Tex Maule has to be fearless to predict Washington over Dallas in the National Conference's Eastern Division race (Pro Football '70, Sept. 21). The Cowboys have enough depth to win over the Redskins (not to mention the Giants, Cardinals or Eagles) with only the use of their reserves. He should have stuck with the "chokers." This is the year they will go all the way. Coach Tom Landry's complicated defense may cause some confusion for the team, but it will undoubtedly baffle the opposition with its intricacy. With the doomsday defense and that explosive offense, we stand an excellent chance of seeing the Lombardi Trophy on Clint Murchison's desk the Monday morning after the Super Bowl.
Tex Maule has really outdone himself this year. How can he pick the Washington Redskins to defeat the Cowboys, who are solid at every position and have an assortment of All-Pros? And picking Pittsburgh in the American Conference Central Division? That's a little ridiculous. The Bengals, Browns and Oilers each have a shot at the title. The Steelers could possibly finish last. Mr. Maule, however, made an excellent selection in picking Detroit to win its division. One final prediction: the Jets in the American East.
West Hempstead, N.Y.
Reading Tex Maule's prediction of the Vikings finishing second in the National Central Division and his statement that Gary Cuozzo is just a good second-string quarterback upset me very much.
Cuozzo may be a good second-string quarterback, but he is still better than most NFL first-string quarterbacks. He proved that against the Chiefs (The Future Moves into the Past, Sept. 28). With a defense like the Vikings have, Charlie Brown and his All-Stars could win the Central Division.
HUGH E. BELGARD
Saint Peter, Minn.
I would think Tex Maule would be tired by now of watching his hand-picked champions being defeated each season by the team he refuses to admit exists, the Cleveland Browns. However, everyone enjoys football his own way, I guess.
Oh, by the way, Tex, this year Christmas comes early. The date is Oct. 3 in Cleveland. Dress warm, we're awfully cold toward the Steelers.
Fantastic, unbelievable, incredible, stupid are all words used to describe Tex Maule's past predictions. This year add a new word—consistent.
FUNNY & SAD
Both Booth Lusteg and John Underwood should be given a Pulitzer for their article (The Coach Wants to See You, Sept. 21). It was a brilliant piece of writing, funny and sad at just the right places. Its pathos and timing are worthy of Charlie Chaplin.
I howled all the way to my 2 o'clock appointment with my psychiatrist. The people on the bus thought there was something wrong with me.
Lusteg can take one consolation: Losers are always more interesting than winners, especially after the Butkus article. But as Lusteg might say, "After a while, losing gets to be a drag." A thousand hurrahs on an inspired piece of writing.
Department of English
University of Iowa
Please ask Booth Lusteg to write another article on the Science of Paper-Cup Kicking, or maybe the Paper-Cup Kicking Game, as soon as possible. Perhaps he could sell his paper-cup idea to some toy manufacturer and get out of football for good!
Honestly, I do admire Booth's magnificent obsession. And his story was hilarious. Just hope he qualifies for the Players' Pension Fund soon. Surely he deserves it.
Your article on Booth Lusteg calls to mind the story circulating in the Buffalo area after he missed that 23-yard field goal against San Diego in 1966. When asked by an old friend how the world was treating him, Booth replied, "Oh, I can't kick."
GEORGE J. STRACHAN
Robert Jones deserves a promotion for his fantastic article about Dick Butkus of the Bears (The Man in the Middle, Sept. 21). Being a loyal Bear fan, I love any story concerning the Bears, but this was the utmost.
Thank goodness Dick Butkus doesn't roam the streets at night. Or does he?
Your picture of Dick Butkus "biting" Willis Crenshaw's fingers goes to show the public what a vicious person he really is. Is it any wonder people label Mr. Butkus an animal? The picture speaks for itself. Back to your cage, Dick.
Not only did Robert Jones point out that Dick Butkus is the game's best middle linebacker but that Chicago's Big Bad Bear can actually talk. Not to mention that he directs the Bears' defense, one of the most complex in pro football.
Double congratulations! First to Mr. Bob Gibson on his Hall of Fame-caliber achievements and secondly to you for bringing this not-widely-known fact to your sportsminded public (In a Changing Cast, One Guy Still Gives a Hoot, Sept. 21). In a profession where facts and figures inexorably chronicle a man's success or failure, Mr. Gibson's accomplishments, seen in the light of his intense pride and dedication, make him worthy of the adulation of us all and in turn make those of us from cities other than St. Louis more keenly appreciate this rare performer when we have an all-too-infrequent opportunity to see him work. May SI continue to inform its readers of such milestones of greatness in their midst.
M. P. SULLIVAN
Brown Deer, Wis.
Is there any question who should get the Cy Young Award this year? Not only as of this writing is he 23-6 but he is hitting .311 with two home runs and 19 RBIs. He has walked only 2½ batters every nine innings and he strikes out eight per game. Whenever he tires on the mound, he can see only an equally weary Chuck Taylor in the bullpen and that's all, so he always goes all the way. His name? Bob Gibson.
GENE P. BAKER JR.
Bob Gibson's fastball couldn't break a window. At least not in the "one national endorsement" mentioned by William Leggett. For that commercial Gibson fired six innings' worth of fastballs at a window pane—and couldn't so much as crack it. The reason he couldn't is that the window was made of Lexan—a remarkable polycarbonate from General Electric. It was not Plexiglas, as Leggett stated.
Durstine & Osborn, Inc.
New York City
SEAT OF THE PANTS
Re your article on the flying circuses (Look, Ma, No Hands, Sept. 14), although youthful innocence made me doubt it for a time, 20 years of active service in the U.S. Air Force ultimately convinced me that the slogan preached by the Blue Corps in magazines, on hangar walls and over the doors of operations shacks was indeed true: "There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots."
Cool, confident, intrepid men like Bevo Howard (age 56) must scan such slogans and chuckle inwardly. The jet age has shorn single-seat flying of much of its joy and freedom. The modern military pipe jock is little more than an engineer trussed up in a G suit.
And do you know what the modern-day Air Force pilot does for kicks? He joins the local Aero Club and spends his off-duty time putt-putting about the countryside in a Piper or a Cessna and exulting in the seat-of-the-pants flying that, nowadays, comes in no other way.
ROBERT G. HENDERSON
Master Sergeant, USAF (Ret.)
LOVE THAT LANNY
One of our students, Lanny Wadkins, won the U.S. Amateur golf tournament with a record-setting score. (Big Amateur Shoot-out at Generation Gap, Sept. 14), and our people have been basking in the glory of his victory.
This morning, however, I read the article by Curry Kirkpatrick of your magazine and have to admit that he has worked hard to take the gloss off the victory. Lanny is a truly fine young man of much better than average intelligence. To picture him as anything less is doing him a real disservice, and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should be above such unfair reporting.
Director of Athletics
Wake Forest University
To those of us in the Richmond area who have known Lanny Wadkins and have followed his career in golf since he first began playing when he was 8 years old, and who have personally witnessed the tremendous personal sacrifice that this boy and all the members of his family have made to enable him to become the U.S. Amateur champion, your article was not only distorted but repulsive.
It seems that your publication no longer places any value on the qualities that make up a great athlete, and we had always thought in the past that articles in sporting news publications such as yours were written by people who knew what they were talking about. It is obvious to us from the tenor of the article that Kirkpatrick never met Lanny, knows nothing of his background and could not care less, so long as the story came off as an urbane bit of humor—at the expense of a terrific athlete who also happens to be a 20-year-old boy.
OLIVER D. RUDY
WILLIAM R. SHELTON
ERNEST P. GATES
David McKenzie of La Salle, other student body presidents and college administrations might do well to take a look at finances and scholarships in other areas of college life before deciding that money spent on intercollegiate sports is a poor investment (SCORECARD, Sept. 14).
What have the losses been in property damages, endowments, etc. on campuses experiencing student violence, as against amounts spent for intercollegiate sports on those campuses? At a great many colleges the athletic programs bring money into the schools and to businesses in the college towns. Campuses troubled with violence cause additional expense to local and state law-enforcement agencies, as well as causing losses to local businesses and increasing their insurance premiums.
If it gets down to dollars and cents, let's consider where you get the most for the dollar—on a football field and a basketball court or in broken windows, shattered furnishings and bombed-out buildings? Has anybody figured out how many holders of scholarships take part in student violence? Or how much money their activities bring into the school's treasury?
Check it out before blaming the rising tuition costs on the athletic departments.
Valley Stream, N.Y.
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