NOT ALL DUCK SOUP
Oregon State? Oregon State who? I certainly wouldn't have known from your Feb. 25 cover story (Ambush on the Oregon Trail), so allow me to inform you. Oregon State is the team that broke UCLA's 49-game winning streak in the Pacific Eight. It is the team that broke down and humiliated the awesome UCLA offense and blazed the trail for a similar UCLA defeat at the hands of a University of Oregon team led by an imitation Paul Miller named Bruce Coldren.
You speak of Oregon's "Kamikaze" team, let's speak of an Oregon State team that dared to start three freshmen, a junior and one senior against the No. 1 team in the nation—and won!
After reading Kenny Moore's article on UCLA's losses to Oregon State and Oregon, I can't help wondering if he was wearing his University of Oregon letterman's jacket when he wrote it.
In case no one has mentioned it, UCLA has felt the effects of an interesting new application of the now famous Oregon Plan: 1) On odd-numbered days Oregon State will beat you; 2) on even-numbered days Oregon will beat you.
I can only assume that neither Oregon State nor Oregon will play basketball on Sundays.
EDWARD H. SMITH JR.
Regarding Kenny Moore's story, there are no secret formulas as to what happened to UCLA over the "lost weekend." Gracious sakes, with the reams of publicity, you'd think that UCLA was dropping basketball! Lest the public forget, the most exciting and satisfying NCAA tournament in recent years occurred in 1970 and was won by a UCLA team that also had lost two Pac Eight contests and was reported to be drained emotionally by a 13-point loss at Eugene followed by a one-point loss to USC immediately before the NCAAs. The only "intensive care" the Walton Gang needs is a game that is do or die, and there is one more of those coming up.
As a charter subscriber still clutching my original copy to my breast, I feel compelled to write my very first fan letter—to anybody. Frank Deford's Rites and Wrongs of Spring (Feb. 25) is the greatest piece of news since my last IRS refund. He has captured the feelings of all us "oldtimers." The clichés on page 73 were magnificent and surely must have brought back memories to anyone who can recall when the only daily crisis was whether or not there would be enough guys in the PS 81 schoolyard to start a stickball game.
I really couldn't care less if you publish this or not, but please assure Mr. Deford that there are a few more of us left who still think along the same lines.
Frank Deford's has to be the best preseason piece any sports publication has ever printed. Now those of us who itch and yearn and recollect over baseball but are overladen with Edmonton Oilers' and Portland Trail Blazers' scores and summaries can hold on valiantly until the advance guard gets to Florida and Arizona and the glorious ritual begins.
B. J. McCORMICK
San Marcos, Calif.
I congratulate Frank Deford on his article. I'm not even 21, but for me the promise of spring training every year seems to be the one bright spot at the end of a dreary winter. I hope I never lose the illusion of the Grapefruit League, and I wish everyone could experience the magic feeling that spring training and the anticipation of the coming baseball season can give to those who truly love the game.
My thanks to you, Mr. Deford, for a job well done.
With regard to the letter in the Feb. 25 issue from Mr. Bernard Levy, executive director of the Louisiana Superdome, I would like to state the facts about some of the items mentioned by Mr. Levy. He was not directly connected with the stadium project in its early stages, and thus may actually believe the statements he made about the original concept of the stadium to be correct. These same statements have been used for several years by certain Louisiana politicians and others backing the stadium.
To begin with, the Louisiana legislature did not "authorize a revenue bond issue of $129.5 million" in 1971 (after the state legislature and voters approved in 1966 a stadium they were told would cost between $30 million and $35 million). The legislature in 1971 voted to instruct the stadium commission to put a ceiling of $129.5 million on the costs, following a series of lawsuits and a considerable outcry from the public over the rising costs. (Mr. Levy says the current cost figure is $163,313,215.)
Mr. Levy says the "entire concept and location [of the stadium] changed...between 1966 and 1971." Stadium backers have claimed the stadium was moved from a suburban to a downtown location at a considerable increase in cost. The fact is that the downtown location, with the exception of the 5,000-car parking facility, was actively considered from the beginning and was included in the original cost estimates.
Mr. Levy says the original design called for a stadium "seating 50,000 and featuring only sports events." This is untrue. The original stadium, the one approved in 1966 by the legislature and the people of Louisiana, called for 60,000 seats and almost all of the nonsports facilities for conventions, trade shows, restaurants, offices, etc. currently included in the project. In fact, in the original 1966 research on the stadium, sports events accounted for only 16.1% of the event days listed in a projected calendar of events in the stadium.
As proof of my statements, I refer you to the final report of the Gulf South Research Institute, dated Oct. 11, 1966, including the following quote from page 11: "The data presented in this research were used by the Governor's special Stadium Finance Committee to prepare the financing plan included in the bill passed by the Legislature." This was the only research done on the stadium at that time, and was widely used to "sell" the stadium to the voters in the statewide election in November 1966.
Even Mr. Levy's stadium capacity figure of 80,101 is questionable. Mr. Earl Stohl, project engineer for the stadium architect-engineer team, says there is no way to know exactly how many seats will be in the stadium until they are actually installed, but these figures will be close: for football, 71,827 seats; for a Super Bowl game, including standing room, 75,795.
Baton Rouge, La.
HOMING IN ON HOCKEY
Thanks to Mark Mulvoy for the vignettes of Canadian and American hockey madness (Bold Blades from Sea to Sea, Feb. 25). I especially enjoyed the section on Minnesota high school hockey, which certainly is religion around here. Witness the fact that the Metropolitan Sports Center (home of the North Stars) is packed for the state tournament despite statewide television coverage of each game. One correction: Hibbing has not won the state title twice in the past two years. Its victory came last year after the Bluejackets upset defending champion International Falls in the semifinals.
While many Twin Citians would dispute the contention that "the Iron Range Conference is the best high school league in the country," I prefer to believe it. The Range teams' overall depth is hard to argue with and their consistent success in the state tournament speaks for itself. This becomes even more significant when one considers that they must travel south to Minneapolis for the tournament each year and play the metropolitan area teams in their own backyard.
When I saw that the article mentioned collegiate hockey, I was overjoyed, but I was hurt that you did not mention the Michigan Tech Huskies, who for the past couple of months have been rated No. 1 in the nation. Our school of 5,000 doesn't have much more to brag about than its engineers, its drinkers and its hockey team. The first two categories understandably don't deserve articles in your magazine, but I would like to see some praise given to Coach John MacInnes and his players. Hopefully, they will be going on to the NCAA championship.
Mr. Parkinson in his letter (Feb. 18) calls the Philadelphia Flyers "undertalented Neanderthals" and talks of how they have disgraced hockey. This team that disgraces hockey is drawing record crowds around the league. In fact, the largest crowd (near 20,000) ever to witness a Canadiens game saw Montreal beat the Flyers on Jan. 7, and our team is sold out for the entire season at the Spectrum (17,007). As to the comment that the Flyers' game is fighting, well, when you've got the MVP in Bobby Clarke, a second center like Rick MacLeish, All-Star defensemen in Ed Van Impe and Joe Watson, and the best goalie in the league in Bernie Parent, it's difficult to believe that all they Jo is fight.
As to Parkinson's comments on the limited talents of Dave Schultz, last week he led the league in shooting percentage: 18 goals in 78 shots (.230). Behind him were Yvan Cournoyer and John Bucyk at .222 and .217. True, Schultz also leads the league in penalty minutes. At his present pace he will easily break Keith Magnuson's single-season record of 291, and could reach 400. But people should remember Dave usually takes someone to the box with him.
People are paying to see the Flyers fight, but also to see a great young offensive and defensive machine that will eventually take the Stanley Cup.
I really can't blame a Boston Bruin fan for considering the Flyers "a team of undertalented Neanderthals." I've come to expect foolish statements from Bruin fans who shower their own rink with bottles and cans. Quick, somebody notify the authorities to confiscate all belts, shoelaces and razor blades in the Boston Garden. That's right, friends, it's time for a sanity test.
I concur with Roone Arledge's caustic comment regarding Ray Scott's inaccuracy (SCORECARD, Feb. 18). I have long been of the opinion that Scott was the worst of all announcers in this respect, and considering the fact that he rarely offers more than yard markers, identifying players, etc., his shortcoming is all the more alarming. In the 1972 Super Bowl I sat down when the game started to record his errors. I stopped in the middle of the second quarter with the count already at 23.
RICHARD J. DAVIS
Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
Listening to the commentary during the Los Angeles Open golf tournament should settle the argument about the best television announcer. Ray Scott may have a great voice but his dissertation revealed very little knowledge of golf and even less ability to recognize the players. Typical carry-over from his football announcing.
Howard Supermouth is my choice.
A.B. BOWER JR.
St. Clair Shores, Mich.
HONEY SHOTS (CONT.)
As frustrated Stanford males, my roommate and I can fully identify with Andy Sidaris' opinion concerning Stanford women (SCORECARD, Feb. 11). We are sure Andy will get a lot of flack from our offended females, but the truth hurts and he hit a nerve. And please don't send hairbrushes; you wouldn't try to overhaul an automobile engine with only a screwdriver.
How can Andy Sidaris of ABC television consider himself an authority on girl watching? He can't even tell a coed from a chorus girl. He has some nerve to give a blanket condemnation of Big Ten coeds after his selection of honey shots at the 1972 UCLA-USC football game. On at least three separate occasions ABC-TV flashed its nationwide audience a closeup of skin-flick starlet Edy Williams. If she had been clothed in anything less than her UCLA blue-and-gold bikini when she whipped open her fur coat for Sidaris' camera, Chris Schenkel and Bud Wilkinson would probably have swallowed their microphones and ABC-TV would indeed have set a record for the most comprehensive college football coverage (or uncoverage).
ERIC E. JAKEL
I can only wonder if my ABC friend Andy Sidaris is really old enough to remember the styles of 1812. Perhaps he has been locked in that dark truck too long watching too many pictures at the same time. Or maybe his usually voyeuristic cameramen are deceiving him here on The Farm, fearful that an overly stimulating Stanford "honey shot" might just bring the little fellow in the truck right out of his elevator shoes.
At any rate, our roving camera focused on 15 luscious beauties in less than 30 minutes in a recent Saturday afternoon while meandering among a rugby game, a swimming meet and an afternoon basketball contest. The next time that big ABC truck rolls this way we'll have our staff at the famed Stanford Medical Center examine little Andy and tend to any lingering wounds from the War of 1812.
Sports Information Director
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, TIME & LIFE Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.