COLLEGE FOOTBALL '77
If your coverage can include the Southern Athletic Conference (Scouting Reports, Sept. 5), why not the Southwestern Athletic Conference? Your coverage of black college football is shameful. Why must its players wait until the NFL draft to gain recognition? Where do you think Walter Payton, L.C. Greenwood, Ernie Holmes, Harold Carmichael, Willie Lanier, Bob Brazile, Elvin Bethea, Art Shell, etc., etc., etc. came from? Surely not the Citadel. They came from Jackson State, Tennessee State, Grambling, Arkansas AM&N, North Carolina A&T, etc., etc., etc.
I am not much on traditions, but I love the tradition of the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. And I strongly disagree with scheduling the grandfather of all bowls on Jan. 2 even if New Year's Day is on a Sunday this year. New Year's has always been a day for college football and should stay that way. Why should they take a day that belongs to great college teams and give it to the pros to play their conference championships?
As everyone in the Midwest knows, especially those in the Big Eight Conference, Kansas State offers what no other college town in the nation can match (Watering Holes, Sept. 5). We in Wildcat Land have what is known as Aggieville. This community (a two-square-block area) within a community has 13 taverns and five liquor stores (not including restaurants which offer game-day specials on the suds).
When the crowd pours into Aggieville after a football or basketball game, the streets are closed off and one heck of a party develops, both inside and outside the bars.
September 25, 1977
We invite Roy Blount Jr. and Bernard Fuchs to a free pitcher of purple beer in Aggieville, the home of the Wildcats.
H. L. LAUE
If Blount and Fuchs happen to find themselves within a few blocks of Mississippi Memorial Stadium on a hot autumn afternoon, tell them to stop by for a cold one on us, and we'll talk football in one of the nation's most famous elbow-bending establishments—The Cherokee Inn.
LOYAL PATRONS OF THE CHEROKEE INN
After reading your article on the Penn State-Rutgers game (Hello Big Time, So Long Streak, Sept. 12), we feel that Pat Putnam was not justified in his barb about the Lehigh football program. Rutgers' 18-game winning streak started after a 34-20 defeat by Lehigh in Taylor Stadium. The statistics of that game—and last year's 28-21 Rutgers victory in the closing minutes—show that a game with Lehigh is a little bit more than a week off for the Scarlet Knights.
THE BROTHERS OF BETA THETA PI
While Rutgers was totally outclassed, their mere presence on the same field with a fine Penn State team is a major accomplishment, considering that in the recent past the Knights were being dominated by teams like Princeton, Delaware and Massachusetts. The rapid and tremendous advances made in the last few years by Rutgers are to be commended, not downgraded. There is no need to apologize for 18 wins in a row because they may have come against weaker competition; instead it is an achievement to be savored.
THOMAS J. GALLO
DESERVING OF BETTER
On Sept. 8, Phil Niekro (He Didn't Knuckle Under, Sept. 12) again went to the mound for the Atlanta Braves. He allowed three earned runs in eight innings, gave up four walks and with his seven strikeouts broke the club record for strikeouts in a season. He was not involved in the decision and the Braves lost 5-4 in extra innings. Niekro is not a complainer, but I am sure he would acknowledge that if he played for the Dodgers, Yankees, Reds or Phillies, he would be a consistent 20-game winner.
As a Braves fan (and don't ask me why), I thank you for recognizing a good man and pitcher who happens to be stuck with "a sorry bunch of dead-enders."
Alexander City, Ala.
EL PASO WHIZ
Jim Paul might be a good general manager (Bananas in the Bushes, Sept. 12), but it seems to me that anyone who thinks that baseball is boring doesn't deserve to be the owner of a baseball team.
What's so special about Jim Paul? Arkansas Travelers' GM Bill Valentine has proven himself a master of promotion in drawing crowds of more than 6,000 to a park smaller than El Paso's. There have been several nights on which Little Rock outdrew the Atlanta Braves. Kazoo Night is no stranger to Little Rock, either.
Little Rock, Ark.
What about some credit for the great baseball fans of Columbus, Ohio? Under General Manager George Sisler, the seventh-place Clippers of the International League drew more than 450,000, the first time a Triple A club has accomplished this feat since 1970.
Sonny Werblin (Miracle in the Meadows, Sept. 12) is the greatest person to come into the State of New Jersey since a guy named George Washington crossed the Delaware.
Mr. Werblin made some foolish statements, like, "There's no more New York." I say, try telling 7½ million of the greatest people in the world that New York doesn't exist. It's snakes in the grass like Werblin that wreck America's national shrines (the cities). Mr. Werblin, I hope you sink in the swamp.
New York City
TRACK AND FIELD
Reading Kenny Moore's article, The Cup Turned Into a Coup (Sept. 12), something bothered me: How could Cuba's Alberto Juantorena protest a race and have it run over again? So he didn't hear the starter's gun go off. That's tough. Remember the 1972 Munich Olympics?
When, through no fault of their own, American sprinters Eddie Hart and Rey Robinson missed their quarterfinals in the 100 because their coach was using an out-of-date schedule, they didn't get a second chance. I guess it just depends on which country you're from.
You say that Jacek Wszola of Poland won the high jump at the European team-selection meet. Actually, Rolf Beilschmidt won, but being from East Germany, which had its own team in the World Cup, he was ineligible for Team Europe. Wszola, who was second, thereby made the team. Beilschmidt also won the event in the World Cup, beating, among others, Dwight Stones and Wszola.
Also, I was slightly surprised that you did not mention Francie Larrieu-Lutz' fine 1,500-meter run (a very close second). Jan Merrill (third place) didn't do too badly in the 3,000 either.
•Merrill's American record of 8:46.6 was noted in FOR THE RECORD.—ED.
When Earnie Shavers ranks himself ahead of the likes of Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey and Rocky Marciano as a hard hitter, he is being ridiculous (The Importance of Being Earnie, Act I, Sept. 12). KO percentages do not always prove a fighter's hitting ability; the ability of the opponents must also be taken into account. Shavers could not have lasted one round with Jack Dempsey in his prime.
After reading Frank Deford's review of The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training (Sept. 12), I disagree with his evaluation that the "real" victory is when Tanner evades the two adults chasing him.
Having seen BNB I 40 times and BNB II 27 times—I work as an usher in a movie theater—I feel that I am in the right position to make a comment on both films and the audience reactions.
In BNB II, Tanner's captors are booed, but that is not what gets the largest reaction. The most vocal and expressive reaction occurs when Carmen slides into home with the winning run and the umpire signals him safe. At this point in the film, the audience goes berserk. Popcorn flies. Every kid jumps up and down. All the adults cheer and all the girls scream while the boys whistle.
Also, when the people file out the doors, they talk about how they are glad the Bears won. Most comment that they have formed an allegiance to the Bears.
Now I'll have to wait to see BNB III.
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