All the private lessons, all the encouragement and reassurance at home are of little value when the confidence and beginning skill thus acquired can be so easily dissipated by an overzealous school program.
I really do not feel that any intelligent parent seeks to build up the average by tearing down the superior, as Mrs. Van Rossen insinuates. But please, let our admiration for the superior athlete be tempered by our respect for the efforts of the just average. Those efforts so often mean so very much!
ELLEN G. SPERO
RUGBY VS. FOOTBALL
Here is one voice out of the millions of fans who will reply to Rodney Kirkpatrick's letter denouncing protective pads in football (19TH HOLE, Dec. 10). After having played football for years, as well as Rugby under an Australian coach, I feel Mr. Kirkpatrick is trying to equate two sports as unlike as checkers and chess.
Rugby is a hard-hitting cross between basketball and field hockey; there is no line contact. Since the game is more or less continuous, most contact takes place in an "open-field" situation where the player can dump the ball and partially protect himself. Put pads on the players and the game would slow down to the point of shuffleboard.
In American football, however, the gear, as most people from sandlot kids to the pros know, reduces the number of injuries markedly. How many thousands of concussions, broken legs, arms, and so forth, occur in sandlot games because of lack of protective devices? People are not killed, if only for the reason that no one is foolish enough to dive without helmets and padding under a pile of belligerent 300-pound bulls.
Football is a game consisting of downs, not continuous play. A trapped halfback can only lateral to the rear, and many times must make a pathetic effort to hang on to the ball while being trampled. The way a ballcarrier is stopped in this man's game is by the tackle, unheard of in Rugby—except for a rather mild tripping sort of maneuver. True, some of America's beefy linemen would last about two minutes in an exhausting game of Aussieball, but how long would a line of Aussie defensemen last in a U.S. scrimmage?
Port Angeles, Wash.
I was thrilled with New Seabury's inclusion in the article Pleasure Rules an Idyllic Island (Dec. 17). This coverage of our operation was succinct, to the point and, I believe, very appealing. However, one error did give us quite a shock and that was the mention that 10 houses are built thus far. The number 10 refers to the houses that are occupied this winter. There are 55 houses built or in the process of construction.
GERALD P. MULLINS