THE PRESSURES OF FOOTBALL
The answers Jimmy Jemail got from his 11 football coaches on whether they would accept a coaching appointment to a de-emphasized college added up to one of the most interesting sidelights of this football season. Every one of the coaches polled said a hearty "yes," provided their opponents were de-emphasized also.
This year, in SI and elsewhere, football coaches have taken a shellacking for their supposed part in making big-time football even bigger to serve their own ends. I would very much like to see in SI next fall some careful digging into the origins of pressures exerted on coaches. I suspect that it is generated entirely by publicity-conscious university bosses (so few deserve to be called educators), and furthermore I suspect that the oft-quoted "fanatic fans" are also made to front for them.
J. S. SARGENT
UP BASEBALL'S LADDER
I was certainly most pleasantly surprised to read your comments about me in Robert Creamer's report on the recent minor league convention (SI, Dec. 19).
You asked a question: "How can men be attracted to baseball as a career?" I can only speak for myself, but it is my firm conviction that professional baseball is just exactly like any other business.
When I originally went into baseball with the Cardinal organization I left a college coaching and teaching job that was paying me more than my first baseball job offered. However, I was willing to take the chance because I felt that for me there would be room at the top if I could produce.
I have advanced steadily up the baseball ladder, although I have not obtained my ultimate goal—that of operating a major league club; however, I feel my advancement in baseball has been just as rapid as it would have been in any other field—probably more rapid.
I am eagerly looking forward to the brightest years baseball has ever known.
CREDIT FOR EXPERTNESS
In his Dec. 19th story on the Robinson-Olson fight Budd Schulberg makes the point that not a single sportswriter picked Robinson to win.
Gene Ward, a New York Daily News sports columnist, picked Robinson to win in his Dec. 9th story on the upcoming fight. In view of the quoted odds against Robinson, I consider that expert picking and would like to see Ward receive some credit for his expertness.
?What Budd Schulberg said was, "Not a single sportswriter or manager, as I wandered around at the weigh-in ceremonies, could see it any other way but Olson." But a Pat on the Back to Gene Ward, who gazed into his only slightly clouded crystal ball and wrote "...We are picking (Robinson) to win. It could be by a knockout, but the crystal ball brings forth another picture—that of Sugar building up a lead and clinging to it through the home-stretch rounds to emerge again as middleweight champ."—ED.