TOO MANY COOKS
I was quite surprised when someone pointed out to me the story on Muhammad Ali (Jawful Test on the Mountain, Sept. 3) and the reference to "his father's" Rules of the Kytchen.
These rules were written by me and copyrighted. I am at a loss to understand why your good magazine handles your facts in such a capricious manner. Your story states that the rules were the work of Ali's father. I only hope that my "work" in the future will be as effortless as his.
I sincerely trust that his father and your fine publication will not take credit for my literary endeavors.
CHARLES F. CLARK
Tip'n Twinkle Inc.
Here is a further suggestion to augment Tex Maule's proposed remedies for pro football (No Boo-Boos Makes for Ho-Hums, Sept. 17): introduce into the NFL the Canadian Football League rouge or single point. If the ball is punted over the opponents' dead-ball line or into the opposing team's end zone and the defense fails to return the ball back over the goal line either by a run or by kicking on the run, one point is awarded to the punting team. This single point can, of course, prove very decisive in close contests.
At any rate, before the East German girls' swimming team arrives in California next summer replete with "membrane-thin" swimsuits (A Big Splash by the Mighty M�dchen, Sept. 17), all American spectator sports had better begin to think of some reviving trends.
I find I must agree with Tex Maule's evaluation of pro football. It is becoming a dreadful bore. But the causes of this situation are not all from within. There is a "new" game that sport fans find more interesting. It is fast and exciting. It has power and finesse. And best of all it is not run by a clock that can be stalled out. It is called baseball, and it is still the best game in town.
K. M. BOTHAM
I was disappointed to see that your pro football expert Tex Maule has become a member of the alarmist "we need more offense" school, as are too many football and baseball executives these days. Why should these people panic at the development of good defensive play? Tight, well-played defensive contests are just as satisfying to knowledgeable fans as slugfests. The interception in football and the last-second, warning-track grab in baseball have an excitement all their own.
The balance between offense and defense in any sport seems to shift back and forth as new techniques are developed on first one side, then the other. Why disturb this natural cycle by monkeying with the rules? The integrity of the record book demands that the rules be protected from those who are more concerned with molding a marketable (though artificial) product than with enjoying the subtleties of an old and still fascinating sport.
MONDAY NIGHT EXCUSES
Now that Monday night football is again upon us, I wish to share the following with any of your readers who may feel a need to justify watching yet another game after seeing as many as half a dozen over the weekend.
Last season I experimented with a plan to complete one constructive household task during each Monday evening game. This is relatively simple to do. For one thing, we are all aware that the paramount element in the Monday night entertainment is the commentary and conversation of the Theatrical Three. Moreover, should a big play occur when your eyes are focused elsewhere, there is always instant replay (which may show the play more clearly than the live shot, since a good play often fakes not only the defense but Camera One as well).