TED GREEN'S STORY
The article by Ted Green with Al Hirsh-berg (My First Last Rites, Nov. 15) was a fantastic account of Green's fight to get back into action after suffering brain damage and partial paralysis in an ice hockey brawl. This article emphasizes the extreme roughness in the game. I must admire Green's courage in his miraculous comeback.
CRAIG F. LOUDY
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Undoubtedly you will be receiving letters from hockey fans arguing that you should not have published this article, since it may tend to give hockey a bad image and also because it might be a bad influence on young players. I wholeheartedly disagree with this attitude. SI's job, among other things, is to portray sports as they really are, and not as the fans and the owners wish they were. Furthermore, it is of crucial importance for young players to realize that fights on the ice can result in injuries that prove to be far more serious than the usual cuts and bruises.
I should also like to point out a fact that Mr. Green appears to have overlooked. If NHL players are going to insist upon acting like barroom brawlers on the ice, then they are not going to be justified in complaining when such conduct leads to its natural consequences, namely, serious injury and criminal prosecution.
Was this article written to condemn Wayne Maki, defend Ted Green, give a fair account of what happened or simply entertain the readers? One point becomes clear through all of this. Once a player builds a reputation as a fighter or a tough guy, he usually spends more time living up to this reputation than he does playing hockey. Other players have realized this and abandoned the tough-guy role in order to play better hockey. Stan Mikita is an example.
Although I sympathize with Ted Green over the horrible injury that felled him, I cannot forget something he said: "Spearing is a filthy trick." It seems Ted has had a lapse of memory.
My fellow SI subscribers will probably express their deepest sympathies for Ted and their anger with Maki, but let's not make Terrible Ted a saint. He is far from it.
I would like to say thank you to one outstanding ice hockey player, Teddy Green. Too many times sports heroes are put on pedestals. With this article I'm sure he has made us all realize and begin to understand how hard it was for him to skate again. He might never regain his position as Terrible Teddy, but he'll always be an example of courage and direct honesty. Yay, Teddy.
I'd like to congratulate Robert Boyle for his excellent article on Otis Taylor and the Kansas City Chiefs (Call It Catch-as-Catch-Can, Nov. 15). No. 89 can indeed do it all, catch, throw, run and leap. He's got the quickness. He's got the moves. He's got the strength. He can often be found concentrating on the opposing receivers, and he works hard in learning their moves. He wants to learn more so he can become an even better ballplayer. His attitude is excellent, and his dedication is certainly apparent. But Quarterback Len Dawson said it best: "He has such great reflexes and great hands but it isn't the hands—it's the head." Otis Taylor does use his head out there, and that's just another asset in making him the super athlete he is. Now I ask you, how much closer can a player come to perfection?
It was a great choice to have Gary Wichard of C. W. Post College as the subject of the feature article of your COLLEGE FOOTBALL section (At C.W. on L.I. the Q.B. Is O.K. Says Y.A., Nov. 15). I'm glad to see that you have given him the recognition he so well deserves.
I've seen Wichard play many times and he has the size, poise and great arm to make the pros. After watching all the top quarterbacks perform, I agree with Y. A. Tittle's statement, "He might have the best arm I've ever seen."
Glen Cove, N.Y.