SUGAR BOWL: WHY GEORGIA WON
Thanks for telling us why Georgia Tech won (SI, Jan. 9) rather than, like many newspapers in this area, why Pittsburgh lost the Sugar Bowl game.
Fort Wayne, Ind.
THE VIEW FROM PITTSBURGH
I fail to see the justice in your treatment of the Sugar Bowl contest. Being a student at the University of Pittsburgh I am naturally partial to the Pitt team. However, since almost a week has elapsed, I feel that I can now look at the game somewhat impartially, and my picture scarcely resembles yours.
All of us from Pitt were heartbroken that we should lose a game in score that we had won in every other respect, and Georgia Tech fans were fervently thanking rabbits' feet, lucky stars and fairy godmothers.
Just one last thing I might add: Pitt's varsity marching band. They were magnificent.
January 23, 1956
COTTON BOWL: OLE MISS DEPLORES...
We are not particularly proud of the attitude you take in your article on the Cotton Bowl. You seem to think the Rebels backed into a win in this hard-fought contest.
I would like to quote to you a remark by my friend Mr. Carl Walters, of the Slate Times, Jackson, Miss., concerning his views toward the victory of Ole Miss over TCU.
"Friend, you use all that you have that is ready, willing and able, and if what you have is not enough, that is just too, too bad."
We note that it took a total of 44 lines for you to tell just why TCU did not win, then gave only 12 lines of recognition to the Rebels of Ole Miss. Was it that you picked TCU, then had to come up with some excuses?
R. F. CAMERON
•Picked TCU? Not on your life! Herman Hickman was one of the few who picked Mississippi over TCU (SI, Dec. 26). He called it his "special upset for the day."—ED.
THE TCU APPROACH
With the football season over and the bowl games behind us, I want to thank you for the wonderful coverage you gave Fort Worth's fine university, Texas Christian.
Fort Worthians have justified pride in the way the game of football is played at TCU. The reason it is a game and not a commercialized, over-emphasized spectator sport is, of course, Dutch Meyer. On a local TV program after the season and before the bowl games, Mr. Myer was asked by the MC of the show for his predictions on the results of the games. After frankly stating that he was a terrible predictor with a miserable average in correctly guessing the outcome of football games, Dutch Myer then proceeded to express one of his colorful opinions on those who predict college football results and especially those predictors who make monetary wagers on their ideas. He said that not one of such men would entrust his business to a youth of 19 or 20, letting the lad make all of the decisions as to what stock to buy or what location would produce an oil well. Yet they bet their money that this same boy, quarterbacking a team of 10 other kids, will be able to make the right decisions within the few seconds allowed in a huddle, and then have them executed perfectly by the team of youngsters. Dutch seems to feel that this is a little incongruous—and very rightly so! He thinks the game of football should be just what Mr. Webster states as the meaning of game: "A contest for recreation or amusement...."
MRS. F. J. MILAN
ORANGE VS. ROSE BOWL
It is with face-saving tact that Coach Jim Tatum of Maryland said: "Oklahoma is definitely the best football team in the country."
I can agree with this statement only when Oklahoma ditches its minor league schedule together with its dull, stodgy style of play and graduates into the relatively tough competition of Notre Dame, Michigan State, Purdue, UCLA, Navy or even TCU. I think Michigan State could go unbeaten from now till Oklahoma freezes over if it played the weak-sister schedule Oklahoma annually romps through. After watching Maryland and Oklahoma lean into one another in the Orange Bowl and then marveling at the Michigan State magic in the Rose Bowl, I don't see how the two teams could be compared. Those Okies would spend most of the afternoon looking for the ball if they played the Spartans, a task they are not considering.
I just completed reading Herb Wind's story on Bob Cousy (SI, Jan. 9 & 16) and, while I am naturally biased, I dare say it is the greatest basketball story ever written for any publication that I have seen in 28 years of association with the game. Mr. Wind's entire treatment, sensible handling, accuracy and factual reporting is the best ever.
I think your treatment of basketball in this entire issue was magnificent. You have a great magazine that was long needed.
WILLIAM G. MOKRAY
Congratulations on the awe-inspiring article on Bob Cousy. Ever since I first saw him five years ago, he replaced Joe DiMaggio as my alltime sports idol.
I have seen Cousy play in at least 50 games, but in each one I am just as thrilled and amazed as at the first. Cousy is one of the alltime great athletes in a category with the likes of Jack Dempsey, Billy Tilden, Ben Hogan and Babe Ruth.
Some years ago an ordinance was passed which forbade basket behemoths from "goal tending." Reading the many eulogies (including the recent one in SI) about Bill Russell, I am left with the impression that he bats down many shots still in upward flight but also "tends goal" in the sense that he deflects or intercepts shots which are descending into the hoop.
•The goal-tending rule applies only to a player going up high enough to be able to knock an opponent's shot out of or away from the basket when the ball is on its way down into the basket. Russell, on defense, blocks opponents' shots just after they leave the shooter's hand, while the ball is still on its way up. On offense Russell helps his own teammates' shots into the basket, which is still quite legal.—ED.
STARS AND SNIPES (Cont.)
In order that the Star and Snipe sailors may settle their dispute on neutral ground, we of the U.S. International 14-inch (Dinghy) Association would like to offer eight boats for a team race to end their squabble. We can offer a choice of locations: Newport Harbor, Calif.; Seattle; Rochester; Marble-head, Mass.; Essex, Conn.; Annapolis, Md. Or, in a slightly more exotic vein, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal or Bermuda.
Naturally, we feel that their argument is a bit like the Ford-Chevvy battle when really everyone knows that Mercedes has the best racing cars. Why struggle with Stars or Snipes when you can race a 14!
•The issue is clear (SI, Dec. 12), the lines are drawn (SI, Dec. 26), a Snipe challenge has been received (SI, Jan. 9). Mr. Carter has now offered the services of impartial judges and a field of honor. We ask again: Any takers?—ED.
BIT THICK, YOU KNOW
I greatly enjoyed the article SI made up about the Tattersall sale of horses in England (WONDERFUL WORLD, Jan. 2). This charming piece of good-natured fiction was indeed the product of a delightful imagination. The idea of introducing into this piquant legpull several not-too-recherché characters (Rex Ellsworth was perfect) served to give it that just-right touch of plausibility.
But—alas—you overreached yourselves and marred, for me, an otherwise beguiling fantasy by creating the character Eric Wheeler. Fancy—a fox-hunting, horse-loving, pipe-smoking, tweeds and tweed-cap-wearing cleric, the Vicar of (come, come now) Steeple Bumpstead! I say, wasn't that a bit thick, chaps?
LEROY DE CAMP
•A bit thick, maybe, but as authentic as the Vicar of Affpuddle-Turners Puddle or Hungry Bentley.—ED.
GAME AND GUNS
As an ardent reader of SI each issue, I find it chock-full of things. Take for instance SI, Jan. 9, in which your gunning information runs the gamut from moths to behemoths.
The Harvey Schur story was quite interesting and a warmly written feature, but I paused and cogitated at some length over the designation of Harvey's rifle. The correct designation is 10.75 x 68, both designations being the dimensions of the cartridge in millimeters, the first the caliber and last the case length. By comparison, the familiar U.S. M2 cartridge or .30-06 is a 7.62 x 62, so Harvey's gun was a pretty big caliber. The cartridge is a German original, used by shooters in former German provinces in Africa and in other areas where the Mauser commercial influence has been felt. It is a good cartridge, but there are equal or better calibers available in terms of bullet weight times velocity.
I was greatly amused by Mr. A. C. Spectorsky's little bit about shooting the horsefly with his friend's .375 Magnum. I knew a man who did that once with a .45 Colt and was sorry immediately afterward. His horse was behind it! Anyway, I wish you would extend my condolences and sympathies to the heirs and relatives of the late Mr. Spectorsky, for I know darn well that if he fired 300 grains of powder in a .375 case (which the British normally fill up snugly with about 62 grains of Cordite), there is not much left of fly, rifle, scope, Author-Hunter Spectorsky, or porch.
WILLIAM B. EDWARDS
•All is well with porch, rifle and Mr. Spectorsky who fired through the horsefly into the wide open spaces of Connecticut.—ED.
SKIING: HOW AND WHERE
Your SNOW PATROL feature is very helpful to a lot of skiers throughout the nation, as is the SKI TIP.
Many skiers must drive hundreds of miles for a weekend of skiing. I used to live a half hour's drive from the best skiing in the nation, at Alta, Utah, so this San Diego skiing is hard to take. SNOW PATROL gives you an idea where to go when the few inches of snow in your local mountains (Big Bear Lake, Calif., 150 miles from San Diego) are gone.
G. R. MILLER
Count me in as one of those favoring your feature SNOW PATROL. It's full of information for many sports fans in this area, who, about this time of year, talk of nothing but skiing. Any information you give is certainly appreciated.
I enjoy SNOW PATROL each week, but you are giving too much information on clothes and equipment. Nuts to that! But, if you must, you could extend your legend, to wit:
•Skier Pfeiffer could have added: ES—electric socks; SPG—smog-proof goggles; U—umbrella, and FGTWFOTCUS—Field Guide to Wild Flowers of the Continental United States.—ED.
A NOTE ON SWAPS
I am getting tired of hearing hardly anything about Swaps and so much about Nashua.
How about a report on Swaps?
•Shortly after his Aug. 31 match race against Nashua, Swaps had his foot operated on, and he has not been raced since. Recently, however, Rex Ellsworth sent the colt into training for a comeback at Santa Anita, and Swaps has been nominated for two soon-to-be-run races: the $25,000 Santa Catalina (Jan. 21) and the $50,000 San Antonio Handicap (Feb. 11).—ED.
Once upon a time gentlemen added taste and imagination to the funds required for a fine automobile. Those lovely classic cars in your Jan. 2 issue show the distinguished result of this attitude.
Today a fancy reception will bring out a most monotonous gathering of identical jelly molds on wheels. One cannot tell the hired ones from the privately owned.
Gone are the traditional family colors and combinations, such as Brewster green or deep maroon and black. No more crests, no more proud emblems on the hood, transferred from car to car. Does the man who can afford a prestige car today really want it to look exactly like the one in front of it, like the hired cars in a funeral procession?
Alas and alack—if I only had the money instead of the desire. Perhaps a black Mark II with tan Burbank top by Derham, careful carriage striping and our family's screaming eagle (bought in Paris in 1926 by my father) perched proudly on the hood, instead, of—ugh—my station wagon.
THE SEARCH FOR CLASSICS
I want to congratulate SI and Kenneth Rudeen on the splendid picture story on classic cars.
The text was hep, the cars elegant and nostalgic. I am sure you have sent scores of would-be classicists into junk yards and onto recluses' estates in search of SJ Duesenbergs and Cadillac 16s. That they will have to pay more for them than they would have before your story came out I am sure, for your article has most certainly whetted appetites from Maine to California.
As the first national president of the Classic Car Club of America, I am gratified to see how far and wide classic interest has spread.
Classic Car Club of America
HOW TO BONGO
O.K., so you sold us on a Bongo Board in your article on Skeeter Werner's ski exercises (SI, Nov. 21). Now how about helping us use it?
The 20 knee bends are duck soup, and one of us will make it one of these days. The family record is 10 knee bends and 10 minutes without grounding the board. How is the jump turn done? Does the board turn with the jump 90° or does the jumper make a 180° turn and leave the board? What other stunts are recommended?
D. E. SCHMIDT
•Stanley Washburn Jr., inventor of the Bongo Board and fearless airline executive, says: "All the jump turn requires is courage, perfect timing, balance and agility. The trick is to balance the board (which remains stationary), jump into the air and simultaneously make a 180° turn, land back on the board facing the opposite direction and keep balancing." Once Mr. Schmidt has mastered this, he might roll up the rug and try it on a hardwood floor.—ED.
THE LONG, PLEASANT WAY TO LEARN
I read and reread Dr. Long's Learning from the Fox (SI, Dec. 19). I was reared on a farm and lived there till 30 years old. Spent every spare hour in the field and forest, hunting and fishing, or just studying and loving nature. I kept a pack of foxhounds and ran them often, day and night for 25 years. I have made a close study of the fox, his habits and home life in the wild. Have read and listened to many fantastic tales about what a fox will or will not do. Dr. Long has written the most accurate article on the red fox that I have ever read. He is correct in every detail. He, like myself, gained his knowledge from his close contact with nature. A long but pleasant way to learn. His story is pleasant and interesting to read indeed, but it finishes with a sour note to me, when the squire shoots the fox. We here in the South love the melody of a good pack of foxhounds in full cry, and hate to see a fox die. But times have changed since Dr. Long wrote this fine essay. The average American sportsman has lost his lust to kill as in the old days. We get more pleasure in preserving our game and wildlife. Am looking forward to the other works of Dr. Long as I am sure that they will be good, as all phases of sports covered by SI have been.
A MAN FOR THE AGES
In my small library at home my most treasured books are a dozen volumes written by the late Dr. William Joseph Long. Naturalist, historian and educator, Mr. Long was the most wholesome and constructive person I ever knew. His Brier Patch Philosophy, written during a period of blindness from which he recovered, belongs to the great books of all times. Walt Disney's marvelous films on wildlife are a projection in our time of the wonders of animal existence so well depicted by Dr. Long at the turn of the century, when to publish the truth about wild animals was a hazardous undertaking. SI is to be congratulated on its rediscovery of a man for the ages.
•For another chapter in Dr. Long's series, see page 33.—ED.
FOUL PLAY IN THE PONY CLASS
Apparently boxing is not the only sport where sinister work is afoot. Foul play has invaded the hitherto well-ordered world of pony shows. Evalee Geisler, the young lady who with her pony Little Brown Jug made the cover of SI, Dec. 13, 1954 (see cut), last week told Dayton police officials that someone had sneaked into her pony's stall and slashed his tail (see cut). This is no laughing matter. Little Brown Jug has won more than 50 first places within the last two years and was being groomed for this month's Arlington Trophy in Indianapolis. Because the rules of Western Parade Pony Class call for full manes and tails, Little Brown Jug, whose tail formerly almost swept the ground, is now ineligible for further competition.
Evalee sadly figures that it will take two years for Little Brown Jug's tail to grow back full length. And you talk about boxing's dirty business!