I would like to congratulate William Leggett for his very fine article on the World Series (Flying Start for the Big Bad Birds, Oct. 19). I especially liked the pictures. I felt as though I was there in the stands.
Your World Series issue deserves praise. William Leggett told it like it is. It was inevitable that Baltimore would win; throughout the season the Orioles showed themselves to be outstanding and all together.
For one who is annually mesmerized by the TV set during the World Series, the athletic prowess of Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell, Paul Blair, Lee May, Johnny Bench, et al. proved a continual thrill. But the most pleasing moment of all (particularly since my choice had been the Big Red Machine) was the display of sheer dignity and gentility by the person who probably felt least like being courtly or accommodating—Cincinnati Manager Sparky Anderson. He deserves the greatest plaudits of all for his humble and obviously sincere congratulations to the Orioles when the sting of defeat was still pronounced. How refreshing to witness such conduct from a classic sportsman! So congratulations and thanks, too, to Sparky and the 1970 Reds for having given baseball a much needed injection of talent, fortitude and enthusiasm.
CAROL D. DUNCAN
I would like to nominate Brooks Robinson for SI's Sportsman of the Year award. I feel that the way he demoralized the Cincinnati Reds with his glove and terrorized them with his bat earns him much consideration for this award. But more important was his humility in victory. After having disassembled the Big Red Machine, he refused to boast or gloat. Brooks Robinson truly is a sportsman.
JAMES E. TUCKER
As an avid New York Ranger fan I may be a little prejudiced, but Mark Mulvoy must have Bobby Orr, Derek Sanderson and the Boston Bruins constantly on his mind. His article, It's Gotta Be Orr—Or Else (Oct. 19), hardly previews hockey's new season. He writes 12 paragraphs on the Bruins, only one on the Canadiens, two on the Rangers, with the remaining 11 teams neatly compressed into the last 10 paragraphs. Pardon me, the very last paragraph returns to Mulvoy's hero, Mr. Orr.
The clincher appears on page 4 of the same issue (LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER), along with a picture of Mulvoy and his other hero, Sanderson. You say: "Naturally Mark was a Bruin fan." Was? He still is!
JOHN F. HUBBARD
Forest Hills, N.Y.
Mark Mulvoy seems to disapprove of the NHL's decision to add two teams to the league. I agree that there will be some mismatches (in a recent game, Buffalo took about 17 shots on goal while Montreal blitzed Roger Crozier with 50), but at least the fans in Buffalo will now get to see Hull, Howe, Beliveau and even the Bruins in the flesh. What would Mark Mulvoy have done as a youth in Boston if he couldn't have watched the Bruins?
I am aggravated and upset. If the fate of the National Hockey League rests on Bobby Orr's shoulders for fan interest and profit, then the league is in bad shape. True, Orr is a great hockey player, but how far will you go to praise him? Bobby Orr and the Bruins take a back seat to Bobby Hull and the Black Hawks but, unfortunately, this was not the case in your article.
If Mulvoy would go to Montreal or Toronto, where the most knowledgeable fans are, he would notice that Gordie Howe gets the loudest accolades of any opposing player. Howe is Mr. Hockey, not Orr. NHL attendance was near capacity before expansion and the heralded arrival of the Boy Wonder. The action and spirit of the game is what has made hockey a truly major league sport. One man does not make a sport.
Oak Park, Mich.
Yours is the finest preview of an NHL season that I have ever read. I'm glad you gave credit where credit was due. Thanks.
My compliments to Harry Sinden and SI for informing the public as to the unfortunate circumstances surrounding his departure from Boston (No Room at the Top for Me, Oct. 19). It is easy for one to forget Sinden's role in leading the Bruins to the Stanley Cup when the headlines are reserved for Orr, Cheevers, Esposito, Sanderson, et al. Granted, only the men on the ice can put the puck into the net. However, a coach who knows how to adjust to injuries, what defensive assignments to make and, most importantly, how to keep team morale at a peak and individual animosities to a minimum is indispensable to a championship club. I only hope that the Bruins will not now find themselves in the position of the Los Angeles Lakers—a team with all the horses but without the right jockey to get them to the finish line first.
LESTER B. SLATE
The Joe Kapp situation has been one of the major headliners in sports so far this fall, and I, for one, am happy to see it resolved. Jack Olsen's excellent feature on Joe Kapp's marriage to Boston (He Goes Where the Trouble Is, Oct. 19) rekindled in me a grudging admiration for this supertough, flamboyant ballplayer. The Patriots may not be Super Bowl material yet, but with Mr. Kapp in charge they may surprise a few people in the remaining games.
I must admit that Joe Kapp is the best thing that's happened to Boston in quite a while, but you made him out to be some kind of god from heaven (or Minnesota). I doubt that a presence of one man will make Boston a winner.
I cannot see why the people of Boston got so excited about their new quarterback. As a Pittsburgh Steeler fan who has watched Terry Hanratty take control and lose 13 straight games, followed by Terry Bradshaw, the surefire golden boy from Louisiana who has guided our team in its first three losses this year, I can assure them that even their beer-drinking man of machismo can't take a second-rate team to a 7-7 record.
When I first read about Joe Kapp in SI (Man of Machismo, July 20 et seq.), I thought he was really something. But what kind of a team man leaves his fellow players without a leader? If he loves the game and his men as much as he puts on, he should have stayed in Minnesota for nothing. I think Jack Olsen ought to reevaluate Kapp. Then maybe the title of his article would read He Goes Where the Money Is.
Our society is apt to do anything these days. Like glorify Joe Kapp in the name of Alan Page, Carl Eller, Jim Marshall and Gary Larsen.
East Dubuque, Ill.
Congratulations on a very fine article on the Texas Longhorns (The Woo of Texas Is Upon You, Oct. 19). Dan Jenkins has done an outstanding job of showing the rest of the people what Texas is like. Despite the loss of Cotton Speyrer (and a sad loss it is), I believe Texas will remain undefeated for the remainder of the regular season. With Steve Worster's Wooburgers and Eddie Phillips' expert playing ability, the Texas Longhorns will be setting up shop in the Cotton Bowl before anyone (including Arkansas) has a chance to think about it.
STEVE R. HAMBY
Carter Lake, Iowa
Darrell Royal may be a saint, but Ara is God (Keepers of the True Faith, Oct. 26).
Notre Dame, Ind.
I find it difficult to lend a sympathetic ear to Coaches Duffy Daugherty and John Pont about the recent decline of the Big Ten football fortunes (SCORECARD, Oct. 19). Perhaps more than others, we here on the Pacific Coast have for years been subjected to the insufferable and obnoxious remarks of Big Ten teams and their fans. They gloat when they win, make excuses or sulk when they lose and incessantly remind us of some innate (undefined) quality which makes Big Ten teams superior to all others. We learned long ago that they don't know how to lose any more gracefully than they knew how to win.
Daugherty attributes the Big Eight's success against Big Ten teams to more liberal redshirting and scholarship allowances. Perhaps. But this comment is most amusing coming from a coach whose teams so frequently reflect on his successful recruiting forays into Hawaii, Texas, the South, etc.
As for the Pacific Coast, the reason our teams have improved is obvious. The population of the whole area, especially California, has grown so much in the past decade that there are bound to be more good athletes. Then too, California's educational system, from high school through the junior college, college and university levels, all have highly developed athletic programs. This is evidenced by the preeminence of California teams in all sports in national competition. We have the teams because we have the population.
I suppose the solution to the Big Ten's present plight is for the schools to liberalize their policies, if that is the problem. In the meantime they might learn a little humility.
JOHN R. HUDSON
In view of the recent furor over the signing of Ralph Simpson by the Denver Rockets (SCORECARD, Oct. 19), I have given a great deal of thought to the problem of signing athletes prior to their college graduation.
It seems to me that one of the basic questions is whether all professional prospects belong in college in the first place. Most colleges pride themselves in high academic standards, and it seems only logical to assume that all athletes cannot possibly be able to live up to the standards of the classroom. Certainly many nonathlete students drop out or flunk out of college each year and become eligible for employment prior to their class's graduation. It seems unreasonable to ask a boy, just because he is an excellent athlete, to live by other rules.
Perhaps the colleges themselves are the cause of the problem by taking in a boy who should not be in college solely to have him play a sport. In such cases, the boy should be allowed to sign a professional contract right out of high school.
The only answer to this problem seems to lie in the development by both football and basketball of a minor league system as an adjunct to their present sole reliance on the colleges. I hate to see the professionals condemned, or the lives of such athletes as Haywood and Simpson questioned by college officials, who are at least part of the cause in the first place.
BERNARD F. JOY
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