How The Game even rates a write-up in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is beyond me.
Winter Haven, Fla.
Ohio State earned the right to play in the Rose Bowl this time (Still Alive and Kicking, Dec. 2). But the prospect of enduring a third straight bowl-less New Year as a loyal fan of the Michigan Wolverines, coupled with the absence of any indication that the Big Ten is about to abandon its nonsensical contract with the Pacific Eight, prompts me to propose the establishment of a Non-Bowl.
Give the fans Michigan and Oklahoma, head to head, as a prelude to that parade of bowl games (in which 8-3 teams often play 7-4 teams to become "champions"). Forget the television coverage, the polls, the holidays in the sun and the beauty contests. Let the Sooners (unbeaten in two years) and the Wolverines (30-2-1 in three seasons) work out their frustrations and regain a measure of the pride denied them by administrative dicta.
The big non-game could take place right here in the Midwest—St. Louis, Chicago or Kansas City would do—and whatever profits resulted could be pledged to charity or claimed by the administrations responsible for the two teams' plights. This one-time meeting between two of college football's finest teams could help to re-establish the spirit of fair play, which so often seems to be missing in modern sport.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
When a team with a three-year 30-2-1 record is prevented from going to a bowl game because of its conference's antiquated rules, it is time for a change. Surely Wayne Duke and the Big Ten athletic directors don't enjoy the anguish they have subjected themselves to the last two years, and no one benefits from the ensuing controversy. Let the conference champs go to the Rose Bowl through a set formula, but make the other teams eligible for additional bowl bids.
The long-shot Los Angeles Ram trade (Gambling with Their Future, Nov. 4) looks as if it may bring a big payoff. Quarterback James Harris played perhaps his best game as a Ram in bringing the team from behind to defeat the Minnesota Vikings 20-17. Though he faced the most furious pass rush in the NFL, Harris picked it apart as if it were a rusty lock. He is definitely a winner.
A. C. SHIELDS
Long Beach, Calif.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
As a non-hunter but Adirondack denizen, I was touched by Mason Smith's thoughtful assessment of hunting and the Adirondack woods (Lone Watch in a Gold-Fobbed Forest, Nov. 25).
My wife doesn't understand the bucks swinging from the racks in front of general stores, gutted and admired trophies. She asks how one would want to deprive the forests of such stately creatures. How indeed?
Mason Smith has provided some of the answers and, as it should be, provoked a lot more questions.
Once again SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has convinced me that some of the finest writing in America comes not just from the literary fields, but from the fields which call themselves sporting.
Saranac Lake, N.Y.