After reading Dan Jenkins' comment that there is "no excuse for continuing the College All-Star Game" (No Place for Stars to Shine, Aug. 14), I wonder if there is any excuse for Mr. Jenkins. Although the All-Star Game is not an exhibition of perfect football, neither are most preseason exhibitions. This year's game drew more than 70,000 fans. There is an aura of excitement and anticipation pervading every All-Star Game, as people wonder if this will be one of those wonderful years when the rookies upset the pros. If the Stars aren't a polished team (and no one expects them to be after only three weeks of practice), there is always the individual excellence of the rookies to hold the fans' interest. The All-Star Game is often the first chance football fans have to see the players they have read about during the off season. The game is simply a good way to kick off another football season.
Mr. Jenkins has forgotten, or intentionally dismissed, an important point. The All-Stars nearly defeated the Chicago Bears only days before, losing 23-22. And Green Bay habitually annihilates pro teams just as easily as the collegians.
JOHN MICHAEL TIRMAN
South Bend, Ind.
Do SI and Dan Jenkins settle for anything less than perfection? When any sport becomes so perfect that it becomes inhuman and nothing more than a mechanical routine, I'll drop my interest in sports and in SI. Any All-Star Game is better than no game, regardless of the score. Let's just admire the All-Stars' courage and the pros' ability and start taking the game for what it is: a charity event.
Dan Jenkins summed it up correctly.
CHARLES F. DANIELS
RICK AND RICHES
I read with great interest your article on Rick Barry's jump to the Oakland Oaks (The Education of Mr. Barry, Aug. 14). The point that caught my attention was the question of loyalty. I fully agree with Rick. Why should he be called a traitor? Suppose, if you will, that it is now 1977. Rick Barry has just completed his 12th year with the Warriors, and Mr. Mieuli has the chance to trade him for an up-and-coming star. Would Mr. Mieuli hesitate to trade him because of loyalty and team spirit? Hardly. The Yankees traded Ruth, the Dodgers tried to trade Robinson and the Warriors would trade Barry. Pro sports are big-time business and, as Rick said, when you're in business you have to get the best deal possible.
MICHAEL D. HIRSCH
Long Branch, N.J.
I am appalled at the court decision to bar Rick Barry from playing with Oakland until Oct. 1968. As I see it, Barry saw a better job opportunity and grabbed it. A player's career is limited, and he can be traded at any time. No sensible man should turn down a better contract than he is getting. Barry can't worry about Franklin Mieuli's dream when he has a family to support. It seems the law is geared to the men with money, especially when it stops one man cold and yet allows an entire franchise (Milwaukee-Atlanta Braves) to pack up and desert a city. I sincerely hope the Warriors free Barry for the 1967-1968 season, so basketball fans can again see the coolest player around.
Congratulations! The article written by John Underwood about Winnipeg and the Pan-American Games (The Winning Ways of Winnipeg, Aug. 7) was an excellent and accurate appraisal—although it is obvious that Underwood wrote with tongue in cheek at times. This is quite forgivable, but do not underestimate the spirit and power of this town during those two glorious and historic weeks. I only wish the games could have lasted two months.
I would like to defend my city. John Underwood's article is extremely one-sided and gives a poor description of Winnipeg. As for the games, Winnipeggers enthusiastically attended all the events and made it the biggest Pan-Am Games ever. In comparison with the Pan-Am Games held in Chicago in 1959, which were almost a complete flop, Winnipeg, which is less than one-tenth the size of Chicago, proved that it supports great events and could support the Olympic Games adequately.
We sure was proud to have an important magazine like SI write up the Pan-Am Games, which took place right here in Winnipeg. But we're just a mite worried about some of the things that there John Underwood wrote. Like he seemed to be mad at us that our city had wide, clean streets and that people gave up their time and cars and things to help others. But here in Winnipeg we was just acting like we was taught to do when you give a party. We was darned sorry he couldn't spend $100 in one night. But we figured out how come. We betcha every time he et someone else jest grabbed the check, that's how come.
Bob Ottum's excellent report on the Pan-Am Games (And the Melody Lingered On, Aug. 14) was marred by a simple misstatement of fact. It was George Greer of the University of Connecticut who singled in the winning run against Cuba, not Steve Sogge as reported. Sogge was in the on-deck circle at the time.
It is easy to see how Ottum made his mistake. An errant broadcaster credited Sogge with the hit.
Incidentally, there is no U.S. baseball captain. At the presentation ceremonies, Coach Marty Karow of Ohio State sent Greer up to accept the winning team's medal.
C. ROBERT PAUL
In addition to the key blow, George Greer further distinguished himself during the Pan-Am Games by hitting .379 for the 11 games, including a home run, seven doubles and 11 runs batted in. George, whose name should become increasingly familiar to baseball fans in the coming years, hit .403 as a sophomore at UConn and was named to the College All-America team this past season.
HARRY F. HIGGINS
TWO FOR FIVE
A tight pennant race is a pleasure uncommon in recent American League seasons, and I can well see the enthusiasm expressed by the fans. But your article (Five for the Flag, Aug. 7) had me in stitches. Come now, do the so-called baseball experts at SI honestly believe that the California Angels or the Detroit Tigers are challenging potentials for the pennant? The White Sox and the Twins are the only clubs that aren't going to slowly fade out of the race. To top it all, you said Washington was threatening to make it six. But then I must remember that you told us earlier that the Orioles (eighth place) were building a great dynasty, the A's (10th place) could bust out of the second division and the White Sox' "lack of solid pitching would mean no pennant this season." Remember?
Your fan (even if you're not always right).
PAUL R. CLARK
Here's the way I see it. California lacks a star. Chicago lacks hitting. Boston lacks experience. Detroit lacks the winning attitude. Minnesota has all of these and the 1967 MVP, Harmon Killebrew.
PAUL S. FEIN
U.S. Armed Forces, Korea
NOT FOR WANT OF A SHOE
Your otherwise fine article on the customized uniforms worn by the crew of the Intrepid (Well Geared for the America's Cup, July 31), contained one inaccuracy that momentarily caused us to lose our footing. That was the reference to the crew's deck shoes, which, the article said, were made by a friendly competitor.
Our log shows that back in April the Intrepid syndicate graciously accepted our offer to supply two pairs of our Etonic Deck Shoes, made of Corfam with a nonskid sole, for each crew member aboard Intrepid and Constellation. We made the same offer to the crew of Columbia, and it was accepted.
After reading the article we checked with Bob McCullough, skipper of Constellation, to see if we were off course. Bob assured us that not only were he and Skipper Bus Mosbacher, of Intrepid, wearing our shoes every day, but so were most of the crew members on both boats.
Could we ask for a notice to mariners to set the record straight?
And to the Etonic-shod crews of all the 12s, we wish fair skies, a good breeze and sure footing.
ROBERT A. EATON
Senior Vice-President Charles A. Eaton Company
•If the America's Cup is lost, it will not be for lack of good footwear. In fact, the crew of Intrepid appears to be better shod than anyone since that Greek goddess attached a pair of wings to Mercury's sandals. Some 70 pairs of gift shoes have been received from various manufacturers. However, the shoe officially designated as part of the Intrepid uniform is the Top-Sider.—ED.