BUT WHERE IS...
I enjoyed reading your article entitled 1954 and Its Sportsman: Roger Bannister and think that your choice of Roger Bannister as SI's first Sportsman of the Year was a good one, but I do think your two-page salute to the other '54 top sport personalities lacks a few names many of us had expected to be recognized by SI.
Wisconsin's Alan Ameche, the Iron Horse, who wound up his four-year college career by setting a new NCAA ground-gaining record, who also was placed on every major All-America eleven, plus being awarded the Heisman and Collier Trophies as the outstanding college player in 1954, was the one athlete who, without a doubt, should have been given recognition. Coach Paul Brown, of the world football champions, the Cleveland Browns, should have been given recognition since he is the pro coach of the year. The same can be said of Woody Hayes, coach of the national champions, the Buckeyes of Ohio State. The name of Leo Durocher, manager of the New York Giants, was also, for some reason, not mentioned. What must a person do to gain national recognition by your magazine?
I do however, realize that it is quite impossible to name a "dream list" of the top athletes, that is, a list that everyone would agree with.
...In your wonderful photo of all the sports champions of the year you neglected to show G. Diehl Mateer Jr.—National Squash Champion.
CLINTON L. MELLOR
January 17, 1955
AND WHAT HAPPENED...
...What happened to college and pro basketball champions?
BRIAN B. JACOBUS
•This being 1954 we limited ourselves to 54 outstanding athletes. During '54 SI reported, in pictures or text, on sports headliners Ameche (Nov. 29, 1; Oct. 25, 18; Sept. 20, 13), Brown (Jan. 3; Nov. 15), Hayes (Jan. 10; Dec. 27, 13; Nov. 29, 1), Durocher (Nov. 8; Oct. 11, 4; Sept. 27, 13; Aug. 30, 23, 16), Gola (Dec. 27,13) and pro basketball (Dec. 6). For news concerning Squash Champion Mateer see THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF SPORT. SI will run (Feb. 28) a color spectacle on the Lakers-Knickerbockers game.—ED.
ONE MAN'S WELCOME OPINION
About this time of year, most sports fanatics pick a sportsman of the year. So, being a sports fanatic, I have picked mine. It took quite a while to arrive at my decision; I had to think who had done more for sports in 1954 than anyone else—Leo Durocher who won the baseball World's Championship; Rocky Marciano, who did quite a bit for boxing; and "Hopalong" Cassady who led his team to the mythical football championship. But I thought the word sports included more than baseball, football or boxing, and so I arrived at my decision. My sportsman of the year has done more for the sports world than anyone else in 1954.
If you look in the sports records of 1954 you won't find his name, you probably will never see his picture on the sports page of a newspaper, but he has made the greatest contribution to sports ever. My sportsman rates second to none. Your selection of your sportsman of 1954 is one man's opinion; mine isn't—500,000 people can't be wrong. My sportsman of 1954 is SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
•We accept the Matherly Award with modest pleasure.—ED.
HE WAS GREAT
I'd like to thank you for your farewell story on Otto Graham (SI, Jan. 3). He has really been great.
I have been a Cleveland Brown fan for more than five years now, but I have not seen pictures of the players and therefore do not know them well. There was a picture of the Cleveland Browns whooping it up after the win over the Lions. I would really appreciate it if you would give the names of these players.
P.S. SI is great.
•The players are:
1-Darrell Brewster, end.
2-Carlton Massey, end.
3-Mike McCormack, guard.
4-Horace Gillom, end.
5-John Sandusky, tackle.
6-Paul Brown, coach.
7-Don Colo, tackle.
8-Abe Gibron, guard.
9-Kenny Konz, halfback.
10-Maurice Bassett, fullback.
11-Dante Lavelli, end.
12-Lou Groza, tackle.
13-Billy Reynolds, halfback.
14-Harold Bradley, guard.
15-Otto Graham, quarterback.
16-Chuck Noll, guard.—ED.
THEY WERE THE BEST
In my opinion SI is the best sports magazine I have ever stuck my nose into, and, believe me, I have read almost every one printed.
I enjoyed and used your complete pre-coverage of the Bowl games. They were the best I have ever seen in any magazine or newspaper.
St. Marys, Pa.
After carefully reading SI, my brother and I picked winners for the Bowl games; but our mother and dad picked other teams. The results were certainly amazing. My brother and I picked all the Bowl winners and the East-West game. Our parents lost.
Don't you think we did a good job in picking all the winners?
I am 11 years old and my brother is 8 years old.
DAVID AND RICHARD BRODSKY
•Our 43-year-old Herman Hickman feels pretty good about his selections too.—ED.
SI IS A FAVORITE AT OUR HOUSE, ESPECIALLY WITH EDDIE JUNIOR. ALL OF US ENJOY THE MAGAZINE AND THAT GOES FOR MRS. ERDELATZ TOO. THAT SERIES OF ARTICLES ON THE ARMY-NAVY FOOTBALL GAME WAS A PIP.
NAVY FOOTBALL COACH
GUTS AND DESIRE
Having watched delightedly your swift progress to a secure place in the American sports scene, I have held back from compliments with the thought, "If they come through with something on beagle field trials, I'll admit it's a really thorough sports coverage they're giving us." Now you've done it, and an honorable "Field Champion" title to you for a good and concise job.
One aspect, and an important one, overlooked was mention of the many pack trials held in "snowshoe" hare country. In the over-all field trial picture these far outnumber and overshadow in effect the "private" pack trials described by Mr. Wells.
In these, the entry is by individual owners, totaling often 30 or 40 hounds never run together before. To come out a winner, a hound must display teamwork and individual ability, plus guts and desire for three solid hours. A problem faced by the AKC is the argument over award of championship points between these trials and the larger brace stakes. In the latter, careful-working hounds have little time to demonstrate searching ability and endurance, while in the former over-competitive spirit sometimes leads to frowned-on tricks to beat out the others.
Actually, what we beaglers all want is a hound careful and honest in his work, plus all-day endurance and "drive," plus the ideal type of a show dog! Hope I get one some time!
DAVID S. CASSEDY
WE REALIZE THEIR GREATNESS
Thanks for the fine article about Vic Seixas and Tony Trabert in the article, The Cup Comes Home (SI, Jan. 3). Any tennis fan can realize the greatness of these two players.
Also I would like to say I enjoy SI better every issue and am prouder than ever to be a charter subscriber.
Thanks for a wonderful magazine.
BILL STEWART JR.
As a charter member of your magazine I put down that first issue with a feeling that I was cheated. I was awed by your spectacular pictures to be sure...but something seemed to be wrong. Today, now that many an issue has passed by my gaze, a pattern has evolved. My opinion as to what is wrong with SI: Where am I? WHERE IS MISTER AVERAGE SPORTSMAN???
Isn't it apparent from where you sit that the average man would rather see HIMSELF in the magazine than some nobility or Mister Rich at play in his hundred-thousand-dollar plaything? All I have been fed since I bought your magazine was a diet of boar hunts, European pheasant shoots, fancy animal shows and the like...Let us get down to the basic sports of America...Where is the hunter who picks up his single twelve and goes out with his mongrel hound to get a few rabbits (they keep telling me more shells are shot at rabbits than at any other game in America)? So far this magazine has avoided this rodent like the plague...Where is the fisherman with the cane pole, the bass fisherman with his casting rod, the down-to-earth kind of guy we meet every day afield? So far, I have not seen anything in your magazine that would fit into this mold. What are the editors trying to create? A FORTUNE magazine for the sportsman set?
Today we are fed a diet of skiing articles, but here in Michigan beside the small handful of young people who visit the ski resorts we have thousands of others who hunt for cottontails, many more are up north hunting the snowshoe hare and some are running dogs after bobcat. On the lakes we have THOUSANDS of fishermen after bluegills, perch and pike...But what do we get from SI? A Holiday-type of article on the ski centers of the Continent.
All in all, this magazine has ended up the way I expected, a kind of mixture of the magazines Ring, Baseball, with a little bit of Holiday thrown in. As for outdoor sports, oh, you will find those in the back pages between the ads....
Will I see SI in 1966 at the barbershop or will I have to go to the exclusive country club? It's in your hands...Or will it be that in 1966 it will be just another one of the many sport magazines that went broke because it forgot MISTER AVERAGE MAN?
•Time will tell.—ED.
THE ONLY ONE
Sporting look, Dec. 20., Slimmer Swimmers, was beautifully photographed. Your readers might be interested to know that the swimming pool where these pictures were taken is the only one of its kind in the world. It is designed in the shape of a leaf, the stem connecting with an indoor swimming pool. The diving boards are of glass and the supports are hydraulically operated. The underground photography room looks to all parts of the pool with the window at water level and below.
It is owned by Mr. Philip Ilsley, pioneer designer and builder of swimming pools and swimming pool equipment, so every new gadget and device is first tested on this pool.
J. F. HOWARD
ARIZONA QUAIL AND TEXAS LOUTS
Since SI and I share the same birthday I thought I'd like to suggest an item for its Futures Book.
Quail shooting in the Arizona desert can be as colorful and exciting as you might care to make it. The desert growth and beautiful scenery are immensely intriguing and quail shooting calls for an acrobatic gunner who can point his gun both fast and straight.
When those lush little blue bombers break from cover they are a target for just a few seconds.
And as a gourmet's delight, no meat (wild or domestic) can equal a properly prepared quail dinner.
This is truly a sport you can enjoy—"having and eat it too."
The accompanying picture was taken by my wife just a 30-minute drive from Phoenix.
J. L. MEYERS
Idaho Falls, Ida.
P.S. How silly that archaic lout from Texas can be made to look who refers to "grown men who sneak up in the forest to slaughter a covey of quail" (19th HOLE, Dec. 6).
TO EVERY MAN OR WOMAN
Mr. Richard Irwin's suggestion in 19th HOLE, Dec. 27 to help the Olympic Team Fund is an excellent one and I enclose my check for one dollar.
Now—we'll need a lot more money so here's a suggestion: Every man or woman who has ever run or played on a school, college, athlete's club or other track team—send in one dollar.
We must get our Olympic teams there if only "to get clobbered."
I'm proud to be able to contribute something and I'll try to send more.
P.S. SI is terrific.
THE RUSSIAN ANGLE
I am a charter subscriber to SI and have enjoyed every word of every issue. I have been especially interested in the Russian angle in the Olympics. When I read "No Passage to Moscow" (SOUNDTRACK, Dec. 27), I was amazed at the lack of interest American fans have in international competition. After reading your article I was very enthused, as I imagine many others were. I would be very happy to know the place that contributions should be sent.
Highland Park, Ill.
•We suggest that all contributions be sent to the Olympic Team Fund, 540 Michigan Ave., Chicago, which reports the receipt of over $2,000 as a result of appeals published in SI. Readers who wish to further a particular sport should name their choice along with their contribution.—ED.
Hartford squash racquets players, as well as those in Detroit, will recognize Joe Hahn, former National Senior Champion, and his brother Eddie, former National Single's Champion, in PAT ON THE BACK, Jan. 3., not Jim Standish and Ben Warren. Right?
CHARLES E. BRAINARD
West Hartford, Conn.
•We erred. Herewith, the pictures of all four champions and a "Pat on the Back" to each.—ED.
COOLING HIS BACKSIDE
Surprising Deer Hunt (SI, Dec. 13) is no misnomer, but cutting off a shirttail because a hunter did what he was supposed to do is a surprise.
For many years in this country, a hunter loses his shirttail when he shoots at a deer and fails to kill it. Not only does he then lose his shirttail, ruining a good shirt and cooling his backside, but the tail is hung on the camp walls for all to see his ignominy in years to come. It is a playful reverse of honor to lose one's shirttail.
Further, that hunter should always wear that tailless shirt when hunting until he does kill a deer. And if the tail is cut off above the waistline it could be inconvenient and uncomfortable. No, my shirttail has not yet adorned a camp wall.
ROBERT M. KURTZ
•Tailless Hunter Uhlmann shot his way into a local custom. Most hunters follow Reader Kurtz's tribal way.—ED.
POWER OF POSITIVE LIFTING
I enjoyed Ezra Bowen's Think and Lift story (SI, Dec. 20) on Schemansky and Kono, two weight-lifting champions who believe in positive thinking to obtain their weight-lifting achievements. On Sunday, Dec. 26, in the Marble Collegiate Church of New York City, I was delighted to find that another great champion of positive thinking, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, started his sermon, Look Ahead with Anticipation, with these words:
"There is a new magazine, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, that has in this week's issue a story on the use of prayer employed by Norbert Schemansky, who can lift more pounds over his head than any other human being...."
After telling how Schemansky accomplished this feat through the power of great concentration, Dr. Peale went on to say that he realized that SI was going to be a great source of information for his sermons in the future.
I know that by this time SI has appeared in many fields of endeavor, but I'm sure that you'll be interested in knowing that Dr. Peale had included this fine article as a part of his great Christmas Sunday sermon.
May I congratulate you on your positive thinking—your ability to give to the public the desired information on the numerous sports we have in America through your varied and interesting stories.
GENE J. PYLE
Thanks to Ernest Havemann for his article about Fred Miller (SI, Dec. 27). Fred's memory will always live in the hearts of all Milwaukeeans. We're all deeply grateful for the many wonderful things he's done in the world of sports. We'll miss him.
REGINALD L. BECKER
FPO New York
Désirant depuis longtemps m'abonner à un journal sportif d'Amérique, je viens d'apprendre par un missionnaire américain à Léopoldville que vous éditez maintenant un journal sportif intitulé SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
Je vous saurai gré de bien vouloir me faire conna√Ætre la valeur d'un abonnement annuel à votre magazine SPORTS ILLUSTRATED et si possible me faire parvenir un exemplaire libre de ce journal par voie de mer.
Je vous en remercie vivement à l'avance et vous prie d'agréer, Messieurs, mes salutations distinguées.
Léopoldville, Congo Belge
•SI, Jan. 17 should be steaming up the Congo Jan. 31 on its way to sports enthusiast Malunga-Simon, who was converted to SI by an American missionary in Leopoldville.—ED.
OLYMPICS: FOUNDER'S PHILOSOPHY
I was very much impressed by your editorial on "The Concept of Sport" (SOUNDTRACK, Dec. 27). It is an extremely rare event and a most gratifying experience when one finds a magazine discussing the philosophy of athletic competition in such a manner as you have.
The International Olympic Committee has not been, and probably never will be, able to stop the sportswriters and sports fans of the competing nations from constructing point systems to determine "team standing...." Although it is probably more a case of wanting to be "top dog" than of international politics, the United States is certainly among the most guilty of the nations giving undue amounts of emphasis and publicity to this unsanctioned phase of Olympic competition.
...I, for one, go along with Founder deCoubertin's philosophy of individual competition and believe that the Olympic Committee should do all in its power to discourage the concept of team competition....
What has irritated me even more is the current "Beat-Russia-in-the-Olympics" campaign that is going on in our country. It is being supported by many sections of our citizenry and, if newspaper and magazine quotes are correct, even our American Olympic officials.
It appears to me to be quite necessary for the participating nations and the International Olympic Committee to revaluate the purpose of the Olympic Games before any more are held. If team standings are desired, I would recommend that the committee adopt an official scoring system and put an end to the existing hypocrisy.
HOWARD G. KNUTTGEN
Instructor in Physical Education
Ohio State University