SI Vault
October 28, 1968
O. J. ALL THE WAY? Sirs:You'll forgive me if I chuckle a little about your story (The Face-off That Never Was, Oct. 14) on O. J. Simpson running "at, inside of, around or over the top of Hendricks." Now, I'm not anti-O. J. As a matter of fact, I'm not even pro-Miami, though I do believe the 30-0 victory over LSU was a little better reflection of Miami's ability than the 28-3 loss to USC.
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October 28, 1968

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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It seems to me that Bill Illerbrun overlooked the fact that most Canadian League players feel they have reached their career's height when they're accepted by the NFL. Therefore, it follows that the NFL really is the best league and the Packers really deserve the title of World Champions.
Allendale, S.C.

If the closing letter in your September 16 issue from New Jersey Sports Editor Shabazian implying that all losers fail remains the last word on the quotation from William Lyon Phelps, Phelps will rest uneasily indeed. I have been cribbing Phelps for years and the word he chose was stronger than "success." Phelps said that the front page too often chronicles man's failure, the sports page is a recording of his triumphs. Phelps's sports page, however, was quite different from Shabazian's. I do enjoy today's sports page, but when I count the dollar signs there are more than in the business section.

Some fine depictions of the things Phelps saw are in the film Olympia , a documentary work of art showing the 1936 Berlin Olympics as many men triumph over time and distance, and their fatigue. Of course the triumph of the winners is recorded, but also a marathon runner collapsing as he crossed the line—he finished eighth, but he finished—plus the subtle triumph of Lutz Long, the great German athlete, beaten by the only man by whom he could be beaten, possibly because he gave that man advice that on his last chance helped him qualify. Why? Because a gold medal with Jesse Owens fouled out was less valued than to win or lose to Owens at his best.

Lud Shabazian should live a little longer. He will learn that in the long run we all lose though we need not fail. You don't always have to finish first to win. True, one of those trailing jocks on the slower horses may be carrying Lud's two bucks, but what does he want him to do? Get off and carry the horse? Lud is in the wrong job. If he is right and Phelps was wrong, there is no point to sport.
Santa Monica, Calif.

If Joe Kuharich had ever coached the San Francisco 49ers as you say (If You Know a Good Joke, Tell It to Philadelphia , Sept. 23), they might not now be titleless in the NFL. Joe enjoyed some of his best football years in this city. Where he did coach, 1947-51, was here at the University of San Francisco, and over the final three seasons he molded one of the great collegiate teams the sport has known. Undefeated, untied and uninvited (to a bowl), the 1951 Dons sent seven first-stringers into the NFL (a record), among them Ollie Matson, Gino Marchetti, Bob St. Clair and Ed Brown.

All that may be ancient sports history now, although Matson retired from the Eagles just last year. A reporter can be forgiven for forgetting or not knowing it—except, perhaps, by NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle. He was the publicist for that USF team.
San Francisco

We read all the publicity and stories in your magazine concerning Evel Knievel and his scheduled attempt to jump the Grand Canyon on his motorcycle on Labor Day. Since then—nothing but silence.

Please, did he make it or fall in?
Troy, Pa.

? Knievel has not abandoned his plans to jump the Grand Canyon but has been unable to obtain permission from the federal agencies who administer the land along the Colorado River. Meanwhile, he is arranging to purchase a launching site north of Twin Falls, Idaho for a one-mile warmup jump across the 700-foot-deep canyon of the Snake River.—ED.

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