Frank Deford's commentary concerning Chris Schenkel (TV TALK, May 24) was long overdue. Not only does Schenkel lack the necessary knowledge to analyze the game properly, but he is consistently slow in reporting the action.
The executives at ABC may feel secure in the knowledge that they have an apologetic, "don't-step-on-anybody's-toes" type of announcer, but the viewers appreciate a well-informed sportscaster who can stay ahead of the action, display proper timing to accentuate the excitement and have the courage to tell it like it is. Schenkel is just a big yawn.
I wish to offer a sincere thank you to Frank Deford for his brief but incisive rap on the knuckles regarding ABC's coverage of the NBA playoffs. Sporting events are best covered by those who are, or tend to be, opinionated and abrasive. Now if Chick Hearn and Howard Cosell had been calling the NBA playoffs, we would have had a happening. As it was, I merely turned down the sound and called the game myself.
Frank Deford seems to take great pleasure in criticizing the television networks for their coverage of major sports events. Not only did he blast ABC and CBS for their coverage of the NBA and ABA playoffs but, in past issues, he also has blasted NBC for its coverage of the 1970 World Series and the 1971 Super Bowl, just to mention a couple.
As far as sportscasters go, I think Chris Schenkel and Frank Gifford are two of the best.
In my book Chris Schenkel is No. 2. (He tries harder.) Marv Albert is No. 1.
As bad as Chris Schenkel is, and he is bad, I would rather listen to him, any day, than to Jack Twyman. According to Twyman's dry, computerlike analysis of the game, every time-out is an earth-shattering summit meeting. If NBA coaches knew all that Twyman credits them with knowing, there would be no losers; every game would wind up in a tie. Also, according to Twyman, NBA referees are never wrong.
In fact, Jack's sickening whitewashing of everything connected with his telecasts has completely turned me off, and I love good basketball as well as anyone.
RALPH C. YINGLING
Congratulations on a fine article covering the Dream Mile race between Martin Liquori and Jim Ryun (A Dream Comes True, May 24). After reading it, I must say that for the first time I really respect Liquori. As a follower of Ryun since his Kansas schoolboy days, I have always resented Liquori because, as he put it, "I came up and started chipping away at the monument, I became somewhat of a villain." Martin Liquori has proved himself a truly tough competitor in every sense of the word, and it's about time people gave him the credit that is his due.
New City, N.Y.
We hear that Marty Liquori and Jim Ryun plan on many more superraces in the future to settle the question of who is best. But what about all of the other milers in the world? I have a feeling that while Marty and Carol are out eating steak sandwiches and pizza, and Jim, Anne and Heather are out eating lobster, a third runner will be out with a stopwatch, training at 6,000 feet. Say, Kip Keino!