JOE PATERNO'S BOYS
That was a great article by Pat Putnam (Saved by the Itch to Switch, Oct. 25). I have never read a better one about this fine Penn State team. All the credit for the team's success goes to Joe Paterno and his aggressive coaching, always working for the better.
Port Jervis, N.Y.
Penn State's Joe Paterno continues to prove that topnotch college football can be played without bending admission requirements or hiding players in the safety of the phys. ed. curriculum. When Paterno needed a new quarterback, he didn't look to the nearest farm team, i.e., junior college. He merely moved an aspiring accountant to the position. The defense, which includes engineering and science majors and three players averaging well over 3.0, has held opponents to fewer than 7.5 points a game through the first half of the season.
Paterno has brought his brainy troops southward to win Orange Bowl games in two of the last three years. I hope he gets the chance to do it again.
Re your article on the United States Sailboat Show at Annapolis (They Do Go Near the Water, Oct. 25), please note that the ferro-cement hull built there was not "slapped together."
The logistical and space problems involved in the actual construction of a hull at a boat show were overcome only by careful preparation and exceptional effort. Even, though, as you pointed out, 2� inches of rain were dumped on us on cementing day, we went right ahead and finished the hull on schedule. To my knowledge, nobody has ever built a comparable hull (32 feet) of any material at a boat show before.
The reasons for building the hull were to demonstrate the ease of construction (375 man-hours) and the low cost ($900 in materials) of ferro-cement construction, as well as to encourage the amateur builder. For those of us who don't have $39,000 in $100 bills to peel off for a new C&C 39, ferro-cement construction offers a path to yacht ownership without heavy expenditure. In addition, our ferro-cement boats will likely outlive us.
Samson Marine Design Enterprises Ltd.
HALF AN INCH AND A LOT OF DUST
You stated in SCORECARD (" New England Style," Oct. 25) that, in its recent game against Vermont, Rhode Island "marched 99 yards, two feet and 11� inches to score." Cute, but wrong. You forgot that a football is approximately 11� inches long. The "front" of the football determines the line of scrimmage—the "front" depending upon who has the ball. Thus, when possession changes, the line of scrimmage necessarily changes by 11� inches due to this change in perspective (even though the ball itself does not move).
Therefore, although Vermont gave up the ball after having reached Rhode Island's one-inch line, Rhode Island must have taken possession on the 12�-inch line. Even after Rhode Island was penalized one-half inch, which, as you noted, was half the distance to the goal line, they could only have marched 99 yards and two feet to score.
EDWARD N. STONER
J. LEIGH GRIFFITH
If the ball was on the half-inch line, Rhode Island's drive should have measured 100 yards, minus one-half inch and the length of the football. Apparently it's tougher to figure out than it is to do.
JOHN C. ENGSTROM
THE SERIES IN REVIEW
I'm glad that at least one major publication has seen the error of its ways and announced to the American public that the Pittsburgh Pirates are the best team in baseball (Some Kind of a Comeback, Oct. 25). I appreciated William Leggett's article. However, I think you erred in your choice of a cover for that issue. It would have been immensely better had you used a picture of Clemente, Blass or any other Pirate star instead of a shot of pro basketball's Gus Johnson and Dave DeBusschere battling for position. The World Series is the most important sporting event in America.