DORSETT VS. BELL
Isn't the first week of November a little early to be handing out the Heisman Trophy? In Myron Cope's 1,656-word Heisman snow job in favor of Tony Dorsett (My, How He Does Run On, Nov. 8), he generously allots Ricky Bell all of 36 words. Let's see who goes highest in the draft and makes a greater impact in the NFL.
Santa Monica, Calif.
The Heisman Trophy should not be handed out until everyone gets to see Ricky Bell run against UCLA and Notre Dame. As much as one might wish to honor Dorsett for his fantastic career, Bell did run for 1,875 yards last year. And Ricky, not Tony, might now be the alltime leading rusher if USC had not had a tailback named Anthony Davis in 1973 and 1974. So, let's reserve judgment.
I can only be thankful that it was Archie Griffin who won back-to-back Heisman honors. Griffin was proud of his Heisman "book-ends," but he also was always generous with praise of his teammates. He stated that he would gladly have traded his personal honors for a No. 1 rating for his Ohio State team. Unfortunately, those dreams fell short.
Tony Dorsett, on the other hand, does not paint a picture of an ideal athlete concerned With teamwork or support of his fellow players. Instead, he chooses a vain self-portrayal of wanting Tony to be No. 1. In one brief quote he uses the word "I" nine times. Dorsett has an enormous talent. It is too bad that he also has an enormous mouth and ego.
November 22, 1976
Although much of Dorsett's yardage is gained via his own expertise, Myron Cope forgot to mention the people who block for the Hawk. The teamwork of George Messich, John Hanhauser, Joe Stone, John Pelusi, Tom Brzoza, Art Bortnick and Matt Carroll on the offensive line allows Dorsett to burst into the secondary and rewrite the NCAA record book.
JOHN DI STAZIO
I am a Michigan fan, but in my opinion Tony Dorsett is the only real choice for the Heisman Trophy. Dorsett has got to be the outstanding college football player of the last four years.
To quote from Myron Cope's description of the final period of the Pitt-Syracuse game: "Third and one on the Pitt 11...Hurley handed off to James Sessler.... Nothing. On fourth down it was Sessler again. And again nothing. Saved by its defense, Pitt...."
Your article should have read, "Saved by the referees, Pitt...." Game films show conclusively that Sessler's forward motion brought him to the nine-yard line, more than enough for a first down both times.
Your Nov. 8 cover photo of Tony Dorsett was great. But who or what are the apes in the upper right-hand corner?
I know Tony makes monkeys of opponents, but his own fans? That's ridiculous.
I've heard of the SI cover jinx before, but those two guys have the most severe case I've ever seen.
Tony Dorsett must be the best back in college history if scouts came all the way from the Planet of the Apes to see him.
He really is an out-of-this-world running back.
New Castle, Pa.
Would you please explain the appearance of those two misfits?
•It was the day before Halloween and some Pitt students dressed accordingly.—ED.
'VICH AND 'RICH
Jerry Kirshenbaum scored with his story on the Jazzy backcourt combo of Pete Maravich and Gail Goodrich (New Guard for the Old Guard, Nov. 8). I hope New Orleans fans never have to sing the blues again.
ELLEN M. KUNES
Your article on 'Vich and 'Rich was super. New Orleans could have one of the best back-courts in the league. The Jazz needs only one other player—a power forward of Sidney Wicks' type—to finish second. Cleveland should easily win the division.
Coon Rapids, Minn.
Maravich and Goodrich are indeed a great backcourt duo, but there is none better than Walt (Clyde) Frazier and Earl (the Pearl) Monroe of the Knicks.
PROTECTING THE QUARTERBACK
Congratulations to Robert Jones on his informative article on the brutal treatment of the NFL quarterback (Toting Up the Butcher's Bill, Nov. 8). However, I was surprised that the elimination of the blitz was not discussed as a means of protecting the game's top drawing cards from the onslaught of defensive players who believe that quarterbacks are to be planted (a la Terry Bradshaw) rather than tackled.
It is about time someone spoke out against the defensive tactics of the game, and Robert Jones has done it. I have seen some of the unnecessary injuries to quarterbacks and the NFL must start doing something about it.
It occurs to me that perhaps the NFL asked for this rash of quarterback injuries several years ago when it moved the hash marks closer to the center of the field. Before the change, it was rather common to see a quarterback break for the near sideline and step safely out of bounds before getting hit. Now this maneuver appears to be almost nonexistent, because the near sideline is farther away.
Granted, the biggest and best athletes in pro football are on the defense, and they seem to be getting bigger and better each season. But it should also be noted that they now have more field to work with.
East Lansing, Mich.
According to Robert Jones' article, John Madden and Al Davis seem to think that the quarterback should get the same treatment as a punter; that is, as soon as the quarterback's arm goes forward, he should be unhittable. The one big problem here is that a quarterback often pumps without throwing, unlike a punter, who very rarely fakes a kick. Pumping to take advantage of the proposed rule would confuse the pass rush altogether. Once quarterbacks realized what was happening, they'd all fake. There would be hardly any sacks and this would make for boring football.
Somewhere along the line someone made quarterbacks sacred. They are being coddled. This is wrong. The name of the game is football, not tiddledywinks, and in football you get hit.
I suggest that on an offensive formation from the line of scrimmage the offensive team be permitted to field 12 men. The added man would be placed in the backfield wearing a special jersey that would identify him as the 12th man, and his sole responsibility would be to provide additional pass protection for the quarterback when he drops back into the pocket.
VINCENT A. CARUSO
St. Petersburg, Fla.
If the NFL adopted a penalty-box rule similar to the one employed in hockey, it might find the answer. Whether or not a team should be forced to play shorthanded, as in hockey, is a question that would have to be looked into. But if a defensive player were automatically forced to sit out a minimum 2½ defensive minutes for a personal foul, he might think twice before taking a cheap shot.
I'm from New York and I love all the teams that represent New York, but who does Denis Potvin of the Islanders think he is? The way he blasted the great Bobby Orr (It Was Nothing to Write Home About, Nov. 8) was disgusting. Even though Orr never played for New York, I must give him credit for what he is—the greatest hockey player of all time: I wish that Potvin could play half as well as Orr did in his prime.
When Denis Potvin has led the islanders to two Stanley Cups in three years, earned the MVP award three years straight and completely dominated a hockey game, then he should be recognized as the best defenseman in the game.
Lincoln Park. Pa.
You finally recognized the talented "Super-flea," better known as Little Robbie Ftorek (A Little Bit Who Counts, Nov. 8). I am a devoted Phoenix Roadrunner fan and have missed no more than five games in my six years as a hockey fanatic. However, I must say that the past two years have been the best, with the young, exciting and brilliant Robbie. What a valuable asset he is to our team and to the WHA!
You mention that Robbie Ftorek and the late Harry Agganis are the two most heralded high school athletes produced in the Greater Boston area since World War II. Lest Peter Gammons forget, Joe Bellino also played high school ball in this area. And like Agganis, he excelled in several sports, not just one as did Ftorek.
Lyndon Center, Vt.
Thanks for the great article on the Texas Tech Red Raiders (A Real Lulu in Lubbock, Nov. 8). The line describing the Lubbock air as "clear as Steuben glass" evoked severe pangs of homesickness.
The only thing that stuck in the craw of this exiled Tech fan was ABC's failure to telecast the super-exciting Tech-Texas encounter. Instead, we in the Southwest got the 36-0 A&M-SMU thriller.
Ron Reid's fine article caught the mood of the crowd, the city and the game, and it gave Tech the credit that is due the No. 5 team in the nation.
Lake Charles, La.
At the conclusion of your story you quote Texas Tech Defensive End Howard Buell as saying. "I don't know how this came about—it's a psychological kind of thing—but we've got something here that's exciting." That exciting something is probably Coach Steve Sloan. We were fortunate to have him at Vanderbilt for a couple of years and he created excitement and good football even for us.
JEAN Y. DEAN
BIG EIGHT BOASTS
If Maryland's Mark Manges doesn't believe the boasts of Big Eight coaches (FOOTBALL'S WEEK, Nov. 8), he should consider the results of the past three NFL drafts. By my count, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Colorado totaled 82 draftees; the entire ACC had only 46. Kansas and Iowa State have each had more NFL draftees than Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Houston, LSU, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas or Texas A&M. Only two or three squads could beat all the Big Eight teams in one season—but they play in the NFL.
Council Bluffs, Iowa
I am glad that you picked Eastern Montana Fullback Duke Williams as one of your Players of the Week (FOOTBALL'S WEEK, NOV. 8). People forget that some of the best pro football players come from small colleges.
THE BLACK 14
John Underwood's statement that the 14 black players on the University of Wyoming football team "insisted" on a protest of the racial policies of the Mormon Church before the 1969 game with Brigham Young is incorrect (Seldom Is Heard a Discouraging Word, Oct. 25).
As one of the 14 players dismissed from the team, I feel the article gives the reader the wrong impression. The 14 players went to Coach Lloyd Eaton to ask permission to protest the game in some way or form. Eaton's first words were, "You're all off the team." Not one of the 14 had the opportunity to express what was really on his mind.
We wanted to play the game. If Eaton had listened to us and said "No protest." we would have played the game regardless of our feelings about the Mormon Church. We had decided that before seeing Eaton. The 14 were denied the opportunity to speak, never mind insisting on the protest.
As the article states, "Eaton was recognized for his strong principles and iron discipline," but those qualities are also what ruined a top-ranked team.
Thanks for a good article by Sam Moses on professional motorcycle racing (He's Loose as a Goose and Flies on a Bike, Nov. 8). He captured the fever that produced the best racing season ever. However, he forgot to mention that in recent years the title has meant well over $100,000 to the winner. Two years ago the total reportedly went over $200,000.
I have known of Gary Scott since he first started racing for money. He has been a "good guy" until this year when various members of the press decided he was a bad guy—mainly because he was the first rider to turn down a factory contract. Scott has always been a credit to the sport of cycle racing and is one of the few to realize that it is a dangerous business. He also realizes that everybody loves a winner.
R. D. ROCKWOOD
North Hollywood, Calif.
In his story on the whale hunt (Black Water, Red Death, Nov. 1) Ron Rau states, "I was glad for the people of Point Hope and Point Barrow, Wainwright and St. Lawrence Island that they could still hunt the bow-head whale, even though it is on the endangered-species list." He also implies that because the traditional hunt preserves a way of life, it is O.K.
The simple fact is it is not O.K.! We have all had to make changes in our life-style. Traders no longer traffic in slaves, hunters no longer hunt heads and cannibals have had to make adjustments in their diet.
The Eskimos now use snowmobiles and explosive harpoons with "whale bombs" in their hunt, hardly what you would call traditional aboriginal methods. We cannot create whales, and if the slaughter of these gentle, intelligent beings continues, the bowhead whale will soon live only as a memory.
E. C. JOHNSON
Robert Boyle was well advised to use the phrase "may well be" in his tentative designation of "the best bird carver in the world" (Fine Feathers Help Make Better Birds, Nov. I). Not to derogate John Scheeler, Ken Gleason, Hans Bolte or Jay Polite as superb craftsmen, my own nomination for best bird carver in the world would have to go to Grainger McKoy of Wadmalaw Island. S.C.
K. HENRY MILLER
Regarding the story Robert Boyle related about a German firm manufacturing a strand of wire of the finest diameter ever made, and the Swiss then drilling holes in the wire, this happened in 1915. However, there is more to the story. The Swiss sent the wire to the United States where my father and his fellow apprentices at the General Electric Company in Erie, Pa. pressed bushings into the holes the Swiss had drilled.
My father, who is 80 and who never told a lie, will gladly attest to this rather routine example of American mechanical know-how.
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