OFFENSE AND DEFENSE
I feel that you have dealt too harshly with the Boston Bruins in your editorial "Indefensible: I" (SCORECARD, April 1). I suspect that by his remark, "I don't think calling Zeidel a Jew s.o.b. is discrimination," Coach Sinden meant simply that such an epithet is no more serious than calling a player of English descent a limey s.o.b., a player of Italian ancestry a wop s.o.b., and so forth, and that this type of razzing probably goes on in almost every NHL game and without comment. There is a strong possibility, moreover, that Zeidel cried "discrimination" to Mr. Campbell mainly to justify his participation in a stick fight with Eddie Shack who, Mr. Zeidel admits, was not among the "discriminators." Furthermore, I find it hard to believe that the Bruins are the only hockey team guilty of this type of razzing. If such ethnically rooted razzing is to be prohibited I hope that all teams will be punished in proportion to their guilt and that baiting of all ethnic groups will be considered equally reprehensible.
As a member of the Jewish faith, I am naturally disturbed by any form of antisemitism. However, as a Boston Bruins fan, I must take issue with the conclusions drawn concerning the Larry Zeidel incident. Your quote from Harry Sinden may be pretty convincing to many readers, but there are facts in the case that you have ignored: 1) every member of the Bruins denied the charges vehemently, 2) of the three players specifically charged by Zeidel two were not even on the bench at the time the fight broke out and 3) Larry Zeidel has been known for many years as a battler on the ice as has his opponent in the fight.
HARVEY S. CARAS
I have never heard, nor wish to hear, such an indecent remark from a man of Sinden's stature.
Two years ago you took a slash at Duke University's "snakepit" treatment of visiting basketball teams (SCORECARD, Dec. 20, 1965). It led to a much fairer treatment of our visiting teams. Now I am convinced that your article The Timid Generation (March 11) has had a similar effect. Fully one quarter of the campus has taken part in a day-and-night vigil in the center of the campus, and a large majority of both faculty and students are boycotting classes and dining facilities. Our requests are reasonable, the demonstrations orderly and the goals worthwhile, but let no one call us timid again.
April 22, 1968
WITHIN THE GATES
I seldom feel compelled to write letters to editors in answer to articles that are properly within their domain and beyond my usual concern. Nevertheless, I think that certain parts of Dan Jenkins' article on the Roch Cup races in Aspen, in which I had some responsibility (It's America—at Last, March 25), warrant some comment from me. With respect to his critical observations on the slalom course that I set, I concede that there may be a considerable discrepancy between Mr. Jenkins' idea of a proper class-A course and mine. However, if you will recall, in January of this year at the Lauberhorn Race in Wengen, Switzerland (one of the biggest in the world) 44 racers out of 80 fell or were disqualified. Could that have been the result of "crazy combinations" of "almost illegal gates" or of a "mystery course," a course "without rhythm"? I was not in Wengen to set the course, but in any event I feel that the world's best competitors should be able to handle any type of slalom. What is more, every course is examined before a race. Had "almost illegal" gates been a part of my course in Aspen, certainly I would have been informed or the gates would have been changed. Any proper slalom course has rhythm, as did mine, and the task of a great skier must be to find and maintain that rhythm when other skiers cannot. Obviously Bill Kidd and Jean-Claude Killy, in his first run, found that rhythm.
It is true that my course had 74 gates. The maximum number of gates is 75. As we all know, the slalom in Grenoble was no real test for the world's great slalom experts, because it was much too short—49 seconds long. In contrast, Toni Sailer's time in Cortina in his first run of the 1956 Olympic slalom was 87.3. If some of the racers had difficulty with my course it was not necessarily the fault of the course or the racers. It could well be that, regrettably, there has been a tendency to set a too-easy course for the outstanding abilities of the top racers today.
Last and probably the least of Mr. Jenkins' inaccuracies was his report of my own time on the course. Since I was merely a forerunner, my time was completely irrelevant. However, Jenkins makes a point of supporting his rather emotional description of me by citing my time—"for what it's worth"—as five seconds behind that of Killy. In reality I was clocked at five-tenths of a second behind him. If Mr. Jenkins felt compelled to report my time, I would have appreciated his doing so accurately.
Dan Jenkins' attack on Anderl Molterer was uncalled for. Mr. Molterer is hardly the type to "dance around" at any finish. He is a true sportsman and a man of tremendous dignity. It is regrettable that such a story should have reached the medium of the printed word.
West Nyack, N.Y.
I'm writing to congratulate Robert Cantwell on his fine article, Mystery Makes a Writer (March 25). As a horsewoman myself, I have long enjoyed Dick Francis' books about racing, and it was exciting to read Cantwell's descriptions of Francis' racing career. The episode dealing with Devon Loch was truly interesting. However, several questions are raised: Did Devon Loch race after that Grand National in 1956? How did he fare and what has become of him?
WINNIE LOU DAVIS
•Devon Loch did race again, and very well—with two firsts and two seconds in four outings—until, 10 months after the Grand National, he ran in the Mild-may Memorial Handicap at Sandown. Devon Loch was second, cantering in the stretch, when he stopped and began to rock, stiff-legged, back and forth. He finished fourth, but he had broken down. Although a course of electrotherapy left the 12-year-old mystery horse sound once more, he was not raced and was soon retired to Sandringham. In 1962 he fell lame and was destroyed.—ED.
As an ardent fan of both the Philadelphia 76ers and the Flyers, I would like to thank you for shedding some light on the Spectrum mess (A Heavy Blow in a Windy City, April 1) and letting the rest of the nation become more aware of what transpired during the forgettable month of March. Even though the 76ers and the Flyers managed to stay in the NBA and NHL races, this whole situation could not have arisen at a more undesirable time for them.
Perhaps the best quote to come out of this thing was made by a Philadelphia sportswriter: "There are a lot of sports fans in Philadelphia, many of whom will vote in the next election, and they have fantastic memories."
The reason the Spectrum was closed when the roof blew off is that Philadelphia has a ban on topless performances.
JOHN J. LYONS
TIME FOR CHANGE
Your SCORECARD item "In a Fix" (March 4) and the subsequent comments by ECAC Commissioner Asa Bushnell and YMCA Assistant Director John Marsh of Binghamton, N.Y. (19TH HOLE, March 18) should arouse basketball coaches throughout the country to urge their athletic directors to take action against the legislation forbidding summer and outside basketball competition. All coaches are aware that summer basketball competition involving college athletes is taking place in camps of various sorts throughout the country. I believe one has to be naive to overlook this fact. The rule has been found to be totally unenforceable unless one college athlete or coach blows the whistle on another. How many individuals, like Charles Fix, have been penalized in the past while others have been allowed to participate?
I also question the right of an athletic conference to dictate to any student what type of activity he is or is not allowed to participate in during a period (summer) when the conference has no jurisdiction over him. As long as he remains an amateur, what question should there be?
It is certainly up to the directors of college athletics to take a critical look at this situation. Basketball coaches have lived with this "monster" for the past 15 years, and since the colleges are at fault for creating the rule, they are the only ones who can repeal it. Let us do something about this ridiculous rule at the next NCAA convention.
JOHN V. GLINSKI
Varsity Basketball Coach
State University College
I read with interest the account by Martin Kane of the decline of college boxing (College Boxing's Last Round, March 11). I suppose the reasons given by Athletic Directors Ivy Williamson of Wisconsin and William W. Cobey of Maryland for the decline of the sport are well taken. They do not, however, apply at Nevada.
I have had the privilege for the past five or six years of working out in the University of Nevada gymnasium where the boxers train. I have watched them closely, and the methods of Coach Jim Olivas, his patience, his insistence on their learning and mastering the fundamentals before they go on to more complicated procedures, have been eye-openers to me. When, finally, these fundamentals are integrated into a complete performance, the result is astonishing.
I have seen green, gauche but game boys turned, after a season or two, into polished fighters; boys with a lack of confidence in themselves turned into self-confident boxers, with a consequent improvement in their morale that extended far beyond and above the boxing that gave it. These boys are not street fighters, understand. They are not initiated into the tricks of alley fighting. But they could give a good account of themselves in any encounter with hooliganism, because they have been taught the fundamentals of the art of self-defense. Two of our boxers, both fast boys, had no supervision in boxing before they came to the university and into Jimmie Olivas' competent hands. Of the others who distinguished themselves on the Nevada team, none worked out with Golden Glove intentions or an ambition to make boxing a career. The point I am trying to make is that these are average young boys (if anybody is average) who were benefited by the training Nevada and our small California Collegiate Boxing Conference afforded them in a sport that I feel amateurism should cling to no matter how much smoke-filled rooms, crooked betting and sharp practices have impaired it professionally.
I called them average boys. Perhaps normal is a better word. They were good boys in the collegiate boxing ring. They were good boys in my classes. They would be good boys in any endeavor in which they set their minds and wills and muscles to win. They are our best American stuff.
I wish that every boy who has the requisites could have a coach like Jimmie Olivas to train him and a conference like ours (Nevada-California-Chico-Stanford) in which to practice and perform.
PAUL R. ELDRIDGE
Professor of English
University of Nevada