SILVERANNIVERSARY: LOST AND FOUND
Your Silver Anniversary All-America idea (SI, Dec. 24) is a pip. I don't seehow anybody, looking over that list of 25 men, could question the value ofcollege football as a builder of men.
Jack Tibby did asplendid job on his Men of the Quarter Century, catching the color and spiritof 1931 very accurately. Being one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Lost Generation, Iknow.
In New York onvacation in 1931 I witnessed that famous 33-33 Yale-Dartmouth tie. In 28 yearsof writing sports I've seen many thrilling football games. But that one stillrates among the alltime tops.
Silver Anniversary All-America is the shiniest idea in football since theinvention of the forward pass.
HOWARD TEALE RHETT
January 14, 1957
SILVERANNIVERSARY: TALENT SCOUT
Jack Tibby did a splendid service to you and to football with his penetratingyet nostalgic article on the footballers of 25 years ago. I urge you to add Mr.Tibby to your staff.
B. F. TELLER
SILVERANNIVERSARY: ALLONS, ENFANTS..
Napoleon exhorted his troops by telling them that every corporal carried amarshal's baton in his knapsack. It seems that from now on a coach should tellhis boys that every bench warmer carries a Cadillac in his poncho.
SILVERANNIVERSARY: SPECIAL ATTRACTION
Jack Tibby's Men of the Quarter Century is a masterpiece especially attractiveto us graduates of the early 1930s.
Speaking of RalphDougherty of Pittsburgh, he writes, "Dougherty outcharged Notre Dame'sAll-America center, Tommy Yarr, that day and spilled enough other Notre Dameson the field to be elected to their all-opponents team, win All-Americamentions himself." Both Dougherty and Yarr won all kinds of mention in1931; but Grantland Rice, usually considered official after the passing ofWalter Camp, named Maynard Morrison of Michigan as All-America center.
This leads to anendorsement of the suggestion by a HOTBOX interviewee (SI, Dec. 3) thatAll-America teams should be 33-man squads.
DANIEL W. LITSCHER
BOWL GAMES: TIMEFOR A CHANGE?
With the bowl games now history, I wish to suggest a new system for determininga national football champion. Naturally, we here in Oklahoma felt strongly thatthe best team in the nation had to spend New Year's Day watching televisionfootball.
Take a largerepresentative football sportswriters' poll at the end of the season to findthe four top-ranking teams. The No. 1 team would play the No. 3 team in theSugar Bowl or Cotton Bowl on December 15. The No. 2 team would play the No. 4team at the Orange Bowl on the same date. The winners would then meet in thepappy bowl of all, the Rose Bowl, on New Year's Day for the nationalchampionship.
JOE W. CARAWAY
BOWL GAMES: SOMEOTHER ARRANGEMENTS
With Iowa U. winning the Rose Bowl 35-19, I think the Big Ten and Pacific CoastConference series (started with the 1947 Rose Bowl game) shows that the Big Tenis the superior football conference.
I for one wouldlike to see some other bowl arrangement. A plan would be to have the winner ofthe Big Ten play the winner of the Southwest Conference in the Cotton Bowl atDallas. Such a series might be a good way to compare the two conferences.
F. J. MILLER
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
BOWL GAMES:ANCIENT AND HONORABLE
In your generally excellent set of bowl previews (SI, Dec. 24) I missed seeingsomething about El Paso's ancient and honorable Sun Bowl (first played in1936). To paraphrase Daniel Webster, "It is, sir, a small bowl, but thereare those who love it."
•Right. Herewitha report on the Sun Bowl game, the nation's third oldest bowl contest: When ElPaso Alderman Bob Kolliner, chairman of the Sun Bowl game selection committee,chose George Washington University's Colonials to oppose the Texas WesternMiners, he drew a storm of protest. The game would be lopsided in favor of theMiners, and therefore a dull one, dissidents grumbled.
Kolliner, formerMinnesota lineman, is up for reelection in February and already faces strongopposition because of stringent traffic enforcement adopted by the policedepartment at his direction. His game selection was regarded as anotherpolitical millstone about his already overburdened neck.
The Miners werethis year's Cinderella team in the Southwest. Starting the season light inexperience and weight (without a quarterback who had ever called signals in acollege game) they ended it undefeated in Border Conference play. The Miners'scat backfield, observers thought, could easily flit around and through the bigColonial line—an opinion apparently confirmed during workouts in which thevisitors huffed and puffed in the 3,600-foot altitude.
But once the gamebegan it was soon apparent to the 13,500 spectators that the Colonials had beenbadly underrated. Their big line outcharged the Miners, and it was the GeorgeWashington backs who demonstrated slashing speed. Twice in the first periodWashington passers missed wide-open receivers in the end zone. On the third tryQuarterback Ray Looney hit End Paul Thompson with a 20-yard toss. Thompsonshook off a safety man and went 40 more yards to score. In the final period twoTexas Western fumbles set up the second George Washington score, Halfback PeteSpera diving across from the three after a 63-yard march. Texas Western'sdeepest penetration was to the visitors' 26-yard line. The game ended13-0.—ED.
Well, that does it—your Christmas Bonus Issue, I mean. You make damn sure thatthe American public knows what a stickball (in color yet) looks like, and youbring tears to our eyes and have nostalgia dripping out all over with yourSilver Anniversary All-America.
But youcompletely ignore perhaps the greatest, most unselfish spectacle of sport puton in America today—the Shrine East-West game in San Francisco. I am not aShriner or even a member of the Masonic fraternity, nor do I feel slightedbecause the San Francisco Bay region is bypassed, but if you profess to be thevoice of sport how can you pass this up?
Without in theleast belittling teams like Clemson and Colorado (who deserve their space inyour magazine), can you honestly rate players on these teams with figures likeHornung of Notre Dame or Brodie of Stanford or Jon Arnett of USC, to mentiononly a few of the outstanding stars who performed for charity? If you could seethe picture of the crippled children in our local press when visited by thesefine young men, you would know that here is something that epitomizes the topsin true sportsmanship.
Undoubtedly youwill have every stickball enthusiast in the country rush to your defense andoverwhelm you with subscriptions to make up for the loss of mine, but me, I amjust through.
ARTHUR E. WOLFF
•No slightintended. There is certainly no more deserving or less predictable event insports than the East-West game. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED did not preview it becauseof the unique problem it presents: a collection of individuals playing togetherfor the first time under strange coaches and conditions. There is littlepredictable about the game—except that it is usually a corker, as this year'sscore (West 7, East 6) attests.—ED.
THE PROFESSORSAND THE BIRDS
That was a very fine article on Alexander Wilson by Robert Cantwell (FirstArtist of the Winged Wild, SI, Dec. 24).
Cantwellshouldn't have been so severe on the learned professors of biology. Surely noprofessor could possibly believe that an unschooled and self-made man couldproduce anything really worthwhile.
R. W. STRANDTMANN
Professor of Biology
Texas Technological College
THE RIGHT TOBOO
I was delighted to hear of your plans for those members of the HungarianOlympic team who wish to seek refuge in the U.S. (SI, Dec. 17). Apparently evenHungarian spectators find it advisable to seek asylum.
Istvan Pavlovitz,a professor of bacteriology at Budapest Technical University, exuberantlycheered the Hungarian soccer team who were playing against the U.S.S.R. shortlybefore the revolt. Professor Pavlovitz added a few catcalls for the opponentsas good measure. The following day he was arrested, dismissed from his post atthe university for conduct unbecoming a professor and given a short"beneficial" prison term. When he was released he was told he must livewithin 20 miles of Budapest and that his academic career was over.
Soccer FanPavlovitz escaped from Hungary, and his emigration to Australia via Vienna isbeing arranged.
Even though you so pleasantly lavished two full pages of devotion upon Sweden'sgirl high-jumper Gunhild Larking (SI, Dec. 17), through no fault of your own,you still did the flicka an injustice. She was not sixth but in fact fourth inthe Olympics.
If you do notbelieve me, then ask the Australians for permission to reproduce the originalscore sheet and you will then see that the count-back rules were incorrectlyinterpreted. Britain's Thelma Hopkins was also third, not second equal.
•Fourth, fifth,sixth or last, we join Miss Larking's other devoted fans in thanking TrackExpert McWhirter (co-editor of the authoritative English magazine AthleticWorld) for providing us with up-to-the-minute information about her. Add to itthe news, reported in Swedish papers, that she turned down offers from movietalent scouts made after her picture appeared in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.—ED.
SIGN HIM UP
Amidst all the rather heavy bow-taking that has gone on in the last couple ofissues (SI wins the world's heavyweight championship, SI wins gold medal forHungary) comes much refreshing sports reporting. The result of your excellentliterature (despite the sometimes overbearing presentation) is a prettyhigh-grade following. This is best illustrated by your 19TH HOLE section. Thewriting here is ofttimes as good as that produced by paid contributors. Theletters of Dec. 17 were great. The response by Martha Tunstall was fine, butRon Clynch produced a gem. Agree or not, you must admire the way he says it.I'd hire that boy!
FRED F. WAGNER
•SPORTSILLUSTRATED admires the prose style of both Miss Tunstall (who told fellowhot-stove leaguers that Pittsburgh wouldn't trade Virdon and Friend for"the whole Dodger team") and Mr. Clynch (who objected to the inclusionof Yale on the 11 best elevens) and encourages them to continue reading withpen in hand.—ED.
Jimmy Jemail's HOTBOX question (SI, Dec. 17) was very explicit: "What sportdo you think is the best body developer?" Answers ranged from a somewhatridiculous "football" to an obviously absurd "baseball," withoccasional tangents about football's developing the morals and the mind.
Weight liftinghas unfortunately signed its own popularity death warrant. It's not a spectatorsport. It is plagued with eccentric people who display their bodies as some ofthe more sedentary athletes display their golf game or bridge prowess. Theoverwhelming majority of Americans naturally object to a sport which acutelyreminds them of what their shoulder pads are concealing.
With each succeeding reply to Jimmy Jemail's query, I became moreaggravated.
Not one mentionwas made of handball. Will anyone deny it is a marvelous conditioner,outstanding competitive sport? And handball can be any man's carry-overactivity after school days.
ROBERT W. KENDLER
United States Handball Association
What about cycling as a body conditioner? It is the toughest of all realsports. But Americans so much prefer to watch exhibitions and shows likewrestling and baseball that even such a great competitive event as the six-daybicycle race has had to fold. It's very simple: the sport is too strenuous andthere is no room for aspiring pros.
National City, Calif.
•Reader Kauert'sviews are shared by at least one other American. President Eisenhower"expressed particular interest" in bicycle riding as a means of keepingyoung Americans fit, according to Press Secretary Murray Snyder. In lateDecember the President and Vice-President Nixon conferred on plans forpromoting cycling and gymnastics among youths and discussed setting up pilotprograms in three cities to test response to the sports.—ED.