In the interest of fair play and good sportsmanship I would like to thank you for publishing the article exposing the chain-gang tactics of those two mule drivers masquerading as college football coaches, namely Bear Bryant of Alabama and Charlie Bradshaw of Kentucky (The New Rage to Win, Oct. 8).
How a sport that produced men such as Walter Camp, Amos Alonzo Stagg and Knute Rockne can stomach such as these will always remain a mystery to me.
HERBERT R. DODD
I thought the reasons for playing football were mainly enjoyment and the building of one's character. At Kentucky I guess this concept is old-fashioned. It seems to me Coach Bradshaw's emphasis is being placed first on the killing and destruction of the opposing team and second on developing a player half human and half animal.
Football is a way of life and should be tough—but not sadistic.
Here are some local reactions to your article from one of those who quit the squad. One who didn't said the coaches told the boys they liked it and thought it was good for everyone to know, especially the prospects—"It'll let them know what they are in for." Bradshaw told the squad that the nationwide publicity was good, but this team didn't deserve it. Another man close to the team said that Bradshaw told him he wasn't going to let up on the boys now.
The students generally felt no degradation in the article. They said it was "just the plain truth about what was going on."
A local resident said the article gave some people something to jump on Charlie Bradshaw for, if they want to, but no letters were run in the paper pertaining to anything said in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, and after the Auburn game you heard no more about it.
Things haven't changed much here since it came out. Bradshaw hasn't changed his style of play. The boys give a good effort but that's it. On October 1 Bradshaw criticized the team for not wanting to win. "Ken Bo-card is the only back to show any bounce. It's not so much that we're few in numbers as in people who want to win."
Things aren't getting any better but, from the boys' point of view, things can't get much worse.
What your story failed to mention was that of 44 freshmen gridders—who went through identical training this fall along with the varsity—only two found the going too tough. Of the men "Bradshaw recruited, only one has quit. The freshmen, many of them away from home for the first time, figured to have a harder time adjusting than the varsity players. But it appears that the freshmen want to play football, while some of the varsity men were going along just for a free education.
Bradshaw plays no favorites. The stars, like Tom Hutchinson and Jerry Woolum, have to work as hard as the third-stringers.
The ultimate absurdity in the American way of life will come when, inevitably, one of Charlie Bradshaw's trained killers joins the Peace Corps.
One almost hopes, for these boys' sake, that war really is inevitable. The "Christian virtues" being instilled by Coaches Bradshaw, Bear Bryant, et al. will prepare them nicely for the biggest football game of all—World War III—and for survival in what's left of the world afterward.
EDGAR F. KIEFER
In this day of conformity never did I expect that a university chancellor would have the temerity to violate the established union line by suggesting there is something good in college football. "But Pittsburgh's Dr. Edward H. Litchfield, the iconoclast, wrote most interestingly that, as old grads, by and large the former footballers of those great Pitt teams have distinguished themselves beyond the average graduate (Saturday's Hero Is Doing Fine, Oct. 8).
That old saw "the search for truth" may be the common denominator of college presidents' speeches, but it took the inquiring mind of Chancellor Litchfield to give recognition to a fact many have stated in a less conclusive way. Perhaps the chancellor himself was surprised to learn that the sweat and toil of Old Forbes Field is compatible with decent academic standards as well as future promise.
Few know better than I that this is a story long overdue. My coaching associates through the years included old Pitt greats, whom the chancellor saluted—Andy Gustafson, Joe Donchess, Eddie Hirshberg and Ave Daniell.
This all leads to the thought that Army meets Pitt in the Yankee Stadium in November. It will be a splendid laboratory demonstration of high IQs and hard nosed football.
And a cheer for Pittsburgh's Dr. Litchfield, a strong cutback runner against the conformists.
EARL H. BLAIK
New York City
•Red Blaik, a third-string All-America in 1919 and winner of the West Point saber as the outstanding athlete of the Class of 1920, spent 25 years coaching football, 18 of them for Army.—ED.
Dr. Litchfield's comments concerning the future success of student managers is significant to me because the student manager of the 1949 West Point football team was Frank Borman, one of America's nine new astronauts.
THE LITTLE FIGHT
Regarding your article The Fads About the Big Fight (Oct. 8), I think Gilbert Rogin has finally pinned down the answer to the "suffering, bewildered and confused" ex-champion, Floyd Patterson. Patterson was indeed that—bewildered and confused. No one questions that Patterson was ready physically, but by admitting before the fight that he could not be '"vicious," as he was for the second Johansson fight, Patterson was admitting, though I am sure he did not feel so, that he was going to lose.
You are probably right in assuming that a second bout will be demanded and granted, but I question your prophecy that "the fickle fight fans will return to see what Patterson can do."
JEFFERY D. FOX
Grosse Pointe, Mich.
After reading that 600,000 people shelled out $4 million either in Chicago or via television in 260 theaters for 2:06 of the first round I begin to think that Barnum's sucker birth rate was too low.
I wonder how many of these fans would contribute the same amount for the U.S. Olympic team to go to Tokyo or to help bring the 1968 Olympics to Detroit?
SAMUEL C. McKEE
There's something cockeyed about the wonderful world of sport when a prizefighter can command approximately as much money for a 2-minute 6-second appearance as baseball's immortal Babe Ruth collected for the score of summers during which he entertained countless millions of fans.
E. W. HESSE
I saw the fight on theater TV and I for one did not feel cheated. A $4 ticket doesn't entitle the holder to dictate who the winner is to be or in what round a knockout shall occur. No man in his right mind and having knowledge of the ex-champion's previous fights could label the fight a hoax or dive.
LAURENCE A. DROST
What a setup! Sonny's by himself on top. Mr. Patterson is sort of an unchallenged V.P. Young Cassius Clay is the Speaker of the House. Then we have Drain Commissioners and more Drain Commissioners.
Gilbert Rogin's article was tops, but he made a glaring error when he said that Machen and Folley were the only two heavyweights of consequence Patterson had never met. This is highly incorrect. One other must be added to the list, Cleveland (The Big Cat) Williams, one of the most feared and avoided punchers in the game today. Only Liston—and Bob Satterfield when Big Cleve was starting out—ever stopped him, and the Cat has kayoed nearly 50 foes, and held Eddie Machen to a draw.
West Los Angeles
The Big Ten has played five games against teams from the AAWU this year and has yet to win one. If Big Ten football is "the best in the nation," what does that make the West Coast?
•See page 20.—ED.
I got quite a chuckle out of Father Gagnon's letter about breaking records (19TH HOLE, Oct. 8). And for the simple reason that this is what cost the Dodgers the National League championship. They got so interested in breaking season records that they forgot to win the pennant:
Most bases stolen by one man
Most times at bat for a shortstop
Longest nine-inning game on record
Most attendance during a baseball season
Most bases stolen by one team
Pitcher with the most victories
League leader with runs driven in
Most triples (tied with Pittsburgh)
Most automobiles parked
And, probably, most beer sold
As Grantland Rice might have said:
They aimed to break the record.
They cared not for the Race,
So they broke two dozen records,
And wound up in second place.
E. C. BURNS
Sherman Oaks, Calif.
As an Englishman accustomed to following soccer, I was intrigued by the method used to determine the National League pennant winner. In England soccer abandoned the playoff system in 1898 and if a tie on points results at the top of a league the champions are decided by "goal average." The number of goals scored by each team is divided by those it lets in, and the side with the highest resulting value is declared champion. It might be interesting to see whether the Dodgers or the Giants would have won the pennant if we calculated their "run averages."
•Still the Giants. San Francisco scored a total of 878 runs this season, allowed 690 for a 1.27 average as opposed to the Dodgers' total record of 842 against 697 for an average of 1.21.—ED.
FLASH OF HISTORY
Willie Davis the fastest player ever to perform in the major leagues?
Did Author Tom Brody (A Snake-sliding Dodger Tries to Steal the Pennant, Oct. 1) ever see Maurice Archdeacon of the early '20s Chicago White Sox?
A streak little outfielder, "Flash" Archdeacon beat out a larger percentage of infield taps than any man in baseball history. His .333 lifetime batting average was compiled at the expense of an era of supergreat in-fielders of which the American League is justly proud. Archdeacon's speed exhibitions at circling the bases is never to be forgotten.
C. L. MORGAN