MR. MURPHY'S CHOWDER
Myron Cope's article about Fido Murphy, Football's Greatest Scout (Sept. 30), reminds me of an incident attesting to the qualifications of another great scout: Campbell Dickson. Dickson was Princeton's end coach in the '30s, and a fine coach he was, as well as a truly fine gentleman. He was also Princeton's chief scout and was assigned the responsibility of following Columbia before the game that turned out to be the only one the Lions lost in 1933.
The scouting tip provided by Dickson that gave Princeton the edge even before the game began was that Columbia's Red Matal took a stance with parallel feet each time there was a pass play. Whenever he had a blocking assignment, his stance was staggered. With this tip-off, Princeton was able to set its defense with confidence and great success, even though Columbia had such a fine passer in Cliff Montgomery and a number of able receivers.
DEAN HILL JR.
New York City
In view of the Bears' recent upset of the Packers, I thought your readers might be interested to know that Fido Murphy claimed his share of the credit promptly. "You know," he told me after the game, "Halas went all the way with my game plan yesterday. Yeh. I can't tell you what the plan was, but use this: Just say that we have found out how to play against the Green Bay Packers, and I wish Commissioner Pete Rozelle would put a stop to clubs exchanging game films. I'm holding jobs for four or five coaches who don't know as much football as my wife."
I pointed out to Fido that inasmuch as the clubs do exchange films, there would be no harm in his telling me the details of his defenses against Green Bay. He replied, "Half of these coaches can't see what's going on even when they see it on films. I can't doublecross Halas and Parker, see what I mean? The other coaches will see the basic stuff on films that the Bears did, but not the inside stuff. The way to beat Green Bay is to run more plays than they do, but I'm not gonna tell anybody how. Look, you don't use anything fancy against Lombardi. Lombardi uses fundamentals and poise. You beat him at his own game, which I did yesterday. Against Green Bay, you gotta out-statistic them, keep the ball from them."
EIGHT, TEN AND TEXAS
I think maybe whoever was in charge of your special College Football Issue (Sept. 23) should take a good look at the record books and see what has happened in the past when the Big Eight, "who continue to play on a par with the lower rung of the Big Ten," met the almighty Big Ten head-on. That is, what used to happen. It may not strike you as odd to see that there have not been too many meetings between leagues lately. Maybe the Big Ten has not yet recuperated enough to find out if it can measure up to slugging it out in the midlands.
Sure, I'm prejudiced. Why not? I am Kansas all the way and proud of it.
RICHARD C. ELDREDGE, USN
All you hombres at SPORTS ILLUSTRATED must be from Texas. How come you didn't stay there? I'll betcha Texas loses two or more games; and if they had the guts to play the Big Ten they'd lose more.
A. KINNEY GRIFFITH
The Oklahoma Sooners may not be first this year, but if they have anything to say about it, neither will Texas. At least Texas won't be unbeaten.
You told us Myers was good (Scouting Reports, Sept. 23). You were right.
You said Mira was best. You were wrong.
Kansas City, Mo.
Tommy Myers of Northwestern and not George Mira of Miami is college football's best passer. Let the 1962 record speak!
W. A. CURRY
You said the Miami-Florida State opener "should decide right away who is the best independent in the South." And so it did. Florida State won the game 24-0, and Quarterback Steve Tensi and Halfback Fred Biletnikoff made George Mira and his "dream team" look like a bunch of insomniacs.
The letter from Sheila Harrison, Cheltenham, England (19TH HOLE, Sept. 9) made me realize how dilatory I am in answering my mail on curly-coated retrievers. Since that lucky day, June 10, when my dog Chilliwack's curly coat appeared in the 19TH HOLE, a lot has happened for him, bridewise. Here (right) is a picture of the final result: two female curly-coated pups, Burtoncurl Aphrodite and Burtoncurl Artemis, whom I recently imported with the assistance of Mr. Philip Ashton, vice chairman of the Curly-coated Retriever Club of England. I am certainly the happiest retriever owner in these United States, and I have SPORTS ILLUSTRATED to thank for heeding my call for help in preserving this rare breed.
A lot of your readers have suggested switching the Yankee-Met franchises as a cure for baseball (19TH HOLE, Sept. 23). As a Met fan I protest. It would ruin the game in New York. The people who watch the Met games are Met fans, of course; but they are more than that: they are National League fans who also have loyalties to the old New York favorites—the Dodgers and Giants. Also, they are Yankee haters. Fans in this city would have conflicting loyalties if such a switch were to be made.
The American League has its problems, we don't deny that, but we, the Met fans, arc perfectly happy where we are.
What all those Yankee-haters writing in have apparently failed to take into consideration is the fact that the New York Yankees are talent-loaded enough to subject the National League to the same plight that the American League is currently enduring. How many people do you think would turn out in the senior circuit to witness ball games between teams in the first division, 15 games off the pace? Not many. And how many teams in the senior circuit possess three men who would be sure to break into the Yankee regular starting lineup? Not one.
R. BRUCE MANWILLER
Reader E. B. Schmidt's solution, viz., giving the biggest cuts of the money to the lowest-ranked team, might bring the Spirit of the Mets to every ballpark in the country. Just imagine fans cheering themselves hoarse as Warren Spahn loses his 21st consecutive game Ralph Houk would get fired for winning two games in a row. Meanwhile, some pitcher is collapsing from pitching 322 bases on balls per game.
Probably the Yanks would back into the pennant anyway, being too inexperienced at losing games. We would hear rumblings of "break up the Mets." Maury Wills would steal 225 bases (backward, from second to first), and, after a terrific rhubarb, would be enshrined in the Hall of Fame for having stolen third from home (a most difficult feat). Sandy Koufax would be transferred to Hawaii in exchange for Bo Belinsky, who would be promoted to team trainer. Mickey Mantle would be traded to the Giants for John Pregenzer. Correction: Mickey Mantle and $100,000 for John. And St. Louis fans would ante up $4 million to guarantee Stan Musial's immediate retirement.
HAROLD K. WILLIAMS
One suggestion, which may not be new, is to split the season. Have each league declare a winner for the first half, and then immediately after the All-Star Game begin the battle for the second-half winner. The two winners in each League (if there are two) would then play a short series to declare the league champions, who would be in the World Series.
At least a team that was about 18 games out would have a new chance and could draw an extra 50,000 or more fans during July and August. It is worth a try!
TOMMY L. SCHEXNAYDER
I am not a chronic crank and this is my first letter of complaint to an editor. However, I cannot sit idly by and see a great sport maligned as it was in your essay on surf fishermen entitled And There Goes the Whole Weekend.
The photograph was mediocre, but the line, "Despite oceans of money spent on equipment ($150 for a decent outfit), no one ever catches anything," was pure slander.
1) For the record, an excellent surf-casting rig can be purchased for $45 complete with crab net.
2) This past Labor Day my 14-year-old son and I caught two corbina and three perch. Yes, he caught the big one. Yes, we fished 1½ hours before the swimmers crowded us out.
3) In my 30 years of surf fishing, I have returned from the shores with edible fish more often than not.
I cannot speak for the Easterners who fish for stripers. However, your photograph depicts our own Pacific shore and what you said is just not true. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED will still grace our magazine rack, but I feel better already.
Your article was grossly wrong and misleading. It must have been written by some goof that has never surf fished and knows nothing about it.
A good surf fisher does catch fish—lots of them. If it were not so, there would be fewer persons trying and fewer bait houses.
The best surf fishing, out here at least, is done at night on an incoming tide. Consequently few of the listed sneerers are around.
The catch here along the southern California coast is mostly croaker, perch and corbina. Corbina are fighters and, pound for pound, are as much fun to catch as trout. I have seen them dance on their tails while pulling an eight-ounce sinker along.
As for the price quoted by your author, the sporting goods stores in this area will be glad to know they can ask $150 for a surf-fishing outfit. Most of us have about $25 invested. The gear for deep-sea fishing is much more expensive because it has to be quite substantial.
To be sure, there are times when a surf fisher will haul in only seaweed, but there are times when the trout fisher is blanked, too.
Surf fishing in this area has a hidden dividend, as well. Sometimes the grunion run, and the lucky surf fisherman gets first crack at them.
A. H. MORRISON