After two years of reading your magazine, I have failed to hear a favorable word about the N.Y. Jets. I got used to the verbose attacks on Joe Namath, the annual A.F.L. predictions which tell why the Jets will never quite win it. But the article Winning with a Loser's Look (Oct. 14) was too much. Edwin Shrake more or less condemned the Jets for winning the type of game in which they are blessed with good fortune rather than good offense. That's football, and those are the breaks which make all sports fascinating.
Mr. Wilson says (19TH HOLE, Oct. 21) that photo shows Damascus with his ears pricked and Baeza's whip pointing skyward at the finish of Woodward Stakes. So what? Maybe Damascus doesn't like the whip. Maybe he needs a mile and a quarter to settle into stride. Some horses just can't be hurried.
Let's take the whip first. Mr. Wilson seems to think Baeza should have used it on Damascus. Well, some horses do their best only under a whip ride and some go to pieces and sulk at the touch of a whip. I do not know Damascus. I don't know if he likes the whip or not. I'm pretty sure a rider like Baeza does know. And another thing: that strong-finish stuff is baloney. There isn't a jockey in the world who can get any more speed out of a game horse once he's turned loose in the stretch.
Now the ears. Mr. Wilson said Damascus had his ears pricked at the finish. The ears standing up at the finish could mean, simply, that Damascus was still fresh at the finish, that he had plenty left but just wasn't good enough that day. I say this because while flattened-out ears may mean the horse is driving, it also may mean he's tired.
WILD ABOUT HARRY (CONT.)
Thank you for the very fine story on the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals, Harry Caray. The warm summer evenings wouldn't seem quite right without a "holy cow" bouncing out of the radio. He brings baseball to people who never have an opportunity to see a game.
Harry truly is a nonconformist in a sad world of radio-TV conformity. He stands head and shoulders above the bland mechanical announcers on national networks. And there are very few others who make you feel as if you are in the second row of the box seats back of first.
Here in Colorado we can hear the games on KMOX "under the right conditions" or else from Tulsa or Topeka, Kans. Sometimes it is a continual switching of the dial just to keep the game tuned in. But it's worthwhile to hear Harry describe Maxvill hitting a home run in Shea Stadium, or Schofield hitting one in the 11th to help beat the Braves, or Bobby Tolan making a great catch in right field and throwing a runner out at home all in one motion, or Gibson getting his 13th shutout of the 1968 campaign. It's almost better than being there.
Keep that fishnet loose, Harry, and here's to 24 more good years with the Cards.
Glenwood Springs, Colo.
Harry Caray may be very exciting to Cardinal fans, but to an unbiased onlooker his amateurish babbling can be downright annoying. After two years of seeing him look foolish next to old pro Curt Gowdy, I've had just about enough. One of the prime ingredients for good broadcasting which Gowdy possesses, and Caray so obviously lacks, is knowing when to keep quiet.
If Harry insists on sounding like a fan in the bleachers, I suggest he take his butterfly net out there and leave the broadcasting to men who realize that everyone isn't rooting for the Cardinals.