The "success" story of Valeri Brumel (The Big Jump, Feb. 4) has about all the interest and excitement of a new scientific formula for a sports fan.
It was certainly a worthwhile article, however. After reading it I don't care if the Russians walk off with the next 50 Olympics. The U.S. produces athletes who are sportsmen rather than systematized machines regimented by the state.
I suggest that instead of watching the Soviautomatics at a track meet, people go to a nearby factory and watch a stamping machine in action. The development and objectives of both are identical.
It would seem to the casual reader that the Ford Falcon Sprint, so beautifully immortalized in Kenneth Rudeen's story on the Monte Carlo Rally, won the glory and honor of victory rather than the Carlsson SAAB (The Awful Aula Ride, Feb. 4). The Sprint may well have been minutes faster in the leg you mentioned, but you should consider the time relatively, as the SAAB engine displaces 841 cubic centimeters while the Ford engine has something over 4,000. After all is said, the Ford may have won a battle, but the SAAB won the war.
February 18, 1963
Don't you think your treatment of Winners Erik Carlsson and SAAB was somewhat shabby? When the hyperpowered car you drooled over can run up a rally record approaching that achieved by Carlsson and SAAB in recent years, then your flippant treatment of a two-time winning team might be merited.
HUGH R. RATHER
In your article on the Cincinnati-Illinois game (Two Ways to Be Ranked 1-2, Feb. 4) you state that for the last five minutes Cincinnati stalled and did not shoot. No wonder the pros outdraw the colleges.
I wonder how many times Chicago Stadium would be sold out if the people knew ahead of time that they would be seeing the type of game you described.
I believe the colleges should have in effect a 24-second rule, for at least the last five or three minutes. This would result, I believe, in greater games, also larger crowds.
It appeared that the controversy regarding the use of the professional basketball 24-second rule in college games would always remain just that, a controversy that would never be resolved. I for one have always felt that such a rule did not have a place in the college game. However, after viewing the recent Cincinnati vs. Illinois game on January 26 I can only say, bring on the rule. An excellent game was turned into a fiasco. Why the best team in college basketball must stall for five minutes will always remain a question. Cincinnati has proved time and time again that it has the best team in the country, but to run scared is not a show of class. Work the ball until a scoring opportunity presents itself, yes, but pass up easy baskets and stand at mid-court with hands on hips, no. Let the players show they are the best and stop acting like bush leaguers.
ROGER J. KENNEDY
TOURISTS' LITTLE ISLAND
In your January 21 issue you had a very nice spread on various activities in the Bahamas. One brief part of it was on the Cayman Islands, and at the very end of your Travel Facts you mentioned that Little Cayman was to have its own airstrip and hotel beginning next season. I would like to give you more up-to-date information. The airstrip is now in excellent condition and can easily accommodate the Twin-Bonanza, which serves it regularly three times a week from Grand Cayman, or anything up to a DC-3 as a private plane.
The Southern Cross Club is now fully functioning with accommodations for 24 guests. It is run on the American plan, with rates of $20 per day for single occupancy and $35 for double. Although it is operated primarily as a private club with approximately 200 members, special arrangements can be made for others who wish to use its facilities.
LOGAN T. ROBERTSON M.D.
In regard to your comment on the length of baseball games (SCORECARD, Feb. 4), would you consider divulging your source of information?
I've heard sportscasters talk about it and read sportswriters' words on it, but I have yet to hear a baseball fan crying out to be given less for his money.
The guy in the ball park now pays about $2.75 to watch a two-hour-and-45-minute game—that's one buck an hour. The way prices are rising and time-cutting plans developing, it won't be long before the poor baseball fan will have to pay some $4 to watch an hour-and-a-half game—that's $2.67 an hour. He wants this?
THE HAWKS' BIL
Never have I been held so utterly enthralled and fascinated by an article in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED as by Bil Gilbert's story, Paean to a Winged Hunter (Feb. 4).
Bil is evidently an ardent and successful falconer, and true sportsman, too, but even beyond this he has a way with words that few people are fortunate enough to achieve with a lifetime of training.
The descriptions of the free hawk coming back for the first time to the falconer's wrist and the hawk on the hunt after the rabbit are simply styled yet paint a picture as vivid as a movie.
Bil Gilbert is the first writer to explain falconry to my satisfaction, even telling exactly why a flown hawk returns to the falconer instead of staying free—something that had always sorely puzzled me.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
THE HAWKS' CUP
I think your article The Black Hawks Are Bright Hopes (Jan. 14) was one of the best I have ever read. In answer to Blair Slade of Toronto (19TH HOLE, Jan. 28), I would like to point out that the Hawks have now beaten the Maple Leafs the last two times they have played them. Both games were crucial and proved Chicago can win the big ones. I think a Toronto fan must admit that it will take some doing for the Leafs to catch the Black Hawks for first place.
In the spring the Stanley Cup will be back in Chicago where it belongs, and where it will stay for many more seasons.
JAMES C. KASMARSKI
BIG LITTLE SUCCESS
I enjoyed very much reading your article The Toughest Babies Afloat by André Fontaine (Jan. 28). The article is a fine tribute to the small boats that have been built to compete against their larger sisters all over the world, and it proves that the smaller boats can take it.
In respect to Trina, this boat, as mentioned in your article, was built by Bill Shaw. A great deal of the credit must go to Wilbur Scranton Jr. of New Haven, Conn., who commissioned Shaw to do the job. Between Scranton and Shaw almost a year was spent working over the design of this boat, and they came up with a topnotcher.
After the success of Trina, a number of Shaw 24s were built in Finland at the Vator Boat Yard and imported into this country through Norge Boat Sales in Connecticut.
In 1960 Bob Larsen and myself were intrigued with this design and went to Sparkman & Stephens, where Bill Shaw was working at the time, and asked them if they could produce this boat for us in fiber glass. The immediate answer was yes, and Bill Shaw went to work.
We brought this boat out under the trade-name Dolphin and have built approximately 60 since that date.
Wherever there is top competition in small boats, Dolphins, their prototype Trina, or Shaw 24s are apt to be on top of the heap. This proves beyond a doubt that a well-designed, well-thought-out boat can compete against its larger sisters on a competitive basis and be just as safe.
GEORGE D. O'DAY
NEED FOR SPEED
Your articles on skiing and all the preparation for the Olympics are very good (Millennium for U.S. Ski Racing, Jan. 14), but why don't you include some of the other major preparations for the Winter Olympics?
The trials for the U.S. Olympic speed skating team were being held at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis the weekend of February 2. Speed skating accounts for eight events in the Winter Olympics—which ranks it above Alpine skiing as far as points are concerned. The U.S. showing in this sport is usually woefully below the standards of the northern European nations, and a little publicity might help quite a bit in financing the team for the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck.
Although about half of our country has a climate that would support outdoor ice there are only three Olympic-size tracks west of the Mississippi at this time. One is in Minneapolis, one is at Squaw Valley and one is in Butte, Mont.
BRUCE M. BALL