ON WITH THE GAME!
Tex Maule misses the point (The Ball Game That Never Was, Nov. 16). It is not who would win the NFL-AFL playoff game, it's the fact that the National League club owners have deprived millions of this great spectacular on the flimsy excuse that the American Football League is not in the same class. Who cares? Let's have the playoff in the true American tradition—and see how they play the game.
I'll pick Buffalo. Any takers?
THOMAS W. RICHEY
Maybe the Bills would lose to the Colts, as has every NFL team so far this year, but Maule's article is unconvincing for the following reasons:
1) Minnesota, a team one year younger than the AFL, beat Baltimore their first time out, and nearly repeated.
2) Los Angeles is tied for second place in the NFL Western Division, although 13 rookies fill its roster.
The Vikings and Rams are, at best, comparable to the Bills in pro experience and yet are making their presence felt in the NFL. So would the Bills.
PAUL C. WEAVER
I have been a devoted fan of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED since 1959, and never in that length of time have I read an article as well written as Bob Ottum's The Panic Is On Again (Nov. 9). I live near the Boston area and go to the Celtic games every chance I get. Every word of Ottum's is true: when a member of another team goes to take a shot he looks twice to see if Russell is there. Most of the time he is, and the shot is blocked. It really is Russellphobia.
EDWARD M. FERRY JR.
Boston's Red Auerbach should light victory cigars for a long time to come. Russell-phobia and Celticphobia may demoralize opponents, as you say, but a thorough case of benchitis is what kills them. After all, what other NBA team can sport a second five the likes of Naulls, Counts, Siegfried, Bonham and Havlicek as well as consistently put six men in double figures every game?
HOME OF THE BRAVES
Bravo for your Bravura Battle of the Braves (Nov. 2). If the Braves' owners can't operate in a good baseball town, obviously they should sell to local people who want to keep the franchise here. Few teams have been loved by their fans as are the Milwaukee Braves. If ever a team belonged anywhere the Braves belong in Milwaukee.
How can baseball afford this kind of public relations? A ludicrous legal maneuver to forestall another whimsical shifting of franchise. A move, not for the soundness and wisdom of it, but rather to pad the pockets of a few adventurers, while millions of the faithful lose their team and millions of new fans adjust their sucker labels.