How does your foot taste, Pat Putnam (Battered but As Yet Unbowed, Sept. 27)? I found it quite gratifying to watch nationally ranked North Carolina intentionally take a delay-of-game penalty in order to ensure its meager two-point victory over Army, a team "you have to worry for."
West Point, N.Y.
I must disagree with your SCORECARD item (Sept. 27). Pittsburgh Coach Chuck Noll was right to level his charge against George Atkinson of the Raiders. "Implosive contact" in pro football is one aspect of the game; mugging is not. It has only become a factor because the sporting press and the game's hierarchy have allowed matters on the field to get out of hand and into crunched fists.
The officials and reporters that allowed, and merely sluffed off, Atkinson's mugging of Lynn Swann are as bad as the "fans" who dismiss fighting as part of the game in pro hockey. Both types of violence should be curbed with heavier fines and suspensions.
Personally, I prefer the finesse of a touchdown pass or a slick skate-and-score to a cheap shot in the secondary or bedlam at the boards. Why not end it?
New York City
?The point of the SCORECARD item was that by emphasizing violence and brutality, pro football invites the sort of mayhem that occurred in the Pittsburgh- Oakland game.—ED.
It seems to me that a purposeful clothes-lining, a punch and a late hit are all distinguishable from a clean tackle. If the Steelers are unnecessarily brutal that does not entitle the Raiders to be the same; both teams should be penalized. The penalties should include not only fines, but also player suspensions. Any way to reduce unnecessary injuries would be helpful.
MARSHALL PLAUT, M.D.
You mention Howard Cosell and his "bleating with ill-concealed excitement" when a quarterback is blasted, or when a defensive back all but destroys a wide receiver. At least that's where the ball is. Lynn Swann was never near the ball; he even had his head turned upfield. I saw the play and several replays. It was just a case of brutality to a talented ballplayer.
RUN-PRODUCING SECOND BASEMEN
As fine a ballplayer as Joe Morgan is, he is not "the fourth [second baseman] ever to get 100 RBIs in one year" (BASEBALL'S WEEK, Sept. 20). You have overlooked some titans of the game who have accomplished the feat. Tony Lazzeri did it seven times, and so did Charlie Gehringer. Bobby Doerr did it six times, Rogers Hornsby five, Joe Gordon four and Jackie Robinson, Buddy Myer, Del Pratt and Johnny Hodapp once each. The aforementioned all had at least one year of 100 RBIs while playing exclusively at second base. Such stalwart keystoners as Frankie Frisch, Marty McManus, Billy Herman and Odell Hale made the century mark while playing a few games at other positions. So Morgan ranks at best as the 10th second baseman ever to drive in 100 runs in a season or, possibly more realistically, as the 14th ever.