I hope John Steinbeck never attempts to write an article on sports, for it would be impossible to improve upon the excellence of his letter on why he can't (Then My Arm Glassed Up, Dec. 20). Big John for Sportsman of Any Year!
Mr. Steinbeck's article was great because he made us realize the true importance of athletics: that courage in sports should be carried over to daily life.
Thank you for the Christmas gift from John Steinbeck. If racing is the sport of kings, his article was surely the king of sports opinions—a wonderful, refreshing and awakening event that proves the sport of sports is "to each his own."
New York City
Edwin Shrake somehow got the idea that Buffalo had no chance against the "blitzkrieg" offense of San Diego in the AFL title game (Another Flag for San Diego, Dec. 20). That offense managed to get the ball inside Buffalo's 30-yard line on just one occasion. Shrake's predictions thus put him about on the level with Tex Maule whose knowledge of the game enabled him to pick Baltimore by a substantial margin over Cleveland in last year's NFL championship game.
If Shrake had understood that games are really won by such clich� things as "team effort," "spirit" and "pride," he might better comprehend how "last year San Diego had the better team but lost 20-7" and this year, although "the San Diego offense is good for three touchdowns or more," they managed to get shut out.
Edwin Shrake forgot one important factor: the Buffalo Bills are a team with a great amount of pride.
You made an error in lauding San Diego's defense and almost completely overlooking Buffalo's. By shutting out San Diego, Buffalo's defense set an AFL championship record.
May I point out to the many eager critics of Tex Maule that this year Mr. Maule, the most knowledgeable writer on pro football in the U.S., picked the teams that finished first and second in both divisions of the National Football League?
In the several years I have been reading SI (or I should say, more and more of SI, for I began by reading Alfred Wright on golf and have progressed with your guidance to the point where even pro football interests me) I cannot recall a story more exquisite, more magical than Virginia Kraft's In the Land of the Tiger (Dec. 20). Thank you for an added delight in this holiday season.
BETTY KAEN JORDAN
Highland Park, Ill.
Has your fine magazine decided to enlarge its coverage beyond the topic of sports—or are we to conclude that you regard it as a form of "sport" when the idle rich have to hire half of the elephants and personnel on the whole continent of Asia to do in one tiger?