BASKETBALL: THE NO. 1'S
In your pro basketball preview (SI, Oct. 26) you state that George Yardley and Dolph Schayes are the most potent scoring punch in the league. Let me remind you that Cliff Hagan and Bob Pettit are the No. 1 scoring duo in the league. Last year they broke Paul Arizin's and Neil Johnston's two-man point total, but you didn't bother to include it in your records. Just look at the averages and the question is answered. I realize though that being from a small town like St. Louis makes no difference to you Easterners and you print only what you want, as is proved by numerous articles on the fabulous Boston Celtics and other such trash. The Hawks have beaten the Celts in one playoff and lost another. Does this indicate they are inferior? It's the same old story of being good in the East and getting the big play from the sportswriters there while the good teams in the Midwest and West are shoved aside.
I also find it humorous in your numerous articles on Bill Russell to note that you say he has outsizable point production totals off all the big men in the league. Another fallacy: Pettit, if anything, has a higher average against Russell than the rest of the league. I've watched this closely and his average is more against Boston than against the rest of the league. Get on the ball!
•George Yardley is the first player ever to score more than 2,000 points in a season; Dolph Schayes has scored more points (over 14,000 now) than anyone in NBA history. In their first full season together, they must be rated "most potent." In our scouting reports the St. Louis Hawks were termed a team without a flaw, "inferior" to none. Incidentally, Yardley and Bill Russell are Californians, Pettit is from Louisiana and Hagan from Kentucky; not one is an Easterner, but we love 'em all, honest.—ED.
BASKETBALL: TOO TALL
I am very concerned about the problem of the height of pro basketball players. Slater Martin, the shortest man in the loop, had no trouble in being accepted by the organization. Contrary to this, Alan Seiden, one inch taller than Martin, hasn't convinced his team that he's needed. Why? It's my opinion that short men can be even more agile than the tall men.
November 30, 1959
Two articles in your October 26 issue showed great contrast. In Here Comes the Big Fellow at Last we see how Chamberlain makes good use of his height. And in Littlest Leader it is shown how Martin uses his 5 feet 10 inches to best advantage.
I suggest that something should be done about this problem. Basketball is steadily losing its charm and attraction. Within the next few years, all basketball players, at least 6 feet 5, will merely place the ball through the net.
North Woodbury, Conn.
FITNESS: IT IS TIME
It is encouraging when communication media as important to the nation as SPORTS ILLUSTRATED indicate a sensitivity to the moral fitness needs of our young people and adults, which anticipated the wave of feeling concerning the fraudulent use of competition as evidenced in the recent TV-quiz scandal. With Fitness for What? (SI, Oct. 26) your magazine has indeed done another in the long line of constructive services in the area of character training and sportsmanship by this brief but excellent article.
JOHN L. BARRINGER, Director
Health, Physical Education and Recreation
Tucson Public Schools
After the Van Doren revelation hit the morning papers I couldn't help thinking how timely your editorial on Fitness for What? became. It is good to see your magazine broaden its scope without lessening its morals. An attitude like yours leads instead of misdirects, and at this time in our young lives I think that's very helpful.
One thing: If you take a stand on TV fixes, why not investigate college football pool betting? When you call honesty "a desideratum" in sport and go on to say that it is sport's "life breath," it seems strange to condone by silence a practice as obviously illegal as it is debilitating.
G. G. HUDNUT
•See page 66 for a discussion of the British pools.—ED.
FOOTBALL: A PROUD TOWN
As a senior majoring in journalism at the University of Pittsburgh, I was quite surprised that a magazine of such caliber as SPORTS ILLUSTRATED would publish such a misleading article as A Town and Its Team (SI, Nov. 2).
We citizens of Braddock, Pa. are not only proud of our football team, which has gone through 54 games undefeated, but we are also proud of our town.
Granted we still have our slum areas, but Braddock is not the "decaying town" it was called. Instead, the exact reverse is the truth. For the past five years Braddock has been actively engaged in a tremendous redevelopment program.
This article showed complete disregard for true facts. True, our team does not practice on a luxurious grass-covered field, but neither does it practice on a "grimy, stony practice field," "a flattened coal heap" or a "cinder-covered field." Our "clapboard homes" are clapboard for one important reason. Braddock is not a new housing area; the town is 204 years old.
"Many players are from the slums," the article says. Correct. But why is there no mention of the fact that in the very near future these slums will not exist?
JOHN J. MESAROS
•Journalism Student Mesaros should have noted in the story that Braddock is now "nourishing a new optimism" amidst "painting, remodeling, rejuvenating." Both town and team can well be proud.—ED.
Just a reminder—since you ran the article on the Braddock High School football team, they have gone on to win two more games to run their winning streak to 55 straight. On November 20 the Tigers captured their sixth straight class A crown under Coach Chuck Klausing by defeating Waynesburg High 25-7. I enjoyed the article on our team.
Braddock High School
FOOTBALL: DUE CREDIT
I have just read Roy Terrell's article Falcon on the Wing (SI, Nov. 9) and I must say he's the first and possibly the only writer to even give Army credit for being in Yankee Stadium that Saturday. From all articles, descriptions and other accounts of the game the Army team and the corps of cadets appear to have been outdone in every strategy—outplayed, outfought, outspirited, outyelled, outshone—and even the famous Army mule was supposedly outclassed by the Air Force's "flapping bird."
We believe in giving credit where credit is due, and we realize that there is currently a nationwide drive to publicize our "junior" academy in Colorado; however, we don't believe it quite fair that an old, established institution, with a world-renowned reputation for quality and success should be completely run into the ground in the process.
We here at West Point will be the first to admit that the Air Force Academy has a fine football team. However, we're very proud of our team and of its showing. Giving credit where credit is due, just remember that it was the Air Force who had to come from behind to tie the Army.
KING OR JOKER?
I have been an avid reader of your publication since its inception. For years I have read, in passive silence, about the exploits and achievements of the "greats" in practically every conceivable sporting . contest.
Your issues have been jammed with the notables of football, basketball, tennis, swimming, etc., and even the "knights" of the chess world.
In your coverage of card games, however, I feel that you have gone amiss. True, you have had excellent coverage of most of the popular card games today. Several articles have been devoted to winning poker, and you boast a series of articles on the finesse of bridge.
However, in all your coverage, you have overlooked one game which is as fundamental to America as is the Declaration of Independence and which, I daresay, every American plays, at least sometime, during his life. The name of this game is Old Maid—a game in which I, very modestly, claim to be the Champion of the World.
I would appreciate it if you would give coverage to this most important game, and some of the outstanding players in this field. I am sure that you do not comprehend the intricacies of the game, nor the skill required, but upon request I would gladly send you details.
JOSEPH F. RYAN
•Reader Ryan, self-styled world champion of the Old Maid card game players, is a 19-year-old junior at Holy Cross College who claims he wins the bid for the title "because I've never lost any game I've ever played" (in some 50 informal matches with other college students). We pass. Any more bids?—ED.
ANSWER TO A PROBLEM
In reply to A. Richard Davies' (19TH HOLE, NOV. 9) distribution problem of the World Series pool, it might be wise as a yardstick to utilize a pari-mutuel rule which states, "When only one horse finishes a race the place-and-show pools, if any, shall be distributed the same as in the win pool."
By this precedent, all second (or place) money would go to the holder of the one winning inning.
HAMILTON M. O'HARA
Forest Hills, N.Y.
AN "UP" ENCOUNTER
Here is a picture of the 1960 Princeton Nassoons, a 20-year-old singing group, dressed for their touch-football encounter with Yale's Whiffenpoofs, certainly the most Up (Up Squash! Down Baseball! SI, Nov. 9) sports event of the season.
The game, an annual classic, was played (with pauses for singing during time-outs) on the morning of November 14 in Princeton, as part of the Princeton-Yale weekend festivities.
RICHARD B. McGLYNN
•The score: Whiffenpoofs 24, Nassoons 6.—ED.