New York doesn't deserve Fran Tarkenton (Quarterback on the Run, July 17 et seq.). Giant fans booed Charlie Conerly and Y.A. Tittle. So I bet that Tarkenton, despite his great ability, will get similar treatment.
EDGAR M. FRIED
South Charleston, W. Va.
Your SCORECARD, "Unnecessary Roughness" (July 3), once again shows us a public official interested in publicity and headlines rather than the apprehending of real criminals.
In regard to Mr. William Cahn's expose of a college coach who has allegedly been gambling on his own team, this sensational disclosure is based on wire-tapped conversations between a bettor and a bookie, one of whom is trying to justify his backing of a certain team by stating that the coach was betting himself.
Bettors and bookies alike, trying to prove that they are smart and to let everyone know that they are "in the know," drop names. A concrete example: beginning on the Wednesday before last fall's Michigan State-Notre Dame game, the point spread on Michigan State started going up from three points. The spread reached eight points right before game time. The reason for this influx of money on Notre Dame, among "the smart guys," was that the Notre Dame coach was supposed to be betting on his own team.
August 6, 1967
This rumor grew and grew, until right before game time everyone wanted to bet on Notre Dame. Of course, the Notre Dame coach, who probably never made a bet in his life, was the only one who knew that his No. 1 halfback, All-America Nick Eddy, was out of the game and wouldn't play a minute. So this is one time the boys really got fooled.
As for any college coach betting, I don't think Cahn has any information or actual proof to this effect, and I submit the question: "Why would any coach add to his woes by being so stupid as to bet?" His very life and existence depend on the outcome of every game that his team plays. Would a coach be so foolish as to add betting to the intense pressure he is working under at all times?
Being a bookie myself, I can assure you that no bookie, member of a syndicate (a much misused and abused word used by crime commissions, publicity-seekers et al.) or anyone else is going to pull a gun on any citizen and threaten his life, forcing said citizen to make a bet on the outcome of a sports event.
OLÉS AND WHISTLES
John McCormick's Ten Toreros in Need of a Bull (July 24) was an authoritative discussion of San Isidro, the other festivals and especially of the bulls. His style is cold, hard and with no nonsense for the uninformed; he writes for the seasoned aficionado who wants good reports of the bulls with his morning bowl of gazpacho. The beginner should cut out the glossary he provided, paste it on the wall and memorize it for future reviews.
Mr. McCormick's impressions, however, should not go completely unchallenged. He said, for example, that Antonio Ordó√±ez is "the best when he wants to be." Ordó√±ez is the best, period. If he has become somewhat careless with his kills, it is, as the author carefully states, because he is 35, rich and justly disdainful of a public that has become bored with his perfection and has taken cheap pop artists like El Cordobés to its heart.
When I traveled with Ordó√±ez' cuadrilla in the 1961 season through arrangement by Ernest Hemingway, Antonio was at the zenith of his career. The public loved every move he made, and he usually made the right ones. Since then, Paco Camino and El Viti have emerged stronger than ever before and Monde√±o has returned, to complete the group of purists.
McCormick's account did move me, however. He looks at bullfighting from the purist's viewpoint, that of the love for the bull. This is rare. I missed Spain this year, but he brought me back for a few moments, his biased opinions notwithstanding. Màs! Màs!
New York City
Two ears to SI for daring—amid an audience steeped chiefly in baseball, ice hockey and professional football—to run an article appealing to what surely must be considered a minority.
Author John McCormick also merits praise for writing straight from the hip. In other sport-oriented magazines I've read, bullfighting articles are slanted toward the uninformed American sportsman—that likable guy who might know who's on first, but who knows little of toreo except what he reads in slicks dedicated to boosting sales figures, not truth. McCormick ably illustrated that bullfighting is much more than blood and sand; it is man dominating the attacking instinct of brute beast, and this is a part of a rich and colorful culture.
WILLIAM L. HOWE
Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.
I cannot believe that in the U.S., where bullfighting is against the law, you would publish an article on this so-called "sport." It is horrible! How can you allow such a thing to happen? I am a charter subscriber of SI and I am ashamed!
Mrs. WILLIAM WEBB SUNDERLAND
I am writing this on behalf of the proud residents of Carle Place, N.Y.
On June 22, for the second consecutive year, the six-man team entered by our high school in competition with 2,500 schools throughout the country won the U.S. Marine Corps National Physical Fitness contest at Washington, D.C.
Since the late President Kennedy started the President's physical fitness council, schools throughout the country have been strongly stressing physical fitness in their programs. When a very small high school (450 male students) like Carle Place can win this championship it is quite an achievement for its coach, U.S. Marine Reserve Major Tom Redden, and his team of five boys and an alternate. Two Carle Place boys scored the highest in the country—Gene Cromwell, 494 out of a possible 500, and Bob Meyer, 492. The scores of our other contestants were: Bill Oberlies, 488, Richard Morrison, 488, Dennis Boccard, 486, and the alternate, Mark Welch, 483, for a total five-man score of 2,448. The second-place team from Pennsylvania scored 2,373.
To me this proves the worth of the physical-education program of our school. The idea of physical education is mainly to build strong bodies and not just football, basketball players etc., even though our athletic teams have been powers in their divisions for many years.
ROBERT J. CHESTER
Carle Place, N.Y.
Enjoyed Malihini Jenkins' report on events along Waikiki (The Summer Surfers Invade Hawaii, July 24). It stirred memories of a year spent on Oahu Rock. Although I am overaged (35) for the trash can, there are a lot of happenings that old men in their 30s can shovel.
On behalf of all "service creeps" stationed on Oahu and those individuals, past, present, and future visiting from Vietnam on R&R, I wish to apologize to that young lady who complained about "service creeps" in your article on Hawaii. I didn't realize that I and my fellow servicemen posed such an obstacle to the enjoyment of her Hawaiian stay. Apparently I mistakenly believed that I also had a right to enjoy and use the same facilities as the young lady and her friends. I suggest that prior to her departure from Hawaii, she visit the Arizona Memorial and then Punchbowl National Cemetery, where both old and new graves attest to the part "service creeps" have played and are playing in the defense of our country.
SP5 E. L. EVANS, USA
APO, San Francisco
As a charter subscriber to SI, I have for many years asked myself, "Why is this publication so preoccupied with golf?" It seemed to me that, relative to the interests of the average sports fan, an inordinate amount of space was devoted to golf tournaments, wherever they might have been held.
Somehow your feature They All Love a Latin (July 24) crystallized the answer. This is the one sport (bridge excepted) where age is least likely to separate the men from the boys. Where else in sports can the 40-plussers like Roberto de Vicenzo so clearly and impressively (on occasion) beat the younger generation? If the wonderful Latin with the big nose and barrelful of empathy was an unusual victor in tournament golf, that would be one thing. But look at his contemporaries—Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Julius Boros, E. J. Harrison, Art Wall—who are still capable, among many other oldtimers, of capturing the trophy or being right up there among the top five finishers.
This all adds up to one thing: the age factor is an important contributor to the magical impact of golf. It enables the older generation to identify. It provides heaps of nostalgia and it hits home.
Pacific Palisades, Calif.
I don't know whether to thank you or not for Tex Maule's article on Gaston Roelants (Fleming with a Flair, July 17). It was an interesting story on Belgium's highly praised athlete. But I nearly got sick at the man's egotistical views. Play it safe and stay at home with more articles on Jim Ryun and fewer on conceited trophy-savers.