I enjoyed Jerry Kirshenbaum's article on the Denver Olympics (Voting to Snuff the Torch, Nov. 20), but I must disagree with his conclusion, wherein he states, "It was not a vote against the Olympics, per se.... It was a vote against sporting facilities that cost taxpayers millions of dollars and work against essential conservation attitudes...."
If this is so, then the people are being very hypocritical in their attitude. Essentially they are saying that, sure the Olympics are O.K., but we'll just sit by and watch others bear the burden for our enjoyment. I believe that it was a vote against the Olympics in general, possibly having been influenced by the unfortunate events at the Munich Games.
In the end, the vote of the Colorado people may be a blessing in disguise, for now the way has been cleared for the Olympics to be moved to a site that is truly interested in promoting the Olympic spirit, like Lake Placid, N.Y.
When a nation as loud-mouthed about its greatness as the U.S. can't even host the Winter Olympic Games, it looks as though the Spirit of '76 is just more talk with no action.
December 11, 1972
I was in Europe when the Oslo and Cortina d'Ampezzo Olympics were held and never heard a peep out of local or national citizens about the cost of hosting the coveted winter sports festivals. They were mighty proud they could do it.
We might as well bury our heads in the rusty sports sands and let a good host or two have the opportunity to do it.
CLYDE T. REYNOLDS
As one of more than 530,000 Colorado citizens who voted against funding the Olympic Games, I thank you for Jerry Kirshenbaum's objective, forthright and to-the-point article on how and why the people of Colorado turned thumbs down on hosting the '76 Winter Games. Unless you have been in Colorado since election night, Nov. 7, you have no idea as to the degree of ridicule and scorn we, the majority, have been subjected to by the minority who wanted the Games. We have been called welshers and traitors by the press and hicks and "bush" by the various talk shows on radio. We have been told that the majority of us who voted against the Games actually didn't know what we were doing because of the wording of the referendum. We have been told that we embarrassed the state of Colorado, not only in the eyes of the rest of the nation but in the eyes of the world.
Mr. Kirshenbaum's article clearly shows that we did vote with intelligence and for a purpose. Some of the dissidents voted against the Olympics because of the exorbitant cost. Some voted against the Olympics because of the devastating effect on our ecology and growth pattern. Some like myself voted against the Olympics because we sincerely believe the Olympic philosophy is passé and outdated and that the Games since the end of World War II have been nothing but a worldwide stage for the propaganda machines of both East and West.
But the truth of the matter is that we were never physically set up to handle the Games, we were never organized to put on the Games in a decent manner and method, and our Denver Olympic Committee tried to pull the wool over the eyes of Colorado citizens. How sweet our victory would be if the citizens of Montreal would also realize how wasteful the Olympic Games are today.
Your article very carefully sidestepped the issue. Seven columns of words attempted to cast blame on everyone in Colorado from Governor Love to the dry-land farmer. The defeat of the Olympics was not engineered by Colorado doorbell ringers but by the biased Olympic officials, the one-sided referees and the politically motivated athletes. If we could be assured of honest games to determine athletic abilities in the spirit of the original Olympics, our hospitality would have been overflowing. The sacred traditions of the Olympics were assassinated by the politicians—so don't blame us. We say, let the funeral for the Olympics begin in Colorado; bury the Games deep, the political stink is too much.
THOMAS G. VAN CAMP
Colorado Springs, Colo.
I am a six-year resident of Colorado—transplanted from California (Californicator?) and a sports buff. Why would I vote against the Olympics?
The pro-Olympic movement smelled of big-time mania. In exchange for several years of increased taxes, I would possibly have had an opportunity to buy a $10 ticket, drive a couple of hundred miles over snow-packed mountain passes, fight a huge crowd and see a few ski races. ABC does too good a job to make that alternative appealing.
The Olympics will be great for Colorado business, we were told. Fine—then let the airlines, car-rental agencies, hotels and motels, restaurants and land rapists invest in their future by footing the bill. Who else would really benefit?
Why is it necessary to build a whole new complex every four years? Why can't Sapporo and Grenoble exchange the Olympics every four years? Why can't different events be held in various locations—Alpine skiing at Vail, cross-country at Steamboat Springs, bobsled at Lake Placid, hockey at Madison Square Garden, ice-skating at the Forum in L.A.? If such separation would make international love affairs difficult for an East German bobsledder and an Australian figure skater, that's their price to pay, not mine.
Maybe I am really reacting to the hidden costs of being big time (Sam Schulman—Spencer Haywood, Jim McDaniels and John Brisker; Charlie O.—Kansas City/Oakland; be a Cowboy fan and buy bonds—or stay home!). Tom Meschery is right—the game is still great, but is it worth the price?
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Having visited the beautiful state of Colorado, I have only two words to say about the voters' decision to reject the '76 Olympics: thank God.
MICHAEL S. HANUSEK
Cliffside Park, N.J.
Thank you for the inspiring article on the real Sugar Ray Robinson ("The Best Years of My Life," Nov. 13). His Christian attitude and deep concern for the underprivileged show the true character of this great man. I believe life prepares each one of us to be of some service to our fellow man. If we all could get our eyes off ourselves and on our neighbor as Mr. Robinson has done, we would do a lot to help make this a better world.
Santa Ana, Calif.
I read with interest your Nov. 13 SCORECARD item on the thrilling play of the Wofford College Terriers, "the big-play team of small college football."
Since then the Terriers have played their final two games of the season and again won both via the big play. In a 6-4 season the Dogs scored 27 touchdowns totaling 923 yards. The shortest was one yard (there were four of these) and the longest 103. The average touchdown score was an incredible 34 yards, and two-thirds (18) of the scoring plays averaged 49 yards.
As play-by-play announcer of the Terriers, I can honestly say that I have never before witnessed as much exciting football in one season. The future looks even brighter for Coach Jack Peterson's gridders, because the 1972 squad, which won five of its last six games, was made up primarily of underclassmen, including 25 freshmen and 13 sophomores.
As an alumnus and faculty member for 27 years, I have had a love affair with Wofford College and our beloved Terriers for half a century and have seen nearly all our home games for over 30 years. We do often make the big play. I recall one in my student days when one of our backs caught an opening kickoff five yards behind the goal line and went 105 yards for the score.
If you could have seen our last two games this year, you could have added a few notes to your list in the Nov. 13 SCORECARD. Playing Gardner-Webb, we scored early in the second quarter and they caught up with us in the last few minutes of the first half. It looked as if we were going into halftime with a 7-7 tie, but wait a minute. There were 19 seconds left on the clock. We took the kickoff at about the 20-yard line and returned it to the 40, with the seconds ticking away. Time for a pass play, and a G-W man tipped it into the arms of our split end, Skip Corn, who holds our alltime records for receiving yardage. He headed down-field like nobody's business with the G-W team in hot pursuit, but he outran them—all but one man who caught him on the five and was dragged over the goal line. Nineteen seconds, 80 yards to go, two plays and a score, and we went into the halftime ahead 14-7 and were never behind.
You may recall our 1969-70 season when we had a 20-game winning streak, won the Eastern NAIA title but had the misfortune to run into Texas A&I in the finals and they just overwhelmed us. Their quarterback went on to the Baltimore Colts; ours made Phi Beta Kappa and went to graduate school.
There is another unsung hero on our team this year: Tom Bower, a candidate for Little All-America, a defensive end who is all over the field tackling and blocking, intercepting passes and wreaking havoc in the enemy backfield. He has just made Phi Beta Kappa. Our freshman tailback, Ricky Satterfield, has just set a school record for rushing in one game, 212 yards.
Maybe we do not have too many athletic records, though we did have another undefeated season back in '49, but we have many grads who do so well in graduate and professional schools that we are better known for our academics—else what's a college for?
CHARLES F. NESBITT
NO ROOM AT THE TOP
I eagerly awaited the arrival of the Nov. 27 issue with your college basketball preview for the 1972-73 season. I enjoyed the introductory article by Curry Kirkpatrick with its three distinct references to the basketball triumphs (Paul Arizin and George Raveling) and tragedies (Howard Porter, vacated—1971) of my alma mater (Villanova, class of 1967). I searched in vain, however, through the entire scouting report section for a single reference to or assessment of the current edition of the Wildcats, and I must protest most vigorously this glaring oversight.
Villanova finished 15th in the nation in both wire service polls last year, went to a major tournament for the 11th straight year (not even UCLA can make that claim) and perennially plays one of the toughest schedules in the nation. Any team coached by Jack Kraft deserves some mention, and senior guard and floor leader Tom Inglesby (18.8 points per game last year) is worthy of a passing tip of the old fedora. Sophomore Billy Harris is also going to be heard from.
Where is Ohio State? You have the absolute gall to place two Big Ten teams, Minnesota and Michigan, in your Top 20 while leaving out Ohio State. No one can operate around the basket like Luke Witte or bring the ball up the court and shoot like Allan Hornyak, at least not in the Big Ten. If you think that Ohio State won't have a vengeful year after its team was so wrongfully assaulted at Minnesota last year, you're crazy! Besides, with the possible exception of John Wooden, the Buckeyes have the best coach in the nation in Fred Taylor.
Since Kentucky's basketball team placed in the top eight at the end of last season (defeating Marquette, whom you ranked No. 5), and its freshman team was undefeated last year, you owe Kentucky basketball fans an explanation of your process of selection for your Top 20. Thank goodness other polls don't agree with you. Certainly everyone agrees with your first choice, UCLA, but what happened to you after that?
GLORIA J. GRIFFITH
I am not only confused about your failure to rank Pennsylvania in your Top 20, I am quite annoyed. Most of the polls show that the Quakers are the eighth or ninth best team in the nation. Why not you?
I really cannot understand how you can rank Florida State No. 2 or Maryland No. 3 or even place Marquette in the No. 5 slot. With the best coach in basketball history and the finest center since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, UCLA should be rated Nos. 1 through 5.
Scotch Plains, N.J.
Thanks for further fine coverage of college basketball. It's about time that the University of Cincinnati Bearcats (No. 12) got the recognition they so richly deserve. They may not be as big as some teams, but they make up for it in speed, determination, desire and all-out hustle. Derrek Dickey and Lloyd Batts are as good a scoring combination as any.
Give a gold star to Curry Kirkpatrick for his article on freshmen playing in the varsity ranks of college basketball this season (A Time To Bless the Beasts and Freshmen, Nov. 27). I was only sorry that he didn't mention another of the freshman stars who came out of New York City. To overlook an athlete of the caliber of Rick Marsh, who is now playing for Nebraska, is to overlook one of the most talented freshmen in the nation. After all, when it comes to basketball, no town compares with New York.
It may be a time to bless the freshmen, but it is a little too late for "Get UCLA Time." To have altered the course of UCLA's basketball domination, the frosh should have been made eligible seven years ago, before the dynasty began. This would have changed UCLA's NCAA championship record from six to nine in a row. The myopic rule makers must have forgotten that Lew Alcindor also was a freshman once—in 1966, to be exact!
L. N. PUMPHREY
Harbor City, Calif.
We were extremely pleased with the credit given to Wally (Wonder) Walker of Virginia. Coming from the same high school league as Wally, we have confidence that he will live up to your expectations.
NAMES WORTH MENTIONING
Your article on the Miami Dolphins (No Losses, No Ties and No Names, Nov. 27) sure was a long time in coming. Since you last featured the Dolphins in the Aug. 7 issue, a mere 17 weeks ago, they have won 12 games and remain the only undefeated team in professional football. They also lead the NFL in defense and in least points allowed. They sewed up a place in the playoffs at the earliest point since 1961. They changed quarterbacks so smoothly, the team didn't feel the difference. They formed a three-back offense that leads the NFL in rushing and put their head coach into immortal ranks by giving him his last 30 victories for a record of 100 in less than 10 years of coaching.
As one of those "rude people waving handkerchiefs," as Tex Maule put it, I hope you won't be as slow to cover the Super Bowl when the Dolphins mop up their NFC opponent.
JOHN J. SPARKS JR.
I feel that the logic concerning the Dolphins is all messed up. There is no way to justify their supposed greatness, because they have indeed only whipped teams that have "won-loss records that would not qualify them for the Fiesta Bowl." Being undefeated in this year's low-class AFC is no reason to rate the Dolphins with the classic teams of the past. And the teams they play from the NFC (e.g., the Cardinals) are no better. When the Dolphins prove they can win against teams like the Redskins, Cowboys, Packers, Lions or Vikings, then I'll believe they're a great team.
STEPHEN J. SCHMID
•The Dolphins beat the Vikings 16-14 on Oct. 1.—ED.
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