A slap on the back of the hand for Gwilym S. Brown (A Matter of Pride at Endsville, Nov. 30). Someone must have put rocks in his mattress while he was here.
We here at "Endsville" are proud of our Cajun Classic tournament and of the community effort that makes it possible. This is a very aggressive and modern city, as proved by the population increase in the last dozen years, and we are equally proud of the state's second largest university (University of Southwestern Louisiana), which has an All-America basketball player, an up-and-coming football team and a bowling team that is one of the top collegiate teams of the nation.
Mr. Brown must have been referring to the position of the tournament at the end of the PGA circuit rather than to the place where it was held. It will be a long time before Lafayette, the Cajun Classic and the hospitality surrounding it are forgotten. I'll even wager that both Palmer and Nicklaus will come back.
WARREN K. FINLEY
PARADOX IN THE WILDERNESS
Robert Boyle's fine article America down the Drain (Nov. 16) has provoked a keen and lingering sense of shock and despair. My wife and I had the good fortune to live the first two decades of our lives in the great Pacific Northwest. Now, as a Foreign Service family, we look forward eagerly to vacations in our wilderness. Every three or four years, during our home-leave periods, we head for the open spaces, more thankful each time that new highway projects make it easier, safer and quicker to get there. Yet what a paradox! In modern America a resident of Virginia, as I have been, can hop in a car and within 72 hours have his fly line floating along Wyoming's Green River, having paid gasoline taxes into the treasuries of several states en route, plus a few dollars for a nonresident fishing license. Yet if the good citizens of Wyoming should someday decide to do something to the river—either a dam or a highway, for example—which would make it less than the great trout stream it is today, what can we do?
Since we Americans take for granted the ease with which we can cross state boundaries and make use of what lies beyond, with little or no thought to the legislative, administrative and organizational functions that make all this possible, it would seem that part of the solution to the current problem is to make more of us aware of the remedial machinery already at our disposal.
BLOCK THAT KICK
I wonder if it has occurred to your experts, as it has to me, that the field-goal craze is killing professional football. It is no longer necessary to cross the opponent's goal line to win a football game. The thrill of watching a team move in for a touchdown is lost about 50% of the time. In a close game the team that finds itself one or two points behind in the final minutes doesn't even try to score. Instead it maneuvers the ball to the center of the field and pow!—three points and the game.
Phooey! Who wants to see a field goal? Let's get action and see them score touchdowns, or football will get the same treatment as baseball.
J. J. BIERNAT
There seems to be no question that the field goal enjoys a greater prestige in pro football today than it did years ago. A glance at the listing of leading scorers in the 31 years of pro football from 1932 to 1962 will reveal rather dramatically the year 1947 as the pivotal year of the field goal's modern ascendancy. In 13 of the 15 years prior to 1947 the leading scorers attained a majority of their points by way of the touchdown. In 10 of the 16 years after 1946, however, the leading scorers acquired a majority of their points by way of field goals and extra points.
In view of the above statistics, it would be rather difficult to dispute the fact of the field goal's modern ascendancy. What needs to be disputed is whether the ascendancy is good. I am of the opinion that it is not altogether good and that rules for the field goal need to be reconsidered.
One deleterious effect of the present rulings is the superabundance of long, long field-goal attempts. According to the present field-goal rulings, teams would be foolish not to try for the three points on the long tries, because the kicking team has everything to gain and very little to lose. Should the attempt fail, the net effect would be the same as if they had punted—so why punt? Today the field goal is generally resorted to on fourth-down situations inside the 50-yard line. This not only gives a rather strong offensive advantage to a team merely for having crossed the midfield stripe, but it grants this advantage without any corresponding risk.