Once again, I was delighted by Curry (King of the Quill) Kirkpatrick's wonderful style (No One Can Cap the Pistol, Dec. 4). His story on Pete Maravich was another in a long line of masterpieces. Kirkpatrick does for sports-writing what the Pistol does for basketball—delight the audience with "Where the heck did that come from?" moves.
DAVID K. DAVIS
San Jose, Calif.
Pistol Pete Maravich does "expose every nerve and emotion on the court." Although I graduated from Tulane, I am happy to say that I was at the game in which the Pistol scored 66 points against the Green Wave. He made the basketball talk that night—and he still does.
HOWARD C. BERMAN
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Without a doubt, Pistol Pete is the most exciting player in the game today. But with only the Pistol and "the Power" (Truck Robinson) to put up against the best teams in the NBA, how can the Jazz expect to win? They need to get a strong center before they can have any playoff hopes.
JAY A. VINING
Bob Lanier is right. With a little more help around him (such as the help Dr. J and David Thompson have), Pete Maravich would be all-everything. In fact, he just might be right now.
Why does Curry Kirkpatrick mar an otherwise very well-written article on Pete Maravich by using an irresponsible quote from a "local man": "He's the white who makes the blacks look bad. He's the white who got the 68 points off Walt Frazier. New Orleans is the original town where blacks were 'jigs.' They still are. New Orleans gets off on the Pistol doing it to jigs."
So what if Maravich got 68 points off Frazier. That quote does a disservice not only to blacks living in New Orleans, but also to blacks everywhere and to the city of New Orleans (I believe that's where we "jigs" created the only true American music—jazz). I question Kirkpatrick's judgment, but I've always enjoyed his work.
GEORGE HARVEY JR.
Please tell the country who the original "Ballhead" really is. Ever since I decided to attend basketball games wearing a Spalding basketball on my head, I've run into problems concerning impostors.
During last year's NCAA basketball finals, a fun was shown on the screen with a basketball resting on his head. And now you have printed Rob Kauffman's basketball artwork, including a drawing showing a person with a basketball for a head (What's Going On Around and Around Here?, Dec. 4). Now when basketball fans see me, they will think that I'm the impostor.
So please tell the sports fans of America that I, Andy White, am the one and only original "Ballhead." In fact, one of your photographers took several pictures of me last year at a Philadelphia 76ers playoff game.
•For a look at "Ballhead" White in action, see below.—ED.
CAMPBELL IS COMING!
Congratulations to Heinz Kluetmeier on his excellent cover photograph (Dec. 4). It shows not only the probable NFL Offensive Player of the Year (Earl Campbell) but also the man who, in my opinion, deserves to be named Rookie Defensive Player of the Year—Cincinnati Bengal Defensive Tackle Ross Browner.
Earl Campbell and Ross Browner played against each other in last season's Cotton Bowl. Browner had the edge in that meeting as Notre Dame stopped No. 1 Texas to win the national championship. It looks as if the tables have beau turned.
You know what I like about Earl Campbell? Forget that he blocks like a bridge abutment, that he charges harder than a farrowed sow, that he breaks more tackles than a bull breaks plates. What I like about the man is that he can win without forgetting that he can lose.
In an era in which most superstars merely give off heat, Earl Campbell truly shines.
Your article on the Houston "Earl-ers" revealed Earl Campbell to be the athlete and gentleman that he is. I couldn't agree more that Campbell should be the NFL's Rookie of the Year. But to say that Terry Bradshaw is the "only" player now challenging Campbell as the NFL Player of the Year is going a little too far. Let's not forget Roger Staubach! Roger is having another fine season and is leading the revived Cowboys toward their second consecutive world championship.
CHEERS AND JEERS
Frank Deford's article (As I SEE IT, Dec. 4) upholds the status quo in football when what we really need is a return to the game as a skilled contest. Violent mock heroics and peekaboo cheerleader outfits are the NFL owners' answer to fan boredom with an increasingly unexciting sport. New rules and less PR are needed, not apologies for football eroticism.
As an ex-high school "ette," I can assure Deford that trotting around a freezing football field in boots and Band-Aids can cure one of football heroes forever. As for drink and stadium romancing, I would like to remind Deford that while whiskey warms, it also stupefies.
Yes, firing pro cheerleaders for posing nude is hypocritical, but not because God created the NFL and then said, "Let there be cheerleaders to arouse the fans while the officials pace off yardage." This kind of chicken-and-egg logic just leaves Deford with sexist yolk all over his imaginary shoulder pads.
My sense of humor deserted me as I read Frank Deford's infuriating commentary on women and football. The cheerleaders at football games may well be "there to be looked at," but women spectators certainly are not. I spent the better part of my childhood in Baltimore's Memorial Stadium (in spite of the hard seats and the chill in the air) watching the Colts play, and to this day I am more knowledgeable about football than most men I know. So please don't try to make me believe that "women can't stand the stupid game."
MARCIE N. GREENBERG
Frank Deford's analysis of football reveals the necessity for having guardians of public decency. Frank's justification for the half-naked cheerleaders is an example of the Hustler mentality.
Little by little, this country has compromised its moral standards. It's no wonder the divorce rate is so high. What's next? Topless cheerleaders? Tell us your article was just a joke, Frank. Surely you don't believe what you wrote. I propose that we clean up football—on the field and on the sidelines.
Thank you for including flag girls as girls "to be looked at" at football games. We think that we are pretty sexy, too.
Baltimore Colts Flag Corps
I was very pleased to read your article on Steve Nelson, the New England Patriots' inside linebacker (Meddlesome Man in the Middle, Dec. 4). Nelson is one of the many superb draft choices made by Coach Chuck Fairbanks, who has taken a cellar-dwelling team and turned it into a Super Bowl contender. Fairbanks is unsurpassed in his drafting ability, coming up with such players as John Hannah, Mike Haynes, Tim Fox, Sam (Bam) Cunningham, Russ Francis and Steve Grogan.
STEVEN H. FADER
In his article on Detroit's millionaire goalie, Rogatien Vachon (What Has Red Wings but Won't Fly? Dec. 4), E. M. Swift has continued your magazine's traditional blindness to the fact that high salaries have a direct bearing on diminished performance. Why should Vachon retain his desire to excel when there is no longer any monetary incentive (or any danger of unemployment)?
It is ludicrous to assign the cause of Vachon's problem to a change in uniform number. It's all those greenbacks.
Sportsman of the Year? Who's better than Pistol Pete Maravich? Nobody!
Bobby Hull and Bobby Orr.
STEVEN PAUL KESSLER
Henry Rono and Tracy Caulkins.
Ogden Dunes, Ind.
Bill Rodgers is still 26 miles and 385 yards ahead of everyone else.
GEORGE KERDOLFF III
PAT B. QUINN
Huntington Beach, Calif.
Dana Point, Calif.
Motorcyclist Kenny Roberts.
Gymnast Kurt Thomas.
Terre Haute, Ind.
Skier Phil Mahre.
Fargo, N. Dak.
What a thrill to find Maury Klein's superb YESTERDAY piece (Nov. 27) on Frank Keaney, who coached and taught at the University of Rhode Island from 1921 through 1948. I grew up on the campus (my dad, Dr. Carl R. Woodward, was president from 1941 to 1958). Although I never played for Coach Keaney, my life has been influenced by him. He inspired young men to believe in themselves and to accomplish ends that they would not have dared dream of if it hadn't been for his enthusiasm, sense of humor and love of the game. During basketball season, undergraduates, faculty members and neighborhood kids half-filled the gym to watch practice and this flamboyant but lovable genius at work. And Coach Keaney always had time for us kids.
WILLIAM V. WOODWARD
Suffern High School
BARTOW, GARDNER & McGUIRE
I enjoyed Joe Jares' article on Gene Bartow and the University of Alabama in Birmingham (Branching Out into the Big Time, Dec. 4). You erred, though, in stating that Bartow and Jack Gardner are the only coaches to take teams from two different schools to the final four of the NCAA tournament. Frank McGuire of the University of South Carolina has also taken two different teams to the final four: St. John's in 1952 and North Carolina in 1957, when it won the national title.
Fair Bluff, N.C.
TOO MANY OVERTIMES
If all high schools would adopt the National Federation of State High School Associations' soccer rules, there would not be 14 overtime periods or 269-minute contests (SCORECARD, NOV. 27). Such games are of questionable educational value and present a safety hazard to the participants.
Under the current National Federation rules (1978-79 edition) for tournament play, if a tie exists after a regulation game, the teams play two five-minute overtime periods. If a tie still exists, they play not more than two five-minute, sudden-death overtime periods. And if the teams are still tied, they resort to penalty kicks or the North American Soccer League "shoot-out" procedure.
ALVIN L. SCHALGE
Soccer Rules Committee
I was in India about six years ago, and here is what many of the schools and some professional teams did to avoid overlong matches. If the teams remained tied after one or two 10-minute overtime periods, each team chose five players, and each of them took a penalty kick against the opposing goalkeeper. Whichever team had the most goals won. If the score was still even, then the next five players took penalty kicks. This seems like a sensible way to decide the issue.
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