SIGHT, SOUND AND FURY
Delving into the personalities of television sportscasters made for a quite amusing story on their not-so-inactive world (Towering Babble and [Sob] Heidi, Jan. 19). We, as Super Spectator, are blind to the man behind the mike. Rather, it is the event that engrosses our minds. However, I must contest Roone Arledge's statement that today's menagerie of announcers lacks controversy or fails to voice a definite opinion. Obviously, he is oblivious of one Howard Cosell. The bite and arrogance of Cosell is unmatched in a profession dominated by neutrality. Whether accusing Ali or nagging Namath, his feelings are never hidden. And what molds this uniqueness of character is his sarcastic delivery—a trait that marked his sports reporting in the 1960s. Not too many fans find Howard Cosell endearing, yet you've got to respect that tell-it-like-it-is style.
East Dubuque, Ill.
If old Jack Dolph of CBS really told you that "old Marty was over there shopping our bid" and "spilled" a CBS offer to ABC (Adventures of Superspy!, Jan. 12), he was confused, blind or out to lunch. Or maybe he just never understood the situation.
In 10 years of television, film and radio negotiations for CBS, and later on behalf of various clients, including the PGA Tournament Players Division, I have never shopped a bid or otherwise broken a confidence. This is a matter of ethics, but it is also a business essential that a network can trust me with an offer for a month or more during long and complex negotiations.
I was seen at ABC by a friend at CBS on a day in 1966 when I had a later CBS meeting scheduled, but CBS' initial offer to buy out the 1967 PGA golf package already had been rejected as too low. Thus no offer was pending when I visited ABC. Executives at CBS know this, the then CBS Sports business director will bear it out and Jack Dolph knows it, too. At the subsequent meeting with CBS they made a further offer, which was also rejected. Only then did I open negotiations with ABC and Sports Network, which later led to the biggest golf television sale in history and the first two-network sports package.
Dolph's memory is foggy on other points. 1) While he may often have "rested his weary eyes" at the office, his office never faced ABC. 2) No "confrontation" with me was "arranged." I simply kept my appointment with CBS. 3) For the record, Barry Frank's office still faces CBS, and they do not draw the blinds when I am there.
We have all enjoyed laughing about the "I saw you over there" incident, but any bid-shopping allegations are totally unjustified, as all parties concerned know.
New York City
Frank Deford's article on the Carolina Cougars and their regional franchise (My Baby Is Called the Kahlahnah Koogahs, Jan. 19) is indeed interesting, and his reference to Virginia as possibly being the area where the next such franchise could be successful is encouraging to all of us local sports-starved pro basketball fans. However, his reference to the new arenas located in Norfolk, Richmond and Roanoke was a direct, though probably unintentional, slap in the face to us Hamptonians.
Hampton has a beautiful, spanking-new 9,000-seat coliseum that officially opens on Jan. 31, although it has been hosting college and high school basketball since early in December. The arenas in the other cities mentioned are far from being completed and, in fact, one of them has consistently fallen behind its construction schedule. How about some credit where credit is due?
N. WOODROW PUSEY
I am certain that North Carolinians welcomed Frank Deford's appealing description of "the best basketball state in the country" with the same enthusiasm that greeted his "baby." Mr. Deford's article concerning the team that has added new dimension to an already exciting panorama of Tar Heel basketball evidences his knowledge of a happily pandemonic situation. I only wish he had elaborated further on the creators of our "great sense of pride": North Carolina, Davidson, North Carolina State, Duke and Wake Forest. Also included in this elite group is another Atlantic Coast Conference member, South Carolina.
The Kahlahnah Koogahs have come into our area of basketball tradition. They have fused together the ardent supporters of a number of hardwood dynasties. They have encroached on the top college basketball region in America. And they are welcome.
WILLIAM F. WINSLOW