PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Perhaps the reason for entitling the article An Upside-down Game (Nov. 28) was not because Notre Dame Linebacker Jim Lynch was photographed upside down, but because your writer, Dan Jenkins, was standing on his head. Mr. Jenkins says, "A No. 1 team will try something." Then he adds, "No one wanted a freak play to decide it; everyone wanted a clear winner." If Notre Dame had scored during that last minute, would it not have been most likely on a freak play?
D. RICHARD BARDER
Michigan State, playing in its own backyard, had 60 minutes in which to defeat a crippled Notre Dame team. They failed, and all the name-calling and ranting and raving in the world is not going to alter that fact one iota.
Hudson Falls, N.Y.
Many thanks for coming out with the truth. The name of the game is still win, especially with the national championship on the line.
What we saw at the game was 60 minutes of hard-fought football. We saw George Goeddeke hobble onto the field to block for the unsuccessful field goal. We saw Terry Hanratty go to the sideline to have the spit wiped from his face. We saw Coley O'Brien play magnificently under fantastic pressures. We saw Kevin Hardy punt beautifully and tackle ferociously, and, finally, we saw Tommy Schoen, tears in his eyes, standing in pain on the sideline after being hit attempting a fair catch. And do you know what we heard? The Notre Dame fight song, over and over. And, when we arrived at the Notre Dame campus that night, we saw 4,000 students cheering wildly for the No. 1 team in the country and carrying a sign that said: WE'RE PROUD.
Notre Dame, Ind.
The history of athletics has been glorified by the principle of the honest, all-out effort to win without excuse or complaint. Your pages have recorded many moments of genuine heroism, when defeat was risked for the slim chance of winning. I doubt that a "don't lose" philosophy has ever built much character. Notre Dame's Fighting Irish forgot what the game is all about in front of the whole country, and people remember a long time.
Sure you have a headache, but why take it out on Notre Dame?
PAUL L. JOHNSON
Coach Parseghian excused his safe-play-for-a-tie by saying he wasn't going to give away a victory when his injured team had played so gallantly. Perhaps they did play gallantly—most football teams do. But we cannot toss national championships to teams that might have won, simply because they were riddled with injuries.
As it happens, I was a boxer during World War II, and I lost a bout in a tournament because I was not in shape to fight. The consensus may have been that I would have clobbered my opponent, but the fact was that my opponent was sound and I was not! They don't award bouts to fighters who are unable to enter the ring.
I cannot agree with the general notion that Notre Dame would have defeated State if Eddy and Hanratty had been in the lineup. A year ago Mike Garrett was in the University of Southern California lineup, and Ara's boys contained him like a steel trap contains a rabbit. The point is, Notre Dame had a pretty good book on Mr. Garrett and was able to smother him whenever he tried to run. Apparently Michigan State had something on Seymour.
Coach Parseghian and his followers can beat their breasts, bleat and yelp about being No. 1 as much as they wish, and, chances are, they will bully many, many people into believing them. But, as far as I'm concerned, Notre Dame will not prove that it is entitled to anything, save an undefeated season, unless the game is played again—and not to a tie. If they are sincere I suggest they try to persuade the good Reverend Father who is president of Notre Dame to make this possible. Until then, their boast of being the No. 1 team in the nation does not stand for a thing.
THE REV. LEWIS P. BOHLER JR.
Rector, Church of the Advent (Episcopal)
•For the point of view of another man of the cloth, see p. 56.—ED.
I see by your Nov. 28 issue that the nut named Van Alen, who completely destroyed the essence of tennis with VASSS, is at it once more, this time to sharpen his claws on the game of golf (Untroubled Sport Called VAAGG).
I wonder if it has ever occurred to Mr. Van Alen that he might be holding up sane players with all those mulligans of his? Mr. Van Alen also knocks golfers who play winter rules in the summer. He's a fine one to talk.
I agree with most of James Van Alen's ideas. However, there is one thing wrong with hitting a mulligan on every shot. Suppose you are playing in a foursome and each man hits two shots from the tee. You now have eight balls in the fairway (supposedly in the middle), and the inevitable mix-up and time-consuming effort in trying to unravel this mess is not worth the trouble.
I believe I played through Mr. Van Alen a month or two ago at a nearby course. I recall the incident vividly, since traffic was backed up a considerable distance behind him. His first ball off this particular tee lay in the center of the fairway, while he probed the bushes somewhere off to the right in search of that buck-twenty-five mulligan.
Oh, yes. He was playing alone.
James Van Alen's VAAGG would convert golf from a cross to a crown for most of us, and it might inspire honesty on the scorecards.
F. PIERCE SHERRY
Bob Ottum has finally said it. American skiing is better than Europe's (America's Best Ski Runs, Nov. 14), Whenever I say this, people look at me as if I were daft.
After years of watching movies of skiing in Europe, my wife and I went on a ski vacation there in February and March of 1965, which, according to Europeans, was an extremely good snow year. We went to Kitzb√ºhel, St. Anton, Davos, Zermatt and Vald'Is√®re, for the well-known places, and some other smaller areas. We found ice, rocks, poor planning, rude lift lines and just average skiing.
Don't get me wrong, there were good runs, too. Probably the nicest run we had was one from a town called Z√ºrs to another town named Lech in the Arlberg area. It had beautiful, squeaky powder snow, and wonderful scenery, but still it was only an intermediate trail. Often, we would arrive at the bottom of a trail and find we not only had to walk half a mile to the lift, but that it had a different owner and our lift ticket was no good.
Our motto now is, "Ski America First."
RICHARD K. MARTIN
Thorough personal research, words set down vividly and with conviction, photos like chestfuls of cold, fresh air, abstract paintings rich in natural rhythms and brave color harmonies—your essay on America's 10 best ski runs has all these. What's more, it keeps them in balance. It belongs, I guess, among the 10 best word-and-picture runs in magazine history. Thanks, and three cheers from this side of the water for Writer Bob Ottum, Photographer John Zimmerman and Artist Donald Moss!
As a native of the Alps I am always amazed by the climate in the Rockies and the Wasatch Mountains, the much lighter powder snow and the much better manners of those who must wait in lines. Ten or 15 years ago, it was hard to beat Europe for charm and fine food and just plain ski fun. Today, in my opinion, the world's best and most enjoyable skiing lies in a triangle between Alta, Taos and Vail, and I believe you can find all the best of Europe right there, from French cuisine to Rocky Mountain powder, from the sunshine of New Mexico to the smooth and warmhearted service found only in the U.S. nowadays! Last but not least, America's ski resorts offer amazingly effective slope maintenance, unknown in Europe, and a few areas that are as yet free of those monstrous waiting lines. In short, skiing the Alps is fun, but mid-America has it all, and then some.
El Prado, N. Mex.
Your report on super ski runs was very well done, but I think you should have mentioned other outstanding runs. For instance, Rendezvous Peak at Jackson Hole, Wyo. has the longest vertical drop (4,135 feet) in the nation.
MRS. A. B. WORMALD