NOT BEGGING, BUT SELLING
With its story on the admission of Texas Tech to the Southwest Conference (E & D, May 28), SI stamps itself as a sectional magazine, catering to the effete East and the middle-class Middle West. Had SI really been sincere in its desire to report the facts it could have done a worthy job. SI writers can write. It's too bad they don't spend more time doing it and less trying to be cute. It's a popular big city notion that factual writing is not understood by the populace. Never, never write two facts if one wisecrack can suffice is the slogan.
Texas Tech has not been "begging" to be admitted to the Southwest Conference. Had you gone into facts you would have realized that Tech submitted applications for membership, a far cry from begging. It was selling. After all, if the institutions of the SWC honestly did not want Tech as a member, they could once again have voted against it.
Texas Tech, the second largest state school in the nation's largest state, has been playing football with SWC members since 1926, and visiting SWC teams have taken more money out of Tech games than they have with most nonconference foes.
You are ignorant of everything in the South Plains and prove it to everyone living in Texas.
June 10, 1956
WHAT HAS TECH TO OFFER?
If ever a clear case of begging existed—the case of Texas Tech and its struggle with the Southwest Conference (that baby of all conferences) was fully within the limits of that word. SI's man must have traveled in Texas, and particularly in this part, when he so aptly called the locals "country cousins." A bigger farm town with as little to offer the SWC could not be found....
Athletically, you should have seen the sweat on Texas Tech's brow when it appeared they might have to face Syracuse in the Sun Bowl. They were lucky to get off with Wyoming—and then got manhandled.
SI need not worry its circulation head about this part of the woods. The magazine has just a little too much refinement, poise and dignity to be comprehended in this outpost.
You could next be accused of being in league with the Supreme Court!
HENRY G. JOHNSON
AS OTHERS SEE US
I, like many others who did not attend Texas Tech, have become an avid Tech booster thanks to your ridiculous gossip and fictitious article. Why don't you people just admit that you are so jealous of Texas and so filled with envy that you need resort to sarcasm and ill-mannered puns. Actually it only illuminates you in the proper light.
TECH'S FOND MEMORIES
Thanks ever so much for your fine article entitled "The Ayes of Texas." There is little doubt that your article does portray the forces and factors that came into being at the May meeting of the Southwest Conference in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
We believe that Texas Tech will be a regular Cotton Bowl contender, but we also think that it would be interesting for football fans to look back at the Cotton Bowl records and see that the Red Raiders played in the Cotton Bowl in 1939. At that time only two teams of the Southwest Conference had played there (TCU in 1937 and Rice in 1938).
•When Texas Tech was asked to play that '39 game the Cotton Bowl was in its infancy and had no official connection with the Southwest Conference, whose champions that year preferred to make the long trip to New Orleans' better-established Sugar Bowl. The Cotton Bowl was invented in 1937 by J. Curtis Sanford, a Dallas citizen of strong and uninhibited imagination, unbounded optimism and a quick draw from the wallet pocket. To combat public apathy for his personal New Year game, Sanford resorted to some of the weirdest promotion in the history of football. For his first game (TCU against Marquette) Sanford mailed out invitations to 1,200 high school bands to play in his bowl. Sixty-seven band leaders, each thinking that his boys would be the only ones there, accepted. On New Year's Day some 7,000 instrument-toting musicians in 67 buses tied up Dallas in the worst traffic jam of its history. For successive games Sanford provided aerial bombs, fire-engine rides, and at kick-off time 48 braces of homing pigeons supposedly winging their way with greetings from Dallas to the governor of each of the 48 states. Actually the birds returned to their home coop two miles across the Trinity River. In 1940 operation of the Cotton Bowl was turned over to the Southwest Conference, which shortly made annual attendance obligatory for its champions, a fact which has made it one of the most successful and affluent of bowl games.—ED.
THE REASON WHY
It's hard to see what the Southwest Conference has gained by the admission of Texas Tech. Tech generally manages to field a respectable team each fall, but certainly its new status as a full member of the SWC adds little or nothing to that conference's prestige. Perhaps the answer to "why invite Tech" is the same as Mallory's to "why climb Mount Everest": because it's there.
St. Louis Park, Minn.
•In "The Ayes of Texas" (E & D, May 28) SI did not pass judgment on Texas Tech's qualifications for membership in SWC, but reported some of the highlights of 30 years of blood, sweat and economic reprisals that finally gained it admittance and some of the high jinks with which the great news was greeted.—ED.
RALPH DE PALMA
It may have been there, but if it was I missed it and I do not miss very much in my SI.
I am thinking of the passing of one of the world's finest sportsmen, a wonderful friend and a true gentleman:
RALPH DE PALMA
It just seems that SI should have made some mention of his death.
May 30 at the 500-mile race in Indianapolis will never be the same.
DR. I. L. FURNAS
La Jolla, Calif.
•Ralph De Palma, pioneer auto racer who won more races than any other man (2,557 out of 2,889 entered), died March 31, age 73 (see "Mileposts," SI, April 9). De Palma came to the U.S. from Italy as a boy of 10, graduated from bicycle racing to drive in the era of such greats as Barney Oldfield and Eddie Rickenbacker and went on to dominate the field for a decade. De Palma won the AAA national championships in 1912 and 1914, took the 1915 Indianapolis "500" with a record average speed of 89.84 mph. In 1920 he pushed one of his special racers to set a record of 149.875 mph. De Palma retired from racing in 1934 and assumed a variety of engineering, sales and publicity positions during the next 20 years. At his death De Palma still held the never-equaled distinction of leading Indianapolis "500" fields for 613 laps.—ED.
OUR BRITISH BROTHER
Many thanks for the very fine story on John Landy by Paul O'Neil (SI, May 21). Some of Mr. O'Neil's phrases have the Churchill touch: "floating like blown tumbleweed," "running like some tanned Inca courier," "fled into the final lap," "rolling down the stretch," to mention a few.
We Canadians are extremely proud of our British brother from down under and are delighted to note the good work he has done on this trip to our American cousins.
J. W. ROSS
•In describing the movement of John Landy, Paul O'Neil is describing the exact opposite of himself as a writer. When Mr. O'Neil fastens himself to the chair before his typewriter he is finally committed, and unlike Landy he does not float like a tumbleweed, run like an Inca courier, flee or budge from his machine until the task is done. In this, Mr. O'Neil is also unlike some of his fellow SI writers who like to pace the halls, tidy up their offices, clean their typewriters or change their ribbons while awaiting the Churchillian flash of inspiration.—ED.
A NOD FOR THE HUSKIES
Your answers to "Which do you love more, your horse or your dog?" gave the horse the nod, it seems (HOTBOX, May 14).
My two sons and I race Siberian huskies for a hobby. Nine to 13 fast racing dogs controlled over difficult terrain by voice alone cannot be matched by anything horses do.
Siberians are working sled dogs, pets, guardians, hunters, and now are being tested for Seeing Eye Dogs in New Jersey.
RICHARD D. BEAULIEU
SCRAPING THE BARREL
In order that SI may be fully cognizant of the attitude of the press in Los Angeles concerning the UCLA suspension (E & D, May 28), I quote from the column of Sid Ziff, sports editor of the Los Angeles Mirror-News: "The brave Bruins may be forced to play Michigan, S.C. and California next year with students."
HENRY A. SCHULTZ
THE GRANDEST BUNCH
The lineup and batting order of the greatest baseball team of all time (19TH HOLE, April 30), in my opinion, with which no one will agree, was: Moran, Cather, r.f.; Evers, 2nd b.; Connolly, Mann, l.f.; Whitted, c.f.; Schmidt, 1st b.; Red Smith, Deal, 3rd b.; Maranville, s.s.; Gowdy, c.; James, Rudolph, Tyler, p.; Stallings, mgr.
Between September 1st and October 15th, 1914, this team could have beaten any team that ever played in a seven-game series. How many of those names are familiar to the fans of this day and age?
In spite of the austere presence of Leslie Mann, the profanity that emanated from their bench in the old Braves bandbox field probably holds an alltime record. They were a grand bunch.
ROBERT W. WOOD JR.
I am interested in obtaining more details on the Welsh Corgi (SI, May 21), with the possible interest in mind of obtaining a pup of this breed. I wonder if you would find it convenient to check and advise the name of two or three top kennels?
G. L. TOWNSEND
•The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, according to some breed historians, was introduced to Wales in 1107 by a group of Flemish weavers who used the small animals as cattle drivers. It was not until 1928 that the breed was admitted to the English Kennel Club Register and shortly thereafter it began to appear in the U.S. The greatest boost the breed ever received came from King George VI of England, who gave Dookie and Jane, two Corgi pups, to his daughters Elizabeth and Margaret Rose (see picture). These dogs became so much a part of the household that Queen Elizabeth took Sue, who succeeded the original pups, on her honeymoon (see picture). Among those who breed and sell these intelligent and friendly animals are Miss Carol Rover, P.O. Box 235, San Rafael, Calif.; Mr. and Mrs. John L. Liecty, 7700 N. 14th St., Phoenix, Ariz.; Mrs. Clarence W. Van Beynum, Willow Farm, Portland, Conn.; Mr. and Mrs. Philip A. Cleland, Hawkes Lane, R.F.D. 1, West Redding, Conn.—ED.