NOT ALL DUCK SOUP
Oregon State? Oregon State who? I certainly wouldn't have known from your Feb. 25 cover story (Ambush on the Oregon Trail), so allow me to inform you. Oregon State is the team that broke UCLA's 49-game winning streak in the Pacific Eight. It is the team that broke down and humiliated the awesome UCLA offense and blazed the trail for a similar UCLA defeat at the hands of a University of Oregon team led by an imitation Paul Miller named Bruce Coldren.
You speak of Oregon's "Kamikaze" team, let's speak of an Oregon State team that dared to start three freshmen, a junior and one senior against the No. 1 team in the nation—and won!
After reading Kenny Moore's article on UCLA's losses to Oregon State and Oregon, I can't help wondering if he was wearing his University of Oregon letterman's jacket when he wrote it.
In case no one has mentioned it, UCLA has felt the effects of an interesting new application of the now famous Oregon Plan: 1) On odd-numbered days Oregon State will beat you; 2) on even-numbered days Oregon will beat you.
I can only assume that neither Oregon State nor Oregon will play basketball on Sundays.
EDWARD H. SMITH JR.
Regarding Kenny Moore's story, there are no secret formulas as to what happened to UCLA over the "lost weekend." Gracious sakes, with the reams of publicity, you'd think that UCLA was dropping basketball! Lest the public forget, the most exciting and satisfying NCAA tournament in recent years occurred in 1970 and was won by a UCLA team that also had lost two Pac Eight contests and was reported to be drained emotionally by a 13-point loss at Eugene followed by a one-point loss to USC immediately before the NCAAs. The only "intensive care" the Walton Gang needs is a game that is do or die, and there is one more of those coming up.
As a charter subscriber still clutching my original copy to my breast, I feel compelled to write my very first fan letter—to anybody. Frank Deford's Rites and Wrongs of Spring (Feb. 25) is the greatest piece of news since my last IRS refund. He has captured the feelings of all us "oldtimers." The clich�s on page 73 were magnificent and surely must have brought back memories to anyone who can recall when the only daily crisis was whether or not there would be enough guys in the PS 81 schoolyard to start a stickball game.
I really couldn't care less if you publish this or not, but please assure Mr. Deford that there are a few more of us left who still think along the same lines.
Frank Deford's has to be the best preseason piece any sports publication has ever printed. Now those of us who itch and yearn and recollect over baseball but are overladen with Edmonton Oilers' and Portland Trail Blazers' scores and summaries can hold on valiantly until the advance guard gets to Florida and Arizona and the glorious ritual begins.
B. J. McCORMICK
San Marcos, Calif.
I congratulate Frank Deford on his article. I'm not even 21, but for me the promise of spring training every year seems to be the one bright spot at the end of a dreary winter. I hope I never lose the illusion of the Grapefruit League, and I wish everyone could experience the magic feeling that spring training and the anticipation of the coming baseball season can give to those who truly love the game.