As an indiscriminate and bug-eyed spoils fan, I had the privilege of attending my first Olympic Games as a spectator in Tokyo. Having since devoured the last two issues of SI and carried your predictions with me to 25 different events in Tokyo I wish to congratulate your staff on a magnificent job well done.
Among many unforgettable memories, the following stick in my mind: Captain Jonny Laconica, Philippine boxing mentor, in full dress uniform at ringside when his country had its first boxing finalist in history; the final 100 meters of the 800-meter freestyle swimming relay, when first and second place were obvious and the vast crowd of Americans were cheering for the Japanese to get a bronze; chats with Jesse Owens and his charming wife; an East German boxing referee penalizing a Russian and costing him the gold medal; a Coke stand at the water polo 10 deep with school kids and the attendant dashing out to serve me and apologizing for the delay; the excellent Japanese starters at the track and the swimming; beers with Dawn Fraser after the swimming.
I pity the Mexicans in their job of trying to emulate the Japanese.
W. STEWART BRAUNS JR.
New York City
I was bitterly disappointed that I was not allowed to see the Games live via the Syncom 3 satellite. For months I had been anticipating it, planning to take leave from my work to stay up nights and watch. The Comsat corporation and the U.S. Government did their part to bring this historic experience to the public—and then NBC bought away our rights for $1 million. I think they made a bad blunder when they assumed our right to watch the Games live was for sale, by the Japanese or anyone else, to NBC or anyone else, for $1 million or anything else. NBC did not ask me if they could buy my right, and when they paid the $1 million, they did not pay it to me or to any other fan, whose rights they had just bought. There is no way NBC can make its blunder up to the public now. The Games are over, history has passed us by—it has passed me by, and it has passed NBC by.
Without detracting one whit from the magnificent performances of America's Don Schollander in Tokyo, your reporter might have cited the extraordinary failure of the Australian Swimming Union to nominate its finest swimmer and world record holder, Murray Rose, to defend his own title in the 400-meter event.
One American coach who had witnessed every Olympic swimming race in Tokyo gave his opinion on returning to this country that, had Rose been swimming, he would have won both the 400-meter and 1,500-meter events for Australia. Many American swimmers privately feel the same way, and "the Murray Rose blunder," as it is now called down under, will be remembered for many a year.
JOHN S. MASON
VOICES THAT CARAY
A great deal of my admiration and respect for SI was diminished last week by your curt little note in SCORECARD. I never even knew that the Cardinals existed until I happened to hear Harry Caray broadcast one of their games a few years ago. Today I am a devout Cardinal fan and to me, without a doubt, the greatest baseball announcer in the business is Harry Caray. Even though his style was cramped, because he had to sound impartial in the World Series, he was still by far the best on the four-man team. Gowdy was dull, Garagiola was (as always) silly and Rizzuto makes me sick.
You people only had to listen to Caray for seven games. How about us poor suckers here in St. Louis who have to put up with him for an entire season?
FRED W. SMALL JR.
Thanks for your comments on Messrs. Gowdy and Caray. They truly were worse than you stated.
JOHN J. NEVALS
Harry Caray is a Cardinal fan and, naturally, does not have an impartial viewpoint. This may not live up to the standards of an "ideal" broadcaster, but for us fans who want the radio to transmit the thrill of a win, or the misery of a loss, Caray is the man.
DAVID E. BERGT