Robert Jones wrote that Namath said "goddammit" when he underthrew a pass to George Sauer. I happen to know that Namath does not use God's name in vain. He says "goldangit" instead. It's bad enough people get on Namath for his long hair, Fu Manchu, white shoes and Johnnie Walker Red. Don't go putting words in his mouth—goldangit!
Many thanks to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for an excellent series on Lew Alcindor (My Story, Oct. 27 et seq.), and many more thanks to Lew for convincingly extending his athletic experiences beyond the world of athletics. Lew has encountered firsthand much of what goes on everyday: the ghetto, the city, California, the college scene, big business, racism, insensitivity, etc. He has reacted eloquently and with sharp anger to what is wrong, with deep pride to what is right and with a genuine hope that people will always be judged as people—no more, no less. The realities facing every one of us cannot be kept out of the sports arena. Lew speaks not as a superhuman gate attraction but as one of a generation determined to turn this thing around so that, someday, the world of sports can truly be representative of a larger world devoid of inhuman values.
The causes of black resentment in America today are too obvious to bear further elaboration by me. I can see why black people would want to learn more about their history and culture, create for themselves an "instant culture" or adopt the dress and background of African tribes.
What I cannot understand is the choice of many of them, Lew Alcindor included, of the religious faith of the Arabs. Not only are Arabs members of the Caucasian race, they are people who sold the blacks into slavery in the first place! They are still the only major world religious group widely accepting and practicing commercial slavery.
So Christianity is un-Christlike? I've been wondering since early Muhammad Ali why nobody has remarked on the irony of Black Muslimism.
Santa Fe, N. Mex.
Lew Alcindor can thank his lucky stars he's tall, talented and black. Otherwise, he'd be poor white trash like the rest of us.
Santa Monica, Calif.
ALL BETS OFF
Your SCORECARD question ("A Split Hair," Nov. 3) as to whether Tom Seaver "finished" the game when a pinch hitter for him drove in the winning run in the 10th inning, can be answered by considering what was the intention of the parties to the bet. In the case of a pitcher, a reasonable baseball fan would probably consider the player's job done when he completes his most crucial task: pitching. The pitcher is not expected to do much except pitch, and occasionally field. It seems, therefore, that Fan No. 1 loses. The common understanding of baseball fans is that a hurler finishes the game when he completes his pitching chore in the game.
The rulemakers of the game seem to agree, since a pitcher who is lifted for a pinch hitter is given credit for the victory if his team scores the winning run in the inning of his removal.
However, the answer to your question, "who wins the bet," is that unless the event took place in Nevada, or some other place in which gambling is legal, a prosecuting attorney would win.
Attorney at Law
I can't pinpoint the origin of the term "penalty flag" for you (SCORECARD, NOV. 10), but I can provide some information on its innovation.