Sports writing reached a new dimension with Herbert Warren Wind's articles onsports in Japan (The Bouncing Ball, SI, Feb. 24; Around the Mulberry Bush, SI,March 3). He should receive the thanks and bows of the world for telling,brilliantly, this story with the powerful and scholarly discernment of a personwho understands and can describe the true dimension of sports.
New York City
E & D: LAPETITE ARMEE
Napoleon said, "An army marches on its stomach," and a platitude wasborn. For years people have accepted it without question, and yet when apenguin finally has the courage to put it to the test (E & D, Feb. 17), hisefforts are contemptuously dismissed with the phrase, "Yes, the bird islost." This is, I feel, a poor attitude to have toward pure research inthis post-sputnik age.
In view of hisunproletarian attire, a penguin, however pure and scientific his intent, ishardly likely to be allowed to follow in the Great Man's footsteps and eitheradvance upon, or retreat from, Moscow. Why then should it evoke surprise thatthis hardy little bird should attempt the next best thing by marching on theSouth Pole? He may not have an army but he is certainly marching on hisstomach, and of such stuff are disciples made.
Lost indeed! Apox upon pundits and professors without imagination.
March 10, 1958
FOCUS: TENNISBOILS AND BUBBLES
Congratulations on your article Comes the Tennis Revolution (SI, Feb. 24). Whathappened at the last USLTA annual meeting was certainly a revolution, andtennis lovers only hope it will sweep away the stuffiness with which Americantennis has until now been plagued.
I agree with youregarding the abrupt dropping of Bill Talbert as Davis Cup captain. He did avery excellent job in every way over the past few years as our captain, and itwould have been so easy to have arranged it so he could have gracefullyretired. We shall miss his brains and industry, and wish Mr. Jones the best ofluck as his replacement.
ALASTAIR B. MARTIN
New York City
•Alastair Martin,1956 U.S. Amateur Court Tennis Singles champion, was vice-chairman of the USLTADavis Cup Committee.—ED.
Comes the Tennis Revolution makes too much of an issue over what you call theJacksonian spoils system. There have been other presidents of the USLTA fromoutside the East, notably Colonel James H. Bishop of Culver Military Academywho served in 1953, 1954 and 1955. Though tennis was born and grew up in theEast, it has long been a national game, and Mr. Denny and his fellow officersare merely giving it a national administration. There are many Easterners,Southerners and Middle Westerners on USLTA committees along with those from thePacific Coast.
Billy Talbert,far from being summarily dismissed, is a member of both the Davis Cup Committeeand the Davis Cup Selection Committee, so obviously his talents are needed, andhe has not been "brushed aside."
E. C. POTTER
New York City
•Mr. Potter, whowrites regularly for World Tennis magazine, is in error. At the time SPORTSILLUSTRATED'S article appeared Billy Talbert had not been asked to serve oneither Davis Cup Committee. Since then his services have been solicited byUSLTA aides.—ED.
THE TENNIS ENTHUSIASTS OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS IN APPRECIATION FOR A JOB WELLDONE BY EX-DAVIS CUP CAPTAIN BILL TALBERT RAISE THEIR RACKETS IN A 21-GUNSALUTE.
CHARLES N. JONES
ARKANSAS STATE TENNIS ASSOCIATION FORT SMITH, ARK.
As one of the seven members of the last Nominating Committee of USLTA youruntrue story makes me boil. We live in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Tennessee,Wisconsin, Missouri, Utah and California and were elected by unanimous vote ofthe entire national association. Most of us had never even met each other untilour committee meetings in Forest Hills last September. Victor Denny was firstvice-president. He was unanimously nominated on the first ballot and so wasevery other officer, delegate at large and nominating committee member excepttwo—one six to one and the other five to two on the first vote, both unanimouson the second vote. Any section of the country could nominate others. None wasnominated. The election was uncontested and unanimous, resulting in the firsttruly national slate in the 76 years of USLTA history.
You are extremelyunfair to liken committee appointments made for the first time on a nationwidebasis to a Jacksonian spoils system. California has given more to tennis inrecent years than any other part of the country but has never before beenreally recognized association-wise. Why do you fail to mention that a NewYorker is chairman of the Davis Cup Committee, a Bostonian chairman of theMembership Committee, a Pittsburgher chairman of the Junior DevelopmentCommittee, etc., etc.?
Incidentally,with the article you published a photograph taken two years ago in La Jolla,Calif., with the misleading caption, "West Coast junta, leaders in longcampaign to win due position for the west in USLTA, beams confidently." Youknow full well that you are giving a completely incorrect interpretation ofthis photograph.
You have done agrand national and international job for amateur tennis in the past. Don'tspoil it now by going provincial.
Twin Lakes, Wis.
•Mr. Westcott, amember of the Nominating Committee, has too low a boiling point. SPORTSILLUSTRATED'S editorial eye focused without jaundice on the recent"revolution" which in effect brought control of U.S. tennis to theWest. This change, said the editors, "may well prove as beneficial tonational tennis as Andy Jackson's healthy infusion of new blood proved to befor the Republic." As for the picture to which Mr. Westcott objects becauseit was taken in 1956: it is a fine likeness of Mr. Denny and some of hislongtime supporters, all Californians and today all top-level aides in theUSLTA. New appointments are the prerogative of a new president and as SPORTSILLUSTRATED said of Perry Jones, "No man has done more to encourage tennisor to breed new champions in his own bailiwick." It is the abrupt mannerwith which former Captain Talbert was dismissed (reported in SCOREBOARD, Feb.17) that prompted SPORTS ILLUSTRATED to call a foot fault. For a discussion ofsome of the plans and ideas of the new administration, see EVENTS &DISCOVERIES, page 21.—ED.
FOCUS: HOT WORDSON HOT RODDERS
Your criticism of Dr. James Killian entitled Glittering Generality of the Week(SI, Feb. 17) could have been more appropriately called The GlitteringAsininity of the Week. In my opinion it was strictly a semanticmisadventure.
As far as I candetermine, you are the first national magazine to make a public effort toromanticize the vicious and obnoxious hot rodders.
In our neck ofthe woods a hot rodder is a gravel-throwing, tire-screeching, law-breakingpredator of the highways. He has none of the tinkering virtues that you seemwont to ascribe to him.
It is true thatthere is a breed of young grease-spattered Americans which is tinkering withthe future under the tender watchfulness of girls in blue jeans, but theyshrink in horror when referred to as hot rodders.
A hot roddernever labored lovingly over anything except a hot accelerator.
AUBREY W. PREWITT
I want to congratulate you for your excellent support of hot rodders in theface of Dr. James R. Killian Jr.'s calling for a national effort to"de-emphasize the hot rodders among our youth and to encourage the hotminds."
I am glad to seethat people who are in a position to know do not confuse real hot rodders whoare interested in "improving the breed" with the careless, foolish andreckless driver of the new Detroit stock car, which has more horsepower than heis capable of using. The hot rodder is continually being confused with thistype, and perhaps if Dr. Killian were shown that there is a difference, hewould realize that this type of boy would probably be the very type of "hotmind" he is looking for.
I have longthought that if cities would spend proportionately the same amount of money fordrag strips, workshops, etc., for boys who have a natural mechanicalinclination as they do for those whose talents lie in the athletic field, itwould go a long way toward developing these boys into scientists or engineers.The subsidized hot rodder might well turn out to be another Henry Ford, ThomasEdison or Wernher von Braun.
FRED I. SUTTON JR.
TURF: O'REILLYLEADS THE WAY
Three cheers for Tom O'Reilly's article "Lady Luck, I'm Ready!" (SI,Feb. 17).
Because my son(10 years old) can rattle off the Derby winners for the past 10 years and allthe Triple Crown winners, the fathers of his friends (whose sons quote battingaverages of Mickey Mantle, etc.) believe he's bound to become a delinquentteen-ager. And when on an assignment in school to write a composition on sporthe wrote on Thoroughbred breeding, it was suggested by the teacher to hismother that he take up nature study instead.
Herbert BayardSwope said (American Race Horses 1936): "No other sport lends itself sowholly to the vindication of the ego.... I mean that there is great mentalfillip in selecting a horse to win a race and have your judgment confirmed by avictory. You don't have to bet on him to obtain this glow of self-esteem....But a winning wager helps that vindication. You run the race; you win it; youride the horse; you train him. There is a complete identification and you get amental catharsis that should go far to relieving the nervous strain Americansare supposed to suffer from. Get a horse is the cure. Or go to see a horserace. That's a cure for many ills."
I admire Mr.O'Reilly's sartorial splendor, with one exception. I would suggest that hechoose a sport jacket without flaps on the patch pockets. Much easier fortoting the program and the Form.
EDWARD C. REUTEMANN
Sports are causing the average male enthusiast more harm than therapeuticbenefit. I have learned never to advise a patient to take up golf. Few men havenatural athletic ability, and most of them try much too hard.
The man over 30goes forth to battle just as hard as he did when in his 20s. There has to be acontest, money must be wagered and won. Feats of endurance calling forperformances far beyond the individual's potential produce nothing butfrustration and self-annoyance. I have seen too many men torturing themselveson the golf course, too many needing the stiff alcoholic jolt at the 19th holeto keep themselves from falling on their faces.
Tom O'Reilly hasthe right attitude. As a horseplayer he dresses properly for the occasion whichis to be savored. He proposes to enjoy himself, to be entertained, to have fun.I have seen only one man with the right attitude toward golf, he too anIrishman like O'Reilly. His attitude was regal, his manners charming. He wouldtee up the ball and haul off. No apologies, no explanations, no comments. Hedid not pit himself against par. He was out for an afternoon of recreation withcongenial companions.
Are today'ssports really healthful? The time has come for grown men to leave thecompetitive spirit at the office. Mr. O'Reilly points the way.
RICHARD H. SHERWOOD, M.D.
Niagara Falls, N.Y.
MY VERY GOOD FRIEND TIP GOES MUST HAVE BEEN MISUNDERSTOOD BY YOU IN HIS ANSWER,CITED IN YOUR 19TH HOLE FEB. 17, TO THE QUESTION ON COLLEGIATE ATHLETICELIGIBILITY RAISED BY MIDSHIPMAN E. S. DVORNICK. THE RULES OF THE EASTERNCOLLEGE ATHLETIC CONFERENCE, IN WHICH THE U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY HOLDS MEMBERSHIP,PROHIBIT INTERCOLLEGIATE COMPETITION FOR AN UNDERGRADUATE IN ANY PARTICULARSPORT IN MORE THAN ONE FRESHMAN YEAR. THUS A REPEATING FRESHMAN, WHO HAS HADOUTSIDE COMPETITION DURING A PREVIOUS ACADEMIC YEAR, IS NOT ELIGIBLE FORMEMBERSHIP ON A FRESHMAN TEAM.
EASTERN COLLEGE ATHLETIC CONFERENCE NEWARK