NO SMALL FEAT
Thank you for a refreshing look at Small Town, U.S.A. (The Greatest Athlete in Yates Center, Kansas, Aug. 9), where people may know everything about each other but have the essential element lacking in large cities where professional sports reign supreme—the clement of honest concern and care for the individual in sports.
MARY JO WILLIAMS
New Bloomfield, Mo.
In this age of superstars, every town in America can produce the name of at least one athlete who has credentials similar to those of Mike Peterson. In my part of Pennsylvania alone, I could name five or six athletes in the past 10 years who have accomplished more than Peterson during their high school careers; and yes, they were modest, too.
There are many more athletes competing in the California Interscholastic Federation, Southern Section than there are in all of Kansas. Southern California, due mainly to tough competition, can boast of many age-group world-record holders. Why then is this area and its athletes ignored while attention is given to a small-town legend?
I wonder if the school board of Philadelphia read the article. If so, perhaps it will reconsider its decision to terminate high school sports in that city. The school board should examine its priorities and see what it means to stifle the growth of young Mike Petersons.
CLIFTON G. SCAGGS
Marvin Dodd said that he knew of no other community in Kansas that would show this kind of spirit in supporting its football team after the town collected 76,100 beer cans for salvage. I know of no other community in the world with a population of 2,178 that would even be able to support anything after 76,100 beers. That is almost 35 beers per person.
L. MASSEY CLARKSON JR.
A SURE BET
The Harrah's Tahoe Race Book odds on this year's NFL season are quite interesting (SCORECARD, Aug. 16). Since the odds, for example, on Detroit winning the National Conference title are 3-1, this means that, according to Harrah's, the Lions stand one chance in four of winning. And so on down the line—Minnesota has a two-in-nine shot at the championship, San Francisco has a one-in-five chance, etc.
Some fairly simple calculations show that these are betting odds, not true odds—with a big edge to the house. Assuming all the teams are bet proportionately, it does not matter to Harrah's which team wins; Harrah's will be taking in about $3 for every $2 it has to pay out. Whatever the outcome of the football season, I'd say Harrah's is odds-on favorite to come out a winner.
BUCKSKIN BEATS THE ODDS
Albert the Alligator has been banished to the Everglades by Judge Harold Smith, where his diet will be more fish and less dog meat (PEOPLE, Aug. 9). It is very likely that another gator will move in and take his place in the 6th hole lake at the Marco Island ( Fla.) Golf and Country Club.
Albert did not get every animal that wandered into his lake while he was at Marco. I know of one—Buckskin, my 96-pound yellow Labrador—who did escape Albert. Last spring Buckskin plunged into the lake and was immediately hauled under the water by Albert. Buckskin fought loose and came back to the surface. Albert then closed his jaws on Buckskin and pulled him under the water again. Somehow Buckskin tore away from Albert and limped ashore with deep teeth marks in his thighs and legs.
Probably the person most impressed over Buckskin's escape was the veterinarian who treated him. He said he never had seen a comparable case, since a dog just does not get away from an alligator once the gator pulls him under water.
RICHARD A. SWEET