BELL, BOOK AND BOO-BOO
The article by William Reed (He Whistles While He Works, Aug. 10) about Tommy Bell, the NFL football referee and his crew of Graf, Kelleher, Jorgensen, Toler and Harder was most interesting, informative, educational and enjoyable. They are good.
WILLIAM H. (RED) FRIESELL JR.
Stone Harbor, N.J.
Thousands of Arkansas football fans would be sleeping much better if Reed hid been able to chronicle Bell's rise to pro football officialdom without bringing up that painful Ole Miss incident. Since he found fit to exhume this ghost, however, equal time should be given to correct some discrepancies.
No field goal figured in the 1958 scoring. The Rebels won 14-12 when the Porkers failed to complete a two-point conversion pass in the final seconds for a tie. Bell's boo-boo occurred in the 1960 game, and it is the circumstances surrounding the call, almost as much as the ruling itself, that have stuck in Arkansas craws ever since. Here's the way it looked from the stands:
The Rebs tied it in the third quarter and the two teams slugged it out through the fourth until, with about three minutes left, Jake Gibbs rallied the Rebels toward the goal in what everyone knew would be his last chance to salvage something. The noise in the stadium was deafening. Then, with the minute hand beginning its final round, Gibbs called time and in came Allen Green for what was to be a fairly long-range field-goal attempt.
Gibbs started the count, drawing it out in the hope that an anxious Razorback might jump the gun and reduce the range five yards. Referee Bell suddenly jumped into the play, signaling time-out, at the precise instant Green was drilling it straight and true through the uprights. After hurried consultations with the other officials, Bell motioned both teams to line up again in the same spot.
On the second attempt the kick sliced wide of the post. Green kicked the turf in disgust and the other Ole Miss players started trooping dejectedly off the field. A startled roar from the crowd brought them up short, however, as Bell held his arms upright, indicating a three-pointer. So there it is, right or wrong: Mississippi 10, Arkansas 7.
WILBUR L. WATERS
•Bell's recall of the game was faulty, but SI accepts the penalty. It was 1960 and Allen Green, not Bob Khayat, was the kicker.—ED.
It is about time someone wrote an article praising the men who are involved in every play and without whom the game would be chaos. Unlike the players, they are not applauded whenever they make a good call. They are unnoticed until they are maligned.
Oops! There went Tommy Bell's treasured anonymity.
W. BANKSON JR.
Congratulations on your very funny story about the Pittsburgh baseball club (No Disgruntlements Round Here, Aug. 10). However, the Pirates are not, as you strongly imply, merely a band of moronic pranksters. They are a young ball club with a surplus of talent and a potential for greatness. Laugh while you can—the Pirates will have the last one.
Why is it that SI annually characterizes baseball league leaders as loose, happy, etc.? As a stalwart Buc fan for 23 years, I take exception to your aggregating my team in that group of euphoric winners! The Bucs have pirated their way to the top via deft fielding, copious hitting and various other parameters of performance.
ROBERT A. DITTLER
Silver Spring, Md.
It sounded like a reprint of your 1966 articles on the Pirates' rising hopes, only then it was the Black Max and the green weenie. They didn't win then; they won't win now. Only the names have been changed.
H. W. RAUTENBERG
OVER THE WALL
Your readers might be interested to know that Malcolm Braly, ex-convict and current author (Prison Games and Other Escapes, Aug. 10), has pulled off a hat trick of his own. In addition to the two novels about prison life which Malcolm has sold to the movies, he's just closed a deal with Spillane-Fellows Productions for his nonprison novel Shake Him Till He Rattles. And it isn't about sports, either, in case anyone thinks it might refer to a quarterback vs. the Rams' Front Four. Shake Him is a perceptive look at young people on their own, and we hope to be shooting it in San Francisco and Los Angeles this winter.
Spillane-Fellows Productions, Inc.
Universal City, Calif.
Malcolm Braly,s article on prison sports should remind us of that marvelous quality of sport which permeates all of life's strata—its ability to create in man something deeply individualistic, even while walled off from society. Let's hope that articles such as this can bring to the public's attention the fact that our prisons do hold a sizable segment of our population—men who deserve a second chance.
It was a brilliant piece of writing—tight, razor-sharp and wise.
Was Dave Hill the winner of the Westchester Classic? According to Mark Mulvoy (Plain Words at Westchester, Aug. 10), Bruce Crampton lost the limelight. Where is the credit for a truly competitive as well as consistent golfer such as Crampton? After all, he did win $50,000, didn't he?
I'm for Dave Hill all the way. Whatever he has to say about golf or golf courses, I'm sure he means it. I don't even blame him for saying it. He must have something those other guys haven't got. A guy who can shoot a 63 in smog and pollution can't be all bad. Thanks for the article, Mark.
Week after week we hear about controversial people such as golfer Dave Hill and his remarks about the U.S. Open course or Jim Bouton and his book about the outside activities of his fellow teammates. Enough of this controversy—write about the average sports figure. For example, why not do a story on Ralph Houk? He is as straight as anyone alive, and to prove it he is leading the Yankees straight to the doghouse. Houk's story might appropriately be titled Major Houk, or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Lose Efficiently.
One can hardly blame Florida Quarterback John Reaves for wondering exactly what a sophomore quarterback must do in the Southeastern Conference in order to gain a little attention (SCORECARD, Aug. 10). Last year Reaves not only led the nation in passing, he broke records that had stood for as long as 20 years, such as Frankie Sinkwich's SEC record for total offense in a season and Babe Parilli's mark for touchdown passes in a season. More important, he took a team that had been given little hope to a record of 9-1-1, including a Gator Bowl victory over the conference champions, Tennessee.
JAMES C. LAMPLEY
Chapel Hill, N.C.
In response to Reaves' comment that Curt Watson of Tennessee couldn't carry Florida Running Back Tommy Durrance's chin strap, I can assure you that someone will have to carry it after Florida meets the Volunteers in Knoxville on Oct. 24. After watching Watson for three seasons I have no doubt that he will be All-SEC and, most likely, an All-America pick.
Congratulations for extolling the virtues of the good side of boxing and presenting a picture of two outstanding individuals associated with the sport (Chip Off the Old Redwood, Aug. 10). I boxed for Ray Lunny at Stanford and am still a close friend of his and young Ray's. Anybody who knew Lunny at Stanford idolized him for the kind of person he is: kind, humorous, tough and yet sensitive. And young Ray is a chip off the old redwood, although I would hesitate to say "old" too loudly.
I wish individuals like the Lunnys, who are not only a credit to their sport but to anything they're involved in, could be brought to the public's attention more often. Then and only then would the uninformed come to understand the many benefits of boxing at its grass-roots level, whether it be YMCA, PAL, college or AAU and Olympic. A truly great sport could be returned to its deserved status.
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