WHO TO AND WHEN
Congratulations on a fascinating article (It's Not Only How To, It's Who To and When, July 10) on the step-by-step procedure of putting a football into the air. It gave us fans an idea of the thousands of things that race through a quarterback's mind during the seconds in which he must handle the snap, drop back and set up, read the defense, pick up his receiver and throw a precise pass.
It should be a lesson to those who too easily criticize this key figure. We should all show more appreciation of great quarterbacks, especially Johnny Unitas, the greatest of all.
PAUL J. RESZUTEK
You've got Johnny Unitas on the cover for the July 10 issue and we're in the midst of the baseball season. It's not even the All-Star break yet. But football, I love it.
A very good article, indeed, if you happen to be a year-round football fan. Personally, I cannot see Johnny Unitas on your cover in the middle of the baseball and boating seasons, much less the eve of the Olympics. Maybe next January before the Super Bowl you can get Bill Muncey and Henry Aaron to give us a few tips on their respective sports.
Long Beach, Calif.
July 23, 1972
GAB AND JAB
When you captioned the picture "The gabbing Ali, always in top condition, talks on" (Agony and Ecstasy, July 10), I hope you were talking about his mouth being in good condition, because that's all. When and if he faces Frazier you can spell Ali M-U-D.
South Egremont, Mass.
Tex Maule excellently described the Muhammad Ali-Jerry Quarry fight, but he could have called it a championship fight. Muhammad Ali showed the world that he, not Joe Frazier, deserves the heavyweight crown.
Since the Frazier-Ali fight, the official champion has fought two mediocrities in states that require only perfunctory physical exams. Before Frazier became champ, he never indicated an unwillingness to fight, or a desire to visit Louisiana or Nebraska. Ali whupped Frazier very thoroughly, yet not enough to impress the resident judges or certain elements of the general public.
Muhammad Ali has recovered from his "defeat" and gone on to beat Ellis, Math-is, Foster and Quarry. They may not be all-time greats, but, given the current state of boxing, they aren't too bad. If another active fighter has the same record, his name escapes me. The only reasonable challenger left is George Foreman. Let Ali fight Forman for the heavyweight championship.
RAYMOND S. THOMPSON
South Bound Brook, N.J.
I must contradict Mark Kram. Roberto Duran's foul certainly dwarfs the dimensions of his victory. Although he was the superior fighter for 13 rounds and clearly the victor, the needless and obvious low blow was appalling and should not be ignored. What is boxing coming to when the referee is forced to physically stop the fight after the bell and when a man may hit below the belt without fear of penalty? He says, "The complaint by the Scot provokes no credibility or sympathy." Are we to assume Mr. Kram does not believe that Buchanan was hit below the belt? Are we to assume he doesn't care that the Scot was dealt a low blow after the bell? This type of apathy, on the part of boxing officials and even among such astute observers as Mr. Kram, is not only harmful to the sport as a whole but could be harmful to the individual fighters who would, and legitimately so, be wary of entering the ring with the unreprimanded low blow a strong possibility.
Bobby Fischer is maybe our best, but he is a poor representative of the U.S. (A Sudden Stalemate in Reykjavik, July 10). I hope he loses.
BRUCE HICKS SR.
Since nobody else seems so inclined, isn't it about time SI blew the whistle on the phony buildup for the Spassky-Fischer chess "confrontation"? Perhaps chess players enjoy it (I wonder), but to the general public it is nauseating.
C. D. SHEPARD
Thank you for your objective portrayal of the little-known and apparently misunderstood sport of physique contests (Cutting Some Fancy Figures, July 10).
Body builders are dedicated athletes who make significant sacrifices by restricting their diets and engaging in years of vigorous training. For weeks before a contest we eat only protein foods and drink only water. Workouts take two to three hours a day, six days a week. Perhaps this is why so few compete; the cost of entry is very high in physical output, time and willpower.
Competition takes place on four levels, novice, junior, senior and professional. The top three contestants in the novice and junior classifications are obligated to move up to the next class in order to provide fair competition at the lower levels. We hope that more individuals will be encouraged to take part in these contests.
DR. PAUL F. MURRAY
Newport Beach, Calif.
PIRATE POWER (CONT.)
I read with great interest, and at times chuckles, your article pertaining to the Pittsburgh Pirates (Four Murderers in a Row, July 3). Steve Blass seemed either excited or upset because Manny Sanguillen, a .300 hitter, was batting sixth in the lineup. I wish to point out that the 1950 Boston Red Sox had a catcher, Birdie Tebbetts, with a .310 average batting eighth.
Walt Dropo and Junior Stephens both had 144 RBIs, Dropo was the rookie of the year and the Red Sox set a modern record when they scored 49 runs in two games against the old St. Louis Browns. In one game they beat the Browns 29-4, a modern record for most runs in a game now shared by the Chicago White Sox.
Despite all this power, Boston changed managers in the middle of the season. Mel Parnell, the Red Sox' best pitcher, was in a slump. He eventually ended up with an 18-10 season, but the rest of the pitching staff was out to lunch. And the Yankees, Boston's old nemesis, won the pennant. The Red Sox finished third.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are in the same boat. Pitching is the name of the game, and no matter how much power you have it doesn't mean a thing if your pitchers don't have that swing.
JOHN E. PARISI
I found John Underwood's article The Graduates (July 3) very interesting and informative.
I have never been too interested in the academic statistics of a Big Eight football team before. However, I am wondering if Nebraska's team had 19 football players listed as seniors and eight were eligible for their degrees, how many of Oklahoma's players were listed as seniors and how many received their degrees.
•Oklahoma had 19 seniors, four of whom received degrees.—ED.
Surely the Big Eight conference, with Nebraska at the top, was head and shoulders above the others in the land on the football field. In fact, as one Nebraska player stated in the article, "Football at Nebraska is like pro football." Is it worth the price? I'll bet the big guard with the embroidered jockstrap and the quarterback who attended only 10 fall-semester classes would say so.
STEPHEN L. COLEMAN
Having had over the years some experience with former football heroes, I have found that many are prepared neither academically nor psychologically to enter the business world.
Coach Bob Devaney and his staff of "character builders" for tomorrow's world are not much different from many other major college coaching staffs. To learn how it should be done, they would all do well to read Joe Paterno: "Football My Way" about the head football coach at Penn State University.
PHILIP P. MITCHELL
As is well known, the UCLA basketball team has won eight NCAA national championships in the past nine years and has won the last six. The teams have won 32 straight games in NCAA tournament play.
Over these nine years there have been tall players and short players. There have been fast players and not-so-fast players. There have been several assistant coaches. The home courts have ranged from Santa Monica City College to Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus. There has, however, been one constant in this remarkable record—namely, the head coach, John Wooden.
For five of these nine years I was the chancellor at UCLA and thus had an opportunity to observe Coach Wooden in all of his aspects. Never in the field of college athletics have I known a more honorable and decent human being. These personal characteristics—when combined with a professional performance that is never likely to be equaled—motivate me to urge that Coach Wooden be made SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's "Sportsman of the Year" when in the fall you get around to that choice.
Dr. FRANKLIN D. MURPHY
The most logical choice at this time would have to be the all-everything man of the Boston Celtics: John Havlicek.
Portsmouth, R. I.
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