SIGHT, SOUND AND FURY
Delving into the personalities of television sportscasters made for a quite amusing story on their not-so-inactive world (Towering Babble and [Sob] Heidi, Jan. 19). We, as Super Spectator, are blind to the man behind the mike. Rather, it is the event that engrosses our minds. However, I must contest Roone Arledge's statement that today's menagerie of announcers lacks controversy or fails to voice a definite opinion. Obviously, he is oblivious of one Howard Cosell. The bite and arrogance of Cosell is unmatched in a profession dominated by neutrality. Whether accusing Ali or nagging Namath, his feelings are never hidden. And what molds this uniqueness of character is his sarcastic delivery—a trait that marked his sports reporting in the 1960s. Not too many fans find Howard Cosell endearing, yet you've got to respect that tell-it-like-it-is style.
East Dubuque, Ill.
If old Jack Dolph of CBS really told you that "old Marty was over there shopping our bid" and "spilled" a CBS offer to ABC (Adventures of Superspy!, Jan. 12), he was confused, blind or out to lunch. Or maybe he just never understood the situation.
In 10 years of television, film and radio negotiations for CBS, and later on behalf of various clients, including the PGA Tournament Players Division, I have never shopped a bid or otherwise broken a confidence. This is a matter of ethics, but it is also a business essential that a network can trust me with an offer for a month or more during long and complex negotiations.
I was seen at ABC by a friend at CBS on a day in 1966 when I had a later CBS meeting scheduled, but CBS' initial offer to buy out the 1967 PGA golf package already had been rejected as too low. Thus no offer was pending when I visited ABC. Executives at CBS know this, the then CBS Sports business director will bear it out and Jack Dolph knows it, too. At the subsequent meeting with CBS they made a further offer, which was also rejected. Only then did I open negotiations with ABC and Sports Network, which later led to the biggest golf television sale in history and the first two-network sports package.
Dolph's memory is foggy on other points. 1) While he may often have "rested his weary eyes" at the office, his office never faced ABC. 2) No "confrontation" with me was "arranged." I simply kept my appointment with CBS. 3) For the record, Barry Frank's office still faces CBS, and they do not draw the blinds when I am there.
We have all enjoyed laughing about the "I saw you over there" incident, but any bid-shopping allegations are totally unjustified, as all parties concerned know.
New York City
Frank Deford's article on the Carolina Cougars and their regional franchise (My Baby Is Called the Kahlahnah Koogahs, Jan. 19) is indeed interesting, and his reference to Virginia as possibly being the area where the next such franchise could be successful is encouraging to all of us local sports-starved pro basketball fans. However, his reference to the new arenas located in Norfolk, Richmond and Roanoke was a direct, though probably unintentional, slap in the face to us Hamptonians.
Hampton has a beautiful, spanking-new 9,000-seat coliseum that officially opens on Jan. 31, although it has been hosting college and high school basketball since early in December. The arenas in the other cities mentioned are far from being completed and, in fact, one of them has consistently fallen behind its construction schedule. How about some credit where credit is due?
N. WOODROW PUSEY
I am certain that North Carolinians welcomed Frank Deford's appealing description of "the best basketball state in the country" with the same enthusiasm that greeted his "baby." Mr. Deford's article concerning the team that has added new dimension to an already exciting panorama of Tar Heel basketball evidences his knowledge of a happily pandemonic situation. I only wish he had elaborated further on the creators of our "great sense of pride": North Carolina, Davidson, North Carolina State, Duke and Wake Forest. Also included in this elite group is another Atlantic Coast Conference member, South Carolina.
The Kahlahnah Koogahs have come into our area of basketball tradition. They have fused together the ardent supporters of a number of hardwood dynasties. They have encroached on the top college basketball region in America. And they are welcome.
WILLIAM F. WINSLOW
I found a remark in the article on the Carolina Cougars quite provocative and certainly worthy of some comment. It had to do with the people of North Carolina thinking that theirs is the best basketball state in the country.
Exactly what is meant by "best basketball state" I am not sure, but if it means the state that uses scenic campuses and spacious field houses to lure most of the top talent from the New York metropolitan area into attending its colleges, then North Carolina unquestionably deserves this distinction. Last year, as St. John's and Duquesne were defeated by Davidson and North Carolina in the NCAA regional tournament, I heard several derogatory shouts and comments concerning the quality of Northern basketball. If these avid proponents of Carolina basketball would consult the rosters of their favorite teams, they would find that a significant number of the good basketball players at the various institutions in their state come from the New York area. I guess if Carolinians want to go around saying that their colleges recruit the best players it's okay, but I certainly can't imagine anyone beating his breast about the "best basketball state" if he realizes that a place like Newark, N.J. produces better basketball players than a state with a population 10 times as large.
M. LESTER LYNCH
Jersey City, N.J.
I certainly hope Frank Deford's ego has come back down to earth. While patting his own back so loudly and often, he still came up with his usual well-written and interesting article. However, a little local knowledge might have made it more palatable to some.
There is the matter of describing Bill Currie as an "intellectual rascal." I'll bet his high school teachers (if he ever had any) fell out of their chairs on that one. Any resemblance to The Mouth's broadcasts and the actual games themselves is purely coincidental. Thank heaven he is not a referee. Carolina would need only a half or less to dispatch its opponents, who would either be fouled out or awestruck at the wonderfulness of his impartiality.
RICHARD H. STICKNEY
Re Go Back to a New Grass Shack (Jan. 12), you no write da kine about Hawaii. First of all, one docs not find Miller High Life (UGH!) beer cans on Waikiki beach; Primo beer cans, yes, but never, never Miller.
Secondly, one living on Oahu does not go "out" island; are you confusing this with outhouse? One does go outer island.
Third, you did not mention one little word about the island of Kauai, second to Oahu (in tourist dollars), first in beauty and the best preserved.
Last and most important: only a malihini or tourist would refer to someone from New York as a "new arrival from the Stales." Shame on you! He was a new arrival from the MAINLAND!
Maybe the sun, fresh air, aloha spirit and relaxing atmosphere (or was it the models?) went to your head. I am one of the many residents who will say, let's keep Hawaii for the Hawaiians and you, bruddah, can stay home.
MRS. ROBERT GILFOY
•O.K., Primo, dat's da kine. Outer island? Visitors Bureau say neighbor island da kine. Stateside? Dat's da kine thing malihini doc say, not SI.—ED
There is some question in my mind whether a swimsuit fashion layout is pertinent to the content and purposes of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. There is no question in my mind that your lead picture (page 35, Jan. 12) is not.
In my opinion this type of thing prostitutes your fine magazine in the same way that similar content is prostituting otherwise excellent movies, books, etc. Quite simply, it downgrades the quality of your publication.
I think the editor who approved the inclusion of this picture demonstrates a complete lack of judgment of the type of content that holds and attracts your readers.
Our heartiest congratulations to SI and Bob Ottum for the refreshing article about exotic Hawaii. Although preoccupied with the pictures, we found the article a relaxing interruption of our otherwise strenuous final week. We know that a great number of critical letters will pour in, so we thought that we would say 81 guys are loving the article. Just as sports-minded as any of the SI readers, we are eagerly awaiting the next scandalous issue. Our nominee for Sportsman of the Year is Bob Ottum.
ALPHA KAPPA LAMBDA
University of Kansas
I greatly enjoyed the Hawaiian swimwear article in your Jan. 12 issue, particularly the picture of Ann Peterson on page 41. It is refreshing to see an all-American girl doing some modeling for a change. If you keep it up you may put those skeletons in Vogue and McCall's out of business.
I was very disturbed by the bathing suit display. I can understand the sports fashion value of the article, but was it necessary to exhibit the fashion trends in such a shockingly suggestive manner?
I, for one, refuse to patronize such an action.
MARSHALL S. FRITZ
OFFENSE, PAST AND FUTURE
While I was reading your Jan. 19 account of the Super Bowl (Wham, Bam, Stram!), I came upon this quote from Hank Stram: "This game will match the offense of the future against the offense of the past."
Well, Mr. Stram was forgetting that he has a formation called the Model T.
The Vikings may have discovered America, but the Chiefs were already here.
Kansas City, Mo.
As a longtime subscriber to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED I have been amused and angered but always intrigued by the articles written by Tex Maule. As a staunch Jet fan and advocate of the AFL, I could easily aim some biting and sarcastic remarks at Mr. Maule. Instead I choose to defend him.
Pity poor Tex, for here stands the king's champion whose king has deserted him. We must recognize that Mr. Maule writes with keen insight and complete objectivity. For who else would state, "The pro football championship of the world was rather definitely decided on a mushy field in Cleveland on Dec. 29 when the Baltimore Colts crushed the Browns 34-0" (Jan. 13, 1969)? It was Tex Maule who also wrote of the invincibility of Joe Kapp and The Purple People Eaters (Merciless Minnesota, Nov. 3).
AFL fans should not judge Mr. Maule too harshly, for he is not the Oracle from Delphi. Rather, his prognostications are more like those made by the captain of the Titanic.
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