MAY I OFFER MY SERVICES?
I have just read Gerald Holland's article (SI, Nov. 7) about Mr. Leahy and his wonderful family. To say the least, I was most impressed with Mr. Leahy's attitude and ideas about curbing juvenile delinquency.
I am chairman of the social studies department of a large high school, have taught American history and other social studies subjects for nine years, and have worked with thousands of high-school-aged children. I have coached and can coach just about any sport, can administer and direct all kinds of activity programs for teen-aged children.
I like Leahy's philosophy, his ideas, and his "spunk." May I offer my services to Mr. Leahy and Mr. Wolfson in any program they may develop in the future to combat juvenile delinquency?
ROBERT M. GORDON
I, TOO, WANT TO HELP
I was very impressed with Frank Leahy's future plans concerning the problem of juveniles. I would like very much to be of assistance in this work.
November 21, 1955
Upon reviewing my qualifications, I am unimpressed except for one fact, and that is I have a determination to help in some way the youth of our nation.
GRANT E. ZACHARY
CAN MOTHER HELP?
Can an ordinary housewife help Mr. Leahy in his fine campaign against juvenile delinquency?
As the mother of two boys, I feel very strongly the need for correct guidance of the exuberant yet sensitive youth of today and would be glad to donate what little free time I have.
If Frank Leahy has a specific plan I would certainly like to hear about it.
•Leahy's plans for juvenile delinquency work are, as Holland pointed out, still in the formative stage. After reading these and other letters offering help, Frank Leahy had this to say: "It certainly is gratifying to learn so many people are so vitally interested in the problem of juvenile delinquency. I wish it were possible at this time to welcome all willing to help, but ours is a future project with much groundwork yet to be laid. It is our hope to eventually contact all who have evidenced an interest in our program to determine how we can best make use of all the talents being offered. In the meantime I should like to recommend that those who have offered help investigate the opportunities to be of aid to projects already under way within their communities. There are many organizations doing wonderful work in this field."—ED.
NICE ROVER BOY
Frank Leahy comes out of your CONVERSATION PIECE as a fairly nice guy, albeit something of a cornball, but boy has he got misconceptions.
In the first place: it wasn't the small band of college football players, or any other minute group of special-privilege specialists who won the war (or shall we say fought the war), it was all of us normally developed, and normally underdeveloped, normal citizens. The football players were mostly in the states playing football—on the Great Lakes team or on numerous cadre posts about the U.S. In fact SI had an article a short time ago on the sad state of American muscles under our national "sports for the superman only" policy (The Report that Shocked the President, SI, Aug. 15).
What stung me though was his Rover-boyish reference to the fight a Babe Zaharias makes when she runs up against cancer. You see my father had run up against this same ungentle opponent. He wasn't a publicized athlete, having gone to work at the age of 14 years, but he put up a fight, without benefit of news cameras, that would have shamed a squadron of Babe Zahariases. The fact that, one week before, upon his being declared loser of that very vicious struggle, the local newspaper got his name wrong in their brief summary of the game has nothing to do with this letter. We have that kind of newspaper.
I guess what I have in mind is that Frank is probably a nice boy; and he probably taught his football players to be nice boys; but what this world needs, an awful lot, is adults.
St. Paul, Minn.
TO PLAY THE GAME
In the Frank Leahy story, the author, Gerald Holland, mentioned that framed above Mr. Leahy's desk was "A Game Guy's Prayer."
I was wondering if it would be possible for you to let us have the prayer in full.
BERNARD F. SULLIVAN
Fall River, Mass.
•The prayer, by an unknown author, reads as follows:
"Dear God, help me to be a sport in this little game of life. I don't ask for an easy place in the lineup—play me anywhere You need me. I only ask for the stuff to give You 100% of what I've got and if all the tough breaks seem to come my way, I thank You for the compliment. Help me to remember that You won't ever let anything come my way that You and I together can't handle and help me to take bad breaks as a part of the game. Help me to understand that the game is full of knocks and trouble and make me thankful for them and help me to get so that the harder they come the better I like it. And, O God, help me to always play on the square no matter what the other players do. Help me to study and think a lot about the Greatest Player that lived and other great players that are told about in the Book. And if they found out that the best part of the game is helping other guys who are out of luck, help me to find it out too. Help me to be a regular fellow with the other players. Finally, O God, if fate seems to uppercut me with both hands and I am laid on the shelf in sickness or old age or something, help me to take that as part of the game too. And help me not to whimper or squeal that the game was a frame-up or that I had a raw deal. And when, in the falling dusk, I get the final bell, I ask for no lying, complimentary stones. I'd only like to know that You feel that I have been a good game guy."—ED.
A LITTLE SCHEME
John Gillooly's searching look into Boston boxing (COLUMN OF THE WEEK, Nov. 7) landed right smack in my wheelhouse as I have seen service under the banner of the Boston promoters. The behind-the-scenes ones as well as the front men. As far as the Gillooly column goes it's just a little verbal shadowboxing. Like a Bikini suit, it covers some interesting points, but it's up to you fellows to continue your digging if boxing is to be saved.
I've been thinking of a little scheme whereby I might throw my small weight behind your efforts in behalf of boxing. Knowing the setup pretty thoroughly and realizing your task, I'm amazed at the stuff you have dug up and printed. Not that they are state secrets, but you're not supposed to print that stuff. At any rate I have been working out an idea whereby I could teach my television viewers how to understand the scoring system. I think that if you can score a fight fairly right you can get more enjoyment out of it. Now how would you like to take the ball from here and get this idea across. If you can teach the people to score, they will get behind your efforts and thank you for a job well done.
That's all from this corner.
•Scoring a bout is indeed a complex and often misunderstood operation. SI agrees with Mr. Kennedy that the knowledgeable spectator gets more enjoyment from boxing and for that purpose will present a detailed do-it-yourself scoring guide in time for the Olson-Robinson fight December 9.—ED.
FIRST FOOTBALL GAME (CONT.)
Referring to your editorial comment to Mr. Harry L. Bowlby's letter "The First Game" (19TH HOLE, Oct. 31), I say bravo! And more power to you!
Perhaps if the myth regarding that first intercollegiate soccer or association football game of 1869 between Princeton and Rutgers is exploded often enough and the facts are repeated enough, we may get the widely accepted fallacy exposed and the authenticity of the New Brunswick site for the Football Shrine discredited.
You are to be commended for questioning the truth of this popular belief in your August 16 issue of 1954, and President Griswold deserves an assist also, although it was the Harvard-Tufts game on June 4 of that year that has the real honor of being the first all-American intercollegiate game of football, in my opinion.
Moreover, if it were not for Harvard, we might never have had football, which of course stems from Rugby, not association football (or soccer as it is now called). Harvard refused to indulge in the round-ball kicking game, where touching the ball with the hands is forbidden, and played Rugby football intramurally from 1871 to 1873 and then with Canadian teams in 1874 and 1875.
After getting Tufts to play that "first game" they finally talked Yale into trying it. Yale, though it had tried Rugby with a pickup team from Eton in 1873, was still kicking the round ball around with the other colleges. The Elis liked the Rugby game so much better after their initial losing bout with Harvard that in 1876 they weaned Princeton and Columbia away from soccer, and in 1877 the other colleges followed, and the first conferences on standard rules for American Rugby football were held.
To this day our goal post dimensions are the same as Rugby and for many years our gridiron was the same in length as Rugby—110 yards.
Ironically it was Harvard, the original sponsor of American football, that prevented the attempted widening of our football field to the Rugby width, which would have been more desirable. Their then brand-new Soldiers Field concrete stadium—first in America—was built too close to the side lines to permit it, and the idea was permanently buried.
Actually, a now deceased member of the football Hall of Fame Site Committee admitted to the writer that the acceptance of the 1869 New Brunswick game was a mistake, but that the error had been publicized for so long that they did not feel like fighting it. Also, Harvard and Cambridge were strangely silent in the face of the promotional efforts being agitated by Rutgers and New Brunswick, so we now have a so-called football shrine that can be truthfully accepted by the soccer fraternity as the place where their first game was played!
HAROLD M. KENNARD
Glen Ridge, N.J.
AUBURN 14: GEORGIA TECH 12
In SI, Oct. 31 there is a grave mistake in the cartoon which depicts an Auburn football player having a goal post splinter removed from his finger. The splinter in his finger must be at least 14 years old because our goal posts of today are made of metal, and anyone wanting to tear down this goal would have to dig it up or use a torch to cut it down.
•Indeed it may have been 14 years old. At least it was badly festered.—ED.
ADVANCE! O EXCELLENT FIGHTER!
Regularly we receive SI in the Fédération Fran√ßaise d'Escrime, and we have indeed a real pleasure in reading your magazine, quite as much for its wonderful illustrations as for the sportive documentation.
In SI, Sept. 26, I particularly appreciated your SPORT IN ART, Royal Sports in Ancient Egypt, however I regretted to see you did not mention fencing, a sport exercised in ancient Egypt. Here is a picture (see cut) which documents this. The original is found in Upper Egypt, around Luxor, on the walls of the temple of Medinet Habu built by Rameses III in 1190 B.C. The pharaoh had organized a great sporting competition in order to celebrate the Egyptian victory over the Libyans, and fencing "already" held a great place there. The fencers have weapons blunted by an enlargement of the foil easily visible; their hands are protected by a guard similar to that of the saber of today. Certain ones among them protect the face by a mask which has a thick padded chin piece covering both ears and attached on each side to the wig. Sometimes the fencers parry the thrusts by means of a narrow buckler fastened to the left forearm.
The hieroglyphics give some amusing details: One of the combatants cries at his adversary, "On guard and admire what my brave hand is going to do." The spectators cry at the conqueror: "Advance! Advance! O excellent fighter! O eminent fighter!" The public is composed of Assyrians, Sudanese and Egyptians. Present were a jury and the officials, recognizable by insignia.
Furry lung lung term disk frammis (E & D, Oct. 24, 31, Nov. 7, 14) worse jest hobble toe udder sand.
Together cents reader outlawed yore gut sum sing.
T. E. HARITOS
La Crosse, Wis.
Congo adulation stew Professor Chace sonnet under tainting sir ease bout putty Violate Huskings sander advent yours wither strung glover, Hairy. Lettuce salve a nether wan son.
J. M. BAIRD
Park Forest, Ill.
•Money tanks further kine worts. Watt chauffeur nether wan son.—ED.
THE NATIVE NEW YORK ANIMAL
Allow this provincial writer to voice a few opinions on Miss Sherwood's letter "Autumn, N.Y.C." (19th HOLE, NOV. 7).
New York City "breathes life" through a series of oxygen tents, it would appear, since there are no open spaces, even for a breath of air to enter. My contacts with this City of Myth afford me the opportunity to spend a great deal of time with the denizens of this concrete jungle. As soon as my car passes through the Lincoln or Holland Tunnel, or creeps laboriously over the George Washington Bridge, at that precise moment—that moment of truth—when the sign says "New York City," then my entire personality changes.
I become a horn-blowing, vehement, profanity-gurgling animal, fully reared in the techniques of the native animal—the New Yorker. A fender for a fender, a grill for a grill, an eye for an eye, but the New Yorker usually tries for "two of the same." A selfish, swaggering, boastful, often incoherent, brash, loud, overstuffed bundle of nothing—the New Yorker. Belonging to nothing, he seizes on the superficial, proclaiming that size and noise make up for quality and character. He has no football team to cheer in the autumn air; and the autumn air is composed of 50% carbon monoxide and 50% loud mouthings of a language foreign to the rest of America. Autumn is a time for outdoors, of mountains and forests, of leaves turning brown and gold. And all the bright and glittering superficialities common to the frustrated New Yorkers will never replace the works of nature. They were here long before the lights and the marquees.
HIGH COST OF LIVING
Enclosed is my "buck" for membership in Happy Knoll. It seems to me that every sports-minded person (and others) reading SI should apply for membership. By doing so, we are assured that our teams will go in the style that represents the outstanding way the sportsmen of America do things.
Also, please extend my thanks to W. H. Wender (19TH HOLE, Oct. 24). His explanation of his cost of fishing most certainly did wonders here at home. I was having a little trouble explaining why my trout this year jumped in cost from $16 to $18.33 per pound of fish caught.
Just how many more sports are you guys going to find? Never realized how many there were until SI. Your magazine is a source of constant information; it is even better than Webster's for winning sports arguments.
B. L. BELL
Please earmark this $5 check for the Olympic equestrian team. It is given in the memory of young William Woodward. We would do well to emulate his fine sportsmanship in the coming Olympic Games.
Please enter my application for membership in the Happy Knoll Country Club, and hurry so that I will be eligible for the Annual Dinner.
My wife wishes to defy the Happy Knoll constitution and also make application for membership. She feels that by coming in the back door, so to speak, she is crossing up the old guard.
WILLIAM R. BLAND
West Hartford, Conn.
•No need for the back door, the Ladies' Entrance is through the Olympic Fund. Our warmest thanks to Mr. Bland and to the many other new guest members, among whom are the Messrs. Dean, Lubbock, Texas; Radebaugh, Lancaster, Ohio; Richard, Philadelphia; Anderson, Boston, and Brown, Salem, Oregon. The contributions this week have made it one of the most profitable of the Happy Knoll Olympic Fund drive to date.—ED.
A STORM OF PROTEST
Your fine photo story on the Pelee Island pheasant hunt (SI, Nov. 7) was much enjoyed here but you neglected to mention that the island is in Canada. It is, in fact, the most southerly part of the Dominion.
Best available estimates, however, indicate that roughly 90% of the 1,400 hunters this year came from the United States and this has evoked a storm of protests.
Rod and gun club members throughout the province claim they have been out-maneuvered in their favorite hunting grounds by "free spenders" from south of the border (average cost of the two-day shoot to each hunter is said to be $300).
Zone 5 of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters has called on the Ontario government to investigate the distribution of hunting licenses for the island, suggesting a limit be placed on those handed out to nonresidents of the province.
WISH HE WERE HERE
Permit me to tip my hat in the direction of Australia, and to Ken Rosewall and Lew Hoad. Bless 'em for turning away from Jack Kramer's gilded offers to clean up with their racquet talent. I am glad that they will remain with the amateurs and continue to inject excitement into all of the center courts of the tennis world—and will with pride fight to hold the Davis Cup for their homeland. Would that Mr. Trabert could have remained to fight and regain the Davis Cup for his country.
•But Rex Hartwig did turn pro. Does Mr. Stewart want to reconsider?—ED.
Could you please tell me what the white spots are on the heads of the men watching Jesse Owens (SI, Oct. 31)?
•Jesse Owens, on a good-will tour for the State Department, was demonstrating his starting technique to some Sikhs, who traditionally do not cut their hair and wear safa or turbans. When exercising, a Sikh may substitute for his safa strips of cloth to keep the hair out of his eyes.—ED.