FOOTBALL: END OF A COACH
I wish to express my thanks to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and James Murray for the perceptive, splendidly written essay on Red Sanders (E & D, Aug. 25), my closest friend of the past 40 years.
Sports Editor, Nashville Banner
Red Sanders was a giant among many little men. Personal malediction did not bother him, for he rode through oceans of critical abuse in grand verbal style. To the end, he was the master of the proverb. Red Sanders was a tremendous football coach, a scintillating speaker and never one to do the expected, even in the way he died.
Under Henry Sanders, UCLA's football teams were the best the coast has had since the war, despite the pragmatic penalties and ineligibilities handed down by the narrow-minded officials of the now very properly defunct Pacific Coast Conference.
Palo Alto, Calif.
FOOTBALL: THE NEW MAN
Congratulations on the selection of Red Grange as your college football prognosticator (MEMO FROM THE PUBLISHER, Aug. 25). I am sure Red will give us some very interesting reading.
September 7, 1958
Our family thinks that Red Grange is the best football telecaster and radio announcer working today. We enjoy his work, both college and professional, and look forward to reading him this fall.
CONRAD F. KELLERMANN
University City, Mo.
We note with pleasure the selection of Red Grange as your college football prognosticator. We recall from last year that you gave the results of Mr. Hickman's hunches in terms of games won, lost and tied. Are you planning to also express Mr. Grange's results in terms of a tally both for the past week and year to date?
JOHN R. MORTON
FOOTBALL: THE FREE RIDE
I have been a faithful reader of your magazine for some years now. But the article on Jimmy Phillips (A Free Ride for Big Red, SI, Aug. 25) was one of the dirtiest and most turned-around I've read in a long time.
Since SPORTS ILLUSTRATED hit the streets I've heard you called many uncomplimentary names. And they're probably hanging Don Parker in effigy in Auburn and Alex City right now. Phillips, too, for that matter.
But, seriously, except for one or two minor criticisms, I thought the article an excellent job of reporting, profiling or call it what you will. You mentioned the Senior Bowl in the same paragraph as the Hula Bowl, thus intimating that our game was on the shady side. We of the Senior Bowl pay by check and publicize the fact that members of our winning squad receive $500 each, plus all expenses, and the losers $400. Yet some schools (the Southwest Conference in the past) have taken scholarships away from boys for playing in our game on the grounds that they became pros (i.e., were paid by check on top of the table). It was perfectly all right, however, to take the Honolulu trip, play with and against pros and get paid for doing so, as long as it was in cash under the table.
A CHAMPION'S SPORTING LOOK
Did you notice that the picture showing Anne Quast accepting her U.S. Women's Amateur trophy also shows her wearing a golf shirt which you introduced?
•We had not noticed it, but so she is. The shirt, depicting women golfers of the 1890s, is part of a special golf wardrobe presented by Sportswear Designer Bill Atkinson for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED readers in our March 24 issue.—ED.
ADVENTURES ON THE REEF
The Heaven Below articles (SI, Aug. 11 & 18) were the most interesting I have read in a long time, and Clare Boothe Luce must be a wonderful person to meet. She seems so young at heart and her adventures below the water seem very exciting. Where does she get all her energy? The pictures were breathtaking. More, please!
I actually thought I was down there with Art Pinder spearing the moray eel.
ROBERT E. SCHOENFELD
Mrs. Luce's underwater adventures off New Providence brought to mind an experience of mine in the same waters.
As a diversion from fishing we decided to try our hand at skin-diving—prompted, I might add, in no small part by Mrs. Luce's excellent series on her Bermuda indoctrination (SI, Sept. 9 & 16, '57).
I inquired of our guide, "Any sharks around?" and was told, "Certainly not!"
From first glance the beautiful and prolific sea life entranced me, and in an hour or so our boat was loaded with speared crayfish, parrotfish, grouper, trumpetfish, etc. Then it happened! An enormous shark came visiting and I didn't hear my wife's screams from the boat as I surfaced. Finally alerted, I looked beside me, and there it was!
The 75 feet or so back to the boat I swam in sheer desperate fright. He wasn't hungry, so I can now write about it. I'll go back, I know—the undersea is that fascinating—but never dive again without a lookout!
As I recall, it was a Pinder from Spanish Wells who told us, "No sharks!" I should have realized he didn't mean it literally!
Another of your recent articles, Xiphias the Swordfish (SI, July 28) also evokes a comment, if you will permit. My wife on this July Fourth within a 24-hour period caught a blue marlin, a white marlin and a sailfish off Bimini during the Blue Marlin Tournament. As far as we can determine, it is the first time anyone has caught three species of billfish in a 24-hour period. Only the broadbill among Atlantic billfish has so far escaped her.
JOHN W. STANTON
The Heaven Below was written intelligently, photographed with great sensitivity and presented with integrity. It is one of the most interesting accounts of scubaing ever published.
I thank you for having the good taste not to show the charming Mrs. Luce, grinning broadly, with one foot on a dead shark.
New York City
THE BEST (CONT.)
Your recent article on Rafer Johnson (Alltime Best All-round Man, SI, Aug. 11) was excellent, but that title covers a lot of ground and is open to further argument.
He probably is the greatest decathlon champion. And perhaps he is the greatest all-round track star. But when you say alltime best all-round man you are covering all sports—and when it comes to all-round athletes there still has to be one to equal Jim Thorpe, the old Carlisle Indian.
Take football. Jim is a unanimous choice for any alltime college or professional football team and is generally the first man picked as the best of them all.
Take baseball. Maybe Jim rode into the big leagues on his football and track reputation. But he was good enough to stay up there several years, and no big league team, then or now, keeps a player for his gate attraction alone.
Take track. Here Johnson, on the surface, has the edge—a great decathlon champion, one who has set a new world record. But let's look at Thorpe's performance in the 1912 Olympics. Thorpe's record stood until a few years ago, when it was broken by Bob Mathias. How many other 1912 records have stood in the books as long? Since then everything has improved—training methods, equipment and the tracks themselves.
Both Johnson and Mathias put in years of grueling training for the decathlon, which is a grueling event. Thorpe just ran on the track team, played on the football and baseball teams and really never concentrated on the decathlon until just before the 1912 Olympics.
Your article and a previous one on Mathias stressed the exhausting, strenuous grind of the decathlon. Yet generally overlooked is the fact that Thorpe entered and won not only the decathlon but also the pentathlon—a five-event contest since dropped from the Olympics—so he participated in 15 events in three days of competition. And in the pentathlon he won the broad jump (23 feet 2 7/10 inches), placed third in the javelin (153 feet 2 19/20 inches), took first in the discus with a throw of 116 feet 8 4/10 inches, took first in the 200-meter at 22.9 and first in the 1,500-meter at 4:44.8. Four out of five firsts—and in two of these he did better than he did later in the decathlon. Perhaps he was getting tired.
DEBUT OF THE FAIRWAY FERRARI
Some months ago I read an interesting article in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED about Texans building golf carts from Crosley automobiles (E&D, Aug. 12, '57).
This article prompted me to proceed on a similar project. The original Crosley was a 1951 model (cost $125). After months of cutting, rechroming and painting, it made its debut as the "Fairway Ferrari" on our beautiful Long Beach Country Club fairway in Michigan City.
The Fairway Ferrari will handle a fully equipped foursome without difficulty and without any mechanical changes whatsoever. Too bad this fine little car was ever discontinued.
FRANK A. WERSTEIN
Michigan City, Ind.