home run in one game against Cincinnati. It shows that, with Cedeno, the Astros still have a good chance to make it into the World Series.
Although I am a New Yorker and there is supposed to be a rivalry between the Mets and Houston, Cesar has always been one of my favorite players. His 40 doubles last year were a fantastic achievement, considering how long he has been in pro ball. When MVP voting time rolls around, Cedeno should be one of the first nominated. Harry Walker compares him to Roberto Clemente, but Ty Cobb would have been a better choice. While Cesar may not be as aggressive a player as Ty was in his prime, he is still the best all-round player today.
NICHOLAS VON ARNOLD
Bay Shore, N.Y.
Harold Peterson's article on Cesar Cedeno gave due credit to a great ballplayer, but he should be treated as a talented human being, not some remote god.
Your cover story on Robyn Smith was a welcome relief after tedious weeks of Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Unitas and Bobby Hull. Frank Deford's portrayal goes far to debunk the myth, while enhancing the mystery of the woman—which in itself is quite fascinating.
Perhaps underemphasized in the article is the fearlessness, level of ability and accomplishment of Jockey Smith. Unmentioned is Aug. 14, 1971 when she set the track record at Saratoga for seven furlongs on Beaukins, changing leads and whipping left-handed while beating Kennedy Road, Process Shot and Judgable in 1:21[2/5].
Despite her professed admiration for Eddie Arcaro, there is no jockey in the country who rides shorter in the irons than Robyn. Her unscarred countenance and high winning percentage attest to the fact that her horsemanship and sense of balance are unmatched by stronger jockeys. Most impressive about the girl is her fearlessness on a sloppy or muddy track.
As for Robyn's being lovely, the author shows little taste in even raising the question. The pictures speak louder than his words.
JOHN K. SHEAR
New York City
I thought that of all magazines SI would appreciate the tremendous contributions and struggles of today's women in sports. However, I found you quite malicious in the article concerning Robyn Smith, respected in horse racing as well as in the eyes of women who are trying to reverse the attitude that makes some men think women are good only for sex, cooking and washing.
Robyn has found a life that she loves but which must have held many personal sorrows and sufferings. If anything, she should be praised for her Don Quixote attitude in struggling to make herself into something that she and others can be proud of. Like all of us, she is searching for her own happiness, and isn't that what we as human beings are entitled to?
Frank Deford truly showed his male chauvinist piggism when he consistently referred to Robyn's attractiveness or lack of it now that she is a jockey.
Poor Deford was probably dismayed because she remained a person instead of a sexual object. I admire her for being herself and not being intimidated.
MARY JANE BAGWELL
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