THE NEW ZEALANDERS
Snell's record-setting mile, not to mention the 880 and 800 meters (World's Greatest Distance Runner, Feb. 12) is something that was forecast two years ago by one of his fellow New Zealanders, Murray Halberg, the gold medalist in the 5,000 meters at Rome. Halberg, to quote from SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (Sept. 12, 1960), said in reference to his own training with two marathon runners, "The marathon runners beat me by a second, I beat Snell by a second. He'll be the greatest runner in the world in a few years."
JOHN H. O'KEEFE
Fort Belvoir, Va.
Demerits to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for presenting a highly interesting article on brilliant New Zealand middle-distance runner Peter Snell without making even passing mention of another eminent New Zealander, the late and great Jack Lovelock, 1936 Olympic 1,500-meter champion and world mile-record holder, who by himself put his country on the track map to stay.
A big hand for Robert Boyle (Will Floyd Fight Sonny? Feb. 12). As one who has followed Liston's life, I have no doubt in my mind at all that Sonny Liston will defeat Floyd Patterson this year and become the next world heavyweight boxing champion.
I don't know how you can possibly mention that jerk in the same breath with the great Sugar Ray.
If D'Amato picks Floyd's opponents in the future as carefully as he has in the past, Patterson will be the first heavyweight champion to retire undefeated at age 65 and kill boxing in the process.
PRESTON G. ACKER
The school of thought that makes the most sense to me is the one that says since Liston is not in jail or on parole, he should be allowed to fight anyone.
JAMES M. MORAN
I am all in favor of a cleaned-up boxing profession, but I am frankly disgusted with any system that permits the champion to sidestep any recognized and qualified opponent to fight nobodies. After all, why is there any listing of challengers if being listed as No. 1 does not rate at least a shot at the title?
LIEUT. DAVID S. TEACHOUT, USN
As far as boxing is concerned Liston's rehabilitation is a scapegoat. The rehabilitation of boxing itself is the issue.
DANIEL DE ESCUINAPA
I'm no partisan of pretentiously meaningless dogs' names like Fancy-pants Doomsday of Skid Row (I made that up; take it, anybody), but sometimes a yellable name doesn't best fit the beast (Show Dogs' Names Shouldn't Happen to a Dog, Feb. 12).
New York City
I feel sure that Robert Cantwell never took the trouble to find out the basic reasons why the trend is as it is. One of the most important is that, because of the desire of so many persons to have a dog of purebred origin, breeders have established an increasing number of breeding kennels and, in turn, have registered their kennel names with the AKC. Any litters of puppies whelped by that breeder subsequently will bear that kennel name to indicate the "line." For instance, anyone familiar with hound breeds would instantly recognize that Tyburn's London Derriere is a basset hound bred by Mrs. Carolyn Babson. (Tyburn is her kennel.)
Before Mr. Cantwell falls off his chair laughing at purebred dogs' names let him spend several hundred good hard-earned dollars to purchase a dog with a good pedigree and have the pleasure of naming it.
•Cantwell's dog, half cocker and half Lhasa apso, is named Cindy.—ED.
Mightn't Pippa of Pleasant Pastures find it amusing that there is a human being called Yankees' Yogi Berra?
New York City
NO DORMITORY AT VANDERBILT
Vanderbilt athletic committee approved Chairman Stambaugh's December 19 telegram to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED attempting to correct December 18, 1961, erroneous published report that athletic council was toying with idea of special football dormitory. February 12 issue reaffirms this erroneous charge.
This is completely untrue and contrary to philosophy and practice of Vanderbilt as educational institution. Vanderbilt's athletic committee is not giving even remote consideration to plan of special football dormitory.
Sports Illustrated's publication is not only wrong factually, but irreparably injures standing and reputation of this educational institution.
VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY ATHLETIC COMMITTEE: LEONARD BEACH, Professor of English and Dean of Graduate School; F. TREMAINE BILLINGS, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Silver Anniversary All-America; GUSTAVE LUNDBERG, Professor of Applied Mathematics; SAMUEL ENOCH STUMPF, Professor of Philosophy; HERBERT WEAVER, Professor of History; MADISON SARRATT, Vice Chancellor Emeritus; FRED HAMILTON, Alumnus Member; ROBERT WERKLE, Alumnus Member; SIDNEY BOUTWELL, Dean of Men; JOHN S. BEASLEY, Executive Secretary, Alumni Association; JOHN H. STAMBAUGH, Vice Chancellor, Chairman
I staggered home bleary-eyed and bored from four hours of a monotonous NBA double-header up here in Boston the other night, my first in five years. What has happened to basketball? No suspense. Those guys could hit from 25 feet out blindfolded. Pro baseball and pro football have equal polish, but still offer the unexpected—the steal, home run, touchdown pass, red dog. The only tension in that night's opening Warrior-Knick clash was whether Chamberlain would miss three foul shots in a row. He did. The Celtic-Royal finale quickly deteriorated into a race to score again before the P.A. announcer had figured out who shot and assisted on the previous goal. Fans did forget their beer and cigars once—when the Celtics tried to score with four men as K.C. Jones nonchalantly tied his shoes at the other end of the court. They didn't.
The main weakness of NBA productions today is that games are too long and scores ridiculously high, with the result that the two-point field goal, the basis of the game, has become meaningless. What's two points out of 140? The ABL has tried to give a goal more importance by awarding three points for 25-footers, but teams still prefer safe jump shots and dunks.
My suggestion: with new franchises, the NBA would be able to field four teams and play a round robin of six 16-minute games each night. That would still be a total of 96 minutes of play, the same as two of the present 48-minute marathons. Yet 16-minute games would be played at a terrific last-period pace. The two-point field goal would have value (two of 40 rather than 140 points). Defense would be all-important. And teams could not pace themselves and let opponents run through 10 straight points before striking back, as so often happens in the present monotonous, meaningless, 12-minute second and third periods. Finally, fans would enjoy maximum variety, such as watching three separate teams try to contain Chamberlain, stop Baylor or get by Russell.
Let's do something. That night was like watching Ben-Hur and Spartacus on the same twin bill.
HAMILTON W. MESERVE