I felt that Tex Maule's article on the Western Conference of the NFL (Heated Pursuit of the Packers, Oct. 31) was fine, but he overlooked something in comparing Johnny Unitas and Bart Starr. Tex cites the fact that Starr's percentage of completions is slightly higher and that his percentage of interceptions is slightly lower than Unitas', and that these are both important statistics which give evidence of Starr's superiority. But statistics are often misleading. The Colts' ground game has never been as strong as the Packers", and Unitas, of necessity, must go to the air more often. Thus he is deprived of the element of surprise that Starr takes advantage of. When the going gets tough for the Colts, the burden falls on the arm of Unitas. When it gets tough for the Packers, it falls on the legs of Hornung and Taylor. So come on, Tex. Unitas hasn't fooled an entire nation for 10 years. If he has, he should get the movie contracts that Drysdale and Koufax aren't using.
The comparison of Bart Starr to John Unitas was apt, since Starr's exceptional ability is proved both by his personal statistics and those of the Packer team under his leadership.
If Unitas had the running support even of an Elijah Pitts, not to mention Hornung or Taylor, he would have the best percentage of all time. Starr has counted on the running game to establish his passing game, while Unitas has not had that advantage. I am a devout Bear fan and hate both the Packers and the Colts, so I would not be prejudiced in stating what everyone already knows—Johnny Unitas is and will always be Mr. Quarterback.
TOADS IN THE TYPE
Judging by his article on the Jose Torres-Chic Calderwood title fight in San Juan (Without Honor in His Own Land, Oct. 24), I'll wager 10 to five that Mark Kram has never seen a Puerto Rican cockfight or attended an Arthur Murray dance party. Ten will get you 20 that he can't spell coqui, even if one of those little toads croaks into his typewriter. Furthermore, the littering of rugs with assorted coins may bring Torres' trainer, Johnny Manzanet, some luck, but that doesn't make it a Puerto Rican custom. Mark Kram to the contrary, there are not many in Puerto Rico who enjoy the honor and popularity of Jose Torres—perhaps only Clemente, Cepeda and Carlos Ortiz.
ETIENNE Torn III
San Juan, P.R.
Mexico City has its seedy side—as do New York, Los Angeles and Skokie, Ill.—but, in his story about the Carlos Ortiz-Sugar Ramos fight (Cops and Robbers in Mexico City, Oct. 31), Mark Kram makes it look like the Black Hole of Calcutta. It is rather the Paris of the Western Hemisphere.
CHRISTOPHER S. COBB
Mark Kram should be congratulated for his outspoken condemnation of that obvious farce in Mexico City. I may not always agree with SI's opinions, but you can always be credited with making them known.
I also happened to notice in the picture of the wounded ring doctor (page 29) that he was wearing a somewhat large lapel pin with a Russian emblem in the center of it. What is the significance of this pin?
J. J. DALEHITE
Yorba Linda, Calif.
?The pin (below), the insignia of the Russian ski team, was given to Dr. Guilberto Bolanos Cacho by one of the Soviet physicians attending the Little Olympics held in Mexico City the week of the fight.—ED.
What a disappointment it was for me to pick up your October 31 issue and see my home state and alma mater held up to ridicule by humor boy Tom Brody (For Indians, It Was a Day to Bite the Dust). Brody made it appear that North Dakota State was a hick school that has been dominated all these years by a superior University of North Dakota. He also left the impression that it was a miracle for the State of North Dakota to have two nationally ranked teams, since it has nothing else of any worth. There is a good story between those clever gems of wit, but the average reader will miss it in his laughter, and the average North Dakotan will miss it in his rage.
No person can poke fun at North Dakota except a North Dakotan.
Fargo, N. Dak.