I was interested in your SCORECARD item (Jan. 18) about the disparity between the number of blacks playing pro football, baseball and basketball and the number employed in coaching and front-office jobs. Today, winning seems to be everything. I can't believe a qualified coach would be skipped over because of his or her race. This would make no sense when winning means filling seats. Let's stop looking at color and race percentages and start looking at winning percentages. Isn't that what big-time sports is all about?
Do Jesse Jackson and other civil rights leaders realize what they're doing in their fight against discrimination in sports? The best person should get the job, regardless of race or sex. When Jackson wrote Chicago Bear president Michael McCaskey to urge the promotion of assistant coach Johnny Roland to head coach, he didn't do it because he thinks Roland is the best person for the job. He did it because Roland is black. That is discrimination.
Cotton Bowl Renovation
After reading your SCORECARD report regarding the decline of New Year's Day bowl attendance (Jan. 11), we thought it was imperative to clarify the attendance figure of the 1993 Mobil Cotton Bowl. In preparation for World Cup 1994, renovation work to the Cotton Bowl Stadium has reduced our seating capacity from 72,032 to 71,615. Granted, attendance at this year's game was lower than in past years, but the reason was not lack of demand.
We wish to thank the college football fans of Notre Dame and Texas A&M and the city of Dallas for helping us achieve our eighth consecutive sellout.
Cotton Bowl Athletic Association
As a former junior member of the Glen Head (N.Y.) Country Club and a frequent golf partner of Senior Open winner Larry Laoretti's (Travelin' Man, Jan. 18), I can vouch for his fearless golf and his ability to party. I'll never forget the party one winter night when we hit chip shots off the host's valuable Persian rug, out the sliding back door and over the patio to a makeshift flagstick for far more than nickels.
It's interesting that Larry mentioned Tony Lema in the story, because there is a plaque on the 10th tee at Glen Head commemorating a promotional round that Champagne Tony played there one week before his death in a plane crash in 1966. Larry and Tony would have made some duo on the Senior tour.
Glen Head indeed seems to be a training ground for the "round belly" circuit. Besides Larry, its graduates include Mike Fetchick, who, at 63, was the oldest player to have won a Senior tour tournament; Al Kelley, a former winner on the Senior tour; and George Bayer, the longest hitter in the game back in the 1950s and early '60s.
Perhaps there's something in the water that comes out of the fountain near Lema's plaque.
Huntington Station, N.Y.
Having long been a reader of SI and its entertaining features on sports personalities, I found the story about Laoretti very interesting but would like to point out that the photograph by Damian Strohmeyer on page 42 shows Laoretti driving a motor home, not a mobile home, as it is referred to in the article.
Motor homes, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes, are homes with engines and can be driven, such as the one Laoretti is pictured in.
Mobile homes, while true to their name, must be towed, usually by large trucks, and do not have engines. They are generally thought of as more permanent fixtures.
RONALD H. EPSTEIN
Was this stone fountain the fountainhead of success for Champagne Tony and other top golfers?
[See caption above.]
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