I was a little disappointed in Paul Zimmerman's article about the NFC playoff game between the Eagles and the Bears (The Game Was Lost in the Fog, Jan. 9). Why so much commotion about the fog? Football was meant to be played outside, on real grass, no matter what the conditions. Unfortunately, it has been put on carpeting, brought in out of the weather and made so protective that you can't even hit a quarterback or have a real fumble. I would rather watch a game that I can only half see, like that Eagles and Bears game, than one of the other variety in full view. Hurray to the NFL for allowing a glimpse of the real thing.
Your article reminded me of a 1961 game in which I was a senior quarterback at Centennial High in Portland, Ore. We were playing Beaverton High, the eventual Metro League champion, when a dense fog rolled in and reduced visibility to about 30 feet. We could not see the grandstand across the field.
Zimmerman's story quotes [Eagles owner] Norman Braman as saying officials "wouldn't have known if there were 22 players on the field or 16," and describes the Bears "crowding the short receivers and taking their chances with anything deep." We went one better than the Bears. We used 12 players. I'll never forget a naive junior's startled look when he was told to "go in, play deep safety and tell the other safeties to crowd the line with the linebackers." He said. "Coach, who am I going in for?"
"No one," was the coach's reply. "The fog is so thick the ref will never notice you." He was right: The referees never noticed.
Did our cheating help? Yes, it did. It helped us keep the score down. We lost only 39-7.
REV. DR. JOHN E. VAWTER
When I saw your photos of the Bears-Eagles NFC playoff game, I was reminded of another Fog Bowl. In your Dec. 20, 1965, issue, you ran a story on the Packers-Colts game played in the fog at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore (below) in which running back Paul Hornung's five touchdowns led Green Bay to a 42-27 win and into the NFL Western Division lead, which the Colts had held. The pictures were great. I ripped one out, put it on my wall and left it up to enjoy for two years.
•Here's that 1965 photo showing an interception in the mist by the Packers' Dave Robinson.—ED.
DR. Z'S ALL-PROS
Paul Zimmerman really missed the boat by leaving Chicago linebacker Mike Singletary off his team (PRO FOOTBALL, Dec. 26-Jan. 2). Zimmerman's comment that Singletary excels largely because "he has those great tackles. [Dan] Hampton and [Steve] McMichael, to take some of the heat off" is simply not true. Singletary did yeoman service in keeping the defense intact in a year in which Wilber Marshall. Otis Wilson. William Perry. Shaun Gayle, Gary Fencik and Richard Dent were traded, retired or had season-ending injuries. It's time Singletary got some credit.
JOEL M. MOSBACHER
C'mon, Dr. Z. Miami offensive line coach John Sandusky as Coach of the Year? You must know that there's more to an offense than just sacks allowed. The Dolphins were dead last in rushing yards, and the offensive line had more than just a little to do with that. Unfortunately, Sandusky did only half the job.
HOWARD M. KELRICK
Like many people in Tuscaloosa, I have become resigned to seeing a certain amount of less-than-flattering attention focused upon the relationship between the football program at the University of Alabama and its followers. I was not surprised, therefore, to see your article Chicken Curry and Aggie Stew (Dec. 12).
Although coach Bill Curry lacks the unquestioned support of the faithful, the preoccupation of the national media with the grumblers has become wearisome. Believe it or not, a good many people throughout Alabama stand behind him. We believe that, given a little time and support, Curry will produce.
The comparison that you made between the trials of Curry and those of Texas A & M coach Jackie Sherrill is not without merit, but you failed to drive home the distinction: Curry, a man of consistent integrity, has received a strong endorsement from the university president and the chairman of the board of trustees, while Sherrill has led his program to the brink of the "death penalty" with the lame excuse, "I never told you that we were pure."
While I concur with your assertion that Curry needs an SEC title to quiet the criticism, I wish you had been more objective in your approach to this story.
DAVID H. WICKS
WALTER IOOSS JR.
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.