Granted, three big wins—and now four, with last week's victory over the Colts—do not mean that the Patriots are Super Bowl contenders, but they are our team and we don't appreciate cute, derogatory comments.
Hope springs eternal in any sports fan, especially in Boston where we have suffered through the Patriots' rebuilding years. Now we have a potentially good team, and it's no fun to see them knocked.
If Mr. Jenkins intends to continue to cover the NFL in 1974, I suggest he forget about last year's press clippings and standings. This is a new year and the Patriots are on top.
Tex Maule may be gone from the playing fields of pro football, but according to your Sept. 30 issue his spirit lives on under the name of Dan Jenkins.
I'm trying to figure out if, over the past two seasons, the Pats have won any football games. It seems that after every win some excuse arises about the losing team—Mercury Morris didn't play, Bob Griese had an ingrown toenail, lack of imagination by the Giants was the reason for their inability to score from the three-yard line, etc.
In reference to the interception and fumble referred to in Jenkins' article, Sam Hunt is very sorry that he got caught stealing Griese's pass and says he'll return it if you want him to. We're also sorry we hit Charlie Leigh so hard, causing him to drop the ball.
It should not come as so much of a surprise to Dan Jenkins or to anyone that the Miami Dolphins lost at New England. It is not that unusual. Don Shula's Miami teams, which have won at least 10 games every year, have lost to the Patriots there in three of their five visits. New England always gives Miami fits at home, but more important is the fact that this year the Pats are a greatly improved team.
THE LONGEST SEASON
In William Leggett's article on football broadcasting (Welcome to the 1,000-Hour Season, Sept. 16) he said that some of the networks were concerned because there has been a drop in the TV audience. The reason is not a proliferation of games. If the networks really want to keep their audiences, all they have to do is get rid of their directors, producers and broadcasters and get some new ones who know something about the game of football. Get rid of the people they pass off as color commentators. Personally, I have not watched a whole college game in years. I get disgusted with the everlasting panning around the stands during the game to show pretty girls. This year ABC has a new wrinkle, a couple of clowns running around with microphones interviewing cheerleaders and band members when there is action on the field.
THOMAS C. GRAHAM
PAY FOR PLAY (CONT.)
Big tears of heartfelt sympathy welled in my eyes when I read of the plight of the poor college football players who could no longer make ends meet (Everybody's Doing It, SCORECARD, Sept. 16). The pains of humiliation, as well as those of hunger, must be excruciating to the gridiron giants who can muster only enough change for one meager meal a day—a 29� McDonald's hamburger and a Coke.
Such stories of financial deprivation, as told by UCLA's Charlie Schuhmann in your magazine, are ludicrous. In case our Saturday afternoon heroes do not realize it, there happen to be thousands of college students in this nation going through school without the benefit of full-ride scholarships, free books, free tutors and free training-table meals, to say nothing of favors by alumni—job opportunities, dinner invitations and other fringe benefits that so easily accrue to college athletes.