19TH HOLE: THE READERS TAKE OVER

September 23, 1973

THE BIGS
Sirs:
Texas is No. 1 (The Top 20, Sept. 10)? If the criterion is having the No. 1 pushover schedule, your analysis is indisputable.
WALTER DAVIS
Oklahoma City

Sirs:
Gag! Choke! Cough! Hack! Oh, what you did to your cover! Had we known ahead of time, some of us might have preferred a plain brown wrapper.
JOHN LEVACY JR.
Lubbock, Texas

Sirs:
Anyone who knows the slightest little bit about college football knows that the Trojans of USC are the best team in the nation.
BRET HENRY
Woodland Hills, Calif.

Sirs:
If the outcome of the Cornhusker-Bruin mismatch is any indication of your forecasting accuracy (you picked UCLA 10th and Nebraska 12th), then perhaps we should look forward to seeing Washington State (your 20th choice) wearing the No. 1 crown at season's end. Nevertheless, your preview made for enjoyable, informative reading.
BOB McPHAIL
Norwich, Conn.

Sirs:
Take it from someone who recalls new Coach Tom Osborne's athletic heroics: you ain't seen nuthin' yet. I'll grant you UCLA No. 10 if you'll grant Nebraska No. 1.
J. J. SCOTT
Euclid, Ohio

Sirs:
After seeing your Top 20 with Notre Dame ranked No. 7 and LSU not even included, I can't believe I read the whole thing.
CLIFF PENNINGTON
Bogalusa, La.

Sirs:
I can only commend you on your whimsical Sept. 10 issue. Surely it is no more than a satirical poke at the serious college football predictions for the coming season. How a team that plays only once against someone you consider a serious challenge and then plays "so much fodder" can be rated No. 1 over the likes of USC, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame et al. is beyond all rational thought. Come on, let's have the real predictions now. Enough kidding around.
KEVIN D. RAY
Wahiawa, Hawaii

Sirs:
Hang on to the original of your Sept. 10 Texas cover. You'll need to use it again in January.
BRUCE HOPKINS
Fort Worth

THE SMALLS
Sirs:
John Underwood's account of the Wabash-DePauw rivalry was refreshing (Bell of the Ball Game, Sept. 10). Michigan-Ohio State might be the big game, but when it comes to true sport and spirit, Wabash-DePauw is obviously where it is really at.

I am a Big Ten (Illinois) alumnus, but my eyes were opened by Mr. Underwood's insight and entertaining article.
JEFF WAGNER
Athens, Ga.

Sirs:
After reading such books as Out of Their League and Meat on the Hoof telling about the evils of college football—politics, drugs, fixed grades, brainwashing, the sacrifice of young men to win the Big One—I wondered if the game had become a monster, unbelievably cruel and completely out of control. But John Underwood's lyrical story of the Wabash-DePauw game and James Drake's photo essay Goodbye Columbus, Hello Frost-burg on other small-college contests were exceptional. Together they revealed the humanistic side of the sport that I thought had been buried forever.
DANIEL E. KEENAN
Spokane

Sirs:
As one of millions of Americans who follow and enjoy small-college athletics I especially appreciated the coverage given to these institutions in your Sept. 10 issue.

In his mention of Linfield College, James Drake noted that Head Coach Ad Rutschman has a preference for watching games from the press box rather than the sidelines. This passing reference fails to hint at what I believe to be one of the more remarkable coaching stories at any college of any size, and your readers may be interested in a footnote on it.

In the five years since he returned to his alma mater Coach Rutschman has led Linfield to four Northwest Conference football championships (two of them were shared). Asked in 1971 to assume the head baseball coaching position as well, he responded by winning the NAIA World Series in his first season and picked up a conference co-championship last spring. He has since added the position of director of athletics to his coaching responsibilities. A dedicated and gifted teacher, he serves as inspiration to those of us who feel that large organizations and super-specialization need not be the hallmarks of college sport.
JOHN E. HANSON Dean
Linfield College
McMinnville, Ore.

MR. CHARGER
Sirs:
It is always difficult getting used to seeing a familiar player in a new uniform. But even though I have been reading about the trade all year, nothing could have prepared me for the shock of seeing John Unitas wearing San Diego colors (John Be Nimble, John Be Quick, Sept. 10). For me his many years with Baltimore have made him Mr. Colt.
FRED SCHULTZ
Raleigh, N.C.

Sirs:
Thanks to Tex Maule for a fine article on Johnny Unitas. The people who say that he is too old and cannot help anymore are wrong. No man is old when he can take a team 87 yards in a minute and eight seconds for a touchdown, passing on every play.
DAN DELANEY
Jacksonville, Ill.

THING OF BEAUTY
Sirs:
I grew up in South Bend and my heroes were many until the spring of 1964, when my interest settled on "Richie" Allen, the rookie third baseman of the Phillies. Throughout the turmoil in the City of Brotherly Love, while the press called him a child, and the fans called him worse, he remained my hero. Like Gale Sayers on the gridiron or Leonard Bernstein on the conductor's podium, Dick Allen on the baseball diamond is a thing of beauty. He is the rarest of individuals, the best in the world at his trade. And for this reason my loyalty has switched from the Phillies to the Cardinals to the Dodgers and now to the White Sox (yes, even to the American League).

So it goes without saying that I enjoyed your article {Swinging in a Groove of His Own, Sept. 10). But after being in the minority and on the defensive for so long, it is hard getting used to the fact that, thanks to articles like yours, nearly everyone is becoming a Dick Allen fan.
JIM BALL
Chicago

MOUTHPIECE
Sirs:
In answer to "Mumble, Mumble, Hut!" (SCORECARD, Sept. 3), someone has had foresight. Any member of the dental profession can make a contact-sport mouth protector that allows the wearer to be completely articulate. If it is made properly, one can even insult the opposition and take the return punch with impunity.
KENNETH E. SAMUELSON, D.D.S.
Glenview, Ill.

PADDLERS
Sirs:
If it had not been for the photograph showing one of my employees in her role as a "bank runner," I undoubtedly would have omitted reading Jim Harrison's A Machine with Two Pistons (Aug. 27). The author expanded my myopic viewpoint on this type of athletic contest. His description of the Au-Sable Canoe Marathon led me to conclude that professional canoe racing has to rank as the most individually and physically demanding sporting event bar none.
JOEL E. GLASS
Royal Oak, Mich.

Sirs:
Your article was aimed down the wrong river. If Jim Harrison wants to cover a really tough canoe race, tell him to try the Texas Water Safari, which starts at San Marcos and finishes at Seadrift on the Gulf of Mexico. It is a long, grueling pace down the San Marcos and Guadalupe rivers and across a portion of salt water at the end.

Note a few comparisons: the Michigan race is 240 miles. The Texas Safari is 419 miles, and since it began in 1963, only 19% of the starters have finished. The Michigan racers had to contend with a few short portages, but I doubt that they made any more than a mile long, up and down steep grades through dense woods. Part of the safari runs through an almost junglelike area, and spectators cannot even get to the riverbanks in most places. There also is the possibility of a water moccasin dropping into the canoe from overhanging branches and many log jams lie between start and finish. One other thing: no assistance can be given to canoe teams, as is done in Michigan, which means that food must be carried all the way.

I speak from experience; I was in the 1973 safari, but my partner and I made it only halfway. Our canoe had acquired a dozen holes and would no longer float. Former Michigan racers Norm Brown and Bill Staples expressed pessimism about any increase in the popularity of canoeing because it takes too much work to be a winner. On the Texas Safari, if you finish you are a winner.
JOE V. HUNT
Dallas

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)