While reading my baseball encyclopedia, I realized that not only did the New York Yankees win the World Series this year to commemorate the 75th anniversary of baseball's most prestigious event, but they also won the 25th World Series (in 1928 over the Cardinals) and the 50th World Series (in 1953 over the Dodgers). This may be pure coincidence, but when the year 2003 rolls around and baseball celebrates its 100th World Series, I'll have to go with the Yankees.
In your Oct. 23 issue, Herman Weiskopf advises us that Jerome Heavens has "supplanted George Gipp as the top running back in Notre Dame history" (An Upsetting Time for the Top Ten).
Could this mean a break with tradition and that henceforth the Devine call to rally the team before leaving the locker room will be "Let's win one for Heavens' sake"?
My thanks to Bruce Newman for his fine article on Andre Lacroix, the superb center of the New England Whalers (Man on the Move, Oct. 23). Lacroix was a major factor in helping the WHA achieve a 16-7-3 exhibition record against the NHL this season, once again showing that the WHA is just as exciting and competitive as the other league.
Judging from Bruce Newman's article, it seems that the WHA's alltime leading scorer has found himself a permanent home here in New England, with a financially stable hockey club. The disasters that have accompanied Lacroix throughout his long career may finally cross Climax Road into the graveyard, eh?
West Hartford, Conn.
In his otherwise fine article, Bruce Newman makes an unfortunate reference to "hockey's maddening rhetorical 'eh?" It isn't hockey's rhetorical "eh?" It's Canada's rhetorical "eh?" If Newman will cultivate some Canadians other than the slap-shooting ones, he'll find that to be true.
Moreover, to call the expression "maddening" is gratuitous and snippy. Newman should consider how America's "you know?" sounds to Canadians. Eh?
Old Lyme, Conn.
I grew up in the wilderness of northern Maine, and I still remember the anger and, yes, even the horror I felt then when talk of dog packs running deer brought out .30-30s and .30-06s. I pass no judgment as to whether the dogs or the men were right or wrong—there are times when reason takes flight and instinct answers anger—but my sympathies lie with Jack Curtis, the author of your story Horror in a High Country (Oct. 23). I trust I will not be labeled inhumane or anticanine; I care a great deal for my own dog.
Curtis' story may not be the best you've published, but it ranks up there with such recent ones as William Humphrey's Prodigy in a Puddle (Sept. 18), Clive Gammon's A Date with Nemesis (Oct. 2) and all of Frank Deford's stuff. Sometimes I think you do as much for literature as you do for sport. Now, can you do something about inflation?
(THE REV.) GENE HENDERSON
Horror in a High Country should be required reading for all dog owners who permit their pets to run free. It is a fine description of the pack instinct of some animals.
ROY D. WILLIAMS
While I am not a hunter and do not approve of most forms of hunting, much less see it as a sport, I understand and approve of SI presenting something for everyone at some time. However, I fail to see the usefulness of printing this story and consider it in very poor taste. While it may be necessary to control dog packs, how does this fit into anyone's definition of sport? And if we assume that this story has a statement to make, which I question, is Jack Curtis saying that revenge is one of the reasons he enjoys hunting pet dogs? Does he mean to say that he has the right to control the dog population without respect to law and other important considerations? Are we readers to believe that he is advocating a return to "frontier law"?
I realize that Curtis' piece is fiction. However, writers attempt to create a reality, and this is one reality I'd rather not see in SI.
I couldn't let Dave Hirshey's story on the Cosmos' postseason tour pass without comment (Taken on the Grand Tour, Oct. 9).
It isn't surprising to me that Hirshey would be waiting for the Cosmos in London following their poor showing in Germany. But it did surprise me that SI would run a story that cast the team and its tour in such a negative light before the final results were in.
The Cosmos went up against some of the world's top soccer clubs in Europe, and after their bad beginning, they broke even in their last four games, defeating Atlètico Madrid and AEK Athens before losing to Red Star Belgrade and Galatasaray (Turkey). The final record of 3-5-1, although not quite the on-field success the Cosmos hoped for, was still anything but the failure Hirshey seems to imply. The Cosmos generated interest on the part of fans in the seven countries they visited: witness the attendance of 341,659 for the nine games, an average of 37,962.
After they lost three of their first four games, morale among the Cosmos was low and some of the players said things they might not have said had Hirshey waited to talk to them later in the tour. The victory over Atlètico Madrid, a club that had defeated the Cosmos 3-1 at Giants Stadium on Sept. 4, deserved more than a one-paragraph mention. And what relevance does Krikor Yepremian's previous involvement with his brother Garo's tie business have to this particular story? Krikor was general manager of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers before he became the Cosmos' GM.
CHARLES B. ADAMS
Director of Public Relations Cosmos
New York City
I just wanted to bring to your attention the fact that one other North American Soccer League team was touring Europe at the same time as the Cosmos. Of course, this poor team of mostly American players from the plains of Oklahoma does not receive the attention of the worldly, wealthy Cosmos—but your readers may wish to compare the records of their respective European tours:
This was accomplished by an almost entirely American lineup against such teams as Glentoran, Ards and Portsmouth. Of the three shutouts, two were by rookie American Goalkeeper Darryl Wallace. In Tulsa's only loss, all five Glentoran goals were scored by 1978 Tulsa Roughnecks now playing for Glentoran.
So maybe next year you'll report on the tour of a hungry, winning club. Stay in touch. We even have a zip code in Tulsa now.
H. WARD LAY
KEEPING TABS ON GOODE (CONT.)
Failing to see how a man (and his computer) could even attempt to predict the winners and spreads over a full NFL season before that season had begun, I didn't take Bud Goode's picks seriously enough to check the results. However, after reading the 19TH HOLE (Oct. 16) and seeing the cheap shots taken at Goode, I checked his results for the seventh week. His accuracy amazed me. He picked 12 of 14 games correctly (86%), and 10 of the winners won by more than he predicted (the Giants defeated Tampa Bay by the exact three points determined by Goode)—a superb achievement even for someone forecasting as late as the day of the games.
EM (GATOR) LEWIS
Hudson Falls, NY.
Thank you for your gracious coverage of the Gnational Football League (SCORECARD, Oct. 16). However, I feel I must clarify some misconceptions in order to protect my good name (which, by the way, was misspelled).
First, despite what the Gnus may say, I am not a "disciple of Woody Hayes," even though I am an Ohio State alumnus. Second, I am not the general manager of the Sonoma Geysers, as you say; I am the general manager of the Big Plum Pits. Third, it was the Pits who beat the Geysers, thanks to the "lateral perception" call (similar to the Immaculate Reception/Deception); hence, I had no reason to kick in anybody's mailbox. The mailbox caper was the product of the fertile imagination of GFL Commissioner and Gnus-Editor Mike Carey. Fourth, there is no way I could be justifiably labeled the "criminal element" of the GFL, considering the other elements of the league.
Thanks for letting me correct the record.
OAKLAND'S TRIPLE PLAY
Thank you for your acknowledgment of the integrity of our players in your Oct. 9 article It's Open Season on the Zebras by Bill Johnson. We would, however, like to clarify once and for all exactly what Ken Stabler, Pete Banaszak and Dave Casper "confessed" to.
Stabler readily admits that he had every intention of throwing the ball away to save time on the clock and give us another chance for the score. A very fine play by the San Diego linebacker, Woodrow Lowe, prevented him from doing so, however, causing a fumble. Throwing the ball away to conserve time is considered a virtue and is completely legal in the National Football League. Although there is no way an official can read intent on such a play, Stabler's intent was legal.
As the ball rolled down the field, Banaszak did indeed try to scoop it up, but in so doing he accelerated the ball toward the goal line. This would be nearly impossible for an official to see, although Banaszak's actions were in violation of the rules.
Casper merely did what any player would try to do, i.e., pick up the ball and run with it for the touchdown. Failing on his initial try to pick it up, he made the only play he could make—he fell on it. It was perfectly legal, and the officials made the only call they could make—a touchdown.
We appreciate your response to our players' honest and open remarks, and in the same spirit we hope you'll give our players equal time when they are honest about calls that are not favorable to us! Raymond Chester, for one example, was called for clipping on a play against New England which we scored on and which would have given us a commanding 21-0 lead. The touchdown was called back. Chester went on record as saying it was a "horrible" call (Mike Haynes of the Patriots agreed with Raymond), and in our judgment the films proved him completely correct. We eventually lost the game 21-14.
For a second example, Morris Bradshaw caught what everyone thought was the game winner versus Chicago on Oct. 1 with 20 seconds left on the clock, but an official ruled that Bradshaw was illegally in motion, nullifying the play. Bradshaw disagreed with that interpretation, and as far as we're concerned the films proved him right and the penalty wrong.
The Oakland Raiders
It has been said that the combination of Tinker to Evers to Chance was unparalleled, but I believe we have found its equal in Stabler to Banaszak to Casper!
Ever since I learned the rules of the game, I have wondered about the justification for the offensive team getting additional yardage from a forward fumble. For years I've expected teams to take advantage of this loophole in do-or-die situations. It would be fairer if the offensive team retained possession only from the spot of the fumble. This would eliminate disgusting endings such as in the Charger-Raider game.
New York City
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