Well, I wouldn't have believed it unless I had seen it. Dan Jenkins actually had more to say about the man who won the PGA Championship than about the man who came in second (He Left Them Laughing, Aug. 19). The account of Lee Trevino's victory was a refreshing relief from Jenkins' usual story of how Jack Nicklaus lost. Great job.
Brick Town, N.J.
I greatly enjoyed your excellent article on Lee Trevino's PGA triumph. Taking nothing away from Lee, Sam Snead, Gary Player et al., your statement that Jack Nicklaus "has been either first or second in no less than 26 major championships" clearly stamps him as the greatest golfer of all time.
T. G. McCONKEY
I regret that Dan Jenkins was unimpressed with the recent PGA Championship at Tanglewood Park. I would like to point out to him, however, that this tournament, held on a "non-prestige" course in a "strange place," produced one of the finest tests of golf in recent years—only six of the best golfers in the world broke par for the 72 holes, and they did it before one of the largest crowds in the history of the PGA tournament. Perhaps it is time to point out to Mr. Jenkins that the tournament is held for the benefit of the golfers and fans, not solely for the benefit of sportswriters who might be inconvenienced in getting to their typewriters or a drink.
ROBERT L. TUCKER
Concerning your comments on the last nine holes of this year's PGA Championship, I was training with the Philadelphia Athletics in Fort Myers, Fla. in 1926 when the 72-hole match between Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones took place. The first 36 holes were played in Sarasota, and Cy Perkins, Mickey Cochrane and I went up to watch. In the PGA it seemed that Jack Nicklaus hit to most greens first, then Lee Trevino usually hit his bail inside, closer to the pin. That is exactly what happened in the Hagen-Jones match. Bobby would usually hit first to the greens, but Hagen would always hit his ball inside. It's too bad films are not available for a closer comparison of the play.
La Selva Beach, Calif.
After watching the PGA Championship last week, we can no longer contain ourselves. Please consider our nomination of Sam Snead for SI's Sportsman of the Year.
Three cheers for your Aug. 12 SCORECARD item "Trophy Art." It stated exactly what I, as the wife of a golfer who has collected a few plaques and trophies, have been saying for years. I realize that not all tournament committees have the funds to award soapstone sculptures, but surely even a lovely piece of pottery is preferable to those ugly metal, wood and plastic dust collectors.
MARAH L. BREHAUT
Los Altos Hills, Calif.
Many thanks for your extensive coverage of the America's Cup eliminations (Sea of Turmoil, Aug. 19); it was an impressive article. However, allow me to point out to your other readers that the French skipper's name is Jean Marie Le Guillou, not Le Cuillou, and that the captions under the pictures of Australia's Alan Bond and Jim Hardy have been reversed.
New York City
•SI extends its apologies to M. Le Guillou as well as to Messrs. Bond and Hardy (left).—ED.
REDS AND DODGERS
In your Aug. 12 and 19 issues you have told us everything we care to know about the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds. However, you are not the only culprits. In the last three nationally televised Monday night games on NBC, Cincinnati has appeared three times and Los Angeles once.
True, the National League West Division race is very exciting, but it is not the only one in progress.
Your article points out something very unfair. Bill Buckner comes in a little bit too hard at second base in that Reds-Dodgers series, almost kicking Joe Morgan in the face, and they end up fighting. How is it that Pete Rose can do virtually the same thing only to be booed all across the nation while Buckner is criticized not at all? I think fans all over the country owe Rose an apology.
So Ron Fimrite is already making excuses for the Dodgers (Seeing Red in Dodger Stadium, Aug. 19). History will repeat itself. The Cincinnati Reds, behind their hustling leader Pete Rose, will be the National League West champions.
JAMES MADDEN JR.
Hickory Corners, Mich.
The Big Red Machine will need a lot of fuel to overtake the Dodgers, and with gas around 60¢ a gallon, I'd say the Dodgers are still the best bet in the West.
PRIDE OF TAIWAN
Thanks for your article doing to Bat for Taiwan (Aug. 19). Being an ardent parent of two Little Leaguers I was certain Taiwan loaded its teams with All-Stars before sending them to this country to humiliate our boys. I eagerly read your article to confirm my suspicions. Alas, I was wrong! They are a fine group of dedicated fellows.
It was an excellent article, but you failed to mention that besides C. K. Yang and our Little League baseball teams, we people of Taiwan are also proud of Miss Chi Cheng, Golfer Lu Liang-huan, our girls' basketball teams and our bridge team, even though the latter has been defeated by America's Aces and Italy's Blue Team.
Peter Carry quoted in Chinese the presumably colorful remarks of the Taiwanese Little League mother who, armed with an umbrella, "strode onto the diamond" and engaged in "fierce debate" with the umpires, but he neglected to give us a translation. Just what do "[Chinese characters]" and "[Chinese characters]" mean? Or must those expletives be deleted?
•"[Chinese characters]" means, "Your eyes are blinded." "[Chinese characters]", while not uncommon, is best left to the imagination.—ED.
Your fine article on the recent dominance of the Taiwan Little League teams points up a rather discouraging fact. U.S. athletes of all ages, once No. 1 in many sports, are yielding their superiority to foreigners, In basketball, Little League baseball, diving and junior wrestling we have fallen behind. Perhaps complacency has set in. Whatever the case, we had better not continue to count out foreign competition as we seemingly have been doing these past few years.
Thanks to Mark Mulvoy for the fine article on Umpire Ron Luciano (He Calls 'Em as He Feels 'Em, Aug. 19). It's about time some recognition was given to the men whose job is one of the toughest in all of sport, and Luciano handles that job in exceptional fashion. It is well worth the price of admission, just to see him waving his arms wildly half a dozen or more times on a close safe call at the plate.
I was disappointed four years ago when Emmett Ashford, another colorful ump, retired, but it's good to see Luciano carrying on where Ashford left off. Indeed, I wish there were more umps like Luciano and Ashford throughout baseball, for they would add much excitement to the game.
D. M. SMITH
Murray Hill, N.J.
EVERYBODY INTO THE POOL
As a participant in water polo, I was tremendously enthused about Ron Reid's story on the National AAU championships (It Was a Family Affair, Aug. 19) and especially his acknowledgment that the sport is "contested by some of the best-conditioned athletes on land or sea." Ron said it all: "Water polo is a trial whose excitement bears elements of basketball, hockey and soccer."
I am now coaching younger boys at a local swim club in the fundamentals of the game, but the lack of interest in this area makes it tough to arrange games. After reading your article, maybe more swimmers will begin to realize the fun they can have in the water with a ball.
Prospect Park, Pa.
In reference to your comment that Pete Cutino may be the only coach in the country to have won both an AAU title and the corresponding NCAA championship in one year, does the name Doc Counsilman ring any bells?
Re your article Americans Need No Papergate (Aug. 19), you seem to think that the only reason Birmingham's team has been successful is that Birmingham is a "little city" and therefore does not have a "bona fide major league team" to turn to as an alternative to the Americans.
Birmingham is in no way a little city, and the reason for Birmingham's success is obvious. For years the people of that city had begged the NFL for a franchise, but NFL officials just turned up their noses at Birmingham and looked the other way. Now with a fine WFL team, Birminghamians can turn up their noses and say we told you so.
The state of Alabama has long been a football hotbed, as is proved by throngs of Alabama and Auburn football worshipers. Now we have another team to love and go crazy over.
Joe Marshall says, "The talk is the Wheels will be rolling to Charlotte, N.C. before the season ends."
After living for 2½ years in Charlotte, all I can say is that if they want to draw better here than they do in Detroit, they had better play at the Charlotte Motor Speedway with a stock-car race after each game. Or maybe a Bluegrass Music Festival or an Old-time Fiddlers convention after each game might bring out some people.
It is at least 10 years too soon for Charlotte. The Wheels would soon go the way of the Carolina Cougars because of lack of local support.
G. T. FRATER
In the SCORECARD section of your July 6 issue you had a short item about a young man who intended to begin a swim down the Mississippi River to break a record set back in 1930. (The Guinness Book of World Records said 1933 but will make the correction in the next edition.)
I am the holder of that record and would not mind one bit having it broken. However, the man who breaks it should do it under conditions similar to those under which the record was set.
I left Minneapolis with less than $10. I painted signs on days when I laid over in a town to raise enough money to feed myself and my two lifeguard companions. We knocked at back doors to beg food after arriving in some towns. We slept on the riverbank and fought mosquitoes almost every night. Money sent from home—Clinton, Okla.—came at intervals but was never enough. I adopted the slogan "I can always quit tomorrow" and kept on going.
The first freeze overtook us at Natchez, Miss. The water was so cold that I swam fewer hours each day. The water temperature was 47° when on Dec. 29 I reached the foot of Carrollton Avenue in New Orleans.
I have held the record for nearly 44 years. This young man is welcome to it, if he swims without flippers and if he works his way as I did. Since I made my swim the river has been shortened by cutting across the heels of the big horseshoe bends to speed up the flow. So from Minneapolis to New Orleans it now measures about 1,660 miles instead of the 1,826 that I swam in 1930.
FRED P. NEWTON
Re your Aug. 19 SCORECARD item on the trend toward the Veer offense among college football teams, was Princeton one of the 71 major colleges included in the survey? If so, instead of 36-35, the true vote total should be 35-35 with one abstaining. With the much-ballyhooed Veer, Princeton romped to a 1-8 record last fall, worst in its 104 years of competition. The single wing it's not.
JOHN JAY WILHEIM
The Daily Princetonian
As a conservationist, I enjoyed your recent article on killer whales (Run Noisy, Run Deep and Go to Work, Aug. 5). As a psychology student, I regret that your misuse of behavioral terminology can only add to existing confusion.
The author suggests that a fish snack serves as a secondary reinforcer for a whale's chained behaviors. A secondary reinforcer is not distinguished from a primary reinforcer by its size (e.g., a snack vs. a meal), but by the fact that its reinforcing properties are acquired through association with a primary reinforcer (e.g., food).
The reference to negative reinforcement as "double-speak for physical punishment" is also quite misleading. Positive reinforcement involves the presentation of a pleasant event; negative reinforcement is the removal of an aversive stimulus. As the word "reinforcement" suggests, both procedures are followed by an increase in the desired behavior. On the other hand, punishment involves the presentation of an aversive event and may result in a decrease in desired behavior.
Frankly, these issues have confused and been confused by many behavioral scientists. I would hate to see this confusion spread to the sports world.
Department of Psychology
University of Utah
Salt Lake City
I can swallow some whoppers in the name of artistic license, but some things are just too much to digest. In your article on the first women's professional tournament to be played in England (One for the Rankin File, Aug. 19), you say Pam Barnett won a new car for hitting a seven-iron just a few inches away from the pin on a 178-yard par-3 hole. On the fly yet.
Now look, fellows. Jack Nicklaus, maybe, but there's no way a golfer named Pam anything is going to hit a 178-yard seven-iron. I play in the mid-80s, and just about all the men I play with use a four-iron or so for that distance. I know Pam Barnett's a pro, but that doesn't make her Wonder Woman.
•Other LPGA members who watched Pam Barnett's 178-yard car-winning drive thought that it was going to carry over the green. She did use a seven-iron, because the tee was elevated and there was a strong favoring wind, but it was only by chance that her ball (the smaller British one) hit the pin and stopped exactly 9‚Öù" away.—ED.
A reader's suggestion (Aug. 12) that "quality points" be awarded to black in drawn games to break ties in chess matches would do nothing to combat the problem of excessive draws and would produce unfair results. If, in a 24-game match, Player A won six and lost six with white while drawing all his games with black, the tied match would be resolved decisively in his favor, 12-0, on "quality points." But in reality Player B's feat of winning half his games with black would be vastly more worthy of reward.
As the reader himself correctly states, grand masters play to win with white, but are often content to draw with black. "Quality points" would only reinforce this strategy. For most of this century chess defense on the grand-master level has clearly dominated offense, and black normally favors colorless positional defenses providing no winning chances but ensuring a safe draw. What is needed to reduce draws at the top levels of the game is an extraordinary reward for black victories, which would encourage exciting, counterattacking, tactical games with decisive outcomes.
BRUCE J. HAVIGHURST
Shaker Heights, Ohio
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