The most remarkable thing about your Princeton cover story (Tiger in the House of Ivy, Feb. 27) is that Author Joe Jares does not once mention Bill Bradley, perhaps the most complete basketball player of all time. This is unfortunate, because if Coach van Breda Kolff has constructed the edifice of Princetonian supremacy, Bradley alone is the foundation of the entire structure, and its first seven floors to boot. It is difficult to imagine Thomforde, Heiser, the Hummers and Petrie at Princeton had not Bradley led the way.
On the other hand, the omission of Bradley is perhaps not so unfortunate, for it underlines the magnificent job being done by the coach and the current players. The '67 team probably is better than '65's, next year's team will be better than this year's, and the end is not in sight.
JAMES K. HOLMAN
So Princeton is going to build a basketball dynasty? I find that hard to believe, unless they plan to drop out of the Ivy League next year. Princeton may have a 23-2 record, but pitifully few of its opponents are nationally ranked. Their record includes two victories over Yale, which is not even close to being in the nation's top 20. Yet Princeton won by a total of only three points in these games.
Next year the Tigers will lose six of their best players while the Elis will lose only two men from their squad. As for the freshman team, which will supposedly continue Princeton's dynasty, it lost to the Yale frosh by 21 points.
March 13, 1967
Enjoy it while it lasts, Butch.
ROBERT G. MACIONIS
New Haven, Conn.
Good article. One detail though. Van Breda Kolff hasn't spent all his time on the sidelines. In 1946 he was an All-America soccer player for Princeton.
C. W. BATES
On the morning after your story on Coach van Breda Kolff and Princeton came out, 29 alumni called me, each making the comment, "SI refers to us as a small college on Long Island."
With your subscribers (and my alumni) in mind, please re-examine the latest statistics on Hofstra. Factually, we are a large university (11,000 students). Your reference to geography was correct.
WILLIAM K. KAISER
Director of Alumni Relations Hofstra University
THE REAL PALMERS
Mark McCormack's biography, My Friend Arnold Palmer (March 6 et seq.), reminds me of an incident several years ago when General Eisenhower and Arnold Palmer played in an exhibition match at Merion for the benefit of the Pennsylvania Heart Fund, of which Palmer was president. Immediately after putting out on the 18th green and without even taking time to go to the locker room, Ike and Arnie left in a helicopter—Ike had another engagement and had offered to drop Arnie off en route at a nearby airfield. Because of the immediate departure, neither Arnie's caddie nor the locker-room attendant received the customary tip. Needless to say, both would-be recipients were disappointed—both financially and emotionally.
Several days later, as chairman of the event, I received a phone call asking the names of the caddie and the attendant. Soon after the call each received a very cordial and apologetic letter with a generous check enclosed signed by Winnie Palmer, asking their forgiveness for Arnie's abrupt departure. In view of the Palmers' unbelievable schedule and other demands put upon them, I would say this incident gives quite an insight into the real Palmers.
DEAN HILL JR.
MORE THAN A NUMBER
Congratulations to William Leggett for a splendid article on Frank Ervin (The Classicist from Pekin, Feb. 27). Too often followers (and bettors) of racing look upon the record of a horse as merely the result of its natural ability, not the result of the long hours of work put in by men like Ervin. For the past 15 years I've followed harness racing closely, especially the exploits of Mr. Ervin, and in that length of time, and more, very little accolade has gone the way of men like him. Most of it has been showered on the heroes of the so-called sophisticated night-racing tracks, the men who "bring home" four or five winners every night.
This is a shame! Although places like Roosevelt and Yonkers in New York, Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and Sportsman's Park in Chicago have brought harness racing to the fore of America's spectator sports, they've done it by clouding with numbers the true beauty of racing. Gimmicks like the daily double, twin double, perfecta, exacta and quinella have replaced the real meaning of harness racing: racing for racing's sake.
For the true fan of racing nothing can top viewing a master of driving like Ervin guiding a horse to a win in a pressure-filled race such as The Hambletonian or Little Brown Jug. Events like these are built on tradition and performance, not spotlights and a $2 bill. No matter how good a horse may be, it takes men like Frank Ervin to bring that talent out. So when Mr. Ervin points his horse at the crowd and doffs his cap, he has every right to do so.
Lisbon Falls, Me.
I have been fortunate enough to play college hockey for several years and pro hockey for one year, and I am wholeheartedly opposed to modeling any game after professional hockey (SCORECARD, Feb. 20). I dread the thought of total ice checking in a college game when one club is outweighed.
Pro hockey exists primarily for the benefit of the owners' pocketbooks; the more blood shed, the more tickets sold. Amateur sports, and I include college hockey in this category, are theoretically pursued for the development of body and mind. I seriously doubt whether the future earning power of the participants should have any bearing on the rules of the college sport. Not every college athlete wants to spend his life as a piece of property, being drafted, bought, sold, traded and generally underpaid.
Professional sports have already damaged college football and basketball by introducing the power of the almighty dollar to young and unseasoned minds. If indeed there is anything wrong with college hockey right now, it is that finances are already too important.
W. GODFREY WOOD
I think your SCORECARD item entitled "Compromise on Ice" is highly commendable and the best thing to hit hockey since Gordie Howe. After watching many Michigan State and Detroit Red Wing hockey games, I can see how your suggestions could help enliven each kind of hockey. Body checking all over the ice would provide the finishing touch the college sport needs in order to become an even greater attraction. And the adoption by the NHL of the two line pass could create more exciting games out of tight-checking, defensive stalemates. I hope the proper authorities saw your article and that they take appropriate action.
East Lansing, Mich.
I am greatly dismayed at the stand you have taken. I refer to your advocating the abolition of the one-line pass rule in the pro game. True, this would loosen the game and make it more spectacular for some fans, but this somehow seems tantamount to such idiocies as cutting football teams to eight men, or moving in all baseball-park fences 100 feet. There would be more scoring, but the game would be ruined. The goalie has a tough job as it is. Open passing would make the most difficult job in sport impossible.
Professional hockey as it is now is a game of defense as well as offense. Let's keep it that way.
LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD
To say the least, I am a bit irritated by your recent articles concerning Ford's wins over Ferrari in 1966 and Ferrari's successful comeback in the 1967 Daytona race (Sudden Revenge for Ferrari, Feb. 13). I feel that a little more than half a sentence should have been given to the Porsches, which last year beat the Ferraris at Sebring, and, this time, at Daytona, ended up ahead of the Fords.
Porsche does not put into its racing cars either the finances or the time that Ford and Ferrari do, and yet this tough little car continually finishes among the top competitors in races throughout the world.
CHRIS G. KATSELAS
Mt. Gilead, Ohio
Mr. Desmond Muirhead is to be congratulated for introducing the idea that great art can influence the design of golf courses (New Twists for an Old Art, Feb. 20). It is about time someone of spirit, imagination and talent appeared to influence the character of our golf courses. They should be islands of beauty across the nation, but too often they have the appearance of the glamorous, meticulously groomed fringes of a cemetery.
GLADYS U. HACKWAY
New York City
Who says it is going to take two to three years to decide whether or not Mr. Muirhead"s ideas are valid? Please tell me what there is to validate other golf architects' ideas as expressed in the nothing courses we see built every day?
It will not be long before Soboba Springs is recognized for the great course it is. It is certainly the best course I have played, and I've played over 100 on this coast.
PAUL R. JOHNSON
Desmond Muirhead is right. Many of our golf courses do display rather unimaginative architecture. But studying famous paintings and sculptures will not solve the problem. Your example of Mr. Muirhead's architecture looks more like a painting by Van Gogh than a golf hole. Mr. Muirhead would have done better to remain a city planner.
In Part III of his series Zero on the Tour (Jan. 30 et seq.), George Plimpton discusses unusual golf records from The Golfer's Handbook, a venerable and reputable record of the game of golf since 1893.
He cites, as a humorous example, the record rebound of a golf ball from the head of a caddie: 42 yards, 2 feet, 10 inches. However, he omitted the fact that this took place on Monday, Sept. 1, 1913 on the famous Islay golf links in Scotland. Nor did he say that the previous world record, a rebound of 34 yards, was set in August 1908 on the Blairgowrie golf course.
Further research would have provided even more data on the subject. The November 1913 issue of Golfing contained a letter to its editor from Edward W. Sladward, who advised that, while playing in a foursome over the Premier Mine Course in South Africa on Sept. 28, 1913 at the 7th hole, "my drive struck a caddie, standing 150 yards from the tee, on the forehead just above the right eye. The ball—a Colonel—rebounded back in a direct line 75 yards. (The distance was measured.) Strange to relate, beyond a slight abrasion of the skin, the caddie was not affected at all and continued his duty. You will observe the record of the Scotsman is easily outclassed. The drive in question was one of those so dear to a golfer—a hard, raking shot." This record still stands.
The record rebound may appear humorous to present day readers and writers, but it was one of the items of serious concern to golfers at the turn of the century, and it proves the assertion that anything can happen when playing golf—if you play long enough.
COLONEL R. OTTO PROBST
South Bend, Ind.