What a refreshing story of small-town life and the importance
of simply being able to play the game.
RANDY SNOW, Galesburg, Mich.
SIX TO A SIDE
I thoroughly enjoyed playing six-man football (Six Shooters,
Oct. 28) in South Dakota during the late 1950s. It is a
fast-moving, high-scoring, hard-hitting game. I wish we still
had it in the upper Midwest. Although I've grown to love the
11-man game over the years, my first reaction to it was the same
as the one expressed in your article: It's boring by comparison.
I've been conditioned not to talk about six-man with my friends,
who either think I'm pulling their leg or have heard about it
but don't consider it "real" football.
NELS OYEN, Woodbury, Minn.
Your article on six-man football brought back memories of
western Nebraska, where after World War II many small schools
played six-man. The town of Morrill, in which I grew up,
belonged to a conference that played only six-man. If I remember
correctly, if a team was ahead by 45 points, the game was
ACE HALSTEAD, Santa Rosa, Calif.
November 25, 1996
--If a team is leading by 45 points at halftime or anytime
thereafter, the game is ended.--ED.
In your description of the rules, there was no mention of the
dropkick. I went to a small Nebraska high school at which
six-man was played, and I recall that the dropkick was used in
field goal situations to obviate the need for a placekick
holder. Since six-man was relatively new then, drop-kicking may
have been an early peculiarity, dispensed with over time.
ROBERT P. CHANEY, Carlsbad, Calif.
--The dropkick is still used. In extra point situations, it is
worth two points, versus one for a pass or a run.--ED.
I played on a team like the Zephyrs from 1944 through '47, the
Gober (Texas) High Plowboys. We, too, operated on a tight
budget. We had no showers or dressing room for the visiting team
because our gym had burned down and was not rebuilt for a few
years. We wore no face masks or numbers on our jerseys, and no
stats were kept except for the score, but we didn't care. We had
a lot of fun.
ROBERT MCCULLOUGH, San Bernardino, Calif.
I am a football coach at a small high school in Nebraska, and we
play eight-man football. I disagree with your statement that
"eight-man football survives today, but with fewer programs than
six-man." In Nebraska alone there are 114 schools that play
eight-man football. Other states where it is played include
California, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon and
STEVE BORER, Brady, Neb.
--Eight-man football is played in nearly 600 schools across 14
Six-man football is a "hoot," as John Ed Bradley says, but I
think that he failed to impart the intense excitement of the
game: the sense of abandon one gets from watching Statue of
Liberty plays that actually work, from seeing double reverses
that lead to Hail Mary passes, and from viewing open-field
tackling that rivals even that of seven-a-side, rugby's
to-the-limits counterpart. Six-man and seven-a-side come as
close to pure joy as team sports get.
THORNE BUTLER, Jackson, Miss.
Your article about Yankees manager Joe Torre and his family
(Regular Joe, Oct. 28) took me back to 1964-65 and 1965-66, when
Sister Marguerite was my teacher at Our Lady of Victory junior
high school in West Haven, Conn. Images came flooding back of
Sister giving it her all at baseball practices, running the
bases with her habit hiked up a bit and her rosary beads
Frank and Joe Torre, her devoted brothers, visited the school on
numerous occasions, giving our boys tips on playing the game and
keeping us well supplied with Bazooka bubble gum.
MARGUERITE MURSKO COCHRAN Scottsdale, Ariz.
While I am a loyal Georgia alumnus and a fan of former Bulldog
Terrell Davis, who's now with the Denver Broncos, I feel I must
set the record straight. Your article (Late Bloomer, Oct. 28)
said that Davis was the lowest-drafted player in NFL history to
run for more than 1,000 yards in a season. This was not the
case. In 1968 Rocky Bleier (below) was drafted in the 16th round
with the 417th pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers, while Davis was
chosen in the sixth round with the 196th pick. In 1976 Bleier
finished the season with 1,036 yards, fourth best in the AFC.
This feat was all the more remarkable when you consider that
Bleier had part of his right foot blown off by a grenade in
Vietnam seven years earlier. Bleier is also the first Notre Dame
graduate to pass the 1,000-yard barrier in the pros. Please give
Bleier the credit he is due for his incredible comeback.
PAUL GAGE, Shorewood, Wis.