CARL AND CATHERINE
I happened to see Carl Yastrzemski's smiling visage on the newsstand here in Paris, and being among the Red Sox' most faithful fans since I could heft a bat (I'm now 20), I simply had to buy the December 25 issue of SI as a Christmas present to myself. I am a student here this year, and unfortunately I was forced to leave home during the peak of the American League pressure and miss the greatest excitement Boston has seen in a long time. Reading the article on Carl in the Metro, I was unable to suppress a broad smile, much to the amusement of my fellow French passengers. I must say that your choice of Carl Yastrzemski as Sportsman of the Year and the outstanding tribute you paid him not only lifted my spirits immensely during this rainy holiday season, but also made me all the more proud to be both a baseball fan and an American.
For excellence in one particular field of athletics, none was better in 1967 than Yastrzemski. But your award is for the sportsman, not just the hero. My understanding of a sportsman is one who gives 100% effort to his team, his sport and his country, and accepts whatever benefits he gains with a degree of modesty and appreciation. Carl Yastrzemski's sportsmanship came to an abrupt halt when he was voted the Most Valuable Player in the American League. He deserved this because he definitely was valuable, but he could not accept the fact that other athletes in the American League were also valuable. He was disappointed because he didn't get every first-place vote. This attitude showed what type of man Carl Yastrzemski really is. Evidently, he wasn't giving 100% effort to his team, but was out to reap the benefits of personal glory. In my humble opinion, your selection was a disappointment to the readers of your magazine.
JAMES T. KELLY
Fort Riley, Kans.
Congratulations to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for including Mlle. Lacoste in your Sportsman of the Year article. It was particularly gratifying for us here at The Homestead who watched this bubbly 22-year-old golf champion dance the Charleston at night and play those great golf shots by day over the Cascades Course as she moved on her merry way to the 1967 Women's Open Golf Championship.
Congratulations again to Carl and O.J., but a great big merci to Catherine who made our year quite exciting here at Hot Springs.
JOHN M. GAZZOLA JR.
Hot Springs, Va.
The Negro Olympic boycott becomes more confused each day as new parties adhere to one side or the other, and charges are made and refuted. It is not clear to me how the matter of the New York Athletic Club became a central issue in the boycott (A Step to an Olympic Boycott, Dec. 4), but the record should be set straight.
Harry Edwards and his followers have accused the New York Athletic Club of being anti-Negro and anti-Jewish in its policies. If this charge were true, it would be the exclusive business of the New York Athletic Club, since it is a private club and is not even a remote arm of the U.S. Olympic Committee. My personal experience is that the charge is not true. Don Spero (1966 World Single Scull Champion) and I are both Jewish. Both of us have been athletic members of the NYAC and have raced for the club. Though my formal association with the club terminated when I entered the service and left New York City, Don is still a member. Following his world-championship victory he received the Veteran's Award, the highest athletic honor given by the club.
There is one interesting sidelight to this story. When the boycott affair became national news and the accusation against the NYAC became public, I was approached by one of my current teammates at the Potomac Boat Club in Washington. His comment: "I don't understand it. I only know-two oarsmen from the New York Athletic Club, and both of them are Jewish." I'm sure there are many others who don't understand the accusation.
RICHARD A. SCHWARTZ, M.D.
I enjoyed your article Ford Came Flying (Dec.-25) very much. However, considering the 7-liter Ford win at Le Mans last summer and the pressure put on Ford by the "24,000 Porsches" (3-liter), Ford should direct its efforts toward building a car in which engineering is more of a factor than power. Sure, those Fords "went to beat hell"—but on brute strength only. Porsche went to beat hell on engineering and performance.
THE VANDY WAGON
I don't know when I have enjoyed reading an article as much as Curry Kirkpatrick's Getting the Vandy Treatment (Dec. 25). Everything he said about Coach Roy Skinner is true. Playing basketball under Skinner is a pleasure because he "plays the game the way it was meant to be played."
In Nashville, our "treatment" is a community effort with the fans, coaches and team all at their best for every game. With spirit like this the Vandy treatment is going to be around for a long, long time!
Now that the Green Bay Packers have proved themselves Arctic champions (The Old Pro Goes in for Six, Jan. 8), wouldn't it be exciting if next year we flew the teams to Thailand and had them play a Monsoon Bowl? Ecuador, I am sure, would welcome a tropic championship game, and if the fates were willing, we could have the thrill of an occasional game played in a hurricane. With such excitement in the foreseeable future, I think we should dispel all efforts to arrange a football championship game in some such moderate climate as Florida or California.
I hope that it was as obvious to other fans as it was to me that the National Football League, in staging its championship game under the conditions that existed in Green Bay, has perpetuated a hoax upon its fans. Paul Hornung said it at halftime: "The players must adjust; they cannot play their usual game on this field."
This year's game should be sufficient to convince the leagues to change their present rules in determining the location of the championship game.
WILLIAM G. CHRISTOPHER
Gary Cartwright's coverage of the world chili cooking contest (The Great Chili Championship Fix, Dec. 11) was excellent. In fact, it has so stirred up every would-be, two-alarm chili maker on the West Coast that a regional contest is being planned for late January or early February. Even the celebrated Father Duffy, who incidentally was not responsible for the presence of ladies at Terlingua and would like very much to be allowed to return to his once happy home, is planning to enter the West Coast chili contest. The West Coast winner, of course, will automatically gain a berth in the 1968 world championship—opposing H. Allen Smith and Wick Fowler.
Woody DeSilva, president of the Cucamonga Chapter of the Chili Appreciation Society International is acting as host of the West Coast cookoff and has received nearly 50 entries already. Thanks to SI, chili heads the world over are standing up to be counted.
Playa del Rey, Calif.
The trouble with immodest pretenders like Fowler and Smith is that they waste their efforts thinking up insults to fling at each other, and neither one is a real top hand at chili making. The real reason Fowler and Smith decided to keep that Terlingua, Texas fiasco a stag affair is that they both had heard about the chili my wife Hazel makes. They knew there simply would be no contest if she dropped in at Terlingua and whomped up a washpotful of her chili.
Now, even though I know the secrets of Hazel's chili, I am not privileged to disclose them. That is, none except the kind of peppers she uses. First off, Hazel does not use green bell peppers, like Smith says he uses. I can't believe Smith actually uses green bells. Nor does Hazel use the Mexican jalape√±o that Fowler claims to use. Those things, at best, are only two-alarm.
The peppers in Hazel's chili are the small, native peppers called chiltipiquins (usually mispronounced chilly-pa-Keens) that we grow on our place. A chiltipiquin is about the size of a small English pea and speaks with the authority of an ordinary-size atom when exploded. These peppers are a favorite food of Texas mockingbirds which accounts for their unusually shrill whistle and the fact that they are often seen flying backward.
We have a fresh supply of venison, which we can use as the "carne," and would be glad to have you drop in and see us anytime.
Court of Civil Appeals
I did not know before reading the article that Kansas City was a member of CASI. Is that why we have such good chili in the Kansas City area?
Let me make one thing clear. It isn't chili if it doesn't have beans!
Mound City, Kans.
Your essay by friend Cartwright, Gary/is one I would classify "Excellent, very"/In fact, he made but one miscue/(Which could happen, of course, to me—or you)/The official Chili Society poet/(In the interest of truth, you should know it)/Is not Frank Tolbert (I call him FXT)/But plain, simple, little ole me.
Deprive me not of my beloved post/(Among avocations, I dig this the most)/My poems are few, their depth is meager/But the spirit that moves them is ever eager/ With Fowler's chili spurring me on/My poems could flow from dawn to dawn /But the soupy mess of H. Allen Smith /Would desiccate the juices, now and forthwith/That flow from the chili bowl into the mind/But I digress—when you give out titles, may I have mine?
In response to the letter (19TH HOLE, Dec. 11) concerning the willingness of Sweet Briar's football team to accept challenges from any qualified team, we, the Bissell Hall Machine, would like to take up the challenge. As men of Dartmouth, the personification of Northern virility, we cannot, in the interest of sport, let such a challenge go unanswered. We are willing to accept any handicap that Sweet Briar (the Sweeties?) might suggest to make the game an even contest. We do propose, however, that the game be played at Sweet Briar, for until the snow melts next May there will be no place to play in Hanover. We ask one stipulation, though: dates after the game. We eagerly await Sweet Briar's reply.
THE BISSELL HALL FOOTBALL TEAM
We feel that we are qualified and very interested in participating in just such a contest. We would be willing to travel to Sweet Briar to meet, play and defeat this highly ranked and well-coached team.
THE COLLINS ANIMALS FOOTBALL TEAM
I accept the challenge of the Sweet Briar football team. Please tell them to come to Millinocket, Maine, next September. I'll play them all by my lonesome. Who needs a team?
As a matter of fact, they don't even have to wait until September. I'm ready anytime.
DICK MACKIN JR.