Congratulations on realizing that the Ivy League has as much brawn as it does brains. Your acknowledgment of Cornell's Ed Marinaro (How They Do Run On, Nov. 1) was very much deserved. It has been a long time since someone has dominated the league like Ed has.
While playing fewer games than Steve Owens, Marinaro has surpassed his rushing record. If that does not earn him the Heisman Trophy, nothing will.
Dan Jenkins mentions the Houston Veer T and fails to acknowledge that Houston's Robert Newhouse is one of the best exponents of the triple option. Newhouse gained 182 yards against Alabama's vaunted defense in 22 carries (compared to Musso's 123 yards in 22 attempts). Newhouse followed with 192 yards in the Florida State game. Newhouse is also obvious in the "stats," ranking third in the country behind only Marinaro and Pruitt with 1,096 yards in seven games.
Speaking of Marinaro, since when did the Ivy League defenses become so excruciating to run through? Eastern sentiment should not play such a large role in the selection of ground gainers.
CARL F. RILEY
Bernard Jackson, senior tailback for Washington State, is constantly rolling up yardage against the Pacific Eight's best defenses. After WSU's fantastic upset of Stanford, in which he gained 141 yards on 24 carries, Jackson went into battle the next week against Bobby Moore of Oregon. While leading WSU to a 31-21 victory, Jackson set a WSU record by outgaining Moore 261 yards to 161 and took over Moore's Pacific Eight lead in rushing.
Your article really brought out the fact that this year's college teams are loaded with excellent backs. But you failed to mention Wisconsin's Rufus (Road Runner) Ferguson. Rufus has been the leading scorer in the Big Ten and, in my opinion, he is the best running back in the conference.
REASON TO RUN
Kenny Moore's sensitive insight into the world of cross-country running (They Take the Scenic Route, Nov. 1) is superb, not only for its content but also because it reflects the efforts of SI to continue to explore the meanings man has attached to his multidimensional sport form.
R. E. LYNDE
Rohnert Park, Calif.
I read with great enjoyment your article on cross-country. Seldom have you captured so well the esthetic side of a sport. You have made vivid to the reader a fact known by all cross-country runners: it is fun to run. Thanks.
RALPH G. POWELL
Coon Rapids, Minn.
Congratulations to Frank Deford for his fine article on Dick Motta, coach of the Chicago Bulls (Beware, Little Big Man Is Here, Oct. 25). It is great to see a man work his way to the top as Motta has, starting with junior high school and progressively earning his way higher. So many of the coaches in pro basketball today are ex-players with no previous coaching experience. It's nice to know that the man who works hard for success still has a chance to make it.
Thank goodness one NBA owner had the excellent judgment to seek out and, more importantly, to hire a coach and not just another NBA reject. There are other Mottas out here, coaches who can coach, who love the game and believe in playing it as a team effort. However, so far, too few owners have wised up. Instead, they hire, fire and rehire the same tired ex-players and ex-coaches.
Keep it up, Dick; keep coaching, a rarity in the NBA.
Regarding your fine article on Chicago Coach Dick Motta, Frank Deford states that Motta and Milwaukee Coach Larry Costello are the only NBA coaches with high school coaching experience. Upon checking the records, you may find that Portland Trail Blazer Coach Rolland Todd also fits into that exclusive category. Considering the excellent job Todd did with his expansion team last season, I think it is entirely fitting that he be grouped with the more successful Motta and Costello. However, in no way did this oversight detract from your article. Motta is truly an exceptional man.
APO New York
HIGH SCHOOL SCENE
I think Carlton Stowers' article A Pride of Lions in Cattle Country (Nov. 1) is not only a tribute to Coach Gordon Wood and the Brownwood (Texas) Lions but a tribute to all high school teams and coaches across the nation. Woody, Ara and Bear have long been gaining recognition for their accomplishments, and I think it's time we saluted the Gordon Woods. Not just anyone can get a 143-pound fullback to run for daylight!
THREE FOR THE SHOW (CONT.)
As an ex-jock and one who has been involved in radio and TV for the past nine years, I read your story on Howard Cosell, Don Meredith and Frank Gifford (What Are They Doing with the Sacred Came of Pro Football? Oct. 25) with a great deal of interest. I've known Howard for years, and I find him to be one of the most intelligent and stimulating of men, though I don't always agree with his pronouncements. His blanket statement about jocks not having specialized knowledge is ridiculous.
One of Howard's gripes about ex-jocks, and all sports announcers, is that they don't tell it "like it is." Howard hasn't been doing his homework. I place the late Don Hoak of the Pirates, Tom Brookshier of CBS Sports and myself in the category of being accurate and being honest.
This sounds like a pitch for the so-called color men, but it's not meant to be. There is no doubt that the play-by-play men still carry the ball, and that's the way it should be. However, I feel the ex-jock color men have also made a valuable contribution to radio and TV sports reporting.
THAT OLD GANG OF ALLEN'S
I was overjoyed with your article on the Redskins (The Ice-Cream Man Cometh, Oct. 25). The outstanding performance of the Over the Hill Gang has done much to soothe the pain of the Senators' departure. But, more important, our 'Skins have produced a winner in a town that has been starving for winners. Their early success has proven that Washington is a good sports town when it has a team that is not floundering in the depths of mediocrity.
After moving to Washington in 1959 I watched the Redskins in anguish and good faith for 10 years. Even after I left Washington, for the snow and skiing of Colorado, I always read the Monday paper to see how my Redskins had done on Sunday. But not until this year have I ever been so proud of a football team. I hope Washington goes all the way! Thank you, George Allen.
Congratulations to SI and John Underwood for the very fine article. But I guess the "old men" will have to beat Kansas City before anybody believes they are for real.
Now that the Saints have won the two victories you predicted for them (Scouting Reports, Sept. 20), I'd like to bring you up to date on the team. J. D. Roberts has done the best job with young material of any coach in the league. Our "leaky" defensive line dumped Cowboy Quarterback Craig Morton three times behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL; it also forced three interceptions and two fumbles. Our "leaky" secondary made three interceptions and held Duane Thomas to 58 yards rushing. And our "leaky" offensive line enabled Archie Manning to run for two touchdowns. Many other teams could use some "leaky" lines, if that's how "leaky" lines play.
JOE PATERNO'S BOYS
That was a great article by Pat Putnam (Saved by the Itch to Switch, Oct. 25). I have never read a better one about this fine Penn State team. All the credit for the team's success goes to Joe Paterno and his aggressive coaching, always working for the better.
Port Jervis, N.Y.
Penn State's Joe Paterno continues to prove that topnotch college football can be played without bending admission requirements or hiding players in the safety of the phys. ed. curriculum. When Paterno needed a new quarterback, he didn't look to the nearest farm team, i.e., junior college. He merely moved an aspiring accountant to the position. The defense, which includes engineering and science majors and three players averaging well over 3.0, has held opponents to fewer than 7.5 points a game through the first half of the season.
Paterno has brought his brainy troops southward to win Orange Bowl games in two of the last three years. I hope he gets the chance to do it again.
Re your article on the United States Sailboat Show at Annapolis (They Do Go Near the Water, Oct. 25), please note that the ferro-cement hull built there was not "slapped together."
The logistical and space problems involved in the actual construction of a hull at a boat show were overcome only by careful preparation and exceptional effort. Even, though, as you pointed out, 2½ inches of rain were dumped on us on cementing day, we went right ahead and finished the hull on schedule. To my knowledge, nobody has ever built a comparable hull (32 feet) of any material at a boat show before.
The reasons for building the hull were to demonstrate the ease of construction (375 man-hours) and the low cost ($900 in materials) of ferro-cement construction, as well as to encourage the amateur builder. For those of us who don't have $39,000 in $100 bills to peel off for a new C&C 39, ferro-cement construction offers a path to yacht ownership without heavy expenditure. In addition, our ferro-cement boats will likely outlive us.
Samson Marine Design Enterprises Ltd.
HALF AN INCH AND A LOT OF DUST
You stated in SCORECARD ("New England Style," Oct. 25) that, in its recent game against Vermont, Rhode Island "marched 99 yards, two feet and 11½ inches to score." Cute, but wrong. You forgot that a football is approximately 11½ inches long. The "front" of the football determines the line of scrimmage—the "front" depending upon who has the ball. Thus, when possession changes, the line of scrimmage necessarily changes by 11½ inches due to this change in perspective (even though the ball itself does not move).
Therefore, although Vermont gave up the ball after having reached Rhode Island's one-inch line, Rhode Island must have taken possession on the 12½-inch line. Even after Rhode Island was penalized one-half inch, which, as you noted, was half the distance to the goal line, they could only have marched 99 yards and two feet to score.
EDWARD N. STONER
J. LEIGH GRIFFITH
If the ball was on the half-inch line, Rhode Island's drive should have measured 100 yards, minus one-half inch and the length of the football. Apparently it's tougher to figure out than it is to do.
JOHN C. ENGSTROM
THE SERIES IN REVIEW
I'm glad that at least one major publication has seen the error of its ways and announced to the American public that the Pittsburgh Pirates are the best team in baseball (Some Kind of a Comeback, Oct. 25). I appreciated William Leggett's article. However, I think you erred in your choice of a cover for that issue. It would have been immensely better had you used a picture of Clemente, Blass or any other Pirate star instead of a shot of pro basketball's Gus Johnson and Dave DeBusschere battling for position. The World Series is the most important sporting event in America.
We Pittsburgh fans expected your cover to be a picture of Ron Fimrite eating the Oct. 18 issue of SI.
BETTY LOWRY SCHIER
Beaver Falls, Pa.
I congratulate William Leggett on his fine article. It was some kind of a comeback, and I think the 1971 Series showed the baseball world just who is really No. 1—the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Coalton, W. Va.
My congratulations on a fine article. But while you mentioned Clemente's feats, you failed to give enough recognition to Catcher Manny Sanguillen, who collected 11 hits to Roberto's 12 for the Series. It was Sanguillen's plate-to-first speed that gave the Bucs many of their clutch singles, and his strong arm prevented base stealing by the Bufords and the Blairs.
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