Floyd Patterson's article, Cassius Clay Must Be Beaten (Oct. 11), was interesting. That is, as long as Floyd talked about boxing. The thing that Patterson should try to realize is that no man's actions, regardless of who he may be, can disgrace an entire race, Negro or otherwise.
I certainly feel no disgrace because Jack Johnson served time in a federal penitentiary. I do feel pride, however, in the fact that an eminent boxing historian selected him as the No. 1 heavyweight champion of all time.
Others certainly should feel no "disgrace" because, say, John L. Sullivan was said to be of intemperate habits.
Twenty years from now when future boxing historians assess Cassius Clay and Floyd Patterson, it will be strictly on the basis of each one's fistic prowess. The fact that the former was a member of the Black Muslims or the latter a member of the Roman Catholic Church will have no bearing.
October 24, 1965
Patterson's article made so much sense, I can't help but believe he will overcome the odds against him and reach his goal, as he has done so often in the past.
Mr. Patterson makes it seem as if the fight is a showdown between the Roman Catholic religion and the Black Muslim religion. This is not so. I would like to wish Floyd Patterson all the luck in the world in his bid to regain the crown. However, I hope he is not trying to win for the reasons which he stated as being important.
BEAR, BOOKS AND BEEF
I was disappointed and saddened to see the pictures depicting the living quarters of "winners" at the University of Alabama (The Bear Bryant Hilton, Oct. 11). Coach Bryant's thick-carpeted, neo-gothic cow barn, where prize beef on the hoof is fattened and cloistered for a Saturday afternoon barbeque, is in direct contradiction to sound educational and athletic principles that, fortunately, many universities still maintain.
One million dollars would go a long way toward providing education for those individuals denied the opportunity to attend the University of Alabama, let alone take their place in the group picture.
GEORGE H. McGLYNN
I wonder how many needed teachers, classrooms and underequipped university science labs the state of Alabama starves for while her "fattened lambs" revel in the luxury of their Bear Bryant Hilton?
San Marino, Calif.
Football is not king at the University of Alabama; it is some kind of god.
The picture of the two young men autographing footballs proves they know how to write—but couldn't they find some books to fill those bare bookshelves to show us they can also read?
JOHN J. HUTCHINGS, D.D.S.
Now that it's all over, may I offer my compliments for a fine article on the 1965 baseball season (A Look Back at a Peculiar Season, Oct. 11). I disagree with you on one point, however. You picked Richie Allen as the MVP of the Philadelphia Phillies. I think it should be Cookie Rojas. All Allen did for the Phillies was strike out, make errors in clutch situations and hit homers when they were least needed. His inept play afield cost the Phils almost 10 games. True, he hit over .300 for the second year in a row, but Rojas had a higher batting average. Cookie made some dazzling fielding plays and always came up with clutch hits. He again proved himself the king of the NL utility-men as he filled in wherever Gene Mauch needed him. He carried the team most of the year and ran Tony Taylor right out of the second-base job.
Cookie is a dandy player. He's always in there ready to give himself up for the sake of the team.
Kudos for your roundup of the baseball season. One can only wonder, however, at your conspicuous failure to give more, credit to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were among the top contenders for the National League pennant. The article soared to a quick crescendo in noting Roberto Clemente, league batting champion, as one of baseball's outstanding players; but subsequent paragraphs excluded any mention of the other members of the team. For '66 Series tickets, the address is Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
DONALD P. COOK
While you were reviewing the season and its records, I wish you had elaborated on one record in particular. In the October 4 issue you stated that "Sandy Koufax became the major's alltime strikeout champion when he whiffed his 349th batter, thereby breaking Bob Feller's record." Actually, Bob Feller never held the alltime record, nor does Koufax hold it now, even though he does hold the modern record.
The alltime record for a single season's strikeout belongs to Matthew Kilroy who, in 1886, struck out 505 batters for Baltimore of the American Association, a major league from 1882 to 1891. The National League record belongs to Charles (Hoss) Radbourne, who whiffed 411 batters for Providence.
Although the pitching distance was 50 feet, these are still the alltime records, just as the term implies. Please, let's give credit where credit is due.
A National Championship Playoff in college football as outlined in your September 20 issue would be the greatest! Contrary to the argument that such a scheme would result in overemphasis of the game at the expense of education, I believe it would actually help to de-emphasize the sport. The trend has been to play a breather schedule to gain national recognition via all wins and no losses. This is certainly overemphasis in a false sense, yet it has many people fooled, since the average fan does not scrutinize schedules or the way they are set up. Some big-name teams will schedule an open date a week ahead of a so-called tough opponent for added insurance. Apparently, even the rating experts are willing to overlook some of the folly that has been going on. A national playoff would eliminate this maneuvering, and the beauty of it all would be that any team involved in a breather schedule would be forced out of its protective shell in good old "put up or shut up" style.
Also let's not lose sight of the fact that a team with a loss in a tough conference could still participate in the playoffs and even become national champion, a feat practically impossible under the present system. The end result would be a true and qualified champion.
LEE J. JANNI
Three cheers for your article on a national playoff for football! In the past 10 years my husband and I have gone to school or lived-in four of the major conference areas (Big Ten, Big Eight, Pacific eight and Southeast). We found each area arguing without proof that "we're the toughest conference."
At the present time a team's win-and-loss record determines its national standing, but this does not really give a true picture. The NCAA basketball championship indisputably determines who is No. 1. Should the wonderful sport of football settle for anything less?
As a graduate of the State University of Iowa, I will do all in my power to kill and bury this idea once and for all. Football in its proper place is wonderful. It unites the students in our larger schools as nothing else could. Its profits help cut the cost of tuition, etc. But colleges and universities are run to educate students, and sports are secondary.
Unlike the bowl games, which involve only one game per school and only two weeks of heavy practice for the team (usually during Christmas vacation), the proposed playoff would add four games and an additional six-week grind for the players. This would be exploiting these young Americans, merely for the sake of the press, among others. Who cares who is No. 1?
A. J. PLATH
SOCIETY AND OLD SIWASH
Edwin Shrake writes such nonsense about the social status of the lowly Washington Redskins (To Be Seen Seeing the Redskins, Oct. 4) that I wonder if he has visited D.C. Stadium in recent years. Not one game in the last three years that I can remember has been obscured by fog—though all too often a patch of dense fog would have been very merciful. I can't remember the last time there was "smoldering wetness," or, indeed, any snow. I agree that it was hot on opening day this year but, otherwise, I don't recognize either the stadium or the fans that Shrake is describing.
If there are people who really do come to the stadium on Sunday afternoons because "a Redskin home game is a social event," I have yet to meet one. Most of us come because 1) we love pro football and 2) we are Redskin fans. Silly, isn't it?
HERBERT A. FIERST
Edwin Shrake's description of Luci Baines Johnson's companions at the Redskin game as "men who looked like former Knox College tackles" must have left many of your readers wondering what a Knox College tackle looks like. I am, therefore, submitting a photograph of Wayne Steward of Macomb, Ill., who looks like—and is—a Knox College tackle (above). Furthermore, he is a senior at Knox and co-captain of the Siwasher eleven.
WILLIAM J. KILKENNY
Granted, the Redskins play as if they are the oldest team in the NFL, but the fact is that their opponents in the game Edwin Shrake saw at D.C. Stadium were even older—223 years (including this one) of league experience for the 40 Cleveland Brown regulars vs. 208 years for the Skins. That's the Redskins for you; they can't even win a gerontology contest.
RICHARD L. WORSNOP
The Washington Redskins may be In but their new helmets are Out. The old Washington feather-in-the-back helmet ranked as the class of the league. The man in the Redskin organization who ordered that change ought to be scalped.