The article by Mr. Canham, track coach at the University of Michigan, entitled, Russia Will Win the 1956 Olympics (SI, Oct. 25) was true in every detail and shocking in its conclusions. Something revolutionary in the training of our track and field athletes would have to be organized in order for us to be a contending nation in the next Olympic Games, to be held in Melbourne, Australia in 1956.
I have created a plan which I believe will go far toward accomplishing a basis for preventing the complete humiliation of our track and field forces in Melbourne.
Beginning in June 1955, and going through to approximately September 1st, with the help of the fine people of Utah, some 125 training track and field men will be invited to Salt Lake City, together with approximately 20 nationally known coaches, for the express purpose of spending some 90 days toward improving the times and/or distances of each individual athlete.
It will be purely voluntary on the part of each boy. He may come if invited, providing he is within the standard set by the Salt Lake City track and field forum for his particular event. By engaging in daily workouts with men of equal ability, it is impossible to believe that at least a few in each event covering the entire Olympic calendar will not improve sufficiently to the point where they may be counted upon to not only successfully make the Olympic Team, but win points at Melbourne.
The city of Salt Lake, as well as the governor of the state, are completely enthusiastic about this forum. The mayor of the city, the president of the University, the publishers of the two local newspapers, the Chamber of Commerce, and the board of directors of the Quarterback Club are all enthusiastic about carrying the forum to completion.
In order that the entire idea would not meet with any resistance from either the National AAU or the Olympic Track and Field Committee, I personally attended their combined convention at Miami Beach, Fla. on November 24-26.
The report made by Dr. Lloyd W. Olds, Chairman of the National AAU Men's Track and Field Committee, is herewith quoted: "Mr. William Cox of the Salt Lake City track and field forum, gave a talk on a plan for the Salt Lake City clinic, to be financed by the city of Salt Lake, in the state of Utah. Mr. D.K. Penny moved and it was seconded by Mr. Stenke, that the Salt Lake City track and field forum proposition be approved in principle, provided that there be no conflict of dates and that it be conducted without violation of the amateur code and the clinic officials shall consult with an AAU Committee of three members to be appointed by the Chairman of the AAU Track and Field Committee.
"The above action was contained in Dr. Olds' report made to the Board of Governors of the National AAU on November 28, 1954, which report was approved."
I was agreeably surprised at the interest shown by at least 50 individuals while at the convention. The armed services, the women's track and field group, all inquired for permission to send their athletes to Salt Lake City during the period mentioned above.
The program itself will be repeated in 1956. The final date will be extended to October 1st in order to keep the athletes in top condition as long as possible.
Nothing like this has ever been attempted in America. The jurisdiction over the training of our athletes is not contained within any one isolated body. The courage and foresight of the people of Salt Lake will give America something to be proud of.
Of course this does not contain the multitudinous details which such an ambitious undertaking implies. These details will, of course, be brought out as the forum develops.
Thanks very much for a very readable article from Mr. Canham, and I hope that my plan will be fully acceptable to track coaches everywhere who can, in their own way, make the Salt Lake City forum successful.
WILLIAM D. COX
Salt Lake City
•SI is glad to present Mr. Cox's plan for preparing some of our track and field men for the big tests to come and would be as interested as Mr. Cox to hear the opinions of our readers.—ED.
NOW I'LL MAKE IT
When I opened SI (Dec. 6) and saw the beautiful two-page photograph by Ray Atkeson of the ski jumper, it did my old Vermont heart good. I realized once again all the wonderful sensations one undergoes as one glides down a snow-capped mountain on skis. My interest in skiing has always been keen, which is due in part to the fact that I live in the small village of Jeffersonville, Vt., which is nestled at the foot of Mount Mansfield on the Smugglers Notch side.... My skiing this winter will be limited. However, if SI continues to put out these fine articles I believe I will be able to make it through the winter. A great job, keep it up. This issue was an excellent one, as all of them have been.
WILLIAM B. SKIFF
MULTOPOR HIGH POINT
Being a skier of sorts, I was very happy to see your article on skiing in the U.S. in the Dec. 6 issue. The high point of the whole article was the superb picture of the jumper on Multopor Mountain. I heartily congratulate Ray Atkeson for one of the best ski pictures I have ever seen. I have been a subscriber to your magazine since just after the first issue, and I have found every one packed with interesting articles and terrific pictures.
JAMES C. FANNIN JR.
HUB TO HUB
As a Panamericana carrera aficionado, I want to congratulate SI's Bentley and Phinizy on their gripping report of this year's race.
A real thriller to all sports car fans was the Hermann-Juhan Porsche duel. Leaving Chihuahua on the last day's 222.5-mile run to Juarez, Hermann was 13 seconds behind Juhan. The Teuton not only overcame this handicap, but piled up 24 seconds more over his Guatemalan rival.
However, rather than a "sweep across the [finish] line not a length apart," from my vantage point Hermann and Juhan appeared to be barreling across in a hub to hub photo finish (see cut).
Congratulations to your gifted sports-writer, Mr. Herbert Warren Wind, for a most welcome article on the world's greatest hockey player, Maurice Richard of the Montreal Canadiens. Many very fine columns have been written on our national hero, but Mr. Wind's tops them all with miles to spare.
•Jean Barrette, sports columnist for La Patrie du Dimanche, has spent a decade compiling Richard's statistics.—ED.
THE FEINT AND THE BULLET
Herbert Warren Wind's article on Maurice Richard (Fire on the Ice, Dec. 6) is the finest piece of writing on ice hockey to grace the pages of any publication in many a year. It is a richly deserved tribute to a great athlete, and Evan Peskin's shot of Ken Mosdell's attempt to score on Terry Sawchuck is tops.
What are Richard's plans regarding retirement? He is sure to be a champion in whatever he does, but if he decides to forego coaching in favor of a business career it will be a great loss to the youth of all North America. He stands head and shoulders above any other forwards in the past ten years and would never have to "teach" hockey. Any youngster could not fail to learn more from watching just once that long striding charge, the incredible burst of speed rocketing by the defense, the feint and the bullet shot so fast you half expect to hear the crack of a shock wave as with a jet plane, than two hours of detailed instruction from any other man could teach him.
Maurice Richard is as much a part of hockey as the puck; it would be tragic for him to fail to remain in it in some way when the stride's a half step slower and the shot no longer sizzles through the air as of old.
•Richard has no plans other than playing as long as he possibly can.—ED.
AID AND BOON
I attended the Navy-Army game in Philadelphia last weekend and I wish to take this opportunity to express my congratulations on a job "well done." I refer to your very fine scouting report that was passed out at the stadium. Said report certainly was an invaluable aid to a better understanding of the game's finer points.
Also, I enjoy your excellent, magazine, which is surely a boon to every sports enthusiast.
YOU OWE YOUR READERS
Congratulations on your first attempt at presenting women's field hockey to your growing list of readers! You have accurately caught and reported the fine spirit of this very popular game.
My only disappointment in the otherwise fine article was the outdated picture of Anne Townsend. She is a fine-looking, modern sportswoman of the highest quality. I think you owe your readers a recent and true picture of her as she is now.
Former U.S. Team player
THE GREAT GAME
I had every intention of writing you the day that I received the issue with your story on soccer, but things piled up and I just didn't get to it. I have received many letters as a result of SI.... I was tickled with this response. The letters came from as far north as Middlebury College, as far south as the University of Florida, where Coach Alan Moore wrote to say, "this article has pushed the great game ahead at least 15 years"; as far west as Carlinville, Ill.; and here in the east, from schools like State Teachers College in Newark, N.J., Assoc. Prof. Willard Zweindinger wrote, "Just read soccer article in SI and feel that you have what the doctor ordered as far as our needs are concerned—the game will definitely fit our needs for the fall. Please send films...."
So, you see, perhaps getting your feet wet up at "The Point" was worthwhile.
Thought your soccer story was great—thanks so much.
GLENN F.H. WARNER
•Glenn Warner, associate professor of physical education at Annapolis, has coached Navy soccer for eight years, received the Coaches Association's highest award in 1954.—ED.
BANG I THERE WENT SIXPENCE
...I came to this country six years ago from Scotland, where I played amateur soccer, and was an enthusiastic supporter of one of the pro teams. In six years I have made a lot of adjustments, but the one thing I still miss is soccer.
Every time I think of soccer, I think of one day in particular. It was a Saturday in April, 1945 when Scotland met England for the United Kingdom championship at Hampden Park, Glasgow. I was home on leave from the British Navy, and naturally wanted to go to the game, but tickets were as scarce as hen's teeth.
...On the Saturday I was resigned to sitting home listening to the game on the radio, but my father had other ideas. At that time he was a "Glesca bobby" (Glasgow policeman). He had been urging me to go to Hampden Park and talk to some of the policemen at the gates. (It is quite a common thing for people who can't use their tickets to give them to a policeman to be given in turn to servicemen who show up without a ticket.) This, I thought, was a rather risky thing. If I couldn't get a ticket, I would miss half of the game on the radio before I got home, but on my arrival at Hampden, I started looking for the nearest bobby. I drew a blank on the first one, but was referred to an inspector at a different gate. I continued to elbow my way through the crowd. As I approached the inspector, two soldiers were just leaving him—with profuse thanks. My elbows worked a little faster until I reached that wonderful man. "Any more tickets?" I asked hopefully. "You're lucky, Jack. Here's my last one," he replied, handing me a ticket for the terrace. I guess it took me about a minute to gather my wits. I don't even remember thanking the man.
Inside Hampden Park was an assembly of 132,000 people—and me. The bobbies were trying to keep the aisles clear, and that was no mean feat. You see, when you go to a soccer game anywhere in Britain you stand to watch it. This brings me to an interesting little sidelight on the British soccer park. You sit in the "Stands." You stand in the "Terracing" and the "Enclosure" is out in the open.
As I passed one of these aisles a strong arm clad in blue grabbed me and pushed me down the aisle to another bobby who in turn pushed me into the crowd. Well, there I was, and I could see the field where the pregame activities were taking place. Before I could take further stock of my surroundings, a face with a loud tartan tammie on top asked me, "Who are you for, Jack?" "Scotland!" I replied, and without further ado I was treated to a little refreshment.
The game started, and what a game it was. One which I will never forget. The Scots were the underdogs, but each man played the game of his life. It was the first international game in which two brothers played. "Tiger" Shaw at right fullback, brother Davie at left fullback for Scotland.
Many times during the game, the long fingers of the English giant goalie Frank Swift were the only things that kept a Scot forward from scoring, and many times the entire city of Glasgow and surrounding districts resounded to the famous "Hampden Roar"—without the benefit of cheerleaders. It was a ding-dong, scoreless battle until two minutes from the end. Scotland was awarded a free kick just inside their own half of the field. Jackie Husband's long looping kick dropped the ball at the feet of left-winger Billy Liddel who in turn crossed it over the goal mouth. Up rose Swift, but the ball sailed over his outstretched hands onto the head of right-winger Willie Waddell. Willie nodded it down and center forward "Wee" Jimmy Delaney flew through the air, right foot outstretched, and the ball sailed into the net. Scotland, 1; England, 0—and that's how it ended. What a game. What a day. No one heard the final whistle, not even the players. Finally the referee had to pick up the ball and run off the field with it.
Even after the game, my luck still held good. While scrambling to get out of Hampden I was literally pushed into another sailor, a schooldays' buddy whom I hadn't seen for years. He had been at the game with his father, so we all went home together, and to top off the day, my buddy's father paid the bus fare.
Before you get the wrong impression, let me hasten to tell you that I did spend something at the game—sixpence for a program.
Royal Oak, Mich.
Perhaps Budd Schulberg could write an article on the referees.... The Norkus-La Starza fight seemed a "dull draw" to us, but Mr. Davis, the referee, was marvelous. We loved his dainty gesture of wiping his hands off on his shirt after parting the sweaty fighters; his fancy footwork was far better than the flatfoots; and his chatter sounded like the Cleveland infield. Referees must be very interesting people. May we learn more about them?
Thanks for many hours of pleasure with SI.
BARBARA C. SQUIRE
SO MUCH GAME
As a hunter, I greatly enjoyed your picture story of SI's African safari. I myself recently returned from a hunting and movie-making trip to India. You have never seen so much game of all sorts—big, small; duck, partridge, deer—it is sometimes hard to believe one's own eyes (see cut).
India is a grand country, a great and generous people and a civilization far ahead of ours in many ways. Ten thousand years old and still unchanged.
WILLIAM K. BEAN
DON'T LABEL GRANDFATHER
I should like to comment on the fact that, in SI, Nov. 8, you label my grandfather as a boat thief being guarded by Theodore Roosevelt. The man sitting on the ground at the right and facing the camera is my grandfather, Wilmot Sewell Dow, and the man standing at the left is my great-great-uncle, William Sewell. I assure you that neither of these men were boat thieves, and I submit the following in explanation.
The subject picture was taken after the real thieves, Finnegan and Company, had been turned over to the authorities. For the sake of getting a picture of the experience, Grandfather Dow and Uncle William posed as the boat thieves while Roosevelt guarded them with a rifle. I cannot identify the third man in the center, but I believe that it is of another ranch hand employed at Teddy's Elkhorn Ranch.
I also have a print of this picture. In fact, I have the buckskin suit that Wilmot Dow was wearing in the photograph, together with other mementos handed down to me which came from the Elkhorn Ranch. I am especially proud to have a birthcard written and signed in T.R.'s own handwriting mailed to me in 1912.
Both Sewell and Dow came from Island Falls, Me. and went with Roosevelt to establish the ranch in the Bad Lands of N.D. My father, Wilmot E. Dow, who is now living in Waldoboro, Me., was born at Elkhorn Ranch in 1886. The Indians came from miles around to see the first white baby born in that area. A son, Fred, was also born the same week to the Sewells. He is now living at Island Falls, Me.... A few years ago my father registered for Social Security and listed his birthplace as Bad Lands, N.D. He had some difficulty because the agency insisted on naming the town where he was born. The fact is that the nearest town to Elkhorn Ranch was Medora, 30 miles away. It was finally accepted.
Now, Mr. Editor, I want to say that I do not resent being tagged as a descendant of a boat thief....
However, it is a little ironical to me, especially when I read...Roosevelt's tribute to my grandfather at the time of his death: "I think of Wilmot all of the time; I can see him riding a bucker, or paddling a canoe, or shooting an antelope, or doing the washing for his wife, or playing with the children. If ever there was a fine, noble fellow, he was one."
WILMOT S. DOW
YOU SHOULD KNOW: if you are going to take up girl watching
I see by your November 29th issue that my hobby (girl watching) has now been officially recognized as a sport.
To help you and your readers to get more pleasure out of this wonderful pastime, I am enclosing a copy of my Girl Watcher's Guide (Harper, $1.00), the only authoritative handbook on the subject ever published.
•See cuts for elementary rules and a few species to be found in this fascinating sport. For a field report on the startling new variety, the Compressed Poolpet, see p. 45.—ED.