THE INNOCENT ONLOOKER
In SI, Nov. 21 you have (unwittingly, I am sure) libeled the President of the U.S. through misunderstanding of the true meaning of a word with an interesting background.
The caption describing a picture of Ike limbering up on the White House green explains that he later retired to a nearby chair and "kibitzed" while his son John tried a few putts of his own. Surely you can't mean kibitzed! The essence of the art of kibitzing, and that which distinguishes it from ordinary advice-giving, is that it is unrequested, annoying and misleading. The truly labeled kibitzer is, in a word, a pest.
Admittedly, it was not ever thus. The word comes to us from Yiddish, that remarkably colorful tongue which has infiltrated vocabularies around the globe. But it was first used, as explained in H.L. Mencken's The American Language (Supp. 1), by line officers of the old Austrian army. During the Italian campaign of 1848-49, an Austrian staff officer had a little dog called Kiebitz. Soon, through the traditional disdain of front-line soldiers for those who remain in rear areas, staff officers were referred to as Kiebitze. The next step was to use the word to describe anyone who merely looked on while others did a particular job or played a game.
By the time "kibitzer" was brought to this country, it had lost its connotation of innocent onlooker and taken on that of "meddler." To use another Yiddishism, the kibitzer is something of a schlemiel. All in all, hardly a term to describe our No. 1 golfer giving friendly, helpful advice to his son.
November 28, 1955
•SI intended no slight on the President's ability to instruct his son John. Ike has been a front-line participant both as soldier and golfer. Actually, though some kibitzers are indeed pests and have given the gentle art a bad name, the meaning of the word is not as hard and fast as Miss Billig implies. A kibitzer's advice may be "unrequested, annoying and misleading," but the term may also be used when the advice is friendly and helpful. It's all in the eye of the kibitzee. As for SI, it welcomes both varieties of kibitzers to the 19TH HOLE.—ED.
ARE THEY TAUGHT TO FEAR?
I most heartily agree with the sentiments expressed by Adam Walsh, the Bowdoin football coach (E & D, Nov. 21). They follow in the steps of Si's Aug. 15 Report That Shocked the President by emphasizing the underlying reason why our American youngsters are allowed to become progressively weaker. The reason is a mistaken educational philosophy, a philosophy which does not approve of muscle building.
This is an old story. I recall the letter from Dr. Frederick Rand Rogers (19TH HOLE, Aug. 29) describing how his thesis on the means of attaining physical fitness for the youth of America had been ridiculed in official educational circles 20 years ago. Now that the facts are beginning to be known, thanks to SI, Dr. Rogers' thesis is being considered in a kinder light. Nevertheless, teachers coming out of most physical education schools today are imbued with the philosophy that if an activity does not have carry-over value it has no place in the school athletic program.
I believe that all youngsters like a little rugged activity, but if they have been weaned away from it from kindergarten through the ninth grade they lose their zest for strenuous activity and may actually come to fear physical contact.
Boxing Coaches Assn.
ADAM PUT HIS FINGER ON IT
Many times I've intended writing you praising your staff and your magazine for its excellence. Probably through laziness I haven't. But, reading Adam Walsh's sentiments, I feel I must thank you for every issue I've read—and particularly Walsh's correct view on one of the things that's wrong with the rising generation. He put the finger on it in blaming the physical education programs of the teacher-training
institutions. In my opinion it has never been presented as succinctly.
Incidentally, Knute Rockne not only called Adam Walsh his greatest center; he considered Adam Walsh the most qualified Notre Dame grad to teach football. Adam went to Yale when Tad Jones asked Rock to "recommend the man who would do most for Yale." Adam was a successful line coach at Yale but, when it came time for him to become head coach, he didn't get it. Yale's loss was Bowdoin's gain.
ART LEA MOND
HAPPY KNOLL'S FAMILIAR PROBLEMS
How we chuckle over the events at Happy Knoll! As my husband is a member of the board of directors of the Elmira Country Club, many of Happy Knoll's problems are all too familiar to him. Many times he has expressed a desire to apply for membership so I am asking you to accept the enclosed contribution for the U.S. Olympic Fund and consider his application.
I'll try and round up references, if you need them.
MRS. JOHN DOYLE
•Another record Olympic week for Happy Knoll's Olympic Fund. Thanks also to: Guy Tunnicliffe, East Lansing, Mich.; A. R. Hughes, Chicago; Estelle Lathrop, Frank G. Newcomer, Westbury, N.Y.; Lionel Dannick, Bowling
Green, Ohio; Chester D. Haywood, Worcester, Mass.; James Trelease, North Plainfield, N.J.; Frank E. Sandretto, Valley Springs, Calif.; R.W. Perisin, Chicago; Mrs. W. Schluter, Mission, Kansas; Robert Beckner, New York; Rene J. Tritschler, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Wanda Evans, Everett, Wash.; F. W. Hedrick, West Chester, Pa.; Mr. and Mrs. James Castellaw, Atlanta; Charles S. Thomas, El Paso; Benjamin Bell, Quincy, Calif.; John Haas, Gettysburg, Pa.; Russell Smith, Houston; Florence Morton, Grimes, Calif.; Jack Liberatore, San Mateo, Calif.; Gwendolyn Schoonmaker, Ware, Mass.; James Schmitt, McKeesport, Pa.; Mrs. G. W. Hanscomb, Englewood, Fla.; Theodor Miller, Northampton, Mass.; Todd Fandell, Boston; Jerry Pfeiffer, St. Louis; and Major Wesley Young Jr., Tokyo.—ED.
THEIR OUTLOOK ON LIFE
I have just finished reading Seth Kantor's article on Dutch Meyer (SI, Nov. 14). For a comparison of his outlook on life I went back and read again the article on Frank Leahy (SI, Oct. 31). These two men are training boys and their influence will be felt for a lifetime. I would rather have a son of mine be a water boy for Meyer than a star for Leahy.
Mr. Leahy is actually proud that he trained boys to take advantage of a rule that was designed for the protection of boys. Mr. Leahy discussed in part "the feigning of injuries that caused so much discussion in the Iowa game of 1953—although Iowa had done it the week before..." Surely Mr. Leahy did not expect anyone with a memory to believe such a statement. Iowa had played Minnesota and Purdue in the two games just before the Notre Dame game and had beaten Purdue 26-0 and Minnesota 27-0. Why would an Iowa player take a chance of losing his hide to Coach Evashevski or bring bad publicity to his school by feigning injury when leading by such scores?
Mr. Leahy might salve his ego by trying to say that everyone was doing it but his church leaders and the head people of Notre Dame were not pleased with the type of publicity he got by tying Iowa with his win-by-any-method play.
YOU HAVE SEALED MY OPINION
Congratulations on your Ohio State Story (SI, Oct. 24). The day your article hit the newsstands in Columbus, a Columbus radio sports editor came forth with high praise for your objective news reporting and said, "This is probably the best article ever written in SI since it was first published, and I recommend this article for your reading."
Since that publication, out-of-town newspapers have been heaping abuse upon the "professional football" player at Ohio State and other aspects of the situation. Immediately, Columbus sports editors, both radio and newspaper, including the same radio sports editor, have come to the defense of Ohio State, saying that your article, along with those written by the out-of-town newspapers, did not know whereof it spoke. Columbus sports reporters seem to be the only ones who know the truth about Ohio State, and all other writers are merely "witch hunting" to fill their columns. Columbus may be "the football capital of the world," as it claims to be, but it also must lay claim to being "the capital of poor sportsmanship and bad losers of the world."
GEORGE H. FISHE
We read your description of Bob Pellegrini (SI, Nov. 7) and, as a class of majors in health and physical education, we were shocked at the implied ideas.
First of all, your article suggested that all football players are made up of muscular strength and nothing else, and that all schools cater to football players just for the glory they bring to the school.
Another thing to which we were opposed was the way in which the article presented to the readers the idea that physical education courses are "cinch" courses. Such is not the case at all, but the general reader would not know that. You described Bob Pellegrini as "not exactly the scholastic type," and "happily majoring in physical education." In our four-year course at Douglass College we have time for but one elective...but we think that such a course as Courtship and Marriage might be very profitable if we had time to take it.
Why try to emphasize the fact that physical educators are just people who could find no other course that would keep them in college? As future physical educators, we cannot help but want our profession to be regarded with respect. Thousands of your readers immediately get the wrong idea about the whole situation. It seems to us like one great big crime!
R. E. DONOVAN
Douglass College, Rutgers
New Brunswick, N.J.
THE WORLD NEEDS THEM
When I read the excerpt on Bob Pellegrini, I was completely dismayed. Most football fans know and realize that the recruiting of players is necessary, but many of us like to believe that deserving boys who otherwise might not have an opportunity to receive a college education are the recruits. Certainly your highlighting Pellegrini's college courses of Courtship and Marriage says by inference all football stars take easy courses and, therefore, are not capable of competing scholastically as well as athletically. I know from experience that he majority of colleges do not have special courses for these boys. Notre Dame, for an example (your article of Sept. 1954), insists on a high scholastic performance by all team members. I am sure that a majority of colleges follow suit. My personal contact with men like Al Wistert of Michigan, Art Lewis of West Virginia, Bill Feidler of Pennsylvania and many others demonstrates this point. Today's major college football players need mental equipment as well as physical equipment and a desire to win. With world conditions the way they are, our country needs men of character, intelligence and desire—most of our college football players fit these qualifications.
You must have run out of attractions very quickly in your publishing experience to foist a pro football player on your front cover and glorify a situation that makes your story of Ohio State wholly pure amateur by comparison.
Or have you too succumbed to the notion that victory is more important than honor and scholastic achievement?
I have in my mind's eye the picture of the beautiful hulk of a man taking his elective in Courtship and Marriage. It would have been more to his and your credit had you stated that he was majoring in elementary English, arithmetic and spelling.
It has been my dubious privilege to have employed an All-America from Ohio State many years back who wholly lacked the ability to perform the last three subjects.
With the '55 football season almost over, the Atlantic Coast Sports Writers Association recommends the following players for All-America. The players are listed in alphabetical order.
Bob Bartholomew, Wake Forest, tackle.
Bob Pascal, Duke, halfback.
Bob Pellegrini, Maryland, center.
Ed Vereb, Maryland, halfback.
Joel Wells, Clemson, halfback.
Atlantic Coast Sports Writers Assn. Raleigh, N.C.
EXIT FORTESCUE, MUTTERING
John O'Reilly's brief story, Don't Be Afraid of the Screech Owl (SI, Nov. 14), touched responsive chords in the hearts of our family. Several years ago we found a baby screech owl lying beneath an oak tree on our lawn. He was a tiny bit of white fluff when we found him, but when he left us he had grown to maturity. We named him Fortescue.
It took some time to get his daily food. His chief diet was earthworms, and this requires constant digging. We were more than repaid for our labors because he taught us much about himself and the woods. As soon as he learned to fly, we put him out at night. It was never too difficult to locate him the following morning, since the blue jays invariably found his place of hiding and called loudly to their fellows while they flew about him, excitedly prepared to mob him if he ventured to fly from them. We would find him settled on the branch of a camellia or an azalea bush, muttering quietly to himself the soft liquid notes Mr. O'Reilly describes.
One night he flew away, never to return. Now, whenever we hear the song of the screech owl, we think it may be Fortescue come back to serenade us.
C. M. A. ROGERS
Apropos of "Electronic Quack" (E & D Nov. 7) I think it is quite possible if the world's technicians do not succeed in destroying themselves and us and the animal kingdom, that some quack technician may come up with a definite device where-by not only can the ducks be called electronically to the blind but the sportsman who owns the blind may even be able to stay snugly at home while the other electronic devices aim and fire the rampart guns at the ignorant, nontechnical ducks. But beware lest the word "sports" in your title come to mean only unathletic personalities instead of the wholesome athletic activities it stands for now.
THE BARD ON PUTTING
Shakespeare puts it more concisely than Nobel Chalfant did when he advised SI readers to putt without too much delay (TIP FROM THE TOP, NOV. 7):
If it were done when 'tis done,
then 'twere well
It were done quickly;
—Macbeth, Act. 1, Scene 7
F. N. MCCARTHY
LETTER FROM A SILENT MAN
How come Jimmy Jemail, in preparing his HOTBOX of Nov. 14, didn't consult a golf-course superintendent about the use of motorized carts on the course? In most cases the bartender gets more credit for making a bottle of Vermouth last a year and a half than the greenskeeper gets for keeping a couple of hundred acres of grass in good playing condition for the many species of golfer. Ten times out of 10 a good golf course has one silent man who, before he goes to bed at night, makes sure the golf course is ready for play tomorrow. This silent man is, naturally, the golf course superintendent.
Hope Happy Knoll limits carts (motorized) to those with a doctor's prescription.
Enclosed is my subscription for 1956 membership at Happy Knoll to go to the Olympic Fund.
LEWIS T. F. WOGAN
ASK YOUR CADDY
Why don't you ask some caddies how they feel about motorized carts? Since the appearance of the cart on the courses, the days of the caddy are numbered.
The "well-to-do" people that Jimmy Jemail interviews naturally favor the carts; why shouldn't they? They have been sitting behind desks so long that they don't feel natural in any other position. This doesn't go for Sam Snead or Mike Souchak, both of whom are fine gentlemen and sportsmen.
Some courses in southern California allow carts only to those presenting a doctor's certificate of disability. This is one way of "preserving" the caddy. Another way is to rule that each foursome must have at least one caddy. Many of our top pros were at one time or another caddies.
I have yet to see the cart that can tell a man what club to use, or which way the green will "break." There are still some of us who take pride in our work.
I cannot, for obvious reasons, sign my name to this because there is only one club in Long Beach, California which still has caddies. My final word of advice to "some" golfers is: "Treat your caddy fairly; we're human."
Long Beach, Calif.
THE GREAT BURG
Football's Girls (SI, Nov. 7) sparkles and blazes with gorgeous color and rhythm in picturing the gorgeous gridiron majorettes, baton twirlers and dancers at San Jose State, Ole Miss, Los Angeles Coliseum and Duke.
It's too bad that you didn't add an extra page to add the girl in the "one hundred men and a girl" marching band of Syracuse University, Miss Alta Burg, the champion baton twirler of the amateur world.
East Aurora, N.Y.
•See below for gorgeous gridiron majorette Alta Burg sparkling and blazing in black and white.—ED.
THIS IS THE YELL
From 'Rah' to the Supersonic by Martin Kane (SI, Nov. 7), described the famous yell of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Unfortunately, this was not a true description.
The yell, as called by the fans of the Hogs, is as follows:
Woooooooooooooo Pig, Sooie
Woooooooooooooo Pig, Sooie
Woooooooooooooo Pig, Sooie
This is the yell that has been haunting Southwest Conference teams for years.
According to SI, "Harvard, a man's school, claims the oldest college cheer in the country, its 'regular cheer,' which consists of three 'Harvards' long drawn out, followed by seven 'rahs' and a 'fight, team, fight.' " Could you tell me when this was changed from nine "rahs" followed by "Harvard, Harvard, Harvard"?
Perhaps your president, an old pupil of mine in Boston Latin School, can furnish the information. I think Roy Larsen will remember the old cheer as I do.
ALBERT F. REED
Wellesley Hills, Mass.
•Roy Larsen, President of Time Inc., recalls Mr. Reed with pleasure and remembers the words of Cicero: "Scitis omnes, quantam vim habet ad conjugendas amicitias, studiorum ac naturae similitudo," but in the matter of the old cheer is obliged to admit with Virgil that "fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus."—ED.