HOWARD THE GREAT
Howard Cosell is egotistical, self-righteous, tactless and often maudlin (Would You Let This Man Interview You? March 13). He is a genuinely disgusting person. Right? Wrong! Howard Cosell is, indeed, the greatest sportscaster around. Yet his ability to lift the sports interview out of the morass of triviality and insincerity is not his greatest asset or distinction. In a world populated by corporation men and faceless nonentities Howard Cosell stands as a last bastion against the cancer of conformity. The man is a man. This is the essence of Howard Cosell.
I feel extremely sorry for Emi Cosell. She can't turn Howard off.
McPALMER & CO.
For more than 10 years I sat on the board of directors of a national meat-packing trade association with James D. Cooney (My Friend, Arnold Palmer March 6 et seq.). This was during the difficult period when his leadership caused Wilson & Co. to change with the times by eliminating unprofitable and obsolete multistory meatpacking plants at railroad junctions and moving them as smaller units to the source of livestock or into the population centers. The end result was the change from a stagnant international company to an up-to-date profitable operation.
There is no question that it was a hard decision for Golf Buff Cooney to refuse to approve the Palmer contract with their subsidiary, Wilson Sporting Goods Company. The decision of the judge (who never sat on the bench but came up through the legal department) to turn down the Palmer contract was obviously in the best interest of Wilson & Co.
The final result has been just right: Wilson & Co. and Arnold Palmer have both prospered in their particular fields.
There's yet another facet to Mark McCormack, merchant prince, barrister and biographer.
When I first called on Mark to discuss making a laundryman out of Arnold Palmer, I was greeted with an exuberant handshake and the proclamation, "I saw Frankie Parker murder you in Chicago!" I said he couldn't have been born when I last played Parker, but it turned out that he had and that, moreover, Mark, a fine golfer, was really a frustrated tennis hacker. He was brought up by a golfing father, a short pitch from the club fairway, but for years played hookey in search of tennis practice.
In fact, I would like to think that our deal really got off the ground through tennis—not golf!
SIDNEY B. WOOD JR.
New York City
SIDELIGHTS ON DARK
Perhaps William Leggett has planted the kiss of death on Kansas City's amazing youngsters with his article ( Dark's Outlook Is Young and Bright, March 13).
Indeed, it was the fairest assessment of the Athletics' potential in many years. The "underground railroad" to New York has been discontinued, and Alvin Dark is molding a contender out of youth and positive thinking.