Your Whitney Tower is to be congratulated for his brilliant prognosis of the 95th running of the Preakness (The Commander May Trail in Pimlico Dust, May 18). His appraisal of the various thoroughbreds that were to gallop Pimlico's track was uncanny, to say the least. However, the highlight of Mr. Tower's article was his prediction of the race's result if the track was fast—and it was.
How many others could have correctly picked Personality first, My Dad George second, Silent Screen third? A garland of black-eyed Susans to you, Whitney Tower!
RICHARD H. PIPES
I am a 23-year-old graduate student with relatively short hair and not a pair of bell-bottoms to my name. However, I must stick up for my generation and the indirect criticism it received from golfer Ben Hogan (Welcome Back, Mister Hogan, May 18).
I'm glad Mr. Hogan remembered his golf game, but I wonder why he forgot that times and styles have changed? As long as a golfer is neat, who is Mr. Hogan to say what clothes will insult tournament sponsors? I wouldn't challenge Hogan's golf game, but if he wants to get into a battle about styles, then I say his longtime-trademark golf hats also look preposterous!
I would like to call to your attention some inaccuracies and false impressions of Astro Turf caused by the "Red Rider" item in the SCORECARD section of your May 18 issue. It's not true that Astro Turf will not withstand galloping hooves. For your information, moose wander all over an Astro Turf golf course at Russian Jack Springs, Anchorage, Alaska, and the Shrine Circus, complete with elephants, is scheduled into St. Louis' Busch Memorial Stadium this summer. There is a reason, however, for horses to stay clear of Astro Turf: a galloping horse might break his leg because the traction is too good on Astro Turf, i.e., his hooves might hit the turf and literally stop on a dime. No give could mean a broken leg.
Texas Tech is not compensating for this problem by installing heavy-duty Tartan Turf, either. Tartan Turf is similar to AstroTurf and is a competitive product. Tech is installing Tartan Track, a smooth-surface synthetic product they sell for running tracks. There's a big difference between the grasslike Tartan Turf and the smooth-surface Tartan Track.
I think you've confused the two products and, without realizing it, implied that our competitor's grasslike product is more rugged and durable than ours. I'm sure this was an innocent mistake and not an attempt to malign Astro Turf but, for the record, I did want to call it to your attention.
DAN R. BISHOP
Astro Turf Surfaces
Some weeks ago you presented a short article (TV TALK, Feb. 23) that conveyed the idea that U.S. television coverage of pro hockey was of a fairly high quality. As you well know, the final game of the Boston Bruins' Stanley Cup march was aired on CBS. I would like to tell you how the affair was covered in Boston. Less than one minute after Bobby Orr scored the winning goal in overtime, CBS paused for commercials. Then, without a word of farewell, a local station, WHDH-TV Channel 5, cut in and switched to the Boston Red Sox- Oakland Athletics baseball game, which was already in progress. For the diehard Bruin fans, who had waited 29 years for this moment, there was no presentation of the Stanley Cup, no jubilant dressing-room scene and no game wrap-up.
Immediately, the WHDH office in Boston was swamped by calls from irate viewers. The administrators told the callers that they were under contract to switch to the Red Sox game as soon as possible. I propose that in the future TV contracts include escape clauses, which would allow the time of baseball broadcasts to be changed when the situation merits a change.
For Boston fans the CBS hockey blunder ranks near the top with NBC's Heidi affair. I certainly hope that television will learn from its mistakes.
GLENDON H. POMEROY