Gwilym Brown's fine article Oh, How Gently Flows This Don (July 23) partially makes up for an almost total lack of the recognition due one of football's finest fellows.
I can still picture No. 13 slithering through the Oakland secondary, clutching Namath's bullet and tumbling to the turf on that damp December night. Howard Cosell tried to get excited and so did Frank Gifford. But they, like the Jets, got lost in the Raiders' rush to the playoffs. Don Maynard had become the alltime pro football pass receiver, but few stopped to say "congratulations."
EDWARD M. SMITH
Concerning your article on Don Maynard: he may have 632 receptions, but how can one justifiably put Maynard and his other AFL cohorts in the same class with those NFL reception leaders. Most of Maynard's receptions were made against minor-league-caliber football teams in the old AFL. Considering the competition that Ray Berry had in the NFL for 13 years, Berry's record is phenomenal.
The subject of an article on the game's alltime top receiver should be Lance Alworth, who holds records for seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and receptions in 96 consecutive games. Compared to Lance, Don Maynard lacks more than blocking ability and overall team play.
Statistically, he trails Alworth in receptions per year (45.1 to 49.3), in yardage per reception (18.7 to 18.9), in yardage per year (844 to 933) and in touchdowns per year (6.3 to 7.7).
Don Maynard is superior to Lance Alworth only in longevity.
Barry McDermott's article Bend an Ear to Billy's Music (July 23) was absolutely superb. As a somewhat devout member of the Chicago Cub fan populace, I was really astonished to even stumble on a piece of pro-Cub literature in a national magazine. It reassured me that there are Cub rooters elsewhere.
It's about time somebody recognized Billy Williams. For 13 years he has been consistent in every aspect of the game. He has hit 368 home runs, has over 2,320 lifetime hits and has driven in 1,250 runs. He also holds the NL record of playing 1,117 consecutive games, a mark that I doubt will ever be broken. Billy Williams deserves Most Valuable Player of the last decade.
BLOOD AND SWEAT
In your otherwise excellent article about pre-spring conditioning programs for college football (A Case of Volunteer—or Else, July 23) you twice make the statement that this type of activity doesn't go on in the Ivy League. While the assumption that lack of spring practice makes winter drills unnecessary would seem valid, it is just not true. I attended Yale in 1967-71 and prepared for two seasons on the varsity level at virtually mandatory conditioning sessions at the Payne Whitney gym on campus.
Weight lifting and conditioning drills were under the direct supervision of Head Coach Carmen Cozza and his football staff. All of us were "encouraged" to play handball after those sessions. On more than one occasion coaches told me to shave or get my hair cut. To my knowledge only football players participated in these sessions. I have no reason to believe that things are done any differently in New Haven today.
West Brewster, Mass.
Many thanks to SI for putting the off-season physical-conditioning programs into proper perspective.
The St. Petersburg Times' laudable efforts to expose the seamy side of college football were tarnished by a good deal of inaccurate reporting and by unfairly singling out one school, Florida Stale. The Times has led Floridians to believe unheard-of tortures were occurring at FSU while other schools gave players a warm teddy bear for the winter.
An accusing finger should be pointed at the NCAA for its vague rules that mean almost anything goes in these programs.
H. H. DE BEAUBIEN
Winter Park, Fla.
My sincere congratulations to Robert H. Boyle for his splendid article Buy Now and Cry Later (July 23). I hope that other states will follow the lead of California, Vermont and Maine in passing legislation that will halt the encroachment of the greedy land developers.
As you pointed out, not all developers are bad. Many sincerely attempt to make the remaining open spaces useful as well as enjoyable to all.
FREDERICK H. HART
La Mesa, Calif.
If Pulitzer Prizes are being given for brilliantly written exposés of illicit land development projects, I nominate Robert H. Boyle. Buy Now and Cry Later should be required reading for anyone over 40. And the magazine is to be congratulated for publishing such articles of revelation.
JANET M. TENNEY
Thanks so much for Robert H. Boyle's article. It is obvious that of all man's activities, his use of land has the most far-reaching impact on the environment. And of all man's land-use activities, the booming growth of the land-sales industry represents the most serious threat to our dwindling land resources. Hopefully, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED will continue to inform its readers on subjects such as this, and by doing so help to keep the word "resource" a part of the English language.
North Hollywood, Calif.
Three cheers for Dan Jenkins' article on the British Open (His First Hurrah, July 23). Having long admired Tom Weiskopf as a golfer, this story doubled my appreciation of him. It ranks as SI's best article since I began reading the magazine.
Dan Jenkins has made me shed a few tears for poor old Jack Nicklaus, the "walking corporation." All poor, over-the-hill Jack has done this year is win four tournaments and remain one of the top money-winners on the pro tour.
IN A NUTSHELL
In SCORECARD (July 2) you mention Ben Drisko's recent suggestion that rowing in unison may be the wrong approach in competitive crew racing. Your discussion certainly is "offbeat." The shell does not leap ahead "as the eight men dig their oars into the water simultaneously." It slows down. During the "arresting interval" between strokes, the hull velocity is as much as 25% greater than the average or "constant component." These peculiar effects are a consequence of the motion of the oarsmen on their slides during the stroke and run. Although a precise description requires some mathematics, these effects are obvious to anyone who has ever watched a crew race.
Incidentally, even overlooking the obvious problems of timing and coordination, the Drisko "octapede" style won't work. The shell would have to be slightly longer to allow the crew to execute the peculiar motions he suggests without interfering with one another. The longer boat would develop a somewhat higher drag. The turning moments resulting from time-varying unbalanced forces on either side of the shell would necessitate continuous steering corrections, with added drag penalties. Also, the stern oarsmen would be rowing in the puddles from the bow oars. Furthermore, it can be shown that the crew would have to row at a higher beat using the Drisko technique in order to deliver the same thrust as with the classical in-unison style. Therefore the octapede style is less efficient. These arguments are presented in detail in a paper submitted for the ASME Symposium on Mechanics in Sport to be held in Detroit in the fall.
DANIEL L. POPE
Mr. Drisko's idea of having oarsmen in an eight row sequentially was tried in England in 1929 by the London Rowing Club. The technique, dubbed the "syncopating eight," did not work. In order to row in this fashion the boat itself had to be lengthened to prevent pairs from interfering with each other while in differing position throughout the stroke cycle.
JACK H. FRAILEY
M.I.T. Crew Coach
THE WOMEN (CONT.)
Your excellent series of articles on the role of women in athletics (May 28 et seq.) prompted my writing you concerning the steps being taken by the California Legislature to give female students equal opportunity to participate in athletic programs in public schools. The California State Senate is considering Senate Bill 1227, which I authored; it will affect public elementary schools, high schools and community colleges. A companion bill applies to universities and colleges. It has just passed the Senate Education Committee and will be voted on in the near future.
The thrust of both bills is to require that schools and colleges provide equal opportunities for athletic participation for female and male students. More important, public funds will have to be allocated equally to athletic programs for male and female students, with allowances being made for differences in the cost of various athletic programs.
MERVYN M. DYMALLY
California State Senator
This is in reply to a letter (July 9) from James Day, President of the Athletic Association of Canada West University, concerning selective athletic competition for women. Mr. Day states his refusal to provide a program for women's ice hockey, which he finds "not appropriate." As part-time goaltender for Brown University's women's ice hockey team (the Pandas), I am moved to disagree.
For 10 years the Pandas have been lacing up and taking to the ice, thus making us the oldest American women's collegiate ice hockey team. Admittedly the beginnings were modest, with many of the women struggling on worn figure skates and making do with limited ice time, equipment, coaching and competition. We were virtually ignored by the male-dominated university athletic department. Despite the poor conditions, the Pandas continued to play.
But the times, thankfully, are changing. The men's and women's athletic departments have merged into a single unit. The Pandas now enjoy a workable budget, more ice time, a multiple coaching staff, uniforms, an organized intercollegiate schedule (against teams from Colby, Cornell and Loyola of Montreal, among others) and are getting some much-needed publicity.
Perhaps Mr. Day and others should peel the blinders off their eyes and realize that for some women "icing" means more than the sweet stuff on top of cake.
After losing our 14th straight Little League game, it was refreshing to read Bill Veeck's comments in SCORECARD (July 9): "Little League...exists for parents who are trying vicariously to recover an ability of their own that never really existed." I knew there had to be a reason for me to stand out in 95° weather and try to teach baseball to 10-year-olds. May his wooden leg get termites.
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