After reading your article on the Monday-night hex (TV Wins on Points, Nov. 2), I think the players are acting like a bunch of crybabies when they complain about missing their extra day of rest. For one thing, preseason games are scheduled in close intervals. For another, Thanksgiving Day used to bring two doubleheaders, with all eight teams playing with only three complete days off between games. And in the final weeks of the season, when college football is over, a few games are moved up to Saturday, again upsetting the regular between-game format. I personally believe that the players are just not in very good shape this year. They missed three to four weeks of training because of their strike. Thus, when they did start, they began playing games instead of conditioning.
RICHARD W. HUMPHREY
According to the Monday-night hex theory, the Cleveland Browns should be complete physical and mental wrecks by Dec. 12. They are scheduled to play the Houston Oilers on Monday night, Dec. 7, and the Dallas Cowboys only five days later. The way Dallas and Cleveland have been playing so far, the Dec. 12 game could mean a divisional championship, or the loss of one. Jimmie the Greek could have a field day with this one.
F. V. ESPOSITO JR.
Your article seems to have been written a bit prematurely. As you are no doubt aware, the Minnesota Vikings' Monday-night win over the Los Angeles Rams was followed on the next Sunday by the Rams' victory over the Saints and the Vikings' defeat of the Lions.
ROBBIE A. HELM
East Chicago, Ind.
I would like to commend you on a fine article. Robert Boyle's story said a lot. I would also like to say that the Monday-night hex may, after all, be real. Consider the Vikings-Rams game. Both are excellent teams, offensively and defensively, yet the game was singularly empty of action.
It seems to me that there is a very simple solution to combat the "Mondays" and the subsequent physical hardships to the participating teams. All the schedule makers have to do in the future is to schedule a return match between the same teams on the following Sunday. This happens many times during the baseball season without any loss of interest on the part of the fans. I believe, in fact, that giving the defeated team an immediate chance to retaliate would further stimulate pro football fan interest.
FRANK A. GANSZ
Jerry Mays' inability to touch his toes prior to the Denver game proves only one thing to me: he could easily have been defeated in a toe-touching contest.
LIEUT. T. M. RAU, USNR
In reference to your SCORECARD item (Nov. 2) on the financial plight of the Atlantic Coast Football League, who says football teams have to play on weekends? Maybe Wednesday night football is what the ACFL needs. That would put their games midway between Monday-night NFL games and Friday-night high school games. If not Wednesday, how about Tuesday or Thursday? The reduced competition might result in increased attendance and income.
Basketball, baseball and hockey all draw during the middle of the week, why not football? Midweek games would also allow the teams all weekend to practice. The idea may sound silly, but then, some thought the ABA's now successful regional franchise idea was silly, too.
In reporting on Muhammad Ali's sense of the dramatic as well as his unequaled boxing ability (Smashing Return of the Old Alt, Nov. 2), Mark Kram has described why Ali is one of the most electrifying and perhaps socially significant personalities in the world. His lack of formal education has certainly not prevented him from gaining an intense understanding of himself and his importance to the public as a black champion and a pacifist. In order to evaluate Ali it must be recognized that he is a member of a society currently suffering racial turmoil and facing difficult questions regarding the moral and religious convictions of individuals that conflict with the responsibilities placed upon them by government.
Ali may not remain the man no one could defeat, but we now know that it will not be Jerry Quarry or Lester Maddox who drops him for the count. And if he should regain his title by defeating Joe Frazier, there will remain only the U.S. judicial system to prove him mortal.
DEEMS WEBSTER, USA
APO New York