Winning, in football games or in other endeavors, may be necessary to "free enterprise, capitalism and our way of life," but it certainly has nothing to do with being a man of faith in the New Testament sense. Landry's idea, though not original, is a very neat and tidy one. There is no guesswork about it. If you pay the price, you will be a winner, and God loves winners. If you're not winning and/or don't feel particularly loved, then, good buddy, you just ain't payin' the price.
Since at least as long ago as the beginnings of the Old Testament, people at the top of the heap have been assuming they are there because God loves them and the way they do things. But if there is one single idea that both the Old and New Testaments—and especially the Apostle Paul—flatly deny, it is that pretty little piece of spiritual self-indulgence.
THE REV. RICHARD E. JOHNSON
Tom Landry's socio-religious pontification on football, capitalism, the American way of life, religion and the singular importance of winning would ordinarily provide great humor if not for the fact that too many people identify with his view. His computer-aided mind would seem to place highest priority on efficiency and performance, with little regard for those who get cut from the team. All that matters is that there are enough people to fill certain positions to make the machine run. After all, for those who can't make it there is always another team (i.e., they can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps).
On the other hand, perhaps Tom Landry is rather perceptive after all; the organization of this country is not too much different from that of a football team. But some players are contemplating a walkout.
DANIEL W. BROMLEY
I am glad to see recognition come to Mike Marshall (He Turns 'Em Inside Out, Sept. 18). Before Marshall enjoyed the success his screwball has brought about, baseball treated him harshly. As Jim Bouton revealed in Ball Four, Marshall's teammates laughed at the egghead's unconventional ways.
If Marshall had remained a marginal pitcher, he would no doubt be out of the game today, while a marginally skilled clubhouse comedian, one compatible with baseball's smaller minds, would conceivably remain in the game as a coach or scout. Hopefully, baseball's mistreatment of one of its most intelligent relief pitchers will not discourage Marshall from remaining a part of the sport, someday perhaps to save it.
As a devotee of your magazine for many years and being accustomed to its excellence, I eagerly opened your Sept. 11 issue to read your customary one-or two-page treatment of the National Amateur golf tournament. I was shocked and dismayed to find this great event covered by a six-line insertion in FOR THE RECORD.
In giving short shrift to the championship itself, you also failed to bring attention to a truly remarkable success story—the winning of the Amateur by Vinny Giles. Consider the record of this six-time Virginia Amateur champion in his previous five appearances in the U.S. Amateur: he was second by a shot at Broadmoor in 1967, second again by a shot at Scioto in 1968, second by five shots at Oakmont in 1969, sixth in Portland in 1970 and third last year at Wilmington. His consistency and perseverance finally paid off this year in Charlotte, where he left the field behind to win by three strokes. Vinny also has represented the U.S. well in two Walker Cup and two World Amateur Team championships.
Although I realize that you were occupied with Olympic coverage and compiling the College Football Issue, I feel you did all amateur golfers a disservice by your inadequate coverage of this event.
STEPHEN H. WATTS
Charleston, W. Va.