Better check someone else's basement, Mr. Kram. You might discover better cracks!
From the start of the 1965 NFL season all I have read and heard is that the Green Bay Packers are the best team in the league. Perhaps I am now counting too heavily on the future. However, I feel that it is time to revise this statement to read, "The Baltimore Colts are the best team," for on November 7 they took over the undisputed lead of the Western Conference from the "fearsome, youthful and powerful" Packers. It seems that Vince Lombardi is capable of just so much scaring. One seems to forget that the Colts do not need a scare to win. They have a point to prove—that they are a much better team than they appeared to be in last year's debacle in Cleveland. Whether or not the Colts will be able to get a chance to avenge this defeat, only time will tell. However, time already has told one thing—the Colts are a better team than the Packers.
WILLIAM I. SMULYAN
Yeah, Edwin Shrake is right (The Bears Unpack 'Em, Nov. 8). Green Bay is a "small dairy and farming town"—and Vince Lombardi lives in a converted silo, and the Packers sleep in a rented barn and, already, championship game tickets are being scalped for three barren cows and a pound of colored oleomargarine.
De Pere, Wis.
In that wonderful piece about falconry (Hunters of the Sky, Nov. 8) you tell us how falconers talk and, in a general way, what they are saying, but you don't tell us what the words mean. What exactly is an "intermewed eyas"? Please explain further so that I can talk falcon to my friends and sound really In.
J. S. WHITE
New York City
?An "eyas" is a bird taken from its aerie, or nest, before its flight feathers are fully developed. "Intermewed" means the bird has molted while in captivity. Other In terms among falconers are: "sharp-set," hungry or ready to kill; "rings up," spirals upward to get above the prey; "rouse," to shake the plumage into position; "yarak," keen and ready to be flown; "crab," a clash between two falcons; and "bowse," to drink, a term from which, it is said, the word "booze" derives.—ED.
I have been reading your magazine for about six years and have derived much pleasure from it. However, I wish that you had found room to mention one small-college sensation in your FOOTBALL'S WEEK section. He is John Marchitell of Hobart College, a senior halfback who by the end of his seventh game this season had gained 923 yards rushing in 129 carries, for an average of 7.1 yards per carry, and has practically rewritten the Hobart record book. On October 23 he rushed for a fantastic total of 272 yards in 34 tries (exactly eight yards per carry) and scored three touchdowns as Hobart crushed heavily favored Union College. In addition, Marchitell has already been named twice this year to the ECAC college-division all-star team of the week and has a good chance to gain 1,000 yards rushing this season, even though Hobart plays only eight games. I think that Marchitell and other small-college players like him deserve some mention in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
SHOWING THE COLORS
Football has seen many innovations since the days of the formidable but dangerous flying wedge. Playing equipment has been improved, goalposts have been moved back 10 yards behind the goal line, the college marching bands play brilliant scores from musicals instead of the college rouser songs, pompon girls have taken the play from yell leaders, and a team can go for two points after a touchdown rather than just one if it chooses to do so.
Most of this has made for a better and far more interesting gridiron game. However, I have a suggestion that I feel would add to the pleasure of spectators at both pro and college games: the use of two colored flags by the officials, one red and one blue, to help the spectator identify the team being penalized. If the defensive team were guilty of a rules infraction, the official would drop a red flag. If the offensive team were the offender, then he would throw down a blue flag. If both teams were guilty of breaking the rules on the same play, then both red and blue flags would appear on the turf. Under this system the spectator and the often excited broadcasting announcer could immediately detect who had been charged with the violation. Thus, if the red flag appeared, a sensational touchdown run could be called a TD for sure, or, if a blue flag were thrown to the grass, it would be known right then and there that the touchdown did not count and the ball would be returned for a penalty step-off. It might also keep the exuberant old alums from pounding the backs of innocent spectators sitting in front of them before it becomes clear that State's touchdown isn't for real.
ROBERT R. RINEHART