I am an Ohio State fan and, unfortunately, attended the Michigan State game in East Lansing (The Touchdown That Didn't Count, Nov. 18). I congratulate you on your objective and honest reporting of a very confusing ending to an otherwise well-played game. I feel obliged to point out, however, that Illustrator Robert Handville has put 12 Ohio State men on the field. That would have made Ohio State "mightier than a Divine Presence in a face mask."
DAVID B. GILL
Instead of The Touchdown That Didn't Count, your headline should have read, SI Didn't Count.
I suggest the artist take another look at the ABC Sports videotape.
HERBERT R. ELLIS
You have added yet another bizarre aspect to this game.
Eau Claire, Wis.
Please accept my compliments on Ron Fimrite's A Football Odyssey (Nov. 18). This is one of the finest articles on college football I have ever had the pleasure of reading, thanks to the author's almost uncanny ability to capture the spirit and essence of the game. I have often wondered why and how a single cry of "War Eagle" could transform me into a freshman over and over again. Fimrite's description of college football as a continuum has finally given me the answer.
I feel sorry for those people who "outgrow" things such as college football. They will be old long before I will. It is nice to recapture youth, even for just a weekend.
DAVID M. PORTER
I arrived home this evening, after a long day of classes, to find my Nov. 18 issue of SI waiting for me. I flipped quickly through the pages, knowing that I had little time to read the magazine. Not only were finals rapidly approaching, but I would have to be at the stadium at 7:30 the next morning to help tack pieces of colored cardboard used for card stunts onto 10,000 bleacher seats. For some reason, however, I stopped at Ron Fimrite's article and started to read. Then I knew why.
Like Fimrite's, my initiation to college football came when I was a 9-year-old traffic boy spending my Saturdays at the University of California's Memorial Stadium. My choice of college was never really in doubt after that first game, which Cal won. I, too, am now a "Cal man," and I wonder what my future will be like. I hope that I won't have to "rediscover" college football.
Thank you, not only for reminding me of the past but for helping me appreciate the present a little bit more.
Ron Fimrite states that the Oklahoma-Nebraska game of 1973 was "a dull and colorless conquest," stirring few emotions and generating relatively little noise in the stadium. That may have been, but it also was one of the outstanding moments of Oklahoma football history. Watching the Sooners' awesome defense play what probably was its best game, against a fine Nebraska team, was inspiring. Raucous cheering is out of place when one views the Mona Lisa; and the Oklahoma football team that day was a pure work of art.
LARRY L. PIATT
Salt Lake City
I was pleasantly surprised to see your article on horse pulling (Ten Tons and Then Some, Nov. 18). My father used to recount his early days as a horse trader, owner and puller each time our family gathered on holidays or special occasions. As I read your article, many of those fond memories came back, vividly evoking thoughts of an art that has all but passed out of American life.
F. E. BEYEA
I read Kenny Moore's article (A Run for Their Money, Nov. 4) on Dr. Kenneth Cooper and his Aerobics Center with great interest. As a physician, I must admit the evidence that fitness can protect against heart disease is far from complete, but as a believer in fitness I sympathize with Dr. Cooper's emphasis on exercise as the major key to the cardiac puzzle. There is indeed some interesting evidence to support this view.
Dr. Alexander Leaf of Massachusetts General Hospital has studied the living habits of various populations noted for their long life. He found that people in certain of these groups smoked, drank and ate fairly large amounts of animal fat but still lived to be 100. He suggests a key may be their hard daily work and their remarkable physical fitness. A similar suggestion comes from studies showing a much lower rate of fatal heart disease in sharecroppers as compared to sedentary workers. This occurs despite race, income and diet factors that should produce much higher rates in the former group. Again, the key seems to be exercise and physical fitness.
The next step, as Dr. Cooper points out, is to back up this evidence with specific studies and to approach the central question of how much exercise is necessary to protect against heart disease. This is a game with high stakes. Heart disease is the major killer in this country, striking down millions of men in their most productive years. I applaud Dr. Coopers efforts to keep the fitness viewpoint before the profession and the public, and I applaud SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for recognizing this vital use of sports and exercise.
ROBERT F. MEENAN, M.D.
A great article. However, you failed to mention that the man on the treadmill on page 68 was Bob Haugh, president of Overhead Door Corporation. Bob led his team to the Tyler Cup victory, outrunning executives from all over the country.
Bob, who is 52 years old, ran the two-mile course in 12:06, while his teammate, Brian Bolton, set the meet record for executives with a time of 10:03.
CHARLES E. LANHAM
Two years ago I read Dr. Kenneth Cooper's Aerobics and I haven't been the same since. I weigh 35 pounds less, sleep better and have more respect for my capabilities.
LARRY M. O'MALEY
Fort Wayne, Ind.
While ruminating over "Winterset" (SCORECARD, Oct. 28) and waiting for March to roll around, I would like to offer these additions to Roger Angell's list of situations explained by baseball clichés:
1) How would you describe the fate of Private Eddie Slovik as he was bound and blindfolded before the firing squad? He caught it against the wail.
2) What did Tom Sawyer say to Huckleberry Finn as he aimed his slingshot at the ceiling of McDougal's cave? Let's shake up those bats.
3) What did the Russian executioner do to the defector from that country's bobsled team when he was returned to Russia? He hung a slider.
4) As Supreme Court Chief Justice, what did Earl Warren possess in large measure? Bench strength.
5) Prior to playing a club date, a clarinetist in Spike Jones' band polished off a bottle of his boss' 100 proof. In what condition did he show up for work? He came in with Spike's high.
6) In unbelievably hot, dry weather the salmon were swimming upstream to breed until the water became so shallow that the exposure to the sun drove them out of their minds. What was their only recourse? Spawn insane and pray for rain.
Oh, March and spring training, where are you?
JACK R. EKSTROM
The great surgeon was operating simultaneously on a man and his boy. When it was all over, one of his instruments was missing. "I'm sorry," he explained, "I lost it in the son."
Flat Rock, N.C.
A rustler is hanged for his crime, while the man who sold the stolen cattle goes unpunished—a case of someone swinging for the fence.
MIKE W. FISHER
I seem to remember a bridge party my mother and three of her friends had recently. When I walked into the room, I noticed wild bidding and a nearly empty bottle of Scotch on the table. What did I conclude? Last of the fifth and the bags were loaded.
I nominate Alvin Dark for Sportsman of the Year. He took over one of the toughest jobs in the whole country. The A's had already won two world championships under Dick Williams. With Dark, the A's won the playoffs in four games; it took Williams five in each of his two tries. Under Dark, the World Series took five games; both years under Williams the Series went to seven.
Certainly there are many fine athletes from several different sports who merit consideration. However, I don't think any one is quite as deserving as North Carolina State's incomparable basketball star David Thompson. He has combined superlative ability with humility.
Charles O. Finley.
THOMAS ED VEITCH
There's Henry Aaron, Johnny Bench, Jimmy Wynn and Reggie Jackson. But pick Al Kaline, he's the best.
I don't think your choice should be that difficult. Who else has dominated a sport this year like Johnny Miller? He broke the single-season money-winning record, won the first three tournaments of the season and five others.
I think it's only fair that you choose Bruno Sammartino.
Since you call your award "Sportsman of the Year" and not "Superstar of the Year" the only realistic nominee is Ted Size-more of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Beaver Falls, Pa.
Please consider No. 17, the man in green, John Havlicek.
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