Frank Deford's article about San Jose State's Tommie Smith (Built for Chasing Beyondness, May 22) was stuffed with superlatives, and correctly so.
I think now everyone will agree that Tommie is the greatest all-round dash man anyone has ever seen. But please bear one point in mind: there is one man alive who could give Smith a run for his money. It's too bad Henry Carr signed a football contract in 1964, or the 44-second-flat quarter mile might be a reality by now.
New York City
It's about time someone of the press recognized Tommie Smith for what he is, the greatest sprinter track and field has ever seen. Smith up to now has been continuously ignored by the American press, even though he now holds or shares nine world records. Indeed, even SI used to concentrate on the buildup of Jim Ryun, while giving Tommie no more than a footnote in FOR THE RECORD.
We at San Jose State are very proud of Tommie, and we hope that in the future the other news media across the nation will follow your example by finally giving him the recognition he deserves.
San Jose, Calif.
June 4, 1967
Re your editorial, "Superplan" (SCORECARD, May 15), you have to be kidding. The National Hockey League's new Stanley Cup playoff scheme is ridiculous. Imagine a 70-game regular schedule and a possible 21-game playoff.
Ask any player and he will tell you that he prefers a shorter schedule rather than an expanded one. I don't know which is worse: the NHL's playoff scheme or the NFL's new four-division setup. I believe both leagues missed the boat when they did not set up their divisions geographically.
I prefer baseball's World Series of American League winner vs. National League winner. Why should a second-, third-or fourth-place team get a chance at the championship when they didn't prove best over a 70-game schedule?
I suppose the next plan will be a $600,000 Superderby matching Kentucky Derby finishers 1 and 3 and 2 and 4. For starters, how about Proud Clarion vs. Damascus and Barbs Delight vs. Reason to Hail?
ALBERT T. FULCO
Bravo for Jeannette Bruce's Confessions of a Judo Roll-out (May 22). It's marvelous. Her humor grows out of a true sense of the ridiculous, which she sees in herself first of all. While I haven't an athletic bone in my body, she has started me thinking, and I just may run up to Judo, Inc. and enroll.
Thanks to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for one of the most enjoyable half hours of reading I've ever spent.
NOEL H. BUSTARD
New York City
It was most interesting to sec SPORTS ILLUSTRATED carry an article regarding the sport of judo in the May 22 issue. Even though it was on one of the commercial schools, it was the best explanation of the sport of judo that I have seen in any commercial magazine or newspaper.
Your readers may also be interested to know that the World Judo Championships will take place for the first time in America on August 9 to 12 in Salt Lake City. It is reported that there will be more competing nations than in any other international athletic event, including the Olympics. You might also be in erested in knowing that, according to AAU records, there are more registered amateur athletes in the sport of judo than any other sport except swimming and track and field, attesting to the great development and participation in this sport in the U.S. as well as the rest of the world.
Congratulations on bringing the sport of judo to the public!
CHARLES H. LAMBUR
U.S. Olympic Committee
New York City
The timing of your May 22 stories on Sprinter Tommie Smith and the Johns Hopkins lacrosse team (The Jays Turned into Eagles) couldn't have been better, but the news that both made Saturday, May 20, couldn't have been more different. Tommie set new world records for 400 meters and 440 yards (Tommie in a Breeze, May 29) and verified everything you implied about him—that he's the best ever in the longer sprints.
On the other hand, Hopkins' poor Blue Jays met with disaster and were soundly trounced by an up University of Maryland team that went out to an early lead and held it for a 9-5 win. Not even Tommie Smith with a stick could have kept the Jays on their perch.
You stated, "Now the Blue Jays only need to defeat Maryland...and Bill Bilderback, who coaches the Navy and ought to know, doesn't expect them to fail." Mr. Bilderback and Gary Ronberg may both be authorities on lacrosse; however, it is quite apparent that they both underestimated our Terps. The final score was Maryland 9, Hopkins 5. To repeat what was shouted from the stands during the closing moments of the game: "We're No. 1."
STEVEN D. FORMAN
PHILLIP A. PROGER
College Park, Md.
In this day of big-time college athletics, it is especially gratifying to see a school such as Johns Hopkins—with its lofty academic reputation—repeatedly gain national prominence in an intercollegiate sport.
I was fortunate to have been actively involved in various aspects of the Hopkins sports program while a student there a few years ago. I was always considerably impressed by the fact that the coaches, though naturally intent on winning, made it a point to continually remind us that our studies came first and athletics second.
Hats off to Hopkins or any institution of higher learning that is able to maintain academic excellence and produce a national sports power, too.
Congratulations on your article about the Boston Red Sox (A Slight Revived of Hope in Boston, May 15). The Red Sox have the capabilities, and now they have an exciting manager to match. The future certainly looks bright. In any case, it can't get any dimmer!
PFC. PETER MULLEN
U.S. Armed Forces, Vietnam
My thanks to Joe Jares for his fine (and long-awaited) article on the Red Sox and their fiery new manager, Dick Williams. He certainly brought out the potential playing abilities of the Red Sox and has revived my hope in them. Who knows? This year first division, next year maybe the pennant.
Dedication to athletics is hardly to be scorned, but as far as Notre Dame is concerned SI seems nearly evangelistic. Despite the graduating seniors' rather abundant tonnage, the Oldtimers spring football game (Some Old Grads Get a Hazing, May 15) hardly seems the meat of a literary lion like John Underwood. While sports publicity, or any other kind of publicity, is not a service to be disparaged, the Notre Dame egghead is. in national eyes, becoming increasingly football-shaped. Cool it.
Notre Dame, Ind.
There you go beating the drums for Notre Dame again, when deep down you know that Alabama would have whipped the Irish as easily as Nebraska.
LAWRENCE G. PUGH JR.
VICTORY AT SEA
The great question of who is No. 1 in the country has finally been decided in combat. No, it is not Michigan State or Notre Dame or Alabama. Just who is it, then? Why Marietta College, of course! Marietta crews swept over these three and six other universities in the Mid-America Regatta for the second straight year (Another Marietta Mud Puddle, May 15).
Michigan State, Notre Dame and Alabama don't even get No. 2. Purdue rates that spot.
Robert Boyle doesn't know how right he is when he says that netting dragonflies is "even more fun than fishing" (A Midsummer's Meal for a Largemouth Bass, May 8). I began collecting dragonflies a couple of years ago after becoming discouraged with my golf game. Not a logical change, perhaps, but a greatly satisfying one. I get outside, get plenty of exercise and get all the competition I can handle from these wary insects. The exhilaration of netting a big red Anax longipes that has eluded you for an hour is the same feeling, I'm sure, that a fisherman gets upon landing a big one.
True, my friends laugh when I slam on my brakes in a crowded parking lot, grab my ever-present net and jump out to chase a Pantala flavescens between parked cars or run after a Gomphid that has sought refuge in a service station. But I press on.
Tell Mr. Boyle to get in touch and we will make him honorary chairman of our local Dragonfly Club—as soon as he throws away his flyrod and gets down to serious business.
FRANK G. WILKES
Chapel Hill, N.C.