PRESEASON PROS AND CONS
Robert H. Boyle's article concerning attendance at pro football's preseason games (Late Summer Madness, Sept. 13) was very interesting and well written, but one point is misleading. He says, "Just a few years ago the Eagles and the Lions played before 19,000 in a Philadelphia exhibition. Last month the Eagles met the Bills, and the traffic jam was so horrendous that even the mayor couldn't get to the game on time."
The earlier game was originally scheduled to be played in Mexico City. Because of political strife in Mexico, however, it was switched to Franklin Field, and, with less than 48 hours' notice, a mad scramble ensued to have tickets printed in time. For the Eagles to muster 19,000 of us loyal fans was quite a feat.
I must take exception to the reference to Memphis as a "tank town" just because only 22,474 attended the Falcon-Bronco preseason game. I have lived in Memphis since 1965, and in all this time we have been offered, at most, two decent preseason games (one of which featured Joe Namath playing in only the first half). Both of these games produced a full stadium.
Until one looks beneath the surface, Memphis seems to be a city that cannot support a pro team. This is a fallacy, in that Memphis has turned out in spite of, not because of, the teams we have been offered. Memphis is sophisticated enough not to be sold down the Mississippi River year after year for preseason games that have no merit whatsoever. The enthusiasm is certainly here, it's the games that are lacking.
SHEILA W. UHLHORN
I resent the aspersion cast in your story on pro football exhibition games that my interest in protecting the public from the unethical practice of mandatory tie-in sales of preseason tickets with regular-season tickets was motivated by some personal dislike for the management of the Baltimore Colts.
My only interest in calling attention to this unsavory and despicable tactic is to fulfill the honest obligation every reporter has to himself, the newspaper he works for and the readership he represents. The Colts have attempted to change this intent to one of a personal feud when none exists—except apparently in their minds. In your story you claim I attacked the Colts' owners in "column after column," when, in fact, I have not attacked them but the policy pro football has tried to promulgate.
Attempts have been made to intimidate and stifle my interest in coming to the assistance of fans who do not want to face this unfair obligation imposed by most pro football teams. As a matter of record, I blew the loudest bugle of all in Baltimore when this city campaigned for the return of pro football in 1952. I offer no apology for the stand I have elected to take.
Baltimore News American
MICKEY OR VIDA?
Thank you for finally paying due tribute to Mickey Lolich, in my opinion the best pitcher in baseball (A Fat Record Made to Thin Applause, Sept. 13). While Lolich has improved with age, Vida Blue has possibly reached his peak at age 22. What will happen in five years when Blue can no longer blow the ball by the hitters? In the end, the fat man will win.
In Bil Gilbert's article about the Leeward Archipelago of Hawaii (Then Came Man and a Mustard Seed, Sept. 13), he states that the Leewards are of no practical, economic or esthetic value to either consumptive or nonconsumptive users of wildlife. It seems to me that he has failed to recognize two important kinds of non-consumptive use of that wildlife. First, consider the millions of albatross and other seabirds that breed there. Birds such as these often range thousands of miles from their breeding islands. Should they come across ships, fishing boats or boats filled with bird watchers, and should they be observed and appreciated, then at that moment of appreciation the observer becomes a nonconsumptive user of Leeward Archipelago wildlife.
Secondly, interesting facts have been learned about the wildlife of the Leewards, and interesting things experienced there. Many of these have been recorded, and this record will grow in the future. When such a fact or experience is shared and appreciated, the recipient becomes a nonconsumptive user of Leeward Archipelago wildlife. Indeed, readers of Mr. Gilbert's article fall into just this category.
RALPH G. MANCKE