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19TH HOLE: THE READERS TAKE OVER
September 05, 1966
BIKE FEVERSirs:Vive SPORTS ILLUSTRATED! And vive le Tour de France (A Nation's Midsummer Madness, Aug. 22)! Your way of covering the lesser-known sports certainly appeals to the many nonbaseball-basketball-football-oriented fans. Jack Olsen's article on the world-famous bicycle classic presented an interesting and amusing insight. Those of us who are active in cycling here in the U.S. agree with the statement: "Bicycle racers are 15 years ahead of other sportsmen. They are the most intelligent of athletes." We feel that they are also among the most dedicated and persevering of our athletes. Each summer the Amateur Bicycle League of America conducts road championships in each state, which are up to 120 miles in length. When you throw in a 95� July sun, steaming pavement, muscle-torturing climbs and 50-mile-an-hour descents, you've got to be truly dedicated to your sport to love it. Unlike the Tour de France, however, our gallery of fans is often composed of a couple of curious cows, a dog or two and, maybe, a startled chicken.RAY GUESTSumter, S.C.
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September 05, 1966

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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The results were amazing. On one occasion I received a Warren Giles rejection letter downgrading my work because in the NL schedule I had indicated night games and thus deprived the owners of their prerogative! On another occasion Giles's rejection was based on the fact that there was one section of my schedule that called for St. Louis to be away from home on three consecutive Sundays. (There are at least six such incidents in the NL this year.) Finally, when I attempted to submit a schedule that eliminated Leggett's specific complaint, i.e. visiting Houston in the middle of a West Coast trip (thus creating close to 3,000 miles of extra travel for each of six teams), I was curtly advised that the NL way was the better and that I might as well stop wasting Mr. Giles's time.

I have no ax to grind other than a desire to have the job done in the best possible manner. I have already prepared three alternate versions of the 1967 schedules, which I truly believe represent improvements over the existing travel-happy, shoehorned and patchwork programs. I have avoided entirely the question of interleague scheduling—not because I don't approve of it or because it couldn't be done, but simply because I find it hard to believe that the men who can't straighten out a one-league schedule would care to get involved in still further complications.

I cannot and do not ask your help. I am in no way a martyr or a crackpot; I've lost nothing, but I have to believe that baseball has.
ERIC N. COMPTON
Hartsdale, N.Y.

OUT OF THE WOODS
Sirs:
Concerning Barbara La Fontaine's two-part article on the Outward Bound School for girls (Babes in the Woods, July 11 and 18), I was one of those girls, and I think Barb did a wonderful job. Her conclusions are perfect—and very perceptive. But there is one thing I would like to clarify for all the Digby Butler Whitmans in the world. Mr. Whitman wrote (19TH HOLE, Aug. 1) that our solo survival was not survival, but fasting. He wonders what happened to the Camp Fire Girls.

Maybe that three-day survival was only a period of fasting for some of us girls. I know that it was for me. We knew that we couldn't die in three days, and we knew that we would be picked up again. But the emphasis was not primarily on survival—it was on being solo.

Before this, students had had to face situations that demanded teamwork. The solo survival was just another step in the Outward Bound challenge. To some of the girls it was the biggest challenge. Mr. Whitman said that it did not prove that we girls could "stay alive in the woods without help." Right. It didn't. It wasn't supposed to do that. It wasn't supposed to prove anything. Just sitting out there alone—no radio, no TV, no friends, no food, no shelter strips a girl down to what she is. She will probably see what she is—perhaps for the first time—and feelings of adequacy and worth may develop.

In 10 years with the Camp Fire Girls I have learned a lot. In one month at Outward Bound I learned more—more about me, more about other people. The two organizations cannot be compared.

Outward Bound is not something that everyone appreciates during the course—some go so far as to say they hate it. It is something that grows on you, and this summer I went back as a staff trainee, so that some day I can help other girls who will go back to their homes and find—as I did—that they no longer fit into the same old groove and that they like the new one better.
JOAN THAMES
St. Paul

SOCKDOLAGER
Sirs:
Reader Brian Daly (19TH HOLE, Aug. 15) is talking through his hat when he says soccer "is the fastest growing sport in America today," and "it will...enhance America's international prestige." We have too much prestige now. It's killing us. As for soccer, I saw the World Cup final from London on TV only because it was raining here and no good for "bean-hunting," my favorite weekend sport on the south Florida beaches.

Soccer will never go over big in the U.S. because it's too fast. No time to hawk hot dogs in the stands or deodorant to TV viewers. It's dull and boring to watch. The uniforms have no glamour. There's no half-time show, no sex appeal, no Flipper in a tank, no closeups of scantily clad, leggy young things prancing to swinging bands. No benches, no substitutions, no cigar chomping, grim-faced gents in snap-brim hats pacing up and down the sidelines and no time-outs while Mickey Mantle gets up to shave.

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