After reading Dan Jenkins' comment that there is "no excuse for continuing the College All-Star Game" (No Place for Stars to Shine, Aug. 14), I wonder if there is any excuse for Mr. Jenkins. Although the All-Star Game is not an exhibition of perfect football, neither are most preseason exhibitions. This year's game drew more than 70,000 fans. There is an aura of excitement and anticipation pervading every All-Star Game, as people wonder if this will be one of those wonderful years when the rookies upset the pros. If the Stars aren't a polished team (and no one expects them to be after only three weeks of practice), there is always the individual excellence of the rookies to hold the fans' interest. The All-Star Game is often the first chance football fans have to see the players they have read about during the off season. The game is simply a good way to kick off another football season.
Mr. Jenkins has forgotten, or intentionally dismissed, an important point. The All-Stars nearly defeated the Chicago Bears only days before, losing 23-22. And Green Bay habitually annihilates pro teams just as easily as the collegians.
JOHN MICHAEL TIRMAN
South Bend, Ind.
Do SI and Dan Jenkins settle for anything less than perfection? When any sport becomes so perfect that it becomes inhuman and nothing more than a mechanical routine, I'll drop my interest in sports and in SI. Any All-Star Game is better than no game, regardless of the score. Let's just admire the All-Stars' courage and the pros' ability and start taking the game for what it is: a charity event.
Dan Jenkins summed it up correctly.
CHARLES F. DANIELS
RICK AND RICHES
I read with great interest your article on Rick Barry's jump to the Oakland Oaks (The Education of Mr. Barry, Aug. 14). The point that caught my attention was the question of loyalty. I fully agree with Rick. Why should he be called a traitor? Suppose, if you will, that it is now 1977. Rick Barry has just completed his 12th year with the Warriors, and Mr. Mieuli has the chance to trade him for an up-and-coming star. Would Mr. Mieuli hesitate to trade him because of loyalty and team spirit? Hardly. The Yankees traded Ruth, the Dodgers tried to trade Robinson and the Warriors would trade Barry. Pro sports are big-time business and, as Rick said, when you're in business you have to get the best deal possible.
MICHAEL D. HIRSCH
Long Branch, N.J.
I am appalled at the court decision to bar Rick Barry from playing with Oakland until Oct. 1968. As I see it, Barry saw a better job opportunity and grabbed it. A player's career is limited, and he can be traded at any time. No sensible man should turn down a better contract than he is getting. Barry can't worry about Franklin Mieuli's dream when he has a family to support. It seems the law is geared to the men with money, especially when it stops one man cold and yet allows an entire franchise ( Milwaukee- Atlanta Braves) to pack up and desert a city. I sincerely hope the Warriors free Barry for the 1967-1968 season, so basketball fans can again see the coolest player around.
Congratulations! The article written by John Underwood about Winnipeg and the Pan-American Games (The Winning Ways of Winnipeg, Aug. 7) was an excellent and accurate appraisal—although it is obvious that Underwood wrote with tongue in cheek at times. This is quite forgivable, but do not underestimate the spirit and power of this town during those two glorious and historic weeks. I only wish the games could have lasted two months.
I would like to defend my city. John Underwood's article is extremely one-sided and gives a poor description of Winnipeg. As for the games, Winnipeggers enthusiastically attended all the events and made it the biggest Pan-Am Games ever. In comparison with the Pan-Am Games held in Chicago in 1959, which were almost a complete flop, Winnipeg, which is less than one-tenth the size of Chicago, proved that it supports great events and could support the Olympic Games adequately.
We sure was proud to have an important magazine like SI write up the Pan-Am Games, which took place right here in Winnipeg. But we're just a mite worried about some of the things that there John Underwood wrote. Like he seemed to be mad at us that our city had wide, clean streets and that people gave up their time and cars and things to help others. But here in Winnipeg we was just acting like we was taught to do when you give a party. We was darned sorry he couldn't spend $100 in one night. But we figured out how come. We betcha every time he et someone else jest grabbed the check, that's how come.
Bob Ottum's excellent report on the Pan-Am Games (And the Melody Lingered On, Aug. 14) was marred by a simple misstatement of fact. It was George Greer of the University of Connecticut who singled in the winning run against Cuba, not Steve Sogge as reported. Sogge was in the on-deck circle at the time.