MEN AND BOYS
The Vesper Boat Club coach, the MIT coach and you omnipotent sportswriters all claim that Vesper's victory over the nation's finest collegiate crew (Harvard) and the two runners-up (Cal and Yale) heralds a demise of collegiate rowing and a new era of club domination (Anything Boys Can Do, July 20). Probably it simply means the undergraduates—who have not, at 21 or younger, reached full potential—no longer will represent the U.S. in Olympic rowing. But it may also mean the demise of club rowing. The college crews might well decide in 1968 to put together boats made up of their heaviest and best undergraduates plus their best alumni oars. I would suspect that Harry Parker of Harvard could put together a boat today of Harvard undergraduates and alumni that would sink Vesper handily. The same could be true of the other rowing powers. After all, there were two Elis in the Vesper boat.
In any case, don't get carried away. Let the Vesper "boys" paddle to Tokyo for their well-deserved row. But don't rule the colleges out. They'll be back in 1968—under different colors, if they're smart.
BAYLEY F. MASON
In your coverage of the Henley Regatta (FOR THE RECORD, July 13) you acknowledged the victories of the U.S.S.R.'s Lithuanian crew and America's Seymour Cromwell, but what about Washington-Lee High School of Arlington, Va. and its victory in the Princess Elizabeth Cup?
Previously the Princess Elizabeth Cup category of the regatta was open only to English school crews. This year four American crews were entered with the eventual winner being Washington-Lee—the first public American high school to win a Henley cup race.
Washington-Lee has also won or tied for the national championship of high school rowing for the last eight years, and this was its fourth trip to the Henley. In '58, '60 and '62 Washington-Lee rowed in the Thames Cup races.
Up until now you have consistently defended the sport of boxing against the threat of abolishment. But Tex Maule contradicts the logic behind your argument when he belittles Floyd Patterson for his lack of savagery in the ring (Still Too Tender to Be a Tiger, July 13). Your columns have advocated boxing as a bona fide sport involving two well-conditioned men who belabor each other not for the sheer pleasure of inflicting permanent injury but simply to win. Yet Maule is upset because two heavyweights are still standing as the final bell sounds, and one of the fighters, who was in complete command the entire bout, shows compassion for his thoroughly beaten opponent and fails to smash him to the canvas. Certainly the survival of boxing does not rest on this premise. Tex would have been better off covering the gladiator spectaculars in ancient Rome.
Chevy Chase, Md.
It is unfortunate that boxing, as well as pro football, must endure the nearsighted opinions of Tex Maule. He seems to find it difficult to understand Patterson's desire to fight Clay and Liston and claims that not even Floyd can adequately explain why. Well, you can bet that Floyd has an explanation, but he won't tell you because he knows that his words will be distorted and ridiculed by the sarcastic reports of sports-writers.
Nat Fleischer announced that Floyd Patterson moved from No. 7 challenger to No. 2 by outpointing a man who should not even have been listed in the top 10. The only way to really determine the No. 2 contender is to have a round robin among Williams, Jones, Patterson and Folley, who have all proved themselves worthy of the No. 2 position. This has often been discussed, but it looks like it will never come off. Cleve Williams could KO the lot, but they all deserve a chance.
Anyone who says (as did Messrs. Moore and Morrow, 19TH HOLE, July 13) that Oregon is the track capital of the U.S. is badly mistaken. Granted, Oregon has some fine track and field athletes, but this is a relatively recent situation, within the last five years or so. California has been producing topflight track and field athletes for a couple of decades, at least. No other state has produced such an abundance of fine talent. Look at the representative list of supposed Oregonians drawn up by Moore and Morrow: Ray Van Asten is from Sweden, by way of California; Vic Reeve and Harry Jerome are from Canada; Archie San Romani Jr. is from Kansas; and Morgan Groth, Paul Stuber, Otis Davis, Jan Underwood and Dale Story are all from the track and field capital of the world—California!
Congratulations for your fine issue on tennis (July 13). Bill Talbert pointed out some things to me that I never realized about net play, and special congratulations should go to Gilbert Rogin for his excellent story on Gardnar Mulloy.
I have always admired Gar's ability to say and do as he thinks. When he sees something wrong in tennis, he has courage enough to come out and say what he feels. For this I have great respect.
I have long felt that tennis would be greatly improved if the USLTA got rid of its prima donna, we-can-do-no-wrong attitude and eliminated many of the old-fashioned rules and illusions that govern the game. Why cheering by spectators during the action should not be allowed in this sport, and in golf also, the way it is for all other sports is beyond my imagination. Tennis and golf players face no more pressure than baseball, football, basketball or hockey players do, so why give them this special kind of silent treatment?
It is heartening to find that Gardnar Mulloy is not afraid to speak his mind on what he believes. If more tennis players had the fortitude to do so and didn't tremble and bow to every whim of the USLTA, tennis would be much better off.
EDWARD N. FOOTE
I started playing this captivating game at the age of 29. I wish I had started at 9 or 19. For conditioning, enjoyment, relaxation and girl-watching no recreational sport offers more than tennis.
Once a confirmed bachelor, I met my tennis-playing wife on the courts of the Denver Tennis Club, and it was love at first sight.