DAVIS CUP: ANNOTATIONS AND ASPIRATIONS
After reading Bill Talbert's article in the Dec. 9, 1957 issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, I feel it is only fair to state the following:
The Davis Cup Selection Committee, of which I am chairman, selected the best possible team to represent our country in the Davis Cup matches. This is our function. If, after we have selected the team, anyone is reluctant to play, we must use every possible persuasive means under the amateur code to induce a player to play. But when a player refuses to play, whatever the reason, I think that we should respect that reason and just forget the situation and name a substitute as we did in the case of Ham Richardson and Dick Savitt. After all, tennis is an amateur sport and should be played for the honor, glory and enjoyment of the game. There should be no compulsion felt, although we have appealed to a player's patriotic sensibilities.
Ham Richardson has always been an outstanding gentleman and a credit to the game. During the last season he had several injuries which healed slowly, and he never reached his top form. With this condition a reality, his wife has been a tremendous help to him in taking care of his health and in assisting him to follow the best health-sustaining regimen.
Under the circumstances, I think we must respect his feelings in the matter in not wishing to be separated from his wife for a lengthy period. The trip to Australia does require, by reason of the great distance, considerable time away from home.
As the Executive Committee of the USLTA has ruled against wives accompanying players, it may be that this position should be re-examined; after all, our whole foundation of society is built around the family circle...and rightfully so. Separation of husbands and wives should be discouraged and not encouraged.
I want to emphasize definitely and emphatically that the opinions as expressed by Bill Talbert and Gardnar Mulloy are their own opinions, and in no way reflect the opinion of either the Davis Cup Selection Committee or the USLTA.
I think our showing in Australia was most encouraging and augurs well for the future. Barry MacKay looks like he might go right to the top. As has been the case for the past several years, our great weakness is in doubles. I have strongly suggested that our younger, most promising players be paired off as doubles teams early in the tournament season and be urged to stick together as units throughout the season. Then our Davis Cup captain, Bill Talbert, who is without question a master of doubles play, could coach these boys as teams for a lengthy period and not have to use patchwork teams in the important Davis Cup ties.
CHAUNCEY DEPEW STEELE JR.
OH, THOSE LIONS
Three hearty cheers for the wonderful champions of the NFL. Oh, those crazy, mixed-up Lions!
Believe me, as an ardent follower of our unfortunate Philadelphia Eagles, it was gratifying beyond words to me to watch the Lions, whom I have always admired, pile up the score. They could have scored a few more points against the Brownies as far as I'm concerned. Bless 'em.
Your Flip-top Zoo is hilarious. Can you give us more?