ENGLAND'S CIVIL WAR
Any Football Association Cup final in soccer-mad England is a dramatic struggle but when, as Hugh McIlvanney points out (But the South Shall Rise Again, May 17), the final brings together North and South, Wembley becomes a battlefield. Among the 100,000 fans that fill the venerable stadium, only a handful of titled visitors in the royal box can claim impartiality.
The Liverpool-Arsenal clash was the second classic North-South Cup battle in two years, and the Arsenal win made it two in a row for the Rebels. The 1970 struggle between London's Chelsea side and Leeds United was an epic that took two overtime games to decide (One Replay That Cot Away, May 11, 1970). The Arsenal supporters pictured in SI seem timid in comparison with the Chelsea partisans of a year ago.
The South will remember Arsenal, but it will not forget Chelsea.
Thanks for your article on the English soccer rivalry. I am constantly amazed that this sport, the most popular in the world, hasn't received more coverage. It is a shame that America's public is oriented to football (or should we say "armored rugby," since it is a game played by 250-pound hulks whose only interest is to smash the opponents before they themselves get flattened), basketball and baseball, and hasn't even noticed soccer except to throw us off the fields during the spring baseball season. Those who scoff at the game don't know the stamina required to keep up with the constant running of a good team. I daresay that most baseball and football players don't have it.
I'm looking forward to more articles on American as well as European and British soccer.
In light of the fact that both Marty Liquori and Jim Ryun were officially clocked in 3:54.6 in the Dream Mile in Philadelphia (A Dream Comes True, May 24), we think your readers might be interested to know the results as recorded by the Bulova Accutron Phototimer, which was used to assist the judges at the International Freedom Games.
Measuring according to the new torso rule, the Phototimer picture shows Liquori finished in 3:54.54 while Ryun finished in 3:54.75—a difference of more than .2 second.
These times are unofficial, of course, but we find them interesting because usually, though not in this case, the times recorded by the Phototimer are slower than those recorded by the officials. (Most timing officials tend to be slow on depressing the stopwatch plunger at the start but fast, or anticipatory, on depressing the plunger at the finish.)
Bulova Watch Company
New York City
I opened your May 17 issue like a lion, ready to pounce on you with a thunderously critical letter about the absence of a volleyball article after the 1971 nationals. After reading about frontenis, a sport which, admittedly, only a couple of dozen people in the U.S. play, I was really steamed. But I decided to finish the magazine before exploding on paper.
Then I turned to the article on page 72, First Stop for the U.S. on the Road to Havana, and I was so surprised and excited that I forgot to feel ashamed for my premature criticism. I do now, and I thank you for a fantastic article on the world's most fantastic game.