SI Vault
June 23, 1969
COME BACK, JOESirs: Football Commissioner Pete Rozelle made one of his biggest mistakes in ordering Joe Namath to sell or be suspended (Mod Man Out, June 16). He said in an interview that he was certain that Namath had done nothing wrong, but that by his associating with "gamblers and suspicious characters" in his restaurant he had laid football open to suspicion by the public. The public, unlike Rozelle, isn't going to condemn Namath for what he has done because so far he has done nothing. The law is unable to do anything about these gamblers; they are allowed to go free and they probably own legitimate businesses of their own. As long as they haven't been punished for what they have done, why make Namath pay for what he hasn't done? Even if he wanted to, he couldn't refuse anyone service in his restaurant. Namath is being judged on guilt by association and not really judged, because how can he be judged right or wrong when Rozelle, the judge himself, has admitted Namath had done nothing at all? As long as the law is unable to judge in this way, how can the commissioner of football be allowed to, no matter how important the "sacred image of unblemished sport" is.BRANDON HOLT Boise, Idaho
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June 23, 1969

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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May I suggest that you take your eyes off the rearview mirror. A more contemporary criticism and surely a more valid one would be written by a film critic, not a sports reporter. I believe (and the response we received validates this) that we made an honest effort to show another view of a great sporting event, within the framework of film-making. To pass the film off as "embarrassingly bad," because it was produced for the great masses of TV viewers and not as a coaching film is what is called in the parlance of pro-football "a cheap shot." Embarrassingly bad? To whom?
NFL Films, Inc.

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