My attention has been called to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S recent full-page advertisement in The New York Times, and I am surprised to note that the author of this advertisement apparently does not know that Hitler could not and did not "change Olympic ritual." Only the International Olympic Committee can alter Olympic rules and regulations. As a matter of fact, it was the IOC that changed Hitler.
The initial competition in the Berlin Games in 1936 was won by a German. It was the first time in the history of the Games that an Olympic track-and-field event had been won by a German athlete, and the excitement among the 100,000 spectators, including Hitler, may easily be imagined. Officials of the German team rushed the new champion to Hitler's box for congratulations.
That evening Hitler received a message from the Count de Baillet-Latour, president of the IOC, stating that demonstrations of this sort were not appropriate at the Olympic Games and specifying that unless Hitler wanted to congratulate every victorious athlete such demonstrations must be discontinued. There was no repetition. Moreover, this was neither the first nor the only time that Hitler was forced to defer to the International Olympic Committee.
President, Comité International
Tex Maule certainly picked the wrong opponent in the Redskins for his highlighting of the misfortunes of the San Francisco team (Just Too Sophisticated to Win, Nov. 20). Our 'Skins have lost three close ball games this fall—to the likes of the Cowboys, Colts and Cardinals—by a total of only 13 points, and they have been tied by Atlanta and Los Angeles, all within the last moments! Most of these losses have been suffered without the benefit of the most exciting split end in pro football, Charley Taylor, the sure foot of Charlie Gogolak or the defensive leadership of Sam Huff and big rookie Fullback Ray McDonald.
San Francisco's "frustrating history of sorrows," indeed!
In his article about the 49ers' recent 31-28 loss to the Redskins, Tex Maule dismisses the 'Skins as being "not too potent." I would remind Mr. Maule that, despite a mediocre record, the 'Skins have been ahead of every opponent but one this season going into the fourth quarter. Dallas beat them 17-14 in the last 10 seconds; the Colts edged them out 17-13, with less than two minutes to go; the vaunted Rams were lucky to tie them 28-28 in the closing seconds; and the 20-20 tie with Atlanta was the result of a missed extra point.
Sonny Jurgensen has been the No. 1 passer in the NFL for a good part of the season, and receivers Smith, Mitchell and Taylor currently rank second, fourth and fifth in receptions. Kicker Charlie Gogolak (third in scoring in 1966) has been out the entire season. Charley Taylor (first in pass receiving in 1966) has missed one third of the games because of an injury. Sam Huff is still out from a severe sprain. The club has been plagued by injuries but, despite all this, the 'Skins rank sixth in the NFL in total offense.
Ask Dallas or Los Angeles what they think of the Redskins. I'll guarantee they'll tell you there are many other teams they would rather face than the "not too potent" entry from Washington.
STEVEN C. BERNARD
I know the real trouble with the 49ers. The team has no running game at all. In the backfield Willard and Crow are like the Bobbsey Twins. They both lack the main essentials of a good runner in professional football, power and good speed. Crow has been one of football's best players, but time has finally caught up with his legs.
The 49ers have part of the answer sitting on their bench in the person of second-string Fullback Gary Lewis. In nine games this year Willard rushed for 365 yards in 123 carries for an average of 2.9 yards per carry. His longest run was for 19 yards. Lewis carried the ball 40 times and rushed for 219 yards for an average of 5.4 yards per carry. Gary's longest run was for 52 yards. Also, if you have seen this big back in action you would say that he has the potential to become one of professional football's great backs.
Thanks for the fine article by Tanya Matthews on Bobby Fischer (The Further Adventures of Terrible-tempered Bobby, Nov. 20). Your articles on chess, though few and far between, are always well written, and I hope you will have a report on the outcome of the Interzonal. Even if Bobby Fischer were the world champion, he could not expect to have other players and tournament officials give in to his demands. He may be the best, but he has to learn to play under the same conditions as everyone else. The tournament officials made changes in the schedule because of his religion, and he should have put up with them. No doubt he would have won the event with case.
RUSSELL W. MILLER
President, Washington State Chess
The article by Tanya Matthews showing how American champion Bobby Fischer forfeited his way out of the recent world international chess tournament in Sousse, Tunisia, in spite of the sincere efforts of the officials and players to meet his almost incessant demands and to placate his petulant faultfindings, was eminently fair and factual. A champion in any field has the responsibility of maintaining the dignity of the title. In an international contest a champion must also realize that he represents not just himself, but his country as well, and recognize the fact that he is therefore in a position to further or to hinder international relations. It is high time Bobby Fischer cast aside the foibles of a teen-age prodigy and started to live up to the responsibilities of a mature chess master.
New York City
Every time I look at the National Basketball Association standings I have to laugh at the people who decided that the league was ready for expansion. The Chicago, San Diego and Seattle teams have proved conclusively that they are not ready, and may never be ready.
As of November 14, for example, the three teams had won a total of five games and lost 40 for a .111 percentage. Chicago somehow managed to fall below even this level, with a 1-12 record for a dismal .077 percentage. The other two teams were camped at .124. In other words Seattle and San Diego were winning one game in eight, Chicago one in 13. At this rate the final record for all three will be about 26 wins, 214 losses. This is not NBA caliber basketball, needless to say.
Worse yet, against legitimate NBA competition the expansion teams were 0 for 35, and the expansion teams certainly will not be much better next year. In fact they should be playing poor basketball—if they are still playing—until about the middle of the 1970s.
What to do about it? My plan would be this: send all the players back to their original teams and hold the draft over again, this time letting the nine pro-caliber teams keep only six or seven players each on the protected list. Possibly, then, the new teams would develop into fair competition.
Monterey Park, Calif.
ORCHIDS AND ONIONS
Thank you for your article on Penn State football (Some Kool Kyoties Get Kicked Down by a Foot, Nov. 20), and let me take this opportunity to congratulate you on a consistently interesting and well-done publication. Now that I've taken care of the orchids let's give the onions an airing. It seems to be a consensus among the nation's pollsters that Penn State kind of "lucked out" against a highly regarded North Carolina State when they beat the Wolfpack 13-8. When you sit right down and think about it I guess Penn State was lucky. Lucky that young men like Jim Litterelle, Mike McBath, Dennis (The Darling) Onkotz, Ted Kwalick, Tom Sherman, Tim Montgomery and a host of other topflight football talent decided to make PSU the university of their choice. On November 11, from where I sat, it was a simple case of a good team losing to a better one. A big break didn't catch Sherman's touchdown pass, Kwalick did. Costly penalties didn't flag down Wolfpack aerials, Montgomery and Onkotz did. Misfortune didn't stop North Carolina State's drives, Penn State did.
All season long I have watched as Mervin Hyman consistently picked Penn State as the second- or third-best team in the East. Finally, after the Nittany Lions defeated then-third-ranked North Carolina State, Penn State was moved into its well-deserved spot of No. 1. I agree with this pick, but I don't agree with a statement made about Penn State by Dan Jenkins in the preview of the USC-UCLA game in the same issue. He referred to USC's schedule as tough, because the Trojans played teams like Texas, Michigan State and Notre Dame, while saying that the only tough team on UCLA's schedule was Tennessee. I would like you to add Penn State to that list.
University Park, Pa.
I was especially interested in Dave Kohnhorst's letter (19TH HOLE, NOV. 6) in which he claimed that pro football officials favored the home-town team. I recalled that a few years ago an NFL coach had made a statement similar to his and decided to check if I was correct. Out came the old SIs and, sure enough, the first item in the Nov. 15, 1965 SCORECARD told about Harland Svare receiving a $1,000 fine for his remark that NFL officials "are homers." Mr. Kohnhorst should consider himself lucky. It cost him only 5¢ to mail his letter.
In his letter Dave Kohnhorst gave various examples of games in which the visiting team was penalized more than the home team. Yet in 12 NFL and AFL contests played on Sunday, November 5 the home teams were penalized a total of 641 yards to a total of 626 for the visiting clubs. In the Viking-Giant game played in Minnesota the Vikings suffered 151 penalty yards, while the Giants lost only 97. Two pass-interference calls were made against the Vikings, one nullifying a Viking interception on a Giant drive that came close to defeating Minnesota.
Buffalo was penalized 144 yards at home, while its opponent, Miami, lost only 30 yards on infractions. Pittsburgh, Detroit, San Francisco and Boston, all home teams, were also penalized more than their opponents.
Let's not convict the refs without a trial.
We enjoyed your article about Kansas State University's "Purple Power" by William Johnson (A Team That Is Loved with a Purple Passion, Oct. 30). But we were a bit irritated by his statement that in the '40s K-State "beat that well-known gridiron power Fort Hays State." Since the '40s Fort Hays has come a long way in football and truly is a "well-known gridiron giant" in the Central Intercollegiate Conference, of which it is the defending cochampion. Many NFL and AFL teams have heard of Fort Hays's football prowess.
We students at Fort Hays don't believe that our coach walks on water, but he is affectionately known as "Winning Wayne" McConnell. We also have pride. Fort Hays State is a small college, but we really would be small if we allowed some crackpot who doesn't know much about Fort Hays to spread belittling words about it. Let it be known throughout the land that our spirit and pride surpass even that of the awesome Purple Power of the Kansas State pussycats.
E. J. DEINES