It is quite clear that Miami did indeed get an extra down in that game, but is it not equally clear that Oakland's Jack Tatum scored an illegal touchdown by running with a mulled lateral that the officials perceived as a fumble in a game against Green Bay earlier this season? This play proved to cost the Packers the game, and it may end up costing them a berth in the playoffs. But we did not hear any screaming that Oakland should forfeit that game. On the contrary, people accepted the incident as human error. The case is similar in the Miami-Tulane affair. A human mistake cost Tulane the game, and Tulane has much less to lose than Green Bay.
In the Cornell-Dartmouth game of 1940, the famous "fifth down" on which Cornell scored a touchdown came on the last play of the game. Contrast this with the 54 seconds left in the Miami-Tulane game. A lot can happen in 54 seconds to lose a game. Remember Heidi? I have no love for Miami, but perhaps the parallel with 1940 is not as clear as you make it out to be.
Orchids to you for your comment on the shameful Miami-Tulane affair. And scallions to the Miami officials from the president on down to the athletic director. Ernest McCoy. But what else can you expect from a school like Miami? Or from that typical NCAA official, David Nelson, who advised Miami to hang on to the "victory" and who was quoted in a
New York Times
editorial as saying that the final score is all that counts'? What a bunch they are! The word "sportsmanship" is not in their lexicon.
MONDAY NIGHT BLUES
Some comment might be in order on this year's scheduling of Monday's ABC-TV pro football game of the week. It seems that after the initial years of successful Monday night games, the network and/or the commissioner feel they can now air obvious mismatches. I doubt that these games would ordinarily be watched regionally by hometown crowds, let alone by millions on nationwide TV. As an avid football fan and a past player, I regard the game with the highest esteem, but even so I feel cheated, if not insulted, by this year's scheduling fiasco.
Your article Keys to the Kingdom (Oct. 30) provided me with the only possible explanation for this sad arrangement: the wives of the world must have gotten to the executives of the NFL and ABC and schemed to eliminate the Monday night gridiron classic via inept scheduling. The excuse of preseason planning is not acceptable. May they have mercy on us fans. Monday is blue enough without viewing bad football.