THE HEART OF THE MATTER
My congratulations to Tex Maule on his successful battle against myocardial ischemia (Running Scarred, March 13). His account is an excellent example of the fact that many men are able to overcome physical disability by participating in sports. Although I certainly do not agree with unlimited exercise after a heart attack without a doctor's direction, slow, progressive exercise has been shown to be effective treatment for these patients. Mr. Maule's words should be an inspiration to many middle-aged men who have felt their sporting lives ended by a heart attack. I intend to recommend his book to many of my patients.
W. H. EVERSMEYER, M.D.
Tex Maule's fine article made chills run up and down my spine as it is almost an exact description of my life for the past four years.
Tex Maule's story may be the necessary catalyst to get some of our more inactive, deconditioned citizens, men and women, to do more than sit up and take notice. I appreciated the article immensely because Mr. Maule's is not an isolated case. There are more than two million Americans who suffer heart attacks each year and more than half of them are not as lucky as he was in surviving.
Mr. Maule mentioned reading Dr. Kenneth Cooper's book Aerobics. I read it immediately after finishing the article and I believe this book will stimulate people into getting themselves in shape, if they will just read it and do what it says. I want to thank Mr. Maule from the bottom of my still-healthy heart for gracing us sports fans with his story. It made me realize I am lucky to be young, with plenty of years left ahead of me to get myself into better shape so that I may live a longer, happier, fuller life. I just hope that more people will read his article, and then Dr. Cooper's book, and realize that there really is much to live for.
As an immunologist, I was interested in Tex Maule's description of his treatment in Switzerland. Injection of whole cells from an unborn lamb would merely stimulate Mr. Maule's immune response to reject the cells from his body. The graft of lamb cells would no more survive, as indicated by the article, than any graft of foreign tissue, be it from lamb or human origin. Tell Tex Maule he had no reason to fear for "his" lamb cells, they were long gone while he was worrying about them. Come on, Tex, you have got to be putting us on.
RONALD E. PAQUE
Oak Park, Ill.
Though Tex Maule's excellent article should interest a lot of people in jogging, I believe it gives a mistaken impression. Tex appears to think that distance running is made tolerable only by competition.
There is serenity and delight in solitary movement through a quiet, natural setting. There is a joy in running, a celebration of one's initiative and pleasure in having the ability and will to exercise. I believe running cannot be fully rewarding unless it is enjoyed.
Under jogging handicaps, you might add, say, an elevation slightly above 7,200 feet (up here, the problem isn't how we use the oxygen we get—it's getting it), some morning temperatures of 20 to 40 degrees below zero, a foot of new snow on the ground and a truculent moose in the road. In case you are not familiar with the latter, a truculent moose is a horse of another choler.
Reading your report on college basketball in the West (THE WEEK, March 13), I was amused by John Wooden's ominous warning: "It will take a very good team, playing a very good game, to beat us." A look at his schedule indicates he has not played a very good team all year, with the majority of UCLA's games played within the friendly confines of Pauley Pavilion. It would have been interesting to see how his youngsters would have fared playing their third game at Memphis State and, later, an away game at South Carolina as Marquette did. Perhaps his team would have won going away; however, he will never know since UCLA was not put to the test. As a matter of fact, his main (actual and potential) foes even helped in furthering the Uclans' ultimate winning record. Paul Westphal of Southern Cal injured his knee and Jimmy Chones of Marquette joined the pros.
ROBERT W. HAUG
Elm Grove, Wis.
Once again the NCAA is showing what a lousy basketball tournament it can run. Teams that can't carry your Aunt Tilly's Adidas bag draw byes while a slew of Eastern teams—the region includes the South—battle like rats for a toehold in the quarterfinals. The tournament should be seeded without regard to region, and all the games should be played in one arena where fans who may never have seen the teams before can get to know and prize them as they advance to the finals. In all of sport is there anything as dull as two mismatched teams playing a one-night stand on a neutral court?
K. C. MUDD
I must take issue with those outspoken owners and trainers in Whitney Tower's article (Life of Leisure for the Upper Class, March 13) who pilloried Gulfstream Park as being unfit "for man or beast."
I was a visitor to Gulfstream in late January and am happy to report that it was very fit. The races were consistently competitive; even though such perennial snobs as Greentree, Darby Dan, Rokeby, Ogden Phipps and others were intentionally absent, we didn't miss them. The grounds were neat and well kept, and the patrons were royally accommodated. To the individual racing fan, these factors are all-important, and Gulfstream excelled in all three.
I, too, missed the flowers and the flamingos at Hialeah, but Gulfstream deserved its chance at the lucrative midwinter racing dates. It fought for them for 28 arduous years and, now that the meeting is completed, the cold statistics, not the pompous denunciations of racing's chic elite, shall determine if Mr. Donn gets to keep them.
ROBERT L. HELERINGER
Whitney Tower's article was so completely biased and so completely ignored the facts that I feel compelled to set the record straight.
Mr. Tower states, "Attendance and handle [at Gulfstream] hardly compared with past seasons at Hialeah." Mr. Tower chose to ignore the fact that Gulfstream suffered 18 off tracks during its 40-day meeting, operated with one less Saturday program than Hialeah, opened without the tremendous boom produced in the previous year by the Super Bowl and, despite these and other adversities, ended up with excellent attendance and wagering totals that do compare extremely well with Hialeah. Gulfstream's attendance was down only 2.3% and Gulfstream's wagering was down only 5.2% compared to Hialeah's preceding season totals.
Mr. Tower also chose to ignore the fact that in 1967 when Hialeah suffered 15 off tracks, its betting was down 6% from the preceding year.
Once the abnormal rainfall abated, Gulfstream surpassed Hialeah on eight of its final 10 days. What is more, Mr. Tower did not report that Gulfstream's closing day, Florida Derby Day, established a record for any Florida track on a weekday when $2,820,532 was wagered. The Florida Derby Day attendance (28,766) was the largest for any Florida track for the second straight year.
Nor did Mr. Tower mention the salient fact that thoroughbred tracks throughout the U.S., with the exception of those in California, generally are down in wagering and attendance as a reflection of the national economy, and Tropical Park, which immediately preceded Gulfstream, was down 7.8% in wagering and down 5.6% in attendance.
Finally, Mr. Joe Hirsch, quoted by Mr. Tower, has denied he ever made the statement to Mr. Tower. Therefore, I may assume other quotes from unnamed people in Mr. Tower's article also lack veracity.
May I respectfully suggest that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED assign a reporter who is dedicated to reporting facts in covering future events at Gulfstream.
JAMES DONN JR.
Gulfstream Park Racing Association, Inc.
•Mr. Hirsch does not deny making the statement to Mr. Tower but says that he did not expect to be quoted.—ED.
Mark Mulvoy's article See the Pucklings Wobble In (Feb. 28) has me convinced that hockey is doomed. In 1967 the NHL doubled its size to 12 teams. That was mistake No. 1. But the NHL could not resist making blunder No. 2: granting two new franchises for operation in 1970. The NHL has since added to its woes by adding two more teams for the 1972-73 season and probably will add another two by 1975. There is absolutely no way in which parity can be achieved in such a short period of time.
With the proposed WHA, poorer quality hockey will abound. Sure, parity may come, but we can see the same brand of hockey at a high school game. Dennis Murphy states that this lack of quality would be offset by "some exciting rules innovations." Exciting for the fans maybe, but what about the players? How many of them will relish the thought of playing 10 extra minutes under more stress just to break a tie before catching a plane for another game the next night? The schedule is already too long and too tough.
St. Clair Beach, Ontario
It appears that the only way the WHA will get off the ground will be to promote fighting on skates, plus some ridiculous rule changes like no center line and orange pucks yet. To add to the rule changes, I would like to suggest that they eliminate the first 20 minutes of the game completely and have the best forwards and defensemen in the art of fisticuffs line up on their respective blue lines, without gloves and sticks. They could incorporate the winners' points in the final game score.
Fight night at the Forum, or the Gardens, never has appealed to me. In my book, the players with class seldom are involved in dropping sticks and gloves to get rid of their frustrations, e.g., Jean Beliveau, Dave Keon and Gordie Howe, the latter with some reservations. I won't watch junior hockey here in Edmonton because of the brawling tactics. The "third man theme" in the National Hockey League is acceptable to me on the grounds that at least one or the other opponent will not get a teammate to hold the other guy while he beats the whey out of him.
Let's play hockey!
JOHN P. LOSIE
Dennis Murphy of the WHA seems to feel he is going to change hockey. First off he will eliminate ties. This may be for the good of the sport, but orange pucks? That would be like Greg Landry or John Brodie throwing a purple football. And how is eliminating the red line at center ice going to make the game more offensive? Finally, the idea of goals scored in the last two minutes of the game counting double is absurd What happens to the team that scores two goals throughout the game on magnificent play offensively and defensively, then, with less than two minutes to play, loses to an opposing team that scores one goal but receives two for the price of one?
Something else that bothers me greatly is the fact that so many "fans" (both Canadian and American) go to a hockey game to see fights instead of hockey. Most true fans want to watch clean, fast hockey. If we want to watch riots, we can turn on the news at six or 11. Fighting only cheapens the sport.
Robert H. Boyle should be commended for his excellent article An Odd Ball for This Bunch (March 6). However, he states that the 49ers probably had the first team of pro football players to play basketball in the off season beginning in 1953.
In 1948 the Philadelphia Eagles, resplendent in green uniforms, played the Shippensburg (Pa.) State Teachers College Red Raider basketball team before approximately 600 spectators at Shippensburg. The "stars" of the game were, of course, Steve Van Buren and Pete Pihos, neither of whom scored any points. The Eagles were relaxed and friendly and conducted themselves like champions. They stayed long after the game was over, signing autographs and talking with the kids who had come to see them play a sport that was unnatural for them.
The pro football version of basketball has evolved from the post-World War II days. It is gratifying to read that men like Dave Costa of the Denver Broncos are continuing to be successful in their efforts to show the fans the human side of pro football.
JOHN E. HUBLEY
Vice-president for Student Personnel
Shippensburg State College
The Washington Redskins played regularly in my hometown in Maryland, perhaps as early as 1946.
ROBERT K. FEASTER
ART ARAGON'S TRIAL
With reference to your article You Go Poom, Poom and I'll Go Pow (Feb. 14), I fear there is a little editorializing in the reference to Mr. Art Aragon.
The order denying a new trial was reversed and the matter did go back down for further trial. The reversal of the guilty verdict was based on more than some mere procedural point. The reversal was based on the fact that the prosecution relied very heavily on the results of a lie-detector test, which were wholly inadmissible in court. It is this very serious error that contributed to the reversal.
There were other errors as well. As the court stated: "In our opinion, the defendant did not have a fair trial as that term is understood under our system of law."
I hope the above clarifies what appears to be some editorial bias in the article.
W. STUART HOME
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