As the pioneer and originator of the tie break, I was naturally interested in your Aug. 18 SCORECARD item.
The Women's Tennis Association has voted courageously to request that their U.S. Open matches use the drama-filled VASSS sudden death tie break this year, as they have in the past five. The Association of Tennis Professionals, meanwhile, has ingloriously voted to change to the crunchless, basically unsound, interminable and hence discredited 12-point lingering death, which requires a lead of two points to win at six all, with no way of equalizing the effects of the sun and wind. This is clear proof of how much more seriously the women pros take their professional obligation to produce the best show.
The USTA should never have allowed the ATP and the ILTF to bludgeon it into abandoning sudden death after five years of perfect performance. WCT and the NCAA switched to sudden death in 1974. There must be a good reason. Leading members of the USTA and U.S. Open Tournament Committee have privately agreed with me on this point. If the ILTF, which, by the way, has never tested sudden death under tournament conditions, chooses to use an unsound and overly complicated tie break, that is no reason why the USTA should be forced to follow suit. Surely the time has come for the USTA to cease following the ILTF around, right or wrong, like Mary's little lamb, and assert itself by demanding self-determination when the ILTF commits boo-boos such as lingering death.
JAMES VAN ALEN
I was delighted to see the article Westward to the Long Forever (Aug. 11). It is fortunate that America had in Frederic Remington a superb artist who was adventuresome enough to portray and preserve the West as it was during its romantic period, a West that is now lost to us forever. Without artists such as Remington and Charles Russell, our visual impressions would be severely limited and we would have to rely almost entirely upon the imaginations of television and movie producers.
Regrettably, too many of our art critics balk when they see paintings of the old West, particularly of cowboys and Indians. The subject matter may appear corny by today's standards, but in Remington's day, before motion pictures, it was new and interesting. It was also quickly disappearing, and needed to be captured in paint and bronze.
Artistically speaking, Remington was probably one of the finest draftsmen of his day. His watercolors, of which few exist, are exceptionally bold in technique. His bronzes, such as The Bronco Buster, The Rattlesnake and Coming Through the Rye, are among the most popular ever produced: and his oils, especially those painted toward the end of his career, are extremely interesting. Unfortunately, Remington's life was cut short at the peak of his career. His concern for being remembered not simply as an illustrator is evidenced by the fact that he destroyed many of his illustrative paintings. Above all else, Remington will be remembered as an extremely competent artist.
GEROLD M. WUNDERLICH
Kennedy Galleries, Inc.
New York City
Though art critics condescendingly dismiss him, the fact is Frederic Remington brilliantly and unforgettably documented on canvas an era that is gone forever. Robert Cantwell's prose and Tom Allen's pictures rekindled the glow of the era and the artist.
Glancing at the article about track and field and Eugene, Ore. (A Fever Running Through the Streets, Aug. 11), I thought, Terrific! another great article by Kenny Moore, only to find out that it was his wife, Bobbie Conlan Moore, who had written an even greater article.
Having completed my education in Oregon, I spent many of my days in Eugene supporting the Oregon Track Club. Bobbie's introductory paragraphs completely capture the mood and atmosphere.
I hope the Moores will continue to cover track and field events for SI, so that we all can get a better insight through their expertise. And doesn't the boy in green on page 29 look like the next Steve Prefontaine, with his cocked head and charisma?