STARTING THE NEW YEAR
The two-week wait over the holidays for your Jan. 6 issue was well worth it. Each and every article was a joy to read, especially Jack Nicklaus' review of golf 1974 (Oscars for Three Stars). The way Arnold Palmer handled himself on the tour during a most difficult time should be a lesson not only to the young golf stars but to everyone who plays the game of life. The article brought to the attention of the public the type of man Arnie is and also said quite a bit about Big Jack. My hat is off to both of them.
DONALD M. SINCLAIR
OUT OF THE PAST
I enjoyed your Dec. 23 issue immensely. I realize you didn't have room for all the great pictures of the last 20 years in sport (You Must Remember These); however, in a quick survey I took of 10 people, nine said Bob Beamon's 1968 Olympic long jump was one of the most amazing things in history. I wish you had included a picture of that.
Regarding the picture captioned "When Vroom Goes Boom" of the first lap of the 1966 Indianapolis 500, my curiosity is killing me. With such violent action erupting on the track before them, why are so many spectators looking toward the camera? Something was distracting them. Perhaps there is no explanation.
GEORGE A. GORDEN
?There is. Those spectators in the infield who had yet to become aware of the accident were still watching the lead cars, which at that instant were rounding the high banked first turn.
GETTING MINNESOTA'S GOAT
My 9-year-old son was wondering why I chose not to renew his subscription, but now that he has read Dan Jenkins' article The Rams Made Goats of Themselves (Jan. 6), I think he is about to ask for a refund. At this writing we don't know the outcome of the Super Bowl game. But Jenkins' statement, "We must now wonder whether the Vikings are actually good enough to beat the Punt, Pass and Kick winners," should perhaps be rephrased to read, "Punt our subscription, pass our check to Science Fiction Monthly and kick Jenkins up the journalism chain of command to Chairman of the Bored."
For a magazine that projects itself as the No. 1 sports publication in the world, I don't think you are qualified to provide coverage of the first rounds of the Punt, Pass and Kick contest. It is true that Bud Grant is not as exciting to write about as Burt Reynolds and that all the Vikings do is eat, sleep, receive awards for public service and win football games. They are just good guys and good team football players. But after reading Dan Jenkins' article on their National Conference championship game with the Rams I think it is a good thing he does not live in the Twin Cities area. He would be served up at the next tailgate party.
Although I consider myself the world's No. 1 Minnesota Viking fan, and I'm proud of it, I must admit that Dan Jenkins' critique of the Rams-Vikings championship game couldn't have been any truer to life. I only hope that each and every player on the Viking squad gets an opportunity to read this highly amusing yet accurate review. The article convinced me that it is writers like Jenkins who make SI what it is today. If indeed Viking Lineman Alan Page is guilty of the subterfuge credited to him by Ram Guard Tom Mack, it only goes to prove what I knew all along: Minnesota linemen are not only brawny but brainy.
Santa Barbara, Calif
I read with interest John Underwood's article on the sad state of the college bowl lineups (Bowl-Bound and Bowled Over, Dec. 23), particularly the arguments about turning the bowl games into an elimination process to determine a national grid champion
In case someone has neglected to put the question to the folks at the NCAA, why does one of the New Year's bowl games have to be the championship game or even a semifinal game? It would seem reasonable to simply let those bowls go on as they are now. Play the Rose, the Sugar, the Orange, et al., then let the NCAA, perhaps in conjunction with the wire services, digest the results and select two teams to square off in the ultimate bowl game a week or two later.
That should keep the bowl people happy, since every bowl game would be a potential playoff game, and such a procedure should eventually minimize the horrible mismatches. The big game for the national championship could be played the day before the Super Bowl, and it might appropriately be called the Supremacy Bowl