Mark Mulvoy's article (See the Pucklings Wobble In, Feb. 28) showed that the World Hockey Association has a long way to go before it becomes established. So far it has been only a lot of talk about big-bonus contracts and very little action. It will take more than money, a few name players and different rules to get the WHA off the ground. It will take time, a good location and interested people. The WHA will have to go an even longer way to equal the caliber of play in the National Hockey League.
Sports are expanding too fast. It is too bad the dollar sign has become more important than pride and love for the game.
T. R. TRENDA
The article brings out one of the worst evils in our modern society, the power of money. There is only one possible reason a player would transfer from the secure NHL to the insecure WHA and that is to get more money. It will be interesting to see how many players really can be drawn away from a secure job to one very uncertain one.
If the new league survives it will be surprising. And if it does survive, it will just bring on another war like that between the NBA and the ABA, which could ruin the game of professional hockey.
St. Clair Shores, Mich.
As usual, the older league is laughing at the new. I am a fan of a league that was also laughed at once, the American Football League. The NHL should take heed.
In regard to your article Because a Steering Wheel Didn't Tilt (Feb. 28), I do not see why you put a knock on the Seattle Super-Sonics management and ownership just because Jim McDaniels decided he was fed up with conditions in Carolina. In the last college draft, McDaniels was the second-round pick of the Sonics. Thus, there was only one obvious place for him to turn, Seattle. I seriously doubt that any other team with a chance to land the seven-foot center would have turned its back.
I do wish, however, that the entire question of who owns whom could be ironed out by either the courts or Congress so we could be spared the game of musical chairs in the world of professional basketball.
As a disappointed pro basketball fan, I hereby request a $500 aggravation bonus for having to witness such an example of greed and whining dissatisfaction.
What kind of lawyers do the Carolina Cougars have that they would allow Jim McDaniels to break a $1,357,000 contract and go to Seattle?
It is easy to understand why Jim Chones turned professional. He is a hardship case.
But what causes all this? Hardship cases? The owners would draft J. Paul Getty if he could jump and shoot and play a little D. Hardship to them is being last in the signing-up contest.
The ABA and NBA are fighting it out for survival by cutting each other's throats. But the blood belongs to the fans. It has always been that way and I guess it will always be. All the fan does is pay the salaries, the franchise fees, etc., etc., etc.
I am 17 years old and no lawyer, but I feel I have a pretty good solution in mind. Here is my plan:
1) A college player who needs personal financial assistance makes his need known to both pro leagues (or the league after the merger).
2) His need is reviewed and analyzed by experts who come up with a good, reasonable figure.
3) One league (or the league) then loans the player the money, with the understanding that the player shall play ball for that league after his graduation. The player would not be tied to any one team.
4) After graduation, the player is drafted by a team in the agreed league using the regular process.
5) The money is repaid out of the player's contract.
I feel that this plan has some advantages. First of all, the player would still get the experience and pleasure of playing college ball. Also, the amount of money a player and/or his family might need would be small (perhaps about $3,000 to $10,000) compared to the millions of dollars offered in the inflated contracts made to lure the players away from college. However, my plan also shows the need for the merger. Without it, the leagues would probably continue to compete by offering extremely high loans to get particular players.
JOHN G. NEARHOOF
I paid my $2 to see Arthur Dubs' film American Wilderness (SCORECARD, Feb. 28). However, I did not quite get the thrill out of it that you predicted. I expected to see two hours of breathtaking, interesting film depicting the beauty of the wilderness—both animals and plants. What I saw instead was Mr. Dubs stalking and killing ail manner of wild sheep, deer, elk, caribou and even polar bear. It was anything but a "pleasant surprise." It seems to me that filming these magnificent creatures would be exciting enough without having to put a bullet through them in the process. I especially liked Mr. Dubs' justification of killing the wild sheep—the fact that they would not be able to carry their huge set of horns another season.
I would much rather see these wonderful creatures die a natural death in their mountain home than be stalked down on the pretense of sport. I love the wilderness, just as Mr. Dubs professes to, but my love is channeled in a different direction. I want to see our wilderness and wildlife preserved and protected, not exploited by our great American "sportsmen" who can't wait to add another trophy to the wall and maybe some money to the pocket. I am sorry you got my money, Mr. Dubs. It wasn't worth it.
St. George, Kans.
Ron Fimrite's brilliant and devastatingly accurate appraisal of hard-core trivia buffs (Trivia, Feb. 28) was almost as much fun as a 48-hour nonstop. The article made me ache with recollections of my own life-style: the three a.m. phone calls to settle an argument, the matchless excitement of offhandedly dropping the answer to an opponent's triple-zinger and the countless parties that were all but ruined by the immortal words "Oh yeah, well, who was the backup quarterback for the ...?"
Those of us who do play realize that we are very sick people, but just ask any one of us if we care! As William Holden said to Ernest Borgnine in The Wild Bunch: "I wouldn't have it any other way."
Ron Fimrite's trivia piece is delightful and hopefully more accurate than your Feb. 28 SCORECARD item ("The Game's the Thing") in which hockey replaces lacrosse as Canada's national sport. Your turn....
Though I hate to contradict a trivia man of the stature of Rod Belcher, I must. I have seen The Petrified Forest several times, and each time Dick Foran, as Boze Hertzlinger, is from good ol' Moby Tech—not Nevada Tech. Who can ever forget Humphrey Bogart tersely deflating Foran's proud reference to his alma mater with, "Never heard of it." By the way, when the football scores were being given over the radio to the listening Duke Mantee and his captives, what team beat Moby Tech (to Foran's consternation) and what was the final score? Alas, I have forgotten, but I am sure someone out there in minutiae land remembers.
Any trivia man who is worth his salt knows that Boze was from Molby Tech, not Nevada Tech. Shame on you.
THOMAS F. DOWD III
I guessed all 19, but I'll swear Boze Hertz-linger went to Bowlby Tech.
D. V. KERIG
•Actor Dick Foran, who in real life played football for Princeton, offers Moltpy Tech, or "something that sounded really ridiculous," as the movie version of Boze Hertzlinger's school. In the original play by Robert E. Sherwood, however, it was Nevada Tech.—ED.
Just to set Ron Fimrite and Rod Belcher and other trivialists straight, Bronko Nagurski was born on Nov. 3, 1908 in Rainy River, Ontario. He was christened Bronislau. His mother advised his first-grade teacher to call him "Bronko," and the name stuck.
Ron Baby! You left out some real trivia when discussing Rod Belcher (alias Rod Hughes). Who was the interim 49ers announcer Rod replaced back in 1950? Give up? Tommy Greenhow! Who was Rod's "commentator" during the 1950 season? Easy! A former 49er lineman. Who can forget the immortal Gerry Conlee! Now if we could only relegate Howard Cosell back to trivia where he really belongs.
P.S. Super trivia! Who was Rod's "spotter" during the 1950 season? Me! Ain't that a gas?
My thanks to you and Ron Fimrite for the enlightening article. Though I cannot classify myself as a bona fide trivia player, I am a nostalgia buff and a collector of little-known facts. There is no way to express my happiness at learning that the Lone Ranger had a first name and, what is more, that he and the Green Hornet were related.
While I am at it, I would also like to thank Herman Weiskopf for giving us, in his Jan. 31 article, an inside look at the world of stunt men. Little-known fact No. 1: Clayton Moore, TV's Lone Ranger, started out as a stunt man.
STUNTS TO REMEMBER
The piece on stunt men (Being a Good Sport About It All, Jan. 31) was kindly sent to me by the author, Herman Weiskopf, who had interviewed me at some length when he was researching it. While I'm very glad to see your magazine focus some attention on this misunderstood profession, I'm very sorry the article included some errors of fact.
Some of the men quoted displayed a tendency to self-advertisement not at all typical of the remarkable fraternity of athletes I've found stunt men to be, but Mr. Weiskopf is not to blame for that. I was also pleased to note that he gave Yakima Canutt proper credit for his role in creating stunting as a rational profession, instead of the gaggle of drunks and idiots it was once considered. But even Yak, 60-some years old when he directed the second unit on El Cid, could hardly have then done the all-out, dead-accurate horse fall you credited him with. That was his son, Joe, who has just about succeeded him as the best of them all. I have some experience of world-caliber athletes in several sports, and I'm convinced that Joe is the best natural athlete I've ever seen.
On the other hand, Yak does deserve credit Mr. Weiskopf didn't quite give him for the chariot race in Ben Hur. He not only bought the horses and trained all the drivers, including me, he designed a harness capable of controlling four horses with two reins. If that race is, as has been suggested, the best action sequence ever filmed, Yak did it. On top of everything else, of course, he fixed it. As he said to me the day we started shooting the sequence, "You just drive the damn chariot, Chuck. I'll guarantee you'll win."
Beverly Hills, Calif.
Address editorial mail to TIME & LIFE Bldg., Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.