Attorney General Robert Kennedy's article (A Bold Proposal for American Sport, July 27) shows that he welcomes a fight where the odds may be against him.
This is no surprise. As a 165-pound end on the Harvard varsity, Bob Kennedy enjoyed physical impact. He will get plenty of impact from this article, as those who assume squatters' rights over our track and field athletes will form heavy interference against his program.
Before we program for the future we should salute the Attorney General for his great efforts in behalf of our 1964 Olympic team. It was he who understood that the NCAA-AAU impasse, unless resolved, would greatly dilute the best American track and field effort in this year's Olympics. He understood the seriousness of this jurisdictional fight and prevailed on the late President to take action. It took a man of no lesser stature than General Douglas MacArthur to bring together the NCAA and the AAU in a temporary truce.
Robert Kennedy is well aware that after the 1964 Olympics there will be open season for control of amateur sports, and his challenging and thoughtful SPORTS ILLUSTRATED article anticipates this inevitable fight for control.
EARL (RED) BLAIK
New York City
August 9, 1964
If Attorney General Kennedy spent more time worrying about the Communists and less about the Olympics our nation would be better off.
WILLIAM B. POWER
Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif.
Bobby Kennedy appears no better qualified in the category of athletics than he is as an Attorney General. This is just another idea to have big government in Washington move into a phase of American life.
Attorney General Robert Kennedy points out the need for better organization, not only for general physical fitness, but for that pinnacle of excellence in opportunity in all fields of sports.
After observing the U.S. vs. U.S.S.R. track meet, I would say that the American system of free enterprise and free participation in sport is doing all right! The thing we should not lose sight of is that even though we are pretty good we could do better.
W. J. BOWERMAN
For years I have been toying with the idea of sounding off on this problem, but was afraid that as one who was brought up behind the Iron Curtain, I was placing too much emphasis on the importance of our showing in the Olympic Games. Mr. Kennedy's proposal expresses my exact sentiments, and I hope the people of my adopted country will listen and support him in this undertaking. As for myself, I would do anything if I could be of any assistance.
I would like to suggest two ways to raise the necessary money. 1) We should add a 10¢ contribution to every ticket sold to any kind of sport event in the country. The pros and their owners should only welcome this as they will benefit from the increased interest in the sports, and if the number of participants increases this should also increase their quality. 2) Labor unions and private corporations should establish teams and provide facilities, equipment and trainers. This would not only help sports but would provide their employees something with which to identify themselves.
ANDREW J. MAY
Former member of the Hungarian
National Ice Hockey Team
New Haven, Conn.
I was glad to see that your magazine did not wholly agree with Attorney General Kennedy's "bold proposal" (SCORECARD, July 27). He bases his proposal on the assumption that Americans engage in athletics to give us "an inner glow of pride" and to enhance "the picture abroad of a young America." This is not the case; it never has been the case and, hopefully, it never will be the case. We engage in athletics, primarily, for ourselves, for diversion, for competition, for physical activity, and not to "give the world visible proof" of anything.
To the ranks of active septuagenarians we elevate George Morton Levy (If It Moves, They'll Bet on It, July 27), who joins such noted compatriots as Charlie Chaplin, Casey Stengel and Artur Rubinstein.
SANFORD K. BAIN
New York City
I don't think the references to Mr. Levy's age were fair. After all, if he is a man of vigor, as Mr. Ottum says, his age shouldn't be a subject of humor. Otherwise, it was a fine piece of reading and I liked Mr. Levy after finishing it.
GRACE ELIZABETH WAGNER
George Levy did a lot of great things for the trotting sport, but I believe the greatest was his financial backing and support of the Phillips Starting Gate. In my estimation this did more to help our sport than any other one thing. Had it not been for this starting system I would venture to say we would still be at the county fair.
Meadow Lands, Pa.
MAL DE MER
By the Sea, by the Beautiful Sea (July 27) is the epitome of the nation's beaches. Thanks for the fun.
By the Sea, by the Beautiful Sea is undoubtedly the most ridiculous expenditure of seven valuable pages in a national sports publication ever perpetrated!
JAMES S. LATHAM
Bay City, Texas
AROUND THE BUSH
I am sure that you will receive many letters from indignant New Yorkers wanting to know how you could print such an article as The Word for New York Is Bush (August 3). They will vehemently state that "New York Is a Summer Festival." I say rot. New York is a gigantic, overpriced tourist trap.
LEONARD W. BLACK
It appears that Charles McCabe has a grudge against New York City. His article is, to say the least, extremely critical of America's biggest metropolis.
Perhaps that is for the best because if he moved to New York he couldn't give his column away. Despite his inept opinion New Yorkers know baseball and know good sportswriters.
So let Mr. McCabe stay in San Francisco where he may be able to fool newcomers to major league baseball. We New Yorkers are not impressed by witty criticisms without foundation.
PATRICK J. MCCORMACK JR.
I have just finished reading Mr. McCabe's article on New York and I say to him what I have said to anyone else—if you don't like it, stay away. We don't need you. You talk about getting pushed around. Yes, you will get pushed around in New York the same way suckers get rooked anywhere (and don't say that your dear metropolis is any better). But try being man enough to push back, just once. Don't make your little bleat of indignation for the record and then meekly do whatever you're told. Stand up. Push back. You'd be surprised the results it gets and the new sense of respect for yourself that will be engendered.
It seems to me that anyone who would check into another Hilton hotel after having been so shamefully mistreated by them deserves what he gets.
I cannot talk with authority about the pubs in this town. I know there are some very nice ones where I live, but as I am an infrequent frequenter I cannot comment with any degree of authority. However, I am assured that if the discerning individual will only discern a little bit instead of following the crowd, he will find anything to his liking. But then that takes initiative and individual thought. And pardon me if I do not agree that saloons are more valuable to a city than museums.
And now the Mets. I don't think you will ever realize how wrong you are. Met fans are not the dregs of the city. Take another look, or put the can of beer down so you can look. See the little old ladies? The young girls with their white cotton gloves? The young boys by the thousands with their baseball gloves and their signs? The college students? The same ones who know that Peanuts is such a great strip because it has done something for the world's losers, which means everybody. And it's not just in New York that this phenomenon exists. Small-town newspapers that don't even acknowledge the existence of the Sodom of the North follow the Mets. Everybody does. But you couldn't be expected to understand why. No one who comes from a city that couldn't even recognize that it had the best living ballplayer, and one of the best ever, playing for its own home team, a city that had to be taught by those same Met fans of whom you speak so deprecatingly that Willie Mays was something special, this city couldn't be expected to understand how a city like New York could love the Mets with all its might.
New York City