Shortly after arriving in Evansville in early 1958 I was exposed to the Aces. After 20 minutes of listening to the fanatical lions roar (during the game one wonders if the zoo has been moved into Roberts Stadium) my mind was made up. The only way to avoid guilt by association was to fervently support the opposition.
However, Frank Deford's article brought things into perspective, and I finally got the point. The tremendous pride Evansvillians have in their Aces is a great rallying point, a common ground of inspiration from which they can gather the feeling that everything about Evansville could be as great as the Aces if they all pulled as hard for the town as they do for Mac's boys. If this kind of spirit could be generated in all the potential Evansvilles around the country, it might not solve all the nation's problems, but it would make all the problems a little easier to solve.
Me? I scan the sports pages every day to see if the Aces have dropped one, giving me license to get a sapient note off to the old cronies. So far this season the multicolored marvels haven't cost me one cent in postage.
It's hard enough to beat high-speed diesels on the water; it's even tougher when you "lose" to them in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. In reference to Luther Evans' fine article (Donsy, Baby, This Is Your Sam, Feb. 15), Bill Wishnick's winning Broad Jumper in the Sam Griffith Memorial race was powered by twin 400-hp Interceptor gasoline engines—not twin 500-hp diesels. Our Dearborn Marine Engine Division converts Ford automotive engines for marine use using the Interceptor trade name.
JOHN J. COLLINS
Eaton Manufacturing Company
Permit me to differ with your editorial pronouncements on the format change in the U.S. Open—Sarazen's opinion notwithstanding (SCORECARD, Feb. 8 and 15). Indicting the four-day, 72-hole, stroke-play competition on grounds that it "violates tradition" and asserting that a final-day, 36-hole "grind" is a great test of "stamina" may be valid enough, but where does that get us?
Tradition exists only to give way when improvement appears sensible. Otherwise we would still be molding a twist of sand to tee up our gutta-percha balls and batting them away with the elbow of a tree limb. Since when is golf intended to be a test of stamina? Most of us, I am sure, regard it as a game of skill in which talented septuagenarians may even humble brash youngsters who admittedly would outlast them in a walkathon.
I say let us speed the day when electric golf carts will be allowed in tournaments. There is no reason grandpa shouldn't come home with the prize if he can execute truer shots than his adversaries, whatever their age. Somewhere there may exist a future champion who will have to prop himself carefully on artificial legs when taking his stance. More power to him—and let it be electric.
A. L. HARVEY
The superficial reasoning of the United States Golf Association in making the U.S. Open a four-day tournament is ludicrous. They say no other major sport has called for such a long, drawn-out extension of effort. This is exactly why this has been a great championship. They also claim that unexpected delays such as an act of God may make a disorderly tournament. The final 36 holes of the Open are now played on Saturday. In the only postponement that I recall they were played on Sunday. With a new four-day tournament, the final 18 would have to be played on Monday.
They complain that Ken Venturi was on the course for eight hours and 24 minutes for the final round. This, of course, is partially the fault of the USGA for its failure to penalize slow play.
The real reasons for the change are painfully obvious. In a four-day tournament you get two days rather than one day of television money; also there are four gate ad—missions rather than three.
EDWARD J. HALLIGAN
Ridgefield Park, N.J.