I should like to join the thousands of readers of SI who have lauded your magazine for its courageous crusade FOR the game of boxing.
Only by exposing the nefarious characters behind the scenes can the stench and sordidness of pugilism's pollution be eliminated. The fight-faithful today are happy to see SI roll up its sleeves and publish the "slug lines" which will lead the way toward clearing up boxing's bad name.
Continue to carry the torch and bring back to professional boxing the cleanliness, the wholesomeness and fairness that it should have.
Your magazine is great.
JOHN T. CAMPBELL
Montana Boxing Commission
February 14, 1955
A CERTAIN MAGAZINE
You were criticized for trying to destroy sports on the air today. The sports announcer said: "A certain magazine is trying to destroy sports," while he was discussing boxing. He also criticized bringing up tanked fights that happened years ago. He forgets the man connected with this fix is now running boxing in this country.
Keep up the good work in exposing corruption in boxing and/or any other sport.
Congratulations to SI for taking the initiative in trying to clean up boxing's stinking mess which if left alone might someday kill a great sport.
I KEEP HOPING
...I could shout for joy the way you are crusading for cleaning up the fight racket.
Each bout I watch on TV, and I LOVE a good clean fight, I keep hoping will be a little better than the one before. Three cheers for SI and I hope it will mean better boxing for everyone to enjoy. I have a special interest in boxing because for many years I acted as secretary to a man who I think is the greatest boxing historian living today. He is Johnny Houck of Lancaster, brother of the late great Leo Houck, boxing coach at Penn State for many years. Johnny has been crusading for his entire life for the U.S.A. to have one boxing commissioner to do the job and do it right, instead of each state having its own, with every fight being judged differently and I must say, very confusing to everyone. So I know he too is very much behind you in your great undertaking.
MRS. ANTHONY L. STECKEL JR.
CONTINUE TO OBLIGE
Please continue your efforts to clean up boxing we all love so well. There is more than just a story here—there's principle, obligation You have the reports the medium, the honesty, decency and even obligation to help correct the future of boxing for future Americans.
THAT BRAZEN MONOPOLY
Are we, the public, to infer that when we take over on the 19TH HOLE the No. 1 gripe is Robert Hall's opinion on an NCAA ruling? A more important issue at stake is the country's questionable racket—boxing. This deserves immediate relentless and continuous expose of those parasitic foes of a good sport. More in-fighting is necessary by SI. Keep up body punching and wear 'em down. Blows to the cranium, which is calcified, won't hurt them. Fight for right and your efforts will not be in vain. TV should not glorify the big men in IBC before the eyes of the younger generation, when even an iota of suspicion prevails. You have been challenged by those who brazenly monopolize a racket of controlling a fighter's livelihood.
Where is the press other than SI that will support you in this fight?
FRANK J. KRACHA
Los Altos, Calif.
•Right in there, judging by the many editorials and columns our readers clip and send us.—ED.
NOW IT'S MR. AVERAGE MAN
Last month I sent you a letter in which I complained (perhaps too bitterly) that your magazine was rather top-heavy in your leanings toward the outdoor sports of the "well-heeled" set.... My main idea in this letter was to try to open the eyes of the editor, in which I may have failed. At least I know that it was read.
But I certainly must admit that I sure was raked over the coals by the two letters that you published a few weeks later. Mr. John J. Tonnsen Jr. is right, I did find the subscription blank somewhere. I found it in the inside pages of LIFE magazine which I have subscribed to since before World War II. And would you mind telling Mr. D. M. Burgess Jr. that there are not enough outdoor magazines to sink a small rowboat. There are but three, Sports Afield, Field & Stream and Outdoor Life.
To both of these gentlemen might I address this question??? Since when is it a naughty word to be called an average man or part of the "beagle or cane-pole crowd." Shades of Dan'l Boone!! Not too long ago, I have been told, it was the beagle and cane-pole crowd and/or its counterpart that made this country great. It was the backwoodsman and the average man that made this country free and all through history fought and won all of the wars. Thus, if you wish to classify me with the beagle and cane-pole crowd I'll tell you I'm DAMN proud of it....
MR. AVERAGE MAN
Grand Rapids, Mich.
•Mr. Average Man's last anonymous letter was signed Average Reader and postmarked Kalamazoo, but his tone of voice is the same and he should not give up hope. He has opened the editors' eyes, as well, apparently, as the eyes of numerous other "average readers" who have taken up pen to indulge in self-analysis, which is a fascinating sport in itself. Indeed it all makes our eyes open wider and wider and we, too, are looking inward. Thanks for the prod.—ED.
AFTER CONSIDERABLE THOUGHT
A short time ago I wrote you a letter canceling my son's subscription to SI. At that time I gave my reasons as, and I quote: "SI does not cater to the masses but to a few select few that can afford expensive cars and go boar hunting, etc., etc."
I have had a guilty conscience ever since. My son received another subscription as a Christmas gift and after reading the last five issues, I realize I was wrong.
After considerable thought, I arrived at the conclusion that a magazine to be truly great must cater to everyone, not just to a few that like baseball, football, etc. Your fight expose, although a little ambiguous, at times is a step in the right direction....
There are many other items in your fine magazine that I will never participate in but I find now that I enjoy reading about them and who knows, maybe someday I can afford some of the more expensive luxury sports.
So accept my apologies for my first letter and my thanks to you for a fine job. My son has also become an avid reader.
LEONARD J. KAHN
•Accepted; welcome back.—ED.
"Average Reader" (SI, Jan. 17) should give SI pause for reflection. I concur with this gentleman.
You are doing a fine job in many respects, i.e., the boxing scandal, but you are neglecting the rank and file of American sportsmen who take their sport in their own backyard. Not shooting game released before the gun or skiing at Sun Valley. Is your publication intended to be exclusively for the wealthy?
•A game-preserve shoot is often the only gunning available to the city dweller. SI has reported on skiing, now the winter sport of 20 million people in virtually every section of the country. They can't all be rich.—ED.
HERE HE IS
I am a charter subscriber to SI and my answer to Mr. Average Reader's question, "Where is the Average Reader?", is he is sitting home reading your wonderful magazine and enjoying every page of it. I have always been under the impression that most Americans have always prided themselves on the idea that there are always new fields to conquer. If you used your pages for hunting and fishing you would be defeating your purpose of a really different sports magazine and would become just another run-of-the-mill, dime-a-dozen sports magazine.
Also thank you very much for your excellent article on the Fort Wayne Pistons and the National Basketball Association.
STANLEY H. JONES
Fort Wayne, Ind.
THAT MAN OF LITTLE PATIENCE
"Average Reader" must be a man of little patience as, after all, SI is a brand-new magazine and I am sure in time will cover some of the sports you mentioned. As I understand it, I assume SI more or less follows the seasons, especially in major sports. This spring there will probably be wonderful articles and pictures on fishing and, likewise, hunting in the fall.
Now you might say, "Oh, but here in Michigan we fish and hunt now!" Yes, here in South Dakota we do, too—in fact our trout season was extended. But on the average, one thinks of fishing in the spring and summer, hunting during the fall and skiing during the winter season.
If you are such an average sportsman, why don't you take heed and try out a ski area in Michigan. I'll bet you'd love it! I don't know what age you are, but out here at Terry Peak we have young and old who enjoy the sport.
My husband and I think SI is a great: magazine and we are looking forward to an article on water skiing this summer. We have a little more patience than you have.
Another thing—if you are really a true sportsman, you surely should be interested in every type of sport. There are many little-known facts about some sports that in sport articles make for good reading.
SI just didn't deserve to get a letter such as you wrote!
SONYA J. LUTHER
Rapid City, S.D.
WEE GARMENTS AND BIG LAWSUITS
I'll have you know this is my first fan letter and I'm proud to say SI is rapidly growing to be my favorite magazine.
I'm the mother of three small children and don't have much time for anything else. But at night, when my brood is settled in bed, I pick up my knitting needles and start clicking away wee garments. (My husband wears size 13 socks.) He picks up the latest issue of SI and starts reading to me. We really enjoy it from cover to cover.
Your latest articles on the boxing monopoly are darn good and I, for one, am proud to know we at last have a champion in the form of a wonderful magazine. Exposing crooks in the fight game is the most wonderful thing to happen in a long time. It's good to know that there are some people left that can't be bought off by big money or scared off by threats of big lawsuits....
In your Jan. 17th issue you had an article entitled Exercise to Keep Fit by William H. White (no relation, I'm sure). I tried them all, including the walk-one-mile-each-day. I had to confine my walking to around the block, but after the 10th time around, people were beginning to give me funny looks, so I gave up and decided I wouldn't look too good with the figure of an athlete anyway. How about some exercises for women whose ambitions run along the lines of just keeping a trim figure? I'm sure you can find quite a lot of women readers who are interested. Besides, you can imagine the looks I'd get the second month when I would have to walk-jog-walk-run-walk around the block 20 times. By the third month they would have me hauled away.
Thanks for giving people like me a shot in the arm by stirring up my interest in all sports. By the time we are ready to renew our subscription, I'll be so well informed I'll be sending you articles to print under my byline. See what happens when you've got a good thing—everybody wants into the act.
For my first I sure got carried away.
JACQUE H. WHITE
•We happily welcome Mrs. White into our act while our Mr. White is thinking hard for ways to produce that trim figure.—ED.
THE BRAVE BULLS: VOL. II
In reply to my letter in which I stated that Joselito was not killed when he went in for the kill, SI said that he was killed "at the moment of truth—a moment that begins when the matador fixes the bull."
There have been several versions of Joselito's last corrida but no one, except SI, has maintained that Joselito was killed at the moment of truth or anywhere near it. Here's the story of how the greatest torero of all time died:
On May 16, 1920 Joselito, aged 25, was fighting a minor fight in Talavera de la Reina to help out a friend. The fifth bull, Bailador, came into the ring and the moment he saw it Joselito warned his banderillero brother Fernando: "Don't go out with this one—he's dangerous." The bull was small—259 kilos dressed—but its horns were perfect for killing. "Don't get on them"—he warned his cuadrilla—"you'll never get off."
With the cape Joselito quickly found out that the bull was disastrously defective of vision, seeing well at a distance but almost blind up close. It also kept returning to its querencia along the fence where it elected to fight in a defensive, impossible manner. After only five passes with the muleta, the bull retreated to the spot it felt most secure in, its querencia, and Joselito withdrew a few steps to change his grip on the muleta. This brought him into the area where the bull saw perfectly and suddenly it lunged forward. Joselito saw the animal coming but he merely stood there and flared out the muleta. On any other bull the muleta handled like this by the master would have lured it off its course. But now the bull had entered the field of vision where it saw neither man nor cloth, and it crashed into Joselito, actually by accident. The horn ripped open the man's lower stomach and, though it wasn't necessarily a fatal wound, when Joselito saw his exposed viscera he died of the shock, gasping, "Mother, I'm smothering, I'm smothering!"
This account was told to me by Joselito's brother El Gallo and by his nephew Gallito. In my restaurant El Matador here in San Francisco we have on the wall part of the jacket Joselito was wearing the day of his death, his dress cape and his sword, given to me by his family.
•Controversy over whether Joselito was killed at moment of truth has been raging in bull-ring circles for years, with some experts claiming he was, others saying he was preparing muleta. But SI's expert in Spain sticks to his moment of truth.—ED.
THAT SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE
Congratulations to SI on its great coverage of the corrida. It was the best written story in English that I have seen in any magazine yet. Mr. Stanton knows his subject as few English-speaking people do.
I did not write before because I wished to see the reader response. It was all that I expected, and I am very pleased by it for I think it will show you how much interest there is in this.
As for criticism; the article, the finest; drawings, fine; but one needs a very special knowledge to take good photos of bulls just as of any other action. Mr. Kauffman's are good as photos but poor as taurine photos.
Mr. Barnaby Conrad's uncalled for and picayune comments seem to me to be out of order. You describe him as an aficionado; I do not feel that is either descriptive or true. He has peddled a fair knowledge and some skill at writing about bulls to the public with some success. But his writing on the subject can also be "piced." If he were the aficionado he claims to be, he would be living where he could attend exhibits of the subject he writes about instead of running a saloon in San Francisco and hacking out hemipygian comments on excellent work.
ROBERT M. CROWELL
A ONCE-GREAT CITY
As the last president of the Shanghai Bowling Congress—unless the Reds have organized bowling since taking over that China city in 1949—permit me to take exception to the line in your MEMO FROM THE PUBLISHER in the Jan. 31 issue in which you say Victor Kalman, as a United Press correspondent, filed stories "from such non-bowling centers as Saipan, Tinian, Peleliu, Okinawa and China."
Prior to its "liberation" by Mao Tsetung el al., bowling was a very popular sport in Shanghai and at the time of Pearl Harbor, I think Shanghai probably had bowling leagues, both tenpins and ducks, that were unique: for example, when I bowled tenpins for the Shanghai Race Club team in the 1948 league, our team consisted of the English manager of the National Cash Register Co., a Portuguese accountant, a White Russian gold-bar broker, a Swiss hotel manager and an American advertising man.
Oh, by Gad, Sir! Oh I say, Sir!
We have never worn a blazer
To play rugby in—it really isn't done!
But from The Oval to Darjeeling
You'll find cricketeers revealing
Multiplicities of colours in the sun.
The rugger man is brutal—
He would never get his suit all
Muddied up by playing dressed in snowy-white.
So, to strike up an affinity
With Magdalen and with Trinity
Please publish this, and set the matter right.
•Indeed, Sir, we are glad, Sir, To be set right on the blazer.
We're sorry that we done, Sir, what we done.
For the Test with Britain's greatest foe,
See this week's piece by Gallico.
This may not set us right, but ain't it fun?—ED.
In your Dec. 6 edition you mentioned a ski area at Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Since this area is near enough to afford weekend skiing I am particularly desirous of obtaining further information relating to the facilities available there and the possibilities of equipment rental.
KARL L. CONRAD
•Laurel Mountain's 15 slopes and trails, which range from novice to expert in difficulty, are served by five tows, ranging from 250 to 2,200 feet. A fine place to stay is the White Star Inn in Jennerstown. The rates are from $5.25 to $7 a day American Plan. Tow charges are $2.50 a day and a limited amount of equipment is available—$2.50 a day pays for skis and poles. Boots can be rented, but it's better to have your own.—ED.
As one nicknamed "Dusy," let me confirm your guess at the origin of "It's a Doozy" (SI, Jan. 31).
In 1922 at Indianapolis seven of the first 10 cars finishing were Duesenbergs, and the expression was born. Alas, "Doozy" went the way of "colonel" and wound up with the alternate meaning of "stinker."
How I would love to see some more pictures of those beautiful cars which I remember so well.
SOLUTION TO LAST WEEK'S