Where was the great spirit of old Notre Dame when Ara settled for that tie (An Upside-clown Game, Nov. 28)? My opinion of the school, its spirit, and Coach Parseghian is infinitely lower after "the game of the decade."
This certainly doesn't exemplify a national champion to me. I feel Michigan State, which played a tougher schedule, deserves the award. If the sportswriters of America feel only a perfect record is permissible, then even Bear Bryant's Alabama is a better choice.
So Duffy Daugherty thinks Michigan State and Notre Dame ought to be 1 and 1A. Well, Michigan State clearly isn't No. 1, since the Spartans couldn't beat Notre Dame even when half of the Irish first-string backfield was not playing. As for Notre Dame's (or at least its coach's) deplorable lack of nerve in the last minute when they ran out the clock instead of trying for victory, the less said the better. More appropriate labels for the teams would be 2 and 4F. Alabama is No. 1!
CHARLES S. REES
Dan Jenkins' article on the Notre Dame-Michigan State game was quite accurate, and I am sure it reflected the feelings of many football fans across the country, but the write-up seemed a little too idealistic. This was not the old game of football where chances are taken and the spirit and enjoyment of the players overrules the odds of the game. It was the practical business of staying on top, where, if one has no pass receivers and the odds are high that the other team will intercept the ball and go all the way for a touchdown, one doesn't pass.
Notre Dame, Ind.
One hates to let his Irish temper flare, but it is all too obvious that the blame for the football world's dissatisfaction with an inconclusive tie score in The Game has unjustly fallen on Ara Parseghian. It is a damn shame that the score was not decisive, but that feeling of emptiness in the nation's football heart that Saturday cannot be filled by a postgame plea for stupid football. Coach Parseghian cannot serve as a psychological outlet! Without an extra period or a sudden death playoff granted by the NCAA, any reasonable football fan has to realize that The Game was only one game in a season of 10, and the national championship will have to be decided in view of that entire season, not by an emotional attack on 90 seconds of strategic football.
Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from those last six plays and the players who executed them. I suggest a new cover title: SPARTAN DEFENSE HOLDS IRISH SECOND STRING TO ONLY 10 POINTS. In this way you will have placed the right light on Ara Parseghian's decision.
To Dan Jenkins, my only advice is to stay away from Notre Dame for a while. Otherwise he may find out just how "loud and loyal" that student body really is. I sure would hate to see him get hit with one of those national-championship trophies.
JAMES E. MACKIN
Notre Dame, Ind.
As a Notre Dame alumnus I blame the obsolete ruling in both college and pro football that permits ties. Coaches, teams and spectators are never satisfied with such an outcome. A sport as great as football should be played until one team wins. An overtime period of from six to 10 minutes should be played, and if there is still no winner, then a sudden-death period should take place.
The argument that it would put too much strain on the players no longer holds true, since, with the platoon system of substitution, players average only 30 minutes each game. Certainly an additional six to 10 minutes would not harm anyone.
HERMAN L. KRIEGSHAUSER
I think the boys from South Bend should now call themselves "The Tying Irish" and drop that old bit about "fighting."
W. A. CURRY