THE QUALITY OF REMEMBRANCE
Saturday, May 5 was indeed A Day to Remember (SI, May 14), but less for the horse race in Kentucky than for the foot race in Los Angeles. It is always disappointing if a really not first-rate favorite wins a great race such as the Kentucky Derby. The history and traditions of the event carry the horse, rather than the horse making a contribution to the stature of the race. Needles is a game, sturdy and sometimes thrilling contender, but he lacks that quality of greatness that characterizes Swaps and Nashua. Perhaps it is Needles' seeming indifference. The great horses I have known—Man o' War, Native Dancer, even Tom Fool—all somehow communicated to their followers that sense of dedication to a great challenge every time they ran. You could feel it physically in the paddock.
The foot race was a different affair altogether. I doubt very much whether Bailey will ever achieve a four-minute mile again, or even come close. It was his countryman's great heart and superb will to succeed that carried Bailey to greatness for a day.
Landy himself is surely one of the most interesting figures of our day. His Hamlet-like analysis of the mind and matter of striving man, his matter-of-factness and his humble uncertainties are enormously appealing in an athlete. His dedication is only surpassed by that of Bannister. As performers, only the Hungarians can come close. And as a thinking man, constantly aware of man's physical inability to achieve what his mind can foresee, John Landy is a natural philosopher of some stature.
I am retired now here in Brooklyn, but still care deeply about the world in all its aspects. The world of sport has always been my own favorite, both as a spectator and as a not too indifferent participant, from schoolboy sports to old-age golf. SI was given to me by my alert daughter-in-law and I will ever be grateful to her.
GERALD SMITH SYMONDS
May 20, 1956
A PAT ON THE BACK to John Landy, the best ambassador of good will ever accredited. He talks like an angel and runs like a demon. If Australia has any sense, they will send him to Russia next. John would accomplish more in three-plus minutes than others have in three-plus years!
ON THE BUTTON
You hit hard and straight to the button with your issue of May 7.
To have Needles outside in full color was a fine bit of journalism, as well as a lucky one. Congratulations also to Whitney Tower for his very good preview of the race.
HERBERT BAYARD SWOPE
YOU ARE THERE
Very fine article, PREVIEW—THE KENTUCKY DERBY (SI, May 7). Although about 2,200 miles away from Louisville, I could almost smell the mint juleps and see the $6-combination windows. And when Mr. Tower had them coming down the stretch in his imaginative running account—although I was safely encamped in my living room—I actually reached back expecting someone to try to lift my wallet.
THE SPIRIT OF HORSE AND MAN
Thank you for the ANNIVERSARY picture of Omaha (SI, May 7). Not many people remember him, but, since he is "retired" near my home, in Omaha, he is a very dear horse to me. I had the pleasure of seeing Omahat, one of his "girls," win her first race last year at the Ak-sar-ben track, and it brought back much of the Omaha of younger days. Omaha is very old now but he still has the spirit of the fine race horse he was.
Much as I love horse racing and horses, that race between men (SI, May 14) was much the greater event of Derby day. I have followed Jim Bailey fairly closely and was very happy for him, although I was a bit put out that Ron Delany was given so little credit for the pacing job he did. But then Ron seldom seems to get credit that is his due.
THE IMPACT OF THE BULL
I wish to congratulate you on your taurine coverage. It has been better than any other U.S. magazine. I would like to see another piece by John Stanton; he has to date been the most knowledgeable and interesting of your writers on this subject, in my opinion.
It seems to be the attitude of most U.S. publications to ignore bullfighting and hope it will go away someplace, rather than attempt to understand the great interest that it holds for millions of people the world over. No one can fully understand the Latin culture or way of life without considering the impact that the corrida has had on the language, custom and art in Spain and more than half of our hemisphere.
ROBERT M. CROWELL
WANTED: A CLEAR DEFINITION
With Ohio State and the University of Washington now running into trouble with their respective conferences in the matter of aid to athletes (E & D, May 7 and 14), I hope all the athletic conferences will take a long, realistic look at this problem. The codes or rules, which each conference uses should be as uniform as possible, it seems to me. No doubt athletics have a place in colleges, and this place should be defined as honestly and clearly as possible.
F. J. MILLER
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Your article on Ohio State football in the past (SI, Oct. 24, 1955) recently led to the probation of Ohio State and ineligibility for the Rose Bowl this year. I believe that this penalty by the Big Ten was an unjust one. It is a known fact that the things that Ohio State did to bring about this probation are going on in practically every large university in the U.S. Ohio State just happened to be the unlucky one to get caught. Definitely measures should have been taken to prevent more of this, but at the same time all universities should have been investigated before any one of them received a penalty for falling out of line. It took your article in SI to get the Big Ten moving. Now that they have penalized Ohio State, let's see them get busy on the others.
You have a fine magazine.
TERRY W. TEMPLE
•As reported in E & D, May 14, the NCAA has placed six other colleges on probation: Mississippi College, Texas A & M, Kansas, Louisville, Florida and Alabama Polytechnic. The University of Washington (SI, Feb. 20) received two years' probation from the Pacific Coast Conference.—ED.
VIVA LO SPORT!
Congratulations on your superb Mille Miglia coverage (SI, May 7). I had hoped that you would describe Prince Paul-Alphonse Metternich, the last of the gentlemen drivers, who finished sixth, a feat comparable to the same place at Indianapolis. After many years of Porsche driving in this race and in Mexico, this was Metternich's first success in a big car, a tribute to his amateurism and sportsmanship.
I suppose that after these five fatalities, the cry, "Stop the carnage" will be raised on several continents ("Current Week," May 14). The same forces that emasculated Le Mans will be brought up to kill off the Mille Miglia which is the greatest race in the world because it is exciting and dangerous for both the drivers and the 3 million to 6 million spectators! I drove the Mille in 1953 and at times it was like driving through a mass of pulsating human flesh as the young bloods vied with each other to see who would be the last to give way before the speeding car, who could work his belly closest to it as it sped by, and who could close the gap quickest after it had passed. The Italians can congratulate the coordination and agility of driver and spectator alike to count only eight missing after a rain-soaked, wine-soaked holiday. Viva lo sport!
JOHN R. BRONS
South Miami, Florida
IT'S SPRING AGAIN
As one who in his capacity as track fan registered a mild complaint over your neglect of the Drake Relays last spring, permit me to laud loudly Roy Terrell's magnificent story A Classic Duel of Speed (SI, May 7).
This is track writing at its best, and achieved in the face of weather conditions which all but washed out the meet. Mr. Terrell's story of the Sime-Morrow rivalry is a classic.
You say in your very good article that Bobby Morrow and David Sime would meet in the National Collegiate Championship this June. To my knowledge Morrow is not eligible because Abilene Christian College is not in the NCAA but rather in the NAIA. Am I not right?
•Morrow and Sime will meet this June. Membership in the NAIA has no bearing on an athlete's eligibility for the NCAA Track and Field Championship.—ED.
We talk of Russian amateurism, yet no objection is raised to the assembly of the Navy's "Admirals" crew at considerable expense to the taxpayers under conditions civilians could not hope to duplicate (SI, March 5). These naval officers, drawing full pay and allowances, are competing against undergraduate crews to represent us in the Olympics. Why should the U.S. taxpayer purchase the services (at a high fee) of a crew that may not even win the Olympic berth?
Does the AAU consider this proper or a fair form of competition against worthy undergraduates?
The entire athletic program in the armed forces is directed toward gifted athletes. The remaining 99% are relegated to spectator status. The ever-increasing desire for publicity and the constant encroachment of high-pressure athletes at the service academies has long been evident.
NAVAL OFFICER'S NAME WITHHELD
Fleet Post Office, New York
ONE MORE THING
George and I enjoyed Joan Dreyspool's CONVERSATION with us enormously. Golf, and the people associated with it, have been wonderful to me. I am asking them to do one more thing: June 26th is my birthday and I am writing to all golf clubs to sponsor an event during this month for the benefit of the Babe Zaharias Cancer Foundation. As you know, I am trying to raise as much money as possible to help others find the answer to this dreadful disease.
BABE D. ZAHARIAS
GOT A KICK
A Pat on the Back to old SI for its CONVERSATION PIECE on the Rock (SI, May 7). It was great. I just hope the Rock will stay out, because this boy Floyd Patterson will be too much for him in time to come. I give you another Pat on the Back for the pictures of Rocky. Got a kick out of his license plate "KO."
GARY B. DEESE
TAKE IT FROM DAHL
After finishing your April 30 issue I looked at the Boston Herald and found that the great Dahl is another of SI's many fans (see below).
I think that not one other cover can compare with the brown trout (SI, April 30). It's a funny thing—up here at South Kent School just a very few of us seem to realize what there is to fishing and the beauty of it. I do hope this and the other articles that you have done in the past are illustrating this point to people throughout the country.
South Kent, Conn.
I sure would like an explanation of how the cover picture of the brown trout was taken.
Manhattan Beach, Calif.
•Photographer Wallace Kirkland fenced off a section of Wisconsin's Little Brule and placed his camera inside a glass-fronted box with the lens at water level (see below). Concealing himself behind a bush and tripping the shutter electrically by cable, Kirkland was able to capture the precise moment the hooked brown trout leaped from the water.—ED.
THE ELUSIVE SILKWORM
Read and enjoyed every word of your article on brown trout. In my humble opinion you have made a highly literary contribution to fresh-water game fishing.
Would you advise a source of supply for silkworm gut? My source of supply discontinued a year ago. Synthetics are fine for wet fly fishing, but nothing I have found can measure up for dry fly casting.
J. NORMAN BASTEN
Green Bay, Wis.
•There is plenty of silkworm gut at Von Lengerke & Antoine (9 N. Wabash Avenue) and Marshall Field & Co. (25 E. Washington Street), both in Chicago.—ED.
SOMETHING FOR THE GIRLS
Thanks so much for SPORTING LOOK'S "Cracker-barrel Classics" (SI May 7). Those of us who are both sports fans and women appreciate articles like this once in a while.
THE BOSTON MARATHON
THE CAPTION ON A MARATHON DAY PHOTO IN "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED" READS, "ONE OF 164 STARTERS DRIVES TOWARD FINISH DOWN LITTERED BOSTON STREET."
IT'S A TOUGH GRIND
EVERY ENTRANT SHOULD HAVE A BROOM.
OR A WHITE WINGS TO RUN INTERFERENCE FOR HIM.
THE PAPERS IS USEFUL IN ONE WAY. IT COVERS THE GUM.
AND FOR THOSE WHO LIKE A CINDER TRACK WE PROVIDE CINDERS.
THE WINNER SHOULD BE GLAD HE ISN'T A TICKER TAPE SHOWER AS WELL.