I received my January 18 issue of SI today and was shocked at the cover and the article inside (The Nudity Cult). I am a teacher and athletic director at a local high school and exert a big influence on a lot of teen-agers, I hope for the good. I encourage them to read good sport magazines, both to get them to read and keep up their interest in sports. I have always thought highly of your publication, but this issue really let me down. If I want my boys to read "girly" magazines I'll buy them for them.
REV. ROBERT OBERMEYER
Is this your idea of stimulating the healthy American boy's altitude toward athletics?
MRS. GLENN MURRAY
W. A. BARRON
Tell your cover girl Sue Peterson she is beautiful. I love her. I want to marry her.
One thing bothers me about Sue and that suit. How does the red belt shown around Miss Peterson's waist manage to hold up the trunks in back, as your story says it does? After taking a wide survey of campus opinion, we found no good theory for the possible functional arrangement of this belt.
Can you explain or illustrate?
WARREN T. GREGORY
•We can (right).—ED.
Mr. Gillette's suggestion to improve basketball by having the baskets swing slowly from side to side (19TH HOLE, Jan. 18) is an excellent idea. But let's not stop there. In hockey, let's have the goal equipped with French doors so the goalie could rest and watch as electric-eye beams slam the doors shut on slap shots.
In baseball, let's put coasters under first and third and mount home plate on sliding rollers. This will cause ulcers in pitchers, but it will cut down on the number of strikes.
In football, mount a sheet of glass between the uprights, and then watch the fun as field-goal and extra-point attempts bounce off and reduce the number of points.
MICHAEL JAY KALTER
Iowa City, Iowa
I am grateful to your magazine for letting us know what took place in New Orleans before the AFL All-Star game and caused the Negro players to leave (Was This Their Freedom Ride?, Jan. 18).
However, I think it could have been done as a service to those of us who enjoy sports without the assistance of Mr. Ron Mix. In effect what he (Mr. Mix) has said is, "I am a Jew, but a white Jew. I do not appreciate seeing Negro men and white women together anyplace. But I will go along with them being able to get a taxi." Which, I might add, is nothing new coming from someone who has not had, and will never have, the experience of being a Negro in this land of "freedom."
BOOKER T. NUNLEY
Kansas City, Mo.
The thinking in Ron Mix's account of the case of discrimination against Negro football players in New Orleans seems to me painfully confused. His personal experience in Germany as a Jew is hardly relevant to what happened in New Orleans. His point that only a minority in New Orleans was guilty is old and tired. Wherever Negroes are treated as the AFL All-Star players were and a minority can blemish the majority, they should refuse to stay. The Negro players were right, and Mr. Mix is wrong in my opinion. They helped with dignity to further the cause of civil rights. The long run is not the point. It is such shameful conduct in the short run that must be opposed whenever and wherever it occurs if anything is to be accomplished.
New York City
Certainly the 22 Negroes were right in leaving New Orleans.
However, my question is this: Who in the world selected New Orleans for the AFL All-Star game? What sense does it make to play a game of this type in a city that didn't even support an AFL team during the year? It seems to me an All-Star game should be awarded to a city and fans that supported a franchise and team during the season.
I would like to congratulate Ron Mix on his fair and perceptive article last week. Perhaps leaving New Orleans was not the most judicious or even the most rational course of action. Yet I must ask myself how rational would I be when confronted personally with the total irrationality of segregation? And how rational are those individuals in New Orleans who could applaud the All-Star Negro from a lofty seat in the Sugar Bowl and yet would not admit this same Negro gentleman to their business establishments?
Does the burden of our final judgment fall on those football players who have typified everything of excellence as athletes and gentlemen? Or should it fall on those elements in a city that have allowed the ugliness of bigotry to be covered with the veneer of respectability, or at least that of acceptability?
H. P. MINKEL JR.
Having been often a member of the 9,200-strong throng that storms Penn's Palestra to cheer Big Five basketball, I was immensely pleased to find and read your long-overdue article on Philadelphia basketball (The Uproar in Philadelphia, Jan. 18). Jack Olsen should be commended for his description of the spirited atmosphere in the stands and his tribute to St. Joseph's fine coach, Dr. Jack Ramsay, but he overlooked one point. He failed to mention the exceptional overall quality of the Big Five teams. Although maybe not the most powerful conference in the nation, the Big Five is without doubt the strongest concentration of collegiate basketball power in any one city in the country.
NOEL L. PERRY
As a recent graduate of Villanova University and a longtime follower of Big Five basketball, I must congratulate Mr. Olsen on his fine article.
One point, however, deserves further clarification. Big Five fans are notorious for their knowledge of the game and their love of well-played, action-packed basketball. They're hard to please. Philadelphia is fortunate in having three of the finest coaches in the country-Harry Litwack of Temple, Dr. Jack Ramsay of St. Joseph's and Jack Kraft of Villanova-and they and the coaches of La Salle and Pennsylvania do their best to see that the Big Five fans are not disappointed. So when a highly ranked or much-publicized visiting team finds the going a bit rough in the Palestra, please excuse the Big Five fans if they tend to become a little noisy or excited. They know they're seeing the finest basketball in the country, and this is their way of showing their appreciation.
MICHAEL W. LOWENSTEIN
The Uproar in Philadelphia is an obvious plot to degrade the city of Philadelphia as well as the Big Five. Jack Olsen's deplorable exaggeration of the "hate" between the participating schools misrepresents the true spirit of the contests. I have friends who attend all the schools mentioned, and our feeling is one of friendly competition, with an occasional taunt which is ever-present among good friends.
LOUIS J. FEDERICO
I was schooled in Philadelphia and lived there until four months ago and never did I hear a native of the city pronounce water as "wooder," say "iggle" for eagle, "lig" for league or "Pennsavania" for Pennsylvania. We never heard of a newspaper called the "Inquire"; we read the Inquirer.
MRS. SAMUEL H. HALTER
Jack Olsen is in a lig by himself.