Hooray for Emmett Watson's article on the Liston-Machen fight (Really a Hug Fest, Sept. 19). It was literally a brawl with a referee.
Those men, from my point of view, had no respect for the referee or for the laws of the NBA. I should think that the NBA would have fined them for their unsportsmanly conduct. They should definitely have stricter laws concerning this type of "boxing."
LUSTER AND LUCRE
A tennis friend of mine has complained of the injustice of your writer describing the play at the National Singles as "lackluster" (Low Point for Tennis, Sept. 19), and I must agree with him. The semifinal match between Laver and Buchholz was the best contest of the year and lost nothing in comparison with matches of other years.
•We welcome any opinion, including a dissent, from a tennis champion whose play at Forest Hills this year and in years past seldom, if ever, lacked luster.—ED.
I, for one, do not understand all the fuss (Advantage, Receiver! Sept. 12) about tournament promoters and clothes manufacturers who spend large sums of money on tennis players. The players certainly deserve more than they would conceivably ever get from any means otherwise and unobtrusively promote a product, whether it be a shirt or a tennis racket.
I can understand why payola is ethically and legally wrong where an inferior product can be promoted at the expense of a superior product. But payment of money to players does not seem to fall into that class. This seems rather to be one of the few examples in the entire social-financial world where superiority is rewarded according to the degree of superiority and inferiority is left out.
TOM WHEATON COWARD
NEEDED: TIGER TAMERS
Your stinging, behind-the-scenes report of the colossal failure of the San Francisco Giants (Old Pals in a Cold Wind, Sept. 26) was both truthful and tragic.
Their demise reminds me of another very disappointing team, the Detroit Tigers. Like the Giants, Detroit had a nucleus of very fine young players who also played for themselves and not as a team. Like the Giants, they had backstop, infield and bullpen problems that went from bad to worse because inefficient management refused to correct them. Like the Giants, the Tigers had easygoing managers who refused to crack the whip and demand game-winning hits and instead let their "sluggers" aim for club home run records.
In one respect your article did explain why the Giants collapsed. The managerial issue. There is no question about it. What the Giants need, more than anything else, is a manager who can supply the brand of leadership that can weld them into a team which takes the attitude: Fight 'em all the way, win or lose. Stick together and give 'em all you got. The Giants of McGraw and Durocher were classic examples of this kind. Actually, the Giants have a team that is as well-balanced as the best.
But then there's Candlestick Park. Thanks to that wind, people say. Don't forget that the Pirates, Braves and those Cinderella Cardinals were faced with the same problem. And yet, they did much better. Why? They let that wind hex psychology out of their minds and concentrated on getting used to it. They did it. The Giants didn't and that's the difference.
I still think the Giants are a pennant-winning ball club, and I will pick them again to win next year.
New York City
"The Washington Redskins, principally because they do not employ Negro players, are a sensible choice for last" (NFL Scouting Reports, Sept. 26). Do you really feel that is a sensible statement for a magazine of your caliber to make?
R. M. GRISWOLD
Silver Spring, Md.
Re the Olympics. I rated a gold medal 30 points, silver 20 and bronze 10. I added the total for each country and divided that by the population and came up with the following rating:
Points per million population
No country, of course, wins the Olympics. But it seems rather unfair to compare the competing countries on the basis of the number of medals or points won, without considering the population from which the medal and point winners have to be selected. In other words, it was no great shakes that Russia and the United States bagged so many of the medals, but that countries like Australia and Hungary racked up what they did, is something.
TONY C. ABAYA
Your article Young Men on a Spree (Sept. 26) should have read Young Man on a Spree. It's unfair to a golfer of Deane Beman's talents to be thrown editorially into a group of "fuzzy-cheeked kids" who are all apparently "eager and capable" of slaying each other at will. Beman's credentials are much too good for this.
I wonder if Jack Nicklaus, your cover boy of September 12, would take Deane Beman as lightly as you do?