BACK TO THE MINORS
Say it ain't so, SI. Tell me, please, that The Hambletonian Society, whose race is the epitome of inexpensive family fun and entertainment, isn't really thinking of moving it to Philadelphia's Liberty Bell Park (Tradition Battles Expediency, Nov. 1). Tell me they realize Pennsylvania state law forbids the admission of anyone under 21 to a race track. Tell me they don't really want to take the sport away from us underage devotees and hand it over to materialistic adults. Please, tell me.
•We're telling you. See page 20.—ED.
THE BIG FIGHT
You do well when you stick to the subject you know best: sportology. But you often flub royally when you enter other fields. Now you have entered theology, citing "Biblical authority" to pooh-pooh the David and Goliath story, giving credit to "an unknown named Elhanan who did the giant in" (SCORECARD, NOV. 1).
I would suggest that you and your expert consult this line from I Chronicles 20:5, "...and Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi, the brother of Goliath the Gittite."
LESLIE CONRAD JR.
St. Luke's Lutheran Church
The Goliath killed by Elhanan was another man—probably the son of David's victim. Note II Samuel 18. It was another war with the Philistines and David's servants (including Elhanan) did them in.
FRANK A. LAWRENCE
First Presbyterian Church
•According to The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, there are two accounts of Elhanan's exploit—II Samuel 21:19, which states, "Elhanan...slew Goliath," and the passage from I Chronicles cited by the Rev. Conrad—but it is generally agreed the II Samuel version lies closer to the truth. Many scholars today, the dictionary says, believe the Philistine champion slain by David originally was anonymous and that a Biblical editor later inserted the name of Goliath into the text (I Samuel 17; 21:9).—ED.
PUTT FOR PUTT
I disagree with your statement in SCORECARD (Nov. 1) that there must be something "wrong in a system that would keep the country's best golfer from full membership in his own PGA." To my way of thinking, if it weren't for the PGA and the PGA tour Jack Nicklaus wouldn't be where he is today. The fact that his other commitments are preventing him from completing the full 25 tournaments necessary for his PGA membership should be secondary in importance to acquiring this membership.
The PGA has set up its rules for membership, and many of us have had to go through a far different apprenticeship for five years than Jack Nicklaus has done, and I am firmly convinced we do as much in our way for the game of golf as does Nicklaus. Just because "the country's best golfer" is one tournament shy of completing his requirement for membership there is no reason for the PGA to make a special ruling in his case.
I sincerely hope that when the executive committee meets to decide this issue it will uphold the PGA constitution.
BOB REITH SR.
Your article entitled A Pop Angler's Guide to Fishing (Nov. 1) was disgusting. Author Bil Gilbert relates how he scooped up fish in a coffeepot when the fish had just been stocked and were dazed, then has the nerve to call this modern and exciting. If Gilbert wanted fish he should have gone to the store and bought them, and left the fish in the streams to the sportsmen.
New Canaan, Conn.
It seems to me that Mr. Gilbert doesn't realize that fishing is a sport.
What a refreshing article! Bil Gilbert might even make a fisherman out of me.
As an avid reader of your magazine I could not help but notice the many letters concerning your article The Bear Bryant Hilton (Oct. 11). Although I'm prejudiced in favor of the University of Alabama, I am also close to it and know a few facts which should be made known to the public and the three letter writers from California (19TH HOLE, Oct. 25) in particular.
The University of Alabama indeed spent $1 million for its athletic dorm; however, that is only a small drop in the bucket compared to the tremendous amounts that Dr. Frank Rose, president of the University of Alabama, has spent in upgrading the academic standards and the physical facilities of the university, especially at the Medical Center in Birmingham.
And, although I cannot positively say that any of the Alabama football players can read, I do know that Pat Trammell and Gary Phillips, of the 1961 national champions, and Gaylon McCollough, who played on the 1964 national championship team, are doing quite well at the University of Alabama medical school, which is rated equal to or better than the majority of medical schools in the state of California.
Incidentally, that reference to "fattened lambs" implies that the Alabama team is going to be slaughtered each Saturday. Well, those "fattened lambs" have lost five games in the past four and a half seasons by a total margin of 12 points.
JOSEPH M. DONALD JR., M.D.
I was interested to note that three of the letters criticizing your spread on the Alabama athletic dormitory came from the state of California. It strikes me as entirely possible that these Golden State readers had difficulty recognizing the Alabama athletes as college students because a) none wore a beard, b) none wore a button saying "Support the Viet Cong" and c) none was burning a draft card.
It is true that great emphasis is placed on football at Alabama. Also at Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, Syracuse and numerous other fine universities. It is also true that the University of Alabama has made remarkable academic strides since Frank Rose became president a little over seven years ago. Perhaps this could not have been accomplished without corresponding successes on the gridiron. Money-appropriating state legislatures have also been known to look at scoreboards. This is not necessarily right, but it is a fact.
California has a magnificent educational system as well. But it is noteworthy that while Cal's football fortunes have declined, the Free Speech Movement has proliferated. Maybe Berkeley could use a swank athletic dorm to good advantage.
I might suggest that the three Californians who disparaged the Bear Bryant Hilton look first to their own state and examine the source of the money which is used to provide scholarships and subsidized tuition for the bearded leftists who marched in Berkeley protesting U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Given a choice between the two, there are some of us in the U.S. who would rather see money used to support athletics than to foster the type of "academic," "intellectual" trash that seems to populate the University of California.
ARTHUR R. STRONG
Re the Bear Bryant Hilton and subsequent comments, the large amount of money spent on college football is not to be condemned because a select few are privileged to enjoy the "Hilton" atmosphere. College football is big business, on the gridiron as well as at the bank. If the million dollars spent on the "Hilton" bring in a few more exceptional high school prospects, and if these prospects come through, then football is the better and the school is the better. More fans, more money, more teachers, more classrooms, better education.
Yea Bear Bryant Hilton!
SAMUEL T. HALL
Sure, the University of Alabama has a modern athletic dormitory, but Alabama usually has a winning, if not champion, football team, and the hard-working athletes deserve to be housed in luxury. I'm quite sure the other dormitories at the university are not made up of cold, dark cells illumined only by the light of learning—we do have electricity in Alabama.
The first thing to be said to cast a more favorable light upon the manifest beauties of the Paul W. Bryant Hall at Tuscaloosa is that it costs taxpayers not a cent but is one of a number of constructive uses to which football revenues at Alabama are being put.
Secondly, what distinguishes the Bear's dormitory from the many others like it is the same thing that has signalized his teams—they are magnificent.
JAMES L. NICHOLSON