Once again I must tip my hat to the editors of SI for doing their thing. By now it is no secret to the sports-reading public that as soon as some unfortunate "hero" makes his appearance on the cover of SI he at once becomes a marked man.
So in the tradition of turning winners into losers the wise old heads at SPORTS ILLUSTRATED treated the public to a special fold-out cover on its October 7 issue: The World Champion Cardinals complete with colorful outfits, colorful personalities, colorful salaries. Result? THE WORLD CHAMPION DETROIT TIGERS.
It just occurred to me that you might be doing your country a great service if you put Ho Chi Minh on your cover. Undoubtedly, the war would end in a week.
I am glad you published Bill Illerbrun's letter in your October 7 issue drawing attention to our Canadian Football League.
We would be no match for your professional teams in a "World Series," for reasons that I am sure you know.
However, some day Montreal, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Toronto will have domed stadiums, then we will do our best to "sock it to you."
Meanwhile we will continue to enjoy your coverage of American sports, with a polite request to Tex Maule and Co. to glance northward occasionally, just to see what your Canadian cousins are up to.
J. F. HINDE
Bill Illerbrun pointed out that although Eldridge Dickey may be the first black quarterback to become a regular in American pro football, he couldn't become the first in pro football because of a Negro quarterback in the Canadian Football League. In an editor's note after the letter you said, "Dickey will in fact be the third." It remains to be seen whether or not this statement will come true. The odds are against it. Marlin (the Magician) Briscoe of the Denver Broncos became the first Negro quarterback in the AFL when he appeared against Boston on September 29 in a backup role. Briscoe played about 10 minutes, completed two of six passes, rushed for 51 yards on five attempts and scored a touchdown on a great 12-yard run. Although he is not yet a regular, Briscoe is a lot closer to becoming one than Dickey.
I would also like to say to Mr. Illerbrun that although the AFL and the NFL are not the only professional football leagues, they are clearly the best. The Green Bay Packers are definitely the world champions. By Mr. Illerbrun's reasoning, the Packers must also play the champions of the Continental Football League before they could claim their title. Don't be ridiculous.
Bill Illerbrun's letter suggests that the NFL champion is not really a world champion because it has proved its supremacy only in America and has not taken on the Canadian champion. This is pure lunacy. As an American who lived in Canada for eight years, I am amazed that anyone who has seen both the NFL and CFL could even think about comparing the two leagues. The CFL features second-rate talent, mere cast-offs from the NFL and AFL, and a brand of ball that can only be compared to high school play in its quality. An NFL-CFL championship (under any rules) would be a farcical mismatch. The Canadian champ and Purdue would be more like it.
STEPHEN J. DeGANGE
Bowling Green, Ohio