THE INDY 250
You have proved the great worth of a picture with your shot of Johnny Rutherford and crew at Indianapolis (A Slick Way to Win the 500, June 7). The photo communicates their disappointment at the interruption of a beautifully run race, their endurance of miserable weather, their uncertainty and their unspoken anticipation of victory.
"God didn't make little green apples. It don't rain in Indianapolis...." What a place to hold the 500—er, uh, the 250.
R. H. WINSTEDT
In all fairness to drivers, crews and fans, why not set a 150-lap (375 miles) minimum? Since Memorial Day is now celebrated on a Monday, thus creating a three-day weekend, the race could be scheduled for Saturday, with the two remaining days available in case of rain. The 500 has been rain-shortened in three of the last four years. Isn't it time a change was made?
LACROSSE'S BEST YEAR
I was pleasantly surprised by your article on the Cornell-Maryland NCAA lacrosse final (Big Red Sticks It to the Terps, June 7). Previously you had pretty much written Maryland off, in spite of its undefeated season and the fact that it was the defending champion. While Cornell was being noted for its victory over Johns Hopkins and praised as the team to beat (Attack from Both Sides, April 26), Maryland was going on to equally (or more) impressive victories over Army and Hopkins, which you gave only marginal notice. As for the playoffs, I think there should have been some mention of Maryland Attackman Ed Mullen, who in the defeat of Navy tied the playoff record of seven goals and set an NCAA record of 12 points in a game.
This Maryland team definitely ranks as one of the alltime best, though it would have been nice if the Terps had won the title. Lacrosse may never have a better year.
College Park, Md.
Thanks to newspaper clippings sent by my father-in-law, I learned of Hobart's late-season surge culminating in a semifinal 14-5 win over Ohio Wesleyan (in the rain with 40-mph winds and occasional snow) and an 18-9 victory over Adelphi, which gave Hobart the NCAA Division II championship. Two days later I attacked my mailbox for my copy of SI to find a fine article by Joe Marshall on the Cornell-Maryland game but nary a word about Division II.
Curiously, your reporter writes that Frank Shorter's 2:11:51 in the U.S. Olympic marathon Trials (It Took Shorter a Little Longer, May 31) was "less than one minute slower than the Olympic marathon he won in Munich in 1972...." A glance at the record will show that Shorter's winning time in Munich was 2:12:19.8. In other words, Shorter's time at the Trials was almost half a minute faster than his Munich time. Right?
R. W. FRENCH
Over the last few years, I've noticed your articles concerning American youth soccer, youth football, women in athletics, drugs in athletics and religion in athletics. SI has made people think about the question: "Just what are we proving by playing and watching sports?"
Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter both came up with good answers in the May 24 issue (In the Long Run It's Shorter). Competition is only a vehicle for eliciting the best athletic performance, the best the individual athlete can give. Among lesser marathoners the measure of performance is not what the winner's time was but, more important, how many broke three hours for the first time or what percentage of runners even finished the distance at all. Sport would be better off if we all had the "it's how you play the game" philosophy of Rodgers and Shorter.
AS THE ROMANS DID
Congratulations to Bruce Newman for his article First Among Those Who Cast Stones (June 7). This fine report brought back memories of a similar contest held on a much smaller scale in 1965 by my Latin club when I was a sophomore at Lakeview High in Battle Creek, Mich. My Roman catapult of the twisted-rope variety, powered by three large rubber bands, was easily capable of striking the chalkboard from the rear of the classroom.
RALPH C. SULLIVAN
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