COACH, FATHER AND MAN
Enjoyed CONVERSATION PIECE: SUBJECT: Frank Leahy in the Oct. 31 issue. It was really a true picture of Leahy, the coach, father and man. I have only met him personally once, but I have observed him coaching at Notre Dame practices many times.
I sometimes run across anti-Notre Dame people (there are some), who find it hard to believe all that one has heard about Coach Leahy. They can't believe that as a football coach he never tolerated swearing of any kind on the practice field. They can't understand the players' loyalty to a coach who demanded strict discipline from his players on and off the field.
When you meet Leahy for the first time, it is as though you are meeting an old friend. And when he says, "I'm very happy to meet you," you are sure that he is.
A MAN'S TRUE CHARACTER
After reading Gerald Holland's excellent article on Frank Leahy, may I make this comment: Frank Leahy, husband, friend and father is far more successful than Frank Leahy, coach. That puts him as near perfection as a man could reach. A man's true character may be determined by his actions at home. Mr. Leahy's consideration and obvious adoration of his children is magnificent to know. I sincerely hope that I am as successful a father as he.
November 14, 1955
Being an avid supporter of Southern Methodist University, I have never been a tremendous booster of Coach Leahy. (The current six-to-one edge Notre Dame holds in its series with SMU may influence this somewhat.) However, I have now become a charter member of the fan club of this fine coach and great man.
FRANK CAWTHON JR.
CONVERSATION PIECE: Frank Leahy was extremely interesting. I find myself turning to this feature first every week.
Having met that gracious man Leahy in 1950, I was fascinated by the courtesy and hospitality evidenced by his family. Every parent should read the article. With training like that, there would be no delinquent children.
I was very glad to learn that this experienced and resourceful leader is planning to devote his time to fighting juvenile delinquency. Good luck!
JAMES B. SULLIVAN
The Minot Daily News
Minot, N. Dak.
THE QUALITY OF LEADERSHIP
Your story on Frank Leahy is a magnificently human look into the life of a fine American. Your writer captured the quality of competitive leadership in Leahy that has helped make our American sports world the wonderful world it is.
Fond du Lac, Wis.
THE NORMAL WAY
I read Mr. Shaplen's article concerning Hubert Bobo who is a graduate of the Chauncey-Dover High School (SI, Oct. 24). I wish to say that I have examined the cumulative record card of Mr. Bobo and I have also talked with members of the faculty and the board of education. I have learned that the record of Hubert Bobo in high school was an average one for a high school graduate in the state of Ohio....
First, the attendance of Hubert Bobo in high school was good. The office record shows that he was absent six days in his freshman year, five days in his sophomore year, nine days in his junior year and 21½ days in his senior year. His point average was 2.6 for his subjects in high school (this was figured on the basis A = 4 points, B = 3 points, C = 2, D = 1, and failure = 0). Mr. Bobo was not awarded his high school diploma by the school board over the protests of the principal or superintendent. Mr. Bobo was awarded his high school diploma in the normal way, the same as the other members of his graduating class.
S. L. DARST
Chauncey-Dover Exempted Village Schools
THIS IS NO MOUSY RECANTING
I have made a public apology to the community of Chauncey-Dover, Ohio for the humiliation caused them when rumor, passed along to your reporter Mr. Shaplen as rumor, apparently was not checked. I hope you will see fit to join me in apology for this unethical journalistic oversight.
When Mr. Shaplen asked me what I knew about Bobo, I told him that an officer of the athletic board had reported to me a conversation with the boy when he was failing his studies here. According to this officer, the boy had blamed his poor showing on the fact that he had not been attending high, school more than three days a week. The so-called dispute over his high school diploma came from the vice chairman of an important university bureau. I gave Mr. Shaplen the names and sources of the information. Why did he label it as "research" on my part? I believe that gossip is gossip, but the printed word carries strong responsibility.
I also resent the unauthorized use of my picture (where did you dig up that sour pose from, anyway?). The article carried the inference that the information about Bowermaster and other unnecessarily cruel morsels came from me, leaving the erroneous impression that I had inspired the whole article and had fed all the scurrilous tidbits to the magazine. I did not know the article was in process until I was called upon as one of many being interviewed.
Particularly do I hope that you will print the whole context of my remarks about Athletic Director Richard Larkins, a man whom I greatly admire: "Dick Larkins is one of the finest gentlemen I know, with a high sense of idealism. He, like the coaches, the presidents, the commissioners, the alumni secretaries, is caught in the system of high-pressure football..."
This is no mousy recanting of my actual remarks. With your general thesis, Win or Else, I heartily agree, needing only to look over my shoulder at the ghosts of such fine coaches here as Fesler, Bixler, Widdoes and Wilce strewn along its cruel path. For years I have been writing frankly and honestly about this overemphasis in my column in our alumni magazine. My stand is well and publicly known, nor do I propose to retreat from it a single step. But from all the unnecessary viciousness in your piece, I beg to become disassociated.
JOHN B. FULLEN
•SI appreciates the difficulty of Mr. Fullen's position as OSU alumni secretary who disagrees with big-time football policy. When Mr. Fullen (one of many interviewed by Shaplen) told the story of Hubert Bobo's academic derelictions, Robert Shaplen thought he was relating his personal research and not retailing "gossip." Mr. Fullen's "sour pose" comes from a Columbus newspaper where it was published before. SI regrets the embarrassment caused Mr. Darst and Mr. Davis (see below) by quoting Mr. Fullen's statement that Hubert Bobo was graduated over the protest of his principal. But SI cannot agree with Mr. Darst in accepting Hubert Bobo's record as that of the average Ohio high school graduate. The cumulative record at Chauncey High School shows that eighteen of the twenty-one and one-half days that Hubert Bobo was officially absent from classes in his senior year fall into the final eighteen weeks of his high school career. During those weeks he was absent virtually every Monday or Friday and sometimes both days. William Smith, Chauncey football coach, explains that Bobo enjoyed these days as guest of various eastern and mid-western colleges anxious to secure his services as football player.—ED.
I AM THE MAN
I am the man who was principal at Chauncey when Bobo graduated. The records at Chauncey show that he had a satisfactory attendance record. The board of education took only the part in his graduation required by the State Department in Columbus which requires boards of education to approve in their minutes the names of all people who receive diplomas. The minutes of the Chauncey-Dover Board of Education will show Bobo's name included with that of some 30 others.... I hope you will see fit to correct this misinformation which you have published.
W. G. DAVIS
•Last week in a letter to the Ohio State Journal, Mr. Davis had this to say about his former pupil: "...he was the greatest high school athlete I have ever known.... If certain people [at OSU] had spent more time guiding a young man over a few rough spots...Ohio State might still have the services of another great fullback."—ED.
IS SOMETHING ROTTEN?
President Whitney Griswold of Yale recently declared in an SI article (Oct. 17), "The main purpose of an educational institution is education." But when football coaches are paid more than top professors, and the annual bills for football "scholarships," salaries, supplies, maintenance and travel expenses total more than enough to build a 100-student dormitory, a fully-equipped laboratory or a 25,000-volume library, something is rotten in the state of education. As Robert Shaplen described it in another recent SI article (Oct. 24), college football has become "a vast profit-making amusement enterprise with amateur dressing."
If the present trend continues, it won't be long before some university or its alumni group finds itself wealthy enough to offer athletic "scholarships" to the members of the Steelers or the Green Bay Packers.
ERNEST W. MANDEVILLE
NOT SO FANTASTIC
I notice, with the recent publication of the article by President Griswold of Yale and The Ohio State Story, that you are trying to find the answer to professionalism in college football. It is a situation which could only happen in America; for professionalism in college football is a peculiar double standard kind of thing, not too unlike the smog in Los Angeles and the fog in San Francisco. Everyone knows it's there, everyone gets concerned about it, but everybody brags about the beautiful weather and lives in hope that tomorrow the fog will go away.
Unfortunately, not all enthusiasts can play football. The game demands physical prowess and talent that, even in the junior high school grades, separates the men from the boys. And, since the game does demand certain things of its players which every boy in school cannot have, it seems to me that the answer to professionalism in colleges is simple. Just professionalize the whole game. And this isn't as fantastic as it sounds, either.
Sports have passed the era (except for tennis, possibly) when anyone feels that the game is any the less exciting because the players are paid, instead of doing their all for "Dear Old Siwash."
JACK F. LIBERATORE
San Mateo, Calif.
A TRIP TO BIG THURSDAY
I have read the splendid article Tigers, Truncheons and Tradition by Mr. Coles Phinizy (SI, Oct. 31).
Never have I read anything more accurate in description or better capturing the true spirit of the occasion. I have referred your article to many friends in an effort to explain Big Thursday as it really is.
Thank you for taking me to a Big Thursday game for the price of one copy of SI.
B. N. SKARDON
Fort Benning, Ga.
MAN OF THE YEAR?
I hope that this year again SI will select a sportsman of the year. Your choice for last year (SI, Jan. 3) of Roger Bannister was a natural: as an athlete, he broke a physical and psychological barrier that had defied runners for decades; as a philosopher of sport, he elevated sport from mere competition to an essential and enjoyable part of the life of man.
Is there a man of equal stature this year? I am looking forward to your choice.
I SEE NO ONE
As the new year approaches, I am becoming increasingly curious whom SI will choose as their Sportsman of the Year. To me it seems as if no such outstanding man as Roger Bannister is around. Bannister was a beautiful choice, obvious to sportsmen if not to fans (the AP, if you remember, nominated Willie Mays!). I see no one on the '55 horizon. Marciano? He proved that nice guys can clobber villains, but is that enough? My choice, William Woodward, ended tragically. A great sportsman!
OH, TO BE NEAR HIS MASTER'S SIDE
Perhaps Senator George Vest gave, some 80 years ago, the best answer to Jemail's October 31 HOTBOX question:
"The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter whom he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us—those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name—may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honour when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its clouds upon our heads.
"The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world—the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous—is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.
"If fortune drives his master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace, and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death."
C. L. EDY
London, Ontario, Canada
•These noble words, today immortalized in many a Missouri school text, were spoken September 23, 1870 in a Jefferson City courtroom by State Senator Vest in clearing the good name of Drum, a hound dog accused of killing chickens.—ED.
HE A SPORTSMAN?
Matt Tracy, Palm Beach sportsman ("Are you kidding?"), is undoubtedly the meanest cuss ever pictured in HOTBOX.
What kind of a sportsman is he? If he ever does any hunting in this neighborhood, please send me warning, so I can keep our dog in the house.
Let him find the deepest lake near Palm Beach and jump in, taking his hardboiled viewpoint with him.
M. J. GRAY
THE FRIENDLY FRANK
It has been generally conceded by those who love dogs that the dog is man's best friend, but that matter is greatly in error. It is the hot dog that is man's best friend. For example, the dog has been known to bite the hand that feeds it. On the contrary the hot dog feeds the hand that bites it.
ARTHUR H. TROTTER
St. Petersburg, Fla.
A SERIOUS REAPPRAISAL
While I have owned many dogs—friendly, faithful and true to the death—recently completed arithmetical studies have caused, in many quarters, serious reappraisal of this popular belief. From the standpoint of "friendliness" to man, these studies present a strong case for the male alligator as man's best friend.
On these excerpts from the studies I rest his case as candidate for the title, Man's Best Friend: "...it was calculated that the female alligator during her productive years lays as many as 10,000 eggs.... The male alligator eats as many as 9,999 alligator eggs and/or baby alligators during his lifetime...."
Without him we would surely be up to our ears in alligators.
GEORGE A. MUCKLETEE
WIFE'S BEST FRIEND
In Montgomery, Alabama they are telling this story about man's best friend: A much-upset man approached the desk of a police sergeant and told him that his wife had been missing since early the night before. The officer efficiently began to assemble information:
"What size is she?"
"Uh—about average, I guess."
"Oh, somewhere around 5 feet."
"Color of eyes?"
"Hmmm, sort of neutral."
"Gosh, I don't remember."
"Kind of clothes?"
"Hat and coat, I think. She had a dog with her."
"Pedigree collie. Stands 6 hands, weighs 38 pounds, tricolor with brownish-gray spot over right eye, right rear leg solid white, slightly deaf in left ear, has deep-brown leather collar and answers to the name of 'Prince.' "
"That's enough," said the desk sergeant, "we'll find the collie."
E. L. HOLLAND
DICK DOT GREASY CHESS
Ever raid Sparks Eliminated? Yule faint money entrust in tangs—tangs like feeble, gulf, tens en udder sparks dot mark vary worst well raiding. Mark sore Compressor Chess rates mar greasy auricles.
Some 20 years ago the following anecdote was making the rounds:
An automobile in which two youngsters, Bruce and Alice, were riding overturned on a country road some distance from the city where they lived. The accident was witnessed by a friend of the family, who was asked to notify their parents by telegram. He was somewhat of a "stenchy oiled mouser" and, knowing he was allowed only 10 words in the wire, composed the following message depicting the incident:
BRUISES HURT ERASED AFFORD ERECTED ANALYSIS HURT TOO.
ARTHUR W. CALVER
THIS VERSATILE LANGUAGE
Thanks for the pleasant and sympathetic introduction you published with Pot I of "Violate Huskings" (SI, Oct. 24). Whoever wrote it has a light touch and a sprightly wit which amused me vastly and pleased me, too, as I haven't always fared so well at the hands of commentators on the Anguish Languish.
The Anguish Languish consists only of the purest of English words, and its chief raison d'√™tre is to demonstrate the marvelous versatility of a language in which almost anything can, if necessary, be made to mean something else.
Your writer's use of the word frammis sent me and other word-happy profs
scurrying for the larger dictionaries. We've decided that frammis exists only in SI's private lexicon, or perhaps in Finnegans Wake. If we're wrong about this, could you please let us know? Delesseriaceous undoubtedly is there too. This juicily sibilant creation is admittedly more delicious-sounding than my deletitious.
HOWARD L. CHACE
•Scholars of the contemporary scene consider frammis, the basic nonsense word in doubletalk, synonymous with any off-beat language. What came before frammis? Herris-Gerris, of course, which itself had as an ancestor Jabberwocky, the classic of doubletalk. Delesseriaceous, a pure English word much appreciated by conductors of spelling bees, describes the common red algae of the North Atlantic seaboard.—ED.
STYLE FOR THE TACK ROOM
I must congratulate you on the arresting and in all ways beguiling horse show cover for your October 31st issue.
It embodies, to me, the three principal elements of a good cover. Style—instant attraction of one's eye—and a most charming subject. I am sure it will be removed from the magazine and hung in many a tack room.
Such a handsome arrangement of black and white, yet full of color.
•Mr. Reynolds is one of Ireland's most prolific producers of books and paintings on horses, as well as the author of some fine Irish ghost stories.—ED.
CONGRATULATIONS AND THANKS FOR YOUR INTELLIGENT PREVIEW OP THE NATIONAL HORSE SHOW AND YOUR PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF HORSE EVENTS. I AM SURE THAT HORSEMEN AND HORSEWOMEN EVERYWHERE SHARE MY RESPECT FOR YOUR RECOGNITION OF HORSEMANSHIP AS A SPORTING AND EXACTING FORM OF ATHLETICS.
THE MEN WHO KNOW
I can almost say, "Glory, Hallelujah!" for Here Comes Hockey (SI, Oct. 24). At last has come an American publication which in a concise and, in my opinion, accurate way has placed the picture of the National Hockey League for the 1955-56 season before the public.
Just one word of warning: I hope Whitney Tower is firmly ensconced at SI because hockey is at the present time very short of knowledgeable men in the business, and could certainly use a man of his ability in many ways.
Toronto Maple Leafs
In SI's October 31 Garden State article, you say: "Mori devised a plan that made good common sense," giving the President of Garden State credit for conceiving the race. The fact is, of course, as has been acknowledged by the Garden State Race Track in their own publicity releases, that the race was completely conceived by J. Samuel Perlman, editor and publisher of the Morning Telegraph and Daily Racing Form.
D. L. LYONS
•Reader Lyons is correct. A Pat on the Back for Mr. Perlman.—ED.