SOCKS AND GLOVES
As president of the World Boxing Association, I consider that Liston earned recognition as the best big fighter in the world. He didn't have a teammate to help him. Who can deny him the crown? Suppose an inmate of Alcatraz ran the 100-yard dash in nine seconds flat—wouldn't this be a new world record?
The New York Legislature wants to outlaw boxing because, they say, its control and background are filled with corruption. Baseball was not outlawed because of the Black Sox scandal. Nobody seriously tried to legislate basketball out of existence when gamblers and athletes were convicted of fixes.
All of us in boxing are trying desperately to clean up the weaknesses. But we need time—not crippling legislation.
There will always be boxing contests, whether they take place in an isolated meadow, on a barge or in Madison Square Garden. New York's legislature must take some blame for the present condition of professional boxing. Do we want a boxing Volstead Act which could never be enforced and which would only lead to further crime and violence?
The recently incorporated World Boxing Research and Education Foundation offers a fine beginning, and with implementation and nonemotional cooperation could very well be a substantial leap up the ladder of boxing decency.
In the meantime let's keep our sense of proportion and refrain from criticizing those who are trying to cure a problem which society permitted to exist and did nothing about.
CHARLES P. LARSON, M.D.
•The World Boxing Association (see p. 20), formerly the National Boxing Association, includes in its membership the boxing commissions of every state in the U.S. except New York, California and Massachusetts.—ED.
Having been taught at an early age I must take care of myself, I took up boxing and went on to win a Golden Glove at a Jesuit high school. Now I can see the results in myself: a temper that frequently gets out of control. In my opinion this "sport" cannot be banned soon enough.
Congratulations to you and Writer Walter Bingham.
It's about time someone woke up to the fact that the boys out here play football for keeps (Big Surgeon the West Coast, Oct. 22). Up until a few years ago the brand of football that was played up and down the verdant Pacific slopes was at least on a par with all regions of the country. Now it's the finest football played anywhere in the U.S.
Walter Bingham's interesting article was very apropos, especially the evidence concerning the new West Coast emphasis on the running game. They are playing football again as it was intended to be played, with an integrated and balanced running and passing attack, instead of a sort of glorified basketball offense.
HAROLD M. KENNARD
Glen Ridge, N.J.
I'm disappointed in your magazine as far as football analysis is concerned. Apparently you have given in to the West Coast inferiority complex, judging by your Big Surge article. All you need do is take a look at the Big Ten schedule—this year especially—to see a show of power unmatched in the country. No wonder the West Coast teams are so happy when they beat a Big Ten team. These are the most important games of the year for the Coast—not for the Big Ten. Coast schedules, due to their smaller league with less strength, permit their pointing to Big Ten games.
Stanford over Michigan State is a perfect example. They shot their year's wad in one game. Washington's victory over Illinois was unimpressive compared with Northwestern's and Ohio State's wins over Illinois. Washington State made hard work of lowly Indiana. Put the best Coast team in the Big Ten and it figures to lose at least two in that schedule. Two league losses rarely win the Big Ten.
No one can deny that the quality of football on the West Coast has improved from 1961 to 1962. I saw Rose Bowl-bound UCLA "play" Michigan in 1961 and I am at a loss to imagine West Coast football any worse, but there are at least six Big Ten teams far better than the Iowa team which lost to your second-rated West Coast team, USC, by 7-0, and which beat Oregon State 28-8.
FREDERICK D. STEINHARDT
New York City
If inconsistency in views on how to coach college football will sell magazines, you should do a land office business.
In giving credit for the rise of West Coast football to Washington Coach Jim Owens, former Bear Bryant assistant, you have endorsed the principles of Bryant and, therefore, Charlie Bradshaw (The New Rage to Win, Oct. 8). Why not go the full route and give us a pro-Bryant article?
R. L. JEFFERS JR.
I resent strongly those who write from Honolulu, Detroit and other places and say that Kentucky Coach Bradshaw's teachings are sadistic (19TH HOLE, Oct. 22). How do they know?
I would hardly expect the men who quit at Kentucky or at any school in our country to praise the coach who was the cause of their quitting. No man feels good in his heart as a quitter. Your story mentioned only briefly those that had not quit. Certainly their statements and reactions give a far more truthful picture than those you chose to run.
Here is an account of a recent—and more noteworthy—incident that sums up the Kentucky situation: On a day last spring, when 13 boys quit the Kentucky football squad, one of the most sought-after high school football players in Pennsylvania signed a grant-in-aid to Kentucky. The reason: his parents watched the practice session that day and realized that here was an opportunity for their son to play under a coach who would never be satisfied with second best—a man who would give their son the type of leadership that is so vital to our American way of life.
WILLIAM C. CHANDLER
If anyone thinks that Amos Alonzo Stagg, Knute Rockne and the other great coaches weren't just as tough taskmasters as Bear Bryant, Bradshaw and company he had better turn in his field glasses.
Writer Kenneth Rudeen's enthusiasm for sports cars is understandable. However, I doubt if this qualifies him to make crowd comparisons.
In his Story, Double Bonanza for Spoils Cars (Oct. 29), Rudeen quips, "In sum, these audiences at Riverside and Laguna Seca easily outnumbered the immense one that always attends the Indianapolis '500.' " Writer Rudeen estimates the combined crowd at 140,000.
The Indy crowd bulges to a total of 250,000 to 300,000 when the infield crowd arrives. Permanent seats are at a premium (even with a $30 top), and a double-deck grandstand seating 10,000 is now under contruction to help solve the ticket problem.
•As Rudeen's story went to press it read: "...these audiences at Riverside and Laguna Seca easily outnumbered every other American racing crowd save the immense one that always attends the Indianapolis '500.' " The underscored line was omitted by mistake.—ED.
BALL OR DANDELION?
Forgive still another word from the originator of the Ol' Canary Hide (19TH HOLE, Oct. 29). However, Wilfred T. Kearns' letter on "Why not a yellow jacket for golf balls?" somehow seems to call for an answer. Here's the story:
As soon as the yellow baseball had proved its superior visibility we went right to work (in 1938) to make up yellow golf balls, yellow tennis balls, yellow softballs and yellow polo balls, too.
1) The yellow golf ball is great off the tee, in a trap and on the green, where the color of the ball helps the player's eyes to focus on and define its exact shape—assisting the player in executing the perfect stroke.
On the fairway, unless there are the usual spring dandelions, it's good, too—but those little flowers make it hard to find. In the rough, when the fall leaves are around, it's easily lost among the yellow and brown leaves. Good idea to have a few in your bag, though—for use when playing conditions are right.
2) The yellow tennis ball proved very good, on grass courts in particular, until grass-stained (as in the case of the white ball).
3) The yellow softball was test-played by the Police Athletic League teams under the supervision of the then Commissioner John Morris, and it was generally agreed that it was an improvement.
4) The yellow polo ball was test-played at Meadowbrook in 1939 and it worked out fine. But, as with the others, tradition prevailed against its adoption as standard equipment.
FREDERIC H. RAHR
New York City