While I was traveling on vacation, a Wisconsin relative showed me your Aug. 14 edition containing the article, Dredging Up a Texas Squabble, in which I am quoted briefly. Your article is unique because you have given more coverage to shell dredging in Galveston Bay than the local dailies have given during my three years in the Texas legislature.
Those of us who are concerned are undyingly grateful to you.
ED J. HARRIS
Texas House of Representatives
Lake Mills, Wis.
Fredrick Simmons' comments about using oyster-shell roads to beautify the landscape (19TH HOLE, Aug. 21) remind me of the asinine comment I made when we first moved to Raceland, La. along Bayou Lafourche—"Aren't those water hyacinths lovely?" I found out later that these lovely flowers were an expensive navigational hazard. If Mr. Simmons had to buy new auto tires to replace those cut by shell roads and cope with bits of shell tracked into the house, scratching floors and providing traps for unwary bare feet, he'd have second thoughts about them. What is more, shells thrown from passing car wheels have the velocity of a bullet, and their target is usually the windshield or the headlight of the car on the other side of the picturesque but deadly two-lane highway. Give me lovely, smooth concrete anytime.
MRS. TROY L. SULLIVAN
TIME TO REAP
Congratulations to Mark Mulvoy on his fantastic story about our beloved Red Sox (Virtue is Rewarded, Aug. 21). We Red Sox fans have been waiting patiently for an article on our team. In October I hope that Mr. Yawkey will be nice enough to reserve a World Series ticket for Mr. Mulvoy.
For years Boston fans were told that there were great young prospects in the minor league farm system. It seems that finally the rumors are panning out. As Mr. Mulvoy pointed out, much of the Red Sox's success this year has been attributable to Manager Dick Williams. Williams held a key position in the Red Sox farm system at Toronto. Along with his young players, he seems to have learned his job well.
So, while the young Gary Nolans and other teen-age hotshots represent one facet of baseball success, the story of the Red Sox represents another—that of seasoning in the minors. If continued, the success of the Red Sox will be a testimonial to Branch Rickey's innovation of the farm system.
The fabulous Bosox certainly make a person feel glad to be alive. At long last it looks like a vintage year in Beantown.
PAUL J. PELETIER
Sewart AFB, Tenn.
I am confident you are concerned with the preservation of the reputation of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. I, therefore, wish to draw to your attention the Pan-Am article appearing in your publication (The Winning Ways of Winnipeg, Aug. 7). On very rare occasions do I receive the flood of complaints I received over this article. There are millions of others who are aware that the story published creates a distorted impression and, above all, is not based on facts.
Your reputable publication refers to my establishing a committee to bid for the 1976 Olympics, and I quote: "A nice enthusiasm, that, but not a practical one for a town of only half a million people and a spotty economy (the wheat crop this summer has been cut sharply by drought)." The true fact is that a committee has been named, headed by Justice Brian Dickson, to report on the advisability of considering a bid for the 1976 Olympics. The "spotty economy" is anything but a true reflection, and the reference to a wheat crop drought in all probability is barroom talk.
I must register strong objection to the false description created by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
Mayor Winnipeg, Man.
Hurrah for your fine feature on the finest sport in the world—hurling—and boo to you, too, for the "bloody" pictures you picked to illustrate it (The Gentle Irish, Aug. 28). Hurling is a tough game. But in almost 30 years of watching it, I've heard of only two serious injuries.
Joseph Carroll is to be congratulated for exploring the social aspects of hurling to the point of reaching the Dublin jackeen's attitude toward his kulchi cousins and their hurling. But it is a pity you used a photograph of a Kilkenny player showing more muscle than artistry. Kilkenny men are cherished for their style in a game that values speed and skill far above weight and toughness. Topflight hurlers have to be switch hitters and able to play a ball to and from practically 360° of the compass—by hand, using the hurley, on the ground or in the air—and all in a split second, because there's always an opponent only a step away.
Hurling has more strokes than all other sports combined. It involves so many strokes that it is impossible to try to analyze or coach them. The first manual on hurling was written only a few years ago by Tony Wall, an Irish army man serving with the U.N. forces in Cyprus, who will play for Tipperary against Kilkenny in this year's All-Ireland final on Sept. 3.
It is a pity that hurling will never become widespread, even in Ireland, any more than another fine sport, lacrosse, will in America. But if Beethoven can survive with a limited audience, I suppose hurling and lacrosse can, too.
EUGENE G. DOWNEY
New York City
Your article on the Eagle-Jet game (Flaming Tempers on Wild Exhibition, Aug. 28) again reflected your total lack of acceptance of the AFL as equal to the NFL. "Perhaps the major difference between the two teams, and indeed the two leagues, is defense," you say. On Aug. 23 the great NFL Chicago defense that held the invincible Green Bay Packers to less than 20 points yielded 66 points to the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs. Yes, Vince Lombardi and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, there is an AFL. Just ask George Halas.
Overland Park, Kans.
Your acknowledgment of the Denver Broncos' win over the Detroit Lions (and the first victory of the AFL over the NFL) was captioned "Paper Lions" (SCORECARD, Aug. 14) and attempted to attribute this "upset" to the Lions' overconfidence. To what do you attribute the Minnesota Vikings' 14-9 loss to the Broncos? To the high altitude or to the sunspots?
Instead of finding excuses for NFL losses, why don't you honor AFL wins? The Broncos won both games with an offense that capitalized on its opportunities and a defense that for eight quarters held the NFL opposition to one touchdown and three field goals. The time has come for you, too, to recognize that the AFL teams "have not only come to stay, they have come to play" and to give them positive credit for doing so.
PETER F. BREITENSTEIN
The bloody trouble with Derek Morgan ("I Want My Bloody Game Back," Aug. 28) is that he apparently did not bother to go see an American soccer match in the new National Professional Soccer League. He formed his impressions from the bloody telly. He's absolutely correct about the way television has fouled up the game with phony injuries and minute-long waits for goal kicks (one game this season had two goals scored while commercials were on). American fans and the press have been screaming to no avail about the same thing.
But before writing off the entire American soccer experiment, why not give it the five or so years NPSL officials say it is going to take to get the game really rolling here? Already the NPSL game is vastly superior to any soccer that has been played in the U.S. on a regularly scheduled basis. It can only get better as players from diverse points of the world learn to blend their styles of play. From the start to the end of this year's season, the improvement was constant and astonishingly noticeable.
No one's taken your game away, Mr. Morgan. We just want to share it.
LOWELL E. SUNDERLAND
I have written to you many times before about our Baltimore heroes—the Orioles, Colts, Clippers and Bullets—in the hope that you would publish one of my biased letters. But you won't. Could it be bad breath? Athlete's foot? It is August, and the Baltimore Bays and Oakland Clippers are running away from their respective NPSL divisions by mountainous margins, yet you refuse to give soccer any more space than that of the breath-taking, spine-tingling sport of Ping-Pong. My magazine was open to the FOR THE RECORD page and a fly was standing on the gigantic space you reserved for soccer. I squashed him, but I had to borrow my friend's copy of SI, because the fly was spread all over the only soccer news in the issue. If you don't start printing articles on soccer, I am going to burn all my remaining issues of SI. Since my subscription runs through December 1968, I won't have any trouble keeping warm this year or next.
Kudos for the sparkling piece on Ted Williams (Going Fishing with The Kid, Aug. 21). John Underwood portrays Williams' warmth and effervescence far better than most of the "knights of the keyboard" ever managed to do.
For me, as, I suspect, for many, Ted Williams was baseball. If some task prevented my listening or viewing when the Red Sox were on radio or TV, my parents were charged to call me when Ted came to bat. Our family vacation trips peculiarly coincided with the arrival of the Red Sox in AL cities, where Williams' batting wizardry almost always rewarded. Greatest hitter ever? A hearty "amen" from this corner.
It comes as no great surprise that The Kid is as much a champion and sportsman in fishing as he was in baseball.
JOHN D. UNRUH JR.
Freeman, S. Dak.
TIME TO REFLECT
Thank you for your picturesque article, A Long Day in a Boy's World (Aug. 21). Though I am only a teen-ager, I have not embarked upon a day of adventure for quite some time. It seems that I, like most people, am just too busy in this jet age to take time off and enjoy the serenity of tranquil streams and rich green forests. When I was small I used to go to the Indiana Dunes and lose myself in the thick and stunning woods that only God could create, passing the time thinking about the earth-shaking problems of a little boy. Thanks for the memories.
Regarding your recent articles on the musk ox (The Golden Shmoo of the Barren Lands, July 17 and SCORECARD, July 24), it seems suitable to mention Marianne Moore's poem, The Arctic Ox (or Goat), on the subject of this friendly beast. Here is a random sample:
To wear the arctic fox
you have to kill it. Wear
qiviut—the underwool of the arctic ox—pulled off it like a sweater;
your coat is warm; your conscience, better....
It smells of water, nothing else,
and browses goat like on
hind legs. Its great distinction
is not egocentric scent
but that it is intelligent....
Lying in an exposed spot,
basking in the blizzard,
these ponderosos could dominate
the rare-hairs market in Kashan and yet
you could not have a choicer pet....
New York City