ON THE DOLE
You have finally done it! In your article about the National AAU track and field championships (A Doleful Day for Ryun, July 4) you have pushed a great thing too far. Do you expect Jack Nicklaus to shoot 64 every day? Do you expect Sandy Koufax to shut out every opponent? I think not. No, if they win they are heroes and have satisfied the fans. However, if Jim Ryun wins the mile by 10 yards against an excellent field but fails to break a world record, everyone is disappointed. Now even SI has taken this immature attitude. Jim Ryun is not a machine that you can set up at a faster speed for each race. He is an individual!
If you or the fans are disappointed in a 3:58.6 performance, let me remind you that the mile is no easier to run today than years ago when no one had ever broken the four-minute mark. Why don't you try running a mile some time if you think that time is so slow and disappointing? I'll bet a nickel that Mr. Brown can't run it in 4:58.6!
? SI reported, accurately, that it was Ryun himself who was disappointed. As for Writer Gwilym Brown, he ran in the 1965 and 1966 Boston Marathons, won neither, also was disappointed.—ED.
Jim Ryun's fans are "disappointed" with a subfour-minute mile, and Michel Jazy runs the third fastest 1,500 meters in history (the fastest ever in Europe or the United States), and is "a failure" as a national hero. Just how silly can track fans and sports-writers get?
GEORGE P. MEADE
Many thanks for your great story about the world's greatest runner. Jim Ryun represents Kansas, and it's good to see that someone else besides us at KU thinks he's fabulous. Many adults must be glad to see a young man who, though a teen-ager, has disciplined himself enough so that he can take his place among the truly great and dedicated athletes of the sports world.
Mr. Curry Kirkpatrick, who wrote the two articles on the Kentucky-Indiana All-Star basketball games (Togetherness Triumphs Twice, July 4) must have some connection with Indiana. Kentucky happened to win both games rather convincingly, but I notice both articles tell about the personal life of the team that lost. Is somebody prejudiced against winners?
RUSSELL E. MUELLER
The blame for the dismal performance of the Indiana All-Stars should be placed on their respective high school coaches, who taught them for four years to be selfish gunners, and not on Cleon Reynolds, whose own high school and college teams have been shining examples of good teamwork for many years. Even Kentucky's Joe Reibel would not have been able to handle them. Think of what fantastic individual efforts the fans of Indiana University, Purdue and Miami will be able to witness during the next four years. They will probably have to invest in individual scoreboards to maintain the emotional stability of the players.
I'm going into 12th grade, and I participate in all the local AAU track meets. I want to be a track star. I wonder if you'd mind writing an article about me.
?Wait a bit.—ED.
In your letters column of July 4 a Mr. Ed Mulford of Shelton, Conn. claims that "fast-pitch Softball is hardly more than a memory now."