RISE AND FALL
Your article Apathy in Smogsville (Nov. 13) reminds me of the one you published sometime ago entitled, The Decline and Fall of New York (Jan. 11, 1960). You based your statement on the following: the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants had left, the Yankees had slumped badly, Floyd Patterson had been kayoed and our football Giants were beaten in the championship game. Our Knicks and Rangers, of course, were just plain lousy.
But, now the Yankees are the tops, Patterson has matured into a great champion, the Giants are one of the strongest teams in the NFL and the Knicks and Rangers are no longer the laughing stock of their respective leagues. Even in the young AFL, the New York Titans are doing all right. New York has risen once again. Maybe your article is just what Smogsville needed.
The Bronx, N.Y.
Your recent National Basketball Association preview (Oct. 30) made reference to the NBA becoming "big league." But how can any sports organization be truly big league when it determines its championship in so ridiculous a manner as does the NBA? When the sole effect of all the games played in the preplay off season leaves all but two of the teams still "championship" contenders, isn't it obvious that the only real consideration is protecting the box office?
I was very much impressed with Gilbert Rogin's article (Get Strong Without Moving, Oct. 30). As a believer in conditioning young boys before they enter high school athletics, I would like to know more about isometric contraction.
I am very interested—particularly in the length of time involved in, contraction, the tension applied, frequency and any other technical information.
ROBERT J. DONGELL JR., M.D.
What exercises might be suggested for 1) tennis players, 2) basketball players and 3) improvement of general body tone?
? SPORTS ILLUSTRATED will answer these and many other technical questions about isometric contraction in an early issue.—ED.
Is isometric contraction the same as Charles Atlas' Dynamic Tension, or just a first cousin?
CHAS. D.R. CHAUSS�E, D.C.
?More like a Siamese twin, since it is almost impossible to find an exact dividing line between Dynamic Tension (which requires the muscles to be contracted in motion) on the one hand and static or isometric contraction (muscle tension without movement) on the other. Arthur H. Steinhaus, Ph.D., whom Rogin quoted in his story, says: "When I was a kid it was Svoboda and his Conscious Evolution; he contracted a biceps, and [keeping the muscle tensed] examined it as critically as a 5-year-old. Then it was Charles Atlas and his Dynamic Tension. These were all exercises, self-resistant exercises, which, wittingly or not, exploited the M�ller theory of isometric contraction." Pure isometric contraction takes self-resistant exercises a step further to resistance against an immovable object whereby fewer muscles are employed and single muscles or muscle groups may be more easily isolated for study.
First cousin to all of these is isotonic contraction, i.e., calisthenics.—ED.