HOWARD THE GREAT
Howard Cosell is egotistical, self-righteous, tactless and often maudlin (Would You Let This Man Interview You? March 13). He is a genuinely disgusting person. Right? Wrong! Howard Cosell is, indeed, the greatest sportscaster around. Yet his ability to lift the sports interview out of the morass of triviality and insincerity is not his greatest asset or distinction. In a world populated by corporation men and faceless nonentities Howard Cosell stands as a last bastion against the cancer of conformity. The man is a man. This is the essence of Howard Cosell.
I feel extremely sorry for Emi Cosell. She can't turn Howard off.
McPALMER & CO.
For more than 10 years I sat on the board of directors of a national meat-packing trade association with James D. Cooney (My Friend, Arnold Palmer March 6 et seq.). This was during the difficult period when his leadership caused Wilson & Co. to change with the times by eliminating unprofitable and obsolete multistory meatpacking plants at railroad junctions and moving them as smaller units to the source of livestock or into the population centers. The end result was the change from a stagnant international company to an up-to-date profitable operation.
There is no question that it was a hard decision for Golf Buff Cooney to refuse to approve the Palmer contract with their subsidiary, Wilson Sporting Goods Company. The decision of the judge (who never sat on the bench but came up through the legal department) to turn down the Palmer contract was obviously in the best interest of Wilson & Co.
The final result has been just right: Wilson & Co. and Arnold Palmer have both prospered in their particular fields.
There's yet another facet to Mark McCormack, merchant prince, barrister and biographer.
When I first called on Mark to discuss making a laundryman out of Arnold Palmer, I was greeted with an exuberant handshake and the proclamation, "I saw Frankie Parker murder you in Chicago!" I said he couldn't have been born when I last played Parker, but it turned out that he had and that, moreover, Mark, a fine golfer, was really a frustrated tennis hacker. He was brought up by a golfing father, a short pitch from the club fairway, but for years played hookey in search of tennis practice.
In fact, I would like to think that our deal really got off the ground through tennis—not golf!
SIDNEY B. WOOD JR.
New York City
SIDELIGHTS ON DARK
Perhaps William Leggett has planted the kiss of death on Kansas City's amazing youngsters with his article (Dark's Outlook Is Young and Bright, March 13).
Indeed, it was the fairest assessment of the Athletics' potential in many years. The "underground railroad" to New York has been discontinued, and Alvin Dark is molding a contender out of youth and positive thinking.
One more favor, though—cancel all subscriptions to the Bradenton training camp. It seems that the buildup has worked in a negative direction—the A's have won only a few exhibition games.
ROBERT T. KEARNEY
Before Alvin Dark envisions his team in the first division this season, it would be smarter for him to deal for a left-handed starting pitcher. Judging by his lineup of boy wonders it is quite obvious not one wears his glove on the right hand. Dark may have the best young mound corps in the league, but without a southpaw his team will find it difficult to escape the Dark cellar.
A suggested trade? All six for Whitey Ford.
J. ALLEN CALDERON
STICK WITH STALLBALL
Excellent article (Stallball—a Game to Sleep By, March 13) by Joe Jares, but I am opposed to any 24-or 30-second clock in college basketball. This would serve only to deprive today's coaches of the mechanisms used to pull off an upset—which is the most exciting and most anticipated event in the basketball world.
The stallers are booed constantly in their efforts to make a close game of an apparent mismatch, and yet these same so-called basketball fans turn around and cheer their own team for employing the same strategy. Besides, the defense is at fault a good percentage of the time, because they are obligated to force action if they are tied or behind in score. I say if the defense wants the basketball—let them go get it!
HAROLD STOEFFLER JR.
New Preston, Conn.
Much has been written in your magazine searching for an answer to modify college basketball to offset the advantages of the supertall individual. I have enjoyed reading many of these proposals but none have easy answers.
I have one idea that seems workable and will not require new or strange rules, and can be adapted overnight without affecting the game as we know it. Use the regulation basketball court, but move the backboards three feet beyond the court. This will prevent the tall men from using their height advantage by camping under the boards and pulling in rebounds, and it will place a premium on shooting from the outside. Stuff shots and layups can still be made provided that the player makes a leaping shot and releases the ball prior to touching out of bounds. Otherwise, the present rules will be adequate to cover the game.
JOHN S. SANICH
ALAS, NO VASSS
In your recent tennis article (Two Times One Equals Zero, March 13), Bill Talbert did not mention the most absurd aspect of the whole ridiculous week. The promoters of the amateur tournament, having rejected VASSS, could not decide on any one scoring system and so used three. As a result the tournament was conducted in such confusion that time ran out before the final match could be completed. Can you imagine paying $10 and then not seeing the ninth inning, the 18th hole or the fourth quarter?
JAMES VAN ALEN
BACK TO SCHOOL
Congratulations for catching our orthographic deception (SCORECARD, March 13). Only those who know the difference between "cirriculum" and "curriculum" are considered for admission.
SAMUEL B. PIERSON
The Loomis School
•How about "their" and "its"?—ED.