I suppose you will be a voice crying in the wilderness, but at least a voice has been raised, and if my little peep may be heard, I surely hope some antibiotic may be found for the horrible disease of statisticitis.
RALPH S. WORTLEY
At last, a man who's not afraid to say what he thinks, even to the extent of criticizing his former colleagues. Stanley Frank's all too revealing piece on the state of most current sportswriting may never receive a Pulitzer Prize, but it rates some award for its attack on all the numerical drivel we are forced to swallow. Long live Stanley Frank. Hail to the prophet of long-hoped-for improvement in sports reporting.
J. PHILIP PARK
Factual, highly entertaining and on the beam. If some of our college statisticians and tub-thumpers could forget their "numbers nonsense" long enough to take a long look at the fans' defection to professional football, they might come up with some help in holding the football fans they are now losing.
WADE H. RAMSEY
El Centro, Calif.
I would like to add my own observations to those of Mr. Frank. The football polls are not only inconsistent with each other but also with themselves. Take, for instance, the North Carolina rating going into the Notre Dame game. They were 11th in the A.P. poll, Notre Dame was unranked. The day before the game, the A.P. came out with their predictions, and one was that Notre Dame would beat North Carolina, as they did. This shows that the polls do not pick the top teams but just those with the best records.
This has happened to many teams in years gone by because statistics mean too much to too many. The polls of the U.P.I, type are much better, for they get the sentiments of the coaches, the men who must play those teams. In spite of this fact, the people still believe that statistics show everything. If so, they'd better watch out, for soon some high school team will be the only undefeated team in the country and they will be ranked No. 1.
I must take exception to Mr. Frank's reference to Art Luppino of the University of Arizona. Some time during the history of football one player has to score more points in a season than anyone else. Why should he be ridiculed because of the team he is playing with? If Mr. Frank had looked further in his abhorred record book, he might have noticed that the same Art Luppino holds the record for rushing yardage over a four-year varsity career. I saw Luppino play twice, and I can honestly say he was the greatest change-of-pace and change-of-direction runner I have ever seen.
I don't argue that statistics cannot be overdone, but it is just as easy to overdo a condemnation of them, as I feel Mr. Frank has done.
I must say, it was a most interesting article if you judge it merely as enjoyable reading. However, I think Frank's obvious dislikes of certain sportswriters get the better of his article.
I would certainly disagree with his statement that "when a man unloads 35 passes in a game, his team is not playing football, [but] is playing basketball with shoulder pads." Who is Frank to judge how the game should be played? Certainly, there were some great oldtimers, but so was the model T great. The complexion of the game changes and today's fan appreciates viewing a game with more action than he would have seen in the 1920s.
Mr. Frank may do all the campaigning he desires on this topic, but I for one look forward to your weekly baseball and football X-rays plus college leaders statistics.
East Lansing, Mich.