Bravo! With all local Eagle prejudice aside, I'm certainly glad someone finally noticed, and had nerve enough to write, that there is something remarkable going on in the New York Giants' meteoric climb out of last year's unimpressive third-place finish (SCORECARD, Nov. 27). After Tex Maule's article on the trades of Wellington Mara (Successful Trader in Giants, Nov. 20), I was almost ready to cancel my subscription. Now, however, my confidence is restored.
We pro football fans are bigoted, rowdy, fickle, loud and sometimes boisterous, but we are not stupid. Tell us that Rocky Marciano will ride Carry Back in the Derby, that Charles Goren will play shortstop for the Dodgers or that Big Daddy Lipscomb will play in the Davis Cup matches—all of these things we'll go along with. But don't, please don't, ask us to swallow that jazz about the New York Giants rebuilding through smart trading. Give the fans credit for a little more intelligence than that.
While I admit there are oddities in the New York Giants' schedule, I fail to see the substantial advantage the schedule was supposed to have given them. Like the Giants, Philadelphia and Cleveland both played St. Louis twice during the first half of the season and had both (by the ninth game) played Washington twice. Dallas, with a win over New York and a 4-5-1 record in fourth place wasn't the patsy you make it appear. And St. Louis has wins over the Eagles and the Giants!
S. C. KAMINSKY
Bedford Hills, N.Y.
Let's even say that the scheduling "break" your article points up was actually planned, as you further imply, and discount the fact that the two Giant losses as of now were at the hands of the "patsies," St. Louis and Dallas, I believe. Why shouldn't the Giants fight their competition with any fair means they have at their disposal? The AFL is trying to capitalize on a market created, after many rough, lean years, by most of the present teams in the NFL who are just beginning to reap the benefits of what is probably the best spectator sport we have at the present time.
JAMES E. GARRETSON JR.
December 11, 1961
Just as the Giants didn't need Buddy Dial, so LA and Frisco didn't need Shofner and Tittle. But the deals backfired in all three cases. That the Giants got Tittle and Shofner is a credit to Wellington Mara and that they became the Giants' stars is a credit to Allie Sherman. Harry Wismer is trying to make up in words what his football team lacks in skill.
PETER R. SCHLEGER
I can hardly wait to hear the next tear-jerking episode of Wismer's Worries.
L. F. MEYER
What's omitted here is the real nub of the matter—namely, that NFL teams are evenly matched and that any one can beat any other on any given day. What's also neglected by your seer is the obvious fact that by pitting its top teams against each other in the closing games, the NFL has achieved its purpose of producing some spectacular entertainment.
J. RICHARD ELLIOTT JR.
New Shrewsbury, N.J.
LOOK UPWARD, ANGELS
I read your article, Apathy in Smogville (Nov. 13), with great interest, but I want to correct you about Angels' attendance as compared with the new Washington club.
The Angels' paid attendance for their inaugural season in the American League was 603,510 while the new Senators had a paid total of 597,287, according to published figures. This places the Angels some 6,223 ahead of Washington. In fact, the Angels, in a two-team town, were ahead of the one-team-city Philadelphia Phillies by some 13,471, as the Phils drew 590,039.
Public Relations Director
Los Angeles Angels
THE UGLY AMERICAN
The picture of Pete Dawkins "strangling" an opposing Rugby player is certainly sensational (Is This Cricket? Nov. 27), but it is in bad taste for a magazine like SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. All the picture achieves is the negative effect of destroying the image of Pete Dawkins, West Point's first cadet, honor student, All-America football player and Heisman Trophy winner.
ROGER W. SMITH
How I wish that your picture of Pete Dawkins enraged could be published and understood all over the world. It's the best damn propaganda I've seen since the end of World War II.
If we could somehow dispel the big-sap image of the American, which we've so foolishly projected over the years, and act like human beings who can on occasion get their hackles up, perhaps we'd be met with a little more respect than is presently accorded us.
I wish all men could believe that we have some several million Dawkinses who will meet toughness with toughness and more.
G. A. COUNCIL
Peter Waldmeir concludes in Statutes for Status in the Backyard (Nov. 27) that insurance companies do not consider swimming pools a very great danger because their charge for coverage of pools is only $15. This would represent a 25% increase in my home-insurance premium, which includes payment for not only liability insurance but also fire damage insurance. My conclusion would be that insurance companies consider backyard swimming pools extremely dangerous.
M. ALBERT ABREU
I would like to offer two proposals which I believe would add interest to football as a great spectator sport.
First, to my way of thinking, the kicking of a field goal is a talent that deserves greater emphasis. As it stands now, all field goals are worth three points. I would like to suggest a 2-3-4 point basis. The system would be simply this: any field goal kicked from the 20-yard line or closer would be worth two points, a field goal from the 21-to the 40-yard line, three points, and a field goal from beyond the 40-yard line, four points. This adds the same type of effect as the long-ball hitter in baseball, docs away with the cheap three-pointers and puts greater emphasis on the ability of a player to develop his skill as a kicker.
A corollary to the rule would be necessary, however; the team in control of the ball would have to have made an advance of the ball on the play previous to kicking a field goal in order to benefit by the distance. In other words, if a team is trailing by three points and moves the ball to the opponent's five-yard line, with third down, they cannot arbitrarily allow themselves to be thrown for a 16-yard loss simply to gain the possibility of a three-point field goal instead of a two-pointer.
Secondly, I feel that the rule regarding unsuccessful field goals should be changed. Now an attempted field goal that goes wide is logged as a touchback and brought out to the 20-yard line. Thus, if a defensive team successfully holds the offensive team at bay at the 40-yard line and the offensive team attempts and fails in a field-goal try, the ball is placed on the defensive team's 20-yard line. The defensive team has been penalized 20 yards for its heroic defense! Or if the offensive team moves the ball to its opponent's 10-yard line and tries a field goal without success, the ball is likewise brought out to the 20. Why should the defensive team be arbitrarily handed 10 yards they didn't work to get?
The field goal should not be treated as a punt for the simple reason that a punt is a defensive maneuver, while the field goal is an offensive maneuver. I would suggest that if a safety man wants to field the ball after an unsuccessful field-goal try and attempt to run it back, then let him. But, if he decides to let it go, because it is impossible to field (most of them are) then give the ball to the defensive team at the original line of scrimmage from which the kick was made. Thus we make defense defensive, and offense offensive.