UP AGAINST STEEL
Paul Zimmerman's article Curtain Call for the Steelers (Nov. 5) should finally lay the Dallas computer to rest. As each new season unfolds, every preview and television announcer eulogizes the Dallas system. No wonder the pros are discussed like the stock exchange. I am surprised the Cowboys don't play in three-piece suits and hand off a briefcase. The Cowboys can't cut it against the Steelers.
Clarks Summit, Pa.
There is no doubt that Pittsburgh beat Dallas on Oct. 28. But to revert to the old computer clichès and rhetoric is absurd. Should Tom Landry chuck the philosophies and standards he has developed over the past 20 years and initiate a draft of the non-thinking footballer whom Dennis Winston so eloquently described? Pittsburgh and Dallas are both good. The game was hard-nosed and tough. Let's leave it at that.
GARY J. STEWART
Heinz Kluetmeier's two-page photograph of the awesome Steeler defense is an SI classic. In my opinion it is surpassed only by another shot of the steel curtain—the spread in the article on the infamous "Snow Bowl" game against Cincinnati (Smashing Through the Snow, Dec. 6, 1976).
BARRY J. SCHEINHOLTZ
It was refreshing to read your report on the situation at Arizona State (There's the 'Devil to Pay. Oct. 29). On Sunday, Oct. 28, some 1,000 of the Kush faithful marched to the Arizona State Capitol, where they presented, to a representative of the Board of Regents, petitions signed by more than 61,000 people requesting the reinstatement of Coach Frank Kush. Guilty or not, Kush was not given a fair shake in the matter, and we Friends of Kush support him 110%.
CRAIG J. NICOLAUS
If Frank Kush is guilty as charged, he is not any guiltier than hundreds of other coaches throughout this country, all the way down to the youth leagues where the games stop and the wars begin. At issue is the major role sport plays in society today. When lives are threatened and college funds possibly denied because of an activity that was once known as merely a game, it is time for all of us to stop and think. Do we want a pigskin to govern our lives?
It is sad that we can corrupt so pure an institution as amateur sports. In major collegiate sports, the system of reward is based not on effort, but on victory. There seems to be an association in the minds of sports fans, at least in America, between outcome and effort. "If you didn't win, you didn't give 100%" is the misconception prevalent today. No wonder the NCAA has so much trouble upholding its principles—it has to face pressure from the public, from the moneyholders and apparently from the lawmakers (judging by the remarkable threats of the two Arizona state legislators).
The attitude of the student body and administration at Arizona State is to be commended; it's of some comfort to know that those most closely connected with that institution have not lost sight of the fundamental principle upon which their athletic program is based.
PHILIP S. BOUSQUET
In reply to the statements of two Arizona legislators threatening to withhold funding from Arizona State University, your readers might be interested to know that this view is not shared by others.
As chairman of the State Senate Appropriations Committee, I can say that we consider Arizona State University first and foremost an educational institution. Athletics are important as part of a well-rounded program, but it certainly is not my intention to take punitive action, nor have I heard any member of the Senate committee express any desire to take such action.
The Kush affair is a matter now for the Arizona Board of Regents and/or the courts.
JOHN C. PRITZLAFF JR.
Arizona State Senate
In the article concerning the frightening situation in Tempe, Ariz., you mentioned that the Sun Devils carried Coach Frank Kush onto the field for the game against Washington in what was probably a college football first. At the 1976 Cal-Stanford "Big Game," the Stanford Cards carried Jack Christiansen, who had been fired as coach, onto the field. The situation was very different, however. Coach Chris never punched a player, but his 30-22-3 record and alumni and media pressure forced his firing. He was a coach who held the players' interests above his own. I know because I helped carry him onto the field.
Union City, Calif.
NO TEARS AT WAKE
As an ardent fan of Wake Forest University since 1964, I compliment you on your story about the Deacons (Never, Never, Never, Never, Never Give Up, Nov. 5). We fans think Wake epitomizes everything college sports should be: small school, small budget, great enthusiasm and the desire to educate our athletes. To us every victory is like 100 victories to the USCs, Notre Dames, Michigans and Alabamas. It appears at long last that the cream is starting to rise to the top.
Wake Forest Athletic Director Gene Hooks was quoted as saying that he kept waiting for the bubble to burst for his school's football team. Pop! Clemson 31, Wake Forest O.
In your article on Wake Forest's Deacons you refer to Appalachian State as "tiny." Appalachian State currently has more than 10,000 students enrolled. It boasts the nation's leading pass receiver, Rick Beasley, and one of the nation's leaders in total offense, Quarterback Steve Brown. At this writing, the Mountaineers are 2-7, but though their record might not be very good, they are not tiny.
ERIC PETER VERSCHUURE
Bowling Green, Ohio
I enjoyed reader Fred Ross' comments in the Oct. 29 issue about Florida A&M's victory over Miami. He compared the feat to a team like Lehigh beating Penn State, or Chico State beating USC. It is interesting to note that Lehigh holds the record for the most points ever scored against Penn State in a football game, having routed the Lions 106-0 in 1889.
Your readers might like to know that Gregg Jacobs, Lawrence University's barefoot soccer-style kicker, who mentally rehearses his kicking in a "sensory isolation" tank (SCORECARD, Oct. 15), missed a PAT on Oct. 27 under unusual conditions. On fourth down, with seven yards to go at the 23-yard line, Jacobs and Quarterback Jim Petran set up for a field goal. Instead of kicking the ball, Jacobs scampered around left end, caught a perfectly thrown pass from Petran and went into the end zone untouched. It was Jacobs' first pass reception and his first touchdown. Unfortunately, Jacobs followed with another first: his PAT attempt was wide to the left, making it his first miss since he began kicking for Lawrence last year and ending his string of consecutive PATs at 65.
It was a disappointment, of course, but it made no difference in the outcome of the game: Lawrence 36, Coe College 0.
LELAND D. ESTER
Director of Public Relations
Regarding Milt Hopwood's REMINISCENCE (Oct. 29) about his "road to riches—or (gulp!) to Tibet," the similarities with my experiences are too great to ignore. Approximately 20 years after he ran football parlay cards at Illinois, I was running them at a small college in southern Wisconsin. While I never suffered the anxiety of missing a Western Union deadline, I was apprehensive about offering the cards during a Dad's Day weekend when I learned that my customers included a judge, an FBI agent and a police officer (they all played).
I didn't quite make it to Tibet, but I did find a copy of your Oct. 29 issue lying on a table in a Peking hotel.
Congratulations to Bil Gilbert on his fine story Keeper of Something Unique (Nov. 5). Let us hope that those noble wolves, like the seldom-seen gyrfalcons and wolverines, will survive.
I don't envy Jack Lynch and Mary Wheeler working in the wolf pens, but I admire them for trying to save the wolves because they can be valuable in the food chain of wild environments. Skeptics who want to know more about this should read "Thinking Like a Mountain" in Aldo Leopold's famous book A Sand County Almanac, first published in 1949 and studied by the new breed of young ecologists who will, I predict, be glad to help save those wolves.
V. S. (PETE) HIDY
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