The Cleveland Brown- Baltimore Colt championship game proved only one thing: the St. Louis Cardinals are the best team in the NFL.
New York City
Peter Straus' letter with its sarcastic remarks about Bill Bradley (19TH HOLE, Dec. 21) shows an ignorance of the game of basketball and of Bill Bradley. There is no question but that Bradley is the best college basketball player this year or that he is truly one of college basketball's alltime greats.
My own personal experience with Bill came in the NCAA regional triple-header at the University of Pennsylvania's Palestra, March 11, 1963 (Bill's sophomore year). That was the night I "held" him to 40 points (12 of 21 field, 16 of 16 foul line) and 16 rebounds.
That game was only one of many great games I have seen Bill Bradley perform in. So I salute SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and Frank Deford on a terrific article on a terrific gentleman and basketball player.
?As a guard who ranked among last year's scoring leaders with 579 points (a St. Joseph's record) for a 20.7 average, Steve Courtin speaks with authority.—ED.
DAVIDSON AND GOLIATH
After watching Davidson demolish the Big Ten co-champion, Ohio State University, among others, I want to congratulate you for your choice of the Wildcats for top national ranking. This is the second consecutive year that Davidson has trounced the Buckeyes soundly. ( OSU has won or tied for five consecutive Big Ten championships.)
Other victims of the Wildcats, all whipped by substantial margins, include Furman, Jacksonville, VMI, Wake Forest and Virginia—not to mention their latest victories in the Charlotte Invitational.
JAMES T. MCCLUNG JR.
Your LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER labels Theodore Sturgeon's How to Forget Baseball (Dec. 21) as an Orwellian view of 1984 and beyond—which it may be—but it seems that many centuries ago the same bloodthirsty spectators cheered enthusiastically as the lions deftly outmaneuvered and defeated the Christians. Are we really progressing as we near the future? While men ponder Mr. Sturgeon's views, we in our neighborhood have started a sandlot Quoit team. But instead of the deadly thin scarlet line, we are using raspberry Jell-O so that severed heads will be kept to a minimum. See you at the stadium in 1986...or in 186.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S readers interested in basketball (like me) have now been told in Robert Boyle's generally optimistic piece on the future of sport (The New Wave, Dec. 21) that basketball is slipping in popularity, that it is designed for glandular freaks, is Dullsville and cannot keep out the gamblers and gangsters.
There are two criteria for measuring the growth and popularity of a sport: attendance and participation. In both, basketball rates high. In 1957 attendance at basketball games in the U.S. was 142,848,698, a remarkable figure in itself. Last year it was up by 10 million. The latest survey on participation (1963) shows that basketball ranks highest in team sports among U.S. schools, a position it has maintained for decades.