PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Perhaps the reason for entitling the article An Upside-down Game (Nov. 28) was not because Notre Dame Linebacker Jim Lynch was photographed upside down, but because your writer, Dan Jenkins, was standing on his head. Mr. Jenkins says, "A No. 1 team will try something." Then he adds, "No one wanted a freak play to decide it; everyone wanted a clear winner." If Notre Dame had scored during that last minute, would it not have been most likely on a freak play?
D. RICHARD BARDER
Michigan State, playing in its own backyard, had 60 minutes in which to defeat a crippled Notre Dame team. They failed, and all the name-calling and ranting and raving in the world is not going to alter that fact one iota.
Hudson Falls, N.Y.
Many thanks for coming out with the truth. The name of the game is still win, especially with the national championship on the line.
What we saw at the game was 60 minutes of hard-fought football. We saw George Goeddeke hobble onto the field to block for the unsuccessful field goal. We saw Terry Hanratty go to the sideline to have the spit wiped from his face. We saw Coley O'Brien play magnificently under fantastic pressures. We saw Kevin Hardy punt beautifully and tackle ferociously, and, finally, we saw Tommy Schoen, tears in his eyes, standing in pain on the sideline after being hit attempting a fair catch. And do you know what we heard? The Notre Dame fight song, over and over. And, when we arrived at the Notre Dame campus that night, we saw 4,000 students cheering wildly for the No. 1 team in the country and carrying a sign that said: WE'RE PROUD.
Notre Dame, Ind.
The history of athletics has been glorified by the principle of the honest, all-out effort to win without excuse or complaint. Your pages have recorded many moments of genuine heroism, when defeat was risked for the slim chance of winning. I doubt that a "don't lose" philosophy has ever built much character. Notre Dame's Fighting Irish forgot what the game is all about in front of the whole country, and people remember a long time.
Sure you have a headache, but why take it out on Notre Dame?
PAUL L. JOHNSON
Coach Parseghian excused his safe-play-for-a-tie by saying he wasn't going to give away a victory when his injured team had played so gallantly. Perhaps they did play gallantly—most football teams do. But we cannot toss national championships to teams that might have won, simply because they were riddled with injuries.
As it happens, I was a boxer during World War II, and I lost a bout in a tournament because I was not in shape to fight. The consensus may have been that I would have clobbered my opponent, but the fact was that my opponent was sound and I was not! They don't award bouts to fighters who are unable to enter the ring.
I cannot agree with the general notion that Notre Dame would have defeated State if Eddy and Hanratty had been in the lineup. A year ago Mike Garrett was in the University of Southern California lineup, and Ara's boys contained him like a steel trap contains a rabbit. The point is, Notre Dame had a pretty good book on Mr. Garrett and was able to smother him whenever he tried to run. Apparently Michigan State had something on Seymour.
Coach Parseghian and his followers can beat their breasts, bleat and yelp about being No. 1 as much as they wish, and, chances are, they will bully many, many people into believing them. But, as far as I'm concerned, Notre Dame will not prove that it is entitled to anything, save an undefeated season, unless the game is played again—and not to a tie. If they are sincere I suggest they try to persuade the good Reverend Father who is president of Notre Dame to make this possible. Until then, their boast of being the No. 1 team in the nation does not stand for a thing.
THE REV. LEWIS P. BOHLER JR.
Rector, Church of the Advent (Episcopal)