Ray Cave's article on Singing the Blues in St. Louis (Jan. 22) was too sympathetic. Ben Kerner just needed an excuse for his losing team. This is another one of his alibis. I don't see how a myth can bring home five division championships. It's ridiculous to say that the Big Three never were great. Bob Pettit is one of the alltime greats. Hagan has been on many All-Star teams and Lovellette is one of the best outside shots and rebounders in the business. The trouble with the St. Louis Hawks is that they just don't have a backcourt.
Kerner is such a shrewd trader he has traded away the talents of Bill Russell, Willie Naulls, Dave Gambee, Bob Ferry, Si Green and Frank Selvy (Russell, Naulls and Selvy were All-Stars this year). And the only player with any great ability he has left to show for these transactions is Cliff Hagan.
Kerner moans he has no superstar. But how can one player (Pettit) win four Most Valuable awards in the All-Star classic and still not be classified as super? If Jerry Lucas turns pro with Cincinnati, Kerner will be singing the blues rightfully, and not even he will be able to fix the Hawks.
Mount Pulaski, Ill.
Cave's story really blew up when the remarkable St. Louis Hawks won six out of seven games the following week (SCORECARD, Feb. 5).
"Swinging the Blues" would be better.
DENNIS R. HENDLEY
JAMBOREE BY KENYON
I was pleased to see your acknowledgment of Tom Edwards as Chet Jastremski's first swimming instructor (Jamboree by Jastremski, Jan. 29).
It might interest you to know that Edwards, in addition to serving as Dean of Students, has continued his success as a swimming coach. During his tenure at Kenyon College he has coached eight consecutive Ohio Conference championship teams (1954-1961).
ROBERT W. MACDONALD JR.
As one who has competed against Chet Jastremski for three years, I would like to congratulate you on your article. Chet sure earned it.
I agreed with Charles Goren's reasoning in the Year-end Quiz (Dec. 25) except for Hand 14, where both sides are vulnerable and North-South have 60 part-score. He gives five points for a two-diamond bid by South, two points for two hearts and one point for a double, saying that the chance of slam is remote. Yet if partner has two small diamonds (or even only one) and six clubs K-J and no other count, six diamonds is a decided probability. Thus, it seems to me that the cue bid of two hearts is superior to two diamonds, which will surely be passed by partner with anywhere near a minimum or subminimum hand.
I presume Mr. Goren fears that the cue bid, forcing to game, would find partner with only spades. But this being rubber bridge (60-point score), it seems as if his two diamonds is bid in that light. Might not partner just pass a three-diamond bid over two spades?
Mr. Goren's bridge generally impresses me as aggressive, but a two-diamond response here seems too timid.
EDWARD D. JERVEY
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
•A double or a cue bid with this hand, according to Goren, decreases the chance of showing both minors at a low level. (If partner is well-heeled in spades he is apt to bid and rebid his suit until the partnership is overboard.) It also warns the opponents against competing strenuously, whereas a "timid" two diamonds may pave the way for a huge penalty if they become overly aggressive. There seems a far better chance of collecting a penalty than of earning the bonus for bidding and making a slam that requires a specific holding from partner.—ED.
I was astonished to read your false statement that Vanderbilt's "athletic council is toying with the idea of providing a special football dormitory and increasing the yearly athletic scholarship by 50%" (SCORECARD, Dec. 18).
Both points are absolutely untrue.
JOHN H. STAMBAUGH
Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of Athletic Committee
•SPORTS ILLUSTRATED delayed publication of Vice-Chancellor Stambaugh's complaint in order to further investigate the offending item. That inquiry has now been completed. Although there is high-level opposition to the dormitory idea on the Vanderbilt campus, we are convinced our story was correct as printed and as quoted by Vice-Chancellor Stambaugh.—ED.