I was elated to read Tex Maule's accurate description of the danger which accompanies betting on any athletic contest, whether it be professional or amateur (The Shadow Over Pro Football, Jan. 28). Certainly, the discovery of point-shaving in professional football would greatly injure the sport as it, did college basketball in 1951 and 1961. Everything should be done to prevent such a disaster, as Mr. Maule so aptly points out.
I smell some realism in the "hypothetical" point-spread example cited by Tex Maule. It sounds suspiciously, in fact exactly, like the circumstances in which Green Bay defeated Detroit in their first meeting during 1962.
If I could make "hypothetical" predictions like Tex Maule creates "hypothetical" point-spread cases, there would be no doubt about gambling in pro football. I'd bet every cent I have.
MARK G. ULEVICH
Tex Maule's prejudices are showing again! But he goes too far when he uses as an "example" of the point-spread system almost the exact situation that occurred in this season's first Detroit-Green Bay game.
February 11, 1963
This thinly veiled accusation docs great harm to the fine effort of two great pro football teams by implying that Detroit threw the game by trying to get a three-point spread on Green Bay rather than sitting on a one-point lead.
I think SPORTS ILLUSTRATED owes Detroit (and Green Bay) fans a clarification of its position and a clear statement of what it implied or didn't imply by this "example."
Stevens Point, Wis.
•Any resemblance between Novelist (Jeremy Todd, Footsteps) Tex Maule's fictional football score and that of any actual football game, living or dead, was purely coincidental.—ED.
Alex Karras was honest and sincere in telling the NFL big shots that he bet. I am positive it was a friendly bet and no foul play was involved.
EDWARD G. GHANTOUS
Mount Pleasant, Pa.
Many thanks for the most amusing but tremendously intuitive story of Mossie Murphy's Crusade (Jan. 28). It proves that the era of the individual is still with us, thanks to men like Mr. Murphy who have their singleness of purpose sewn on their sleeves.
Your article on Mossie makes me think there's hope after all for this stuffy old world, especially in a sport such as basketball, which has suffered such scandals.
If the good fathers wish Mossie's enthusiasm could be directed to "proper channels," why don't they ask him? After all, what does it matter if the bread tossed on the water comes back Irish potato bread instead of petits fours?
And, if you'll pardon the expression, I'll "bet" that Mossie's wife wouldn't trade him even if she won't sit with him.
JOAN C. DALBEY
We need more Mossie Murphys!
In your article on Mossie Murphy, Carnegie Tech is called a Class B school. Teh! Teh! When Tech beat Duquesne twice in 1959-60, Tech had one of its best-ever teams, finishing with a 15-9 record against opposition like Pitt, Duquesne, St. Francis and Penn State. This is hardly Class B.
It is now finals week at Carnegie, and the basketball team can't practice, due to the fact that the gym is used as an examination room. Alas, the perils of being an athlete at Tech! Some of us even get scholarships to grad school!
I read in this morning's Washington Post about Jack Nicklaus' aching left hip and that he had never been bothered by this before.
I have been predicting that Nicklaus was going to have hip pains ever since I read his golf article of several weeks ago in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (Dec. 10) about the new stance he adopted to increase the length of his drive. This was to assume an open stance instead of a closed stance and to swing slightly to the left rather than to a slight right.
I tried his recommended stance the next day, and although I appeared to drive longer I came down with an excruciating hip pain.
•Jack Nicklaus' open-stance swing did not hurt him too much in the $50,000 Palm Springs Classic.—ED.
I have just finished reading your fine article on Howie Young and the Detroit Red Wings (High Voltage on the Detroit Ice, Jan. 28). Having had a brief acquaintance with their coach, Sid Abel, it is easy for me to see that a team like Detroit would go all out for this man. Not only does he have plenty of hockey savvy, but he is a fine team leader. Arlie Schardt's story nicely reflects this in Sid's patience and careful handling of Howie Young.
Furthermore, your color photography was excellent.
GERALD N. RODELLI
New York City
High Voltage on the Detroit Ice does a grave injustice to professional hockey. The game can be both fast and exciting, within the bounds of the rules. The roughhouse tactics of Howie Young, as pictured, are, respectively, high-sticking, cross-checking and elbowing—all infractions of the rules. Surely SPORTS ILLUSTRATED can picture the excitement of the world's fastest sport in a more suitable manner?
J. M. LAVERY
H. V. HOLLOWAY
It is my belief that the credit for Detroit's success this year is attributable not to Howie Young's "putting his shoulder" to his opponents but to the wonderfully skilled play of such veterans as Gordie Howe, Marcel Pronovost and Terry Sawchuk, to mention a few, along with the excellent and inspired coaching of Sid Abel.
It would have been much better had you shown the strong face of Gordie Howe on your cover.
C. M. MACLACHLAN
A fine tribute to a team which has given hockey the same lift that the Dodgers have given baseball over the years.
Long Island City, N.Y.
It's only a small thing, the difference between opinion and fact, but fact seems to differ from the opinion of Stanley Karnow concerning spectator fascination with Thai boxing in Mana and the King of Siam (Jan. 28).
It has been my good fortune on several occasions to observe Thai boxing in Bangkok before large and very enthusiastic crowds. The timing and finesse of Thai boxers are beautiful indeed, and their leg power (from greater leverage alone) is quite akin to the kick of a horse. Experienced boxers are able to execute combinations of 10 or more kicks and punches in less time than it takes to tell of it. Excitement and enthusiasm run so high that there is much ringside wagering in evidence.
Mr. Karnow says that Thai fighters must perform to the slow beat of drums and cymbals. Actually, the fight musicians accelerate the fight's tempo when the boxers start to slow down. Many of our own TV "waltzing matches" could benefit greatly from this little gimmick.
CAPT. ALBERT H. WILSON, USAF
FAME AND FORTUNE
In your issue of December 10, in a Memo from the Publisher, you made a plea for contributions for the National Football Foundation's proposed new Hall of Fame building.
What for? Aren't football players, coaches, etc. glorified enough during their active careers? Why does this glorification have to be continued indefinitely? The same applies to other sports maintaining so-called Halls of Fame. Why does SPORTS ILLUSTRATED pump for contributions for a Football Hall of Fame when it has not done so for other sports? Frankly, these Halls of Fame seem rather childish.
Certainly $2 million could be used for many worthwhile sports projects such as playgrounds or sports equipment for poor neighborhoods, assistance to athletes in financial difficulties, financial assistance to sport groups touring abroad, etc. I haven't seen any SPORTS ILLUSTRATED editorials urging contributions or promoting worthwhile projects of this type.
If there are to be Halls of Fame, let them be for medicine, science and so on, not for sports.
DON C. JENSEN