I happen to be a fan of Rocco Scotti's, a Clevelander who sang the national anthem for the fourth American League playoff game in Yankee Stadium. If you heard him, you know why I and an increasing number of people have become fans of his. He electrified everyone with his rendition and he received the biggest ovation anyone has heard yet for The Star-Spangled Banner. Joe Garagiola calls him "the best in the country," an opinion shared by just about everyone who has heard Scotti sing.
Yet, after Rocco showed the entire nation that the national anthem, as he sings it, is a very stirring and exciting piece of music, he was not asked to sing it for the World Series. They went for "stars," with downright sickening results; and rather than add to the stature of the Series, it made an already drab contest even worse. Is it any wonder there is a clamor to change our anthem to something easier to sing?
RONALD J. SEMAN
Maple Heights, Ohio
JOYS OF RUGBY
Clive Gammon's article "Feed Me Till I Want No More" (Nov. 1) is one of the best I have ever had the pleasure of reading in your magazine. It captures rugby in its true light. It is the finest amateur sport in the world (and one of the last). The Welsh people live and die with rugby, and now perhaps all the world will come to understand the joy of playing this game. In the end there are no losers. Everyone who plays wins.
Yale Rugby Club
New Haven, Conn.
LOOKING FOR GOLD
As a fan of the beloved San Francisco 49ers, I really enjoyed your article They Know the Way to San Jose
(Nov. 1). It's wonderful to see the 49ers winning again. If the defense keeps rolling and if Jim Plunkett can keep generating enough offense, the Los Angeles Rams and the rest of the 49ers' opponents will be in trouble.
Dan Jenkins and Ron Reid wrote fine articles about the San Francisco 49ers. The front four has a better nickname, though, than "The Good Ol' Boys." It is "The Gold Rush."
The key line in Dan Jenkins' article on the 49ers is "...keeping in mind that their schedule thus far has been filled with a whole lot of Atlantas and Lehighs." When the season is over, look for the Rams to be on top again in the NFC West.
ELMER E. KAUFMAN
God bless Sarah Pileggi for the fine article about Army football (A Star on the Back Side of Heaven, Nov. 1). As a young student athlete, I am genuinely in awe of such men as Leamon Hall and Clennie Brundidge. They are true student athletes, not some dudes from an overpublicized football factory. "On, brave old Army team."
I think you have touched on an interesting subject. Recruiting for military colleges has improved because of the absence of anti-military feeling. Once again some of the blue-chippers can be lured to a military school. The best example of this is the greatest college linebacker in the U.S. today, Brian (is he ever) Ruff, who will probably make just about everyone's first team All-America and be a high pro draft choice. He plays for The Citadel, the military college of South Carolina. It's only the beginning.
C. L. DAVIS JR.
You chose Tony Dorsett as Offensive Player of the Week (FOOTBALL'S WEEK, Nov. 1). The real offensive player of that week, however, was Andre Herrera of Southern Illinois University. In a driving rainstorm and on soggy AstroTurf, Herrera gained 319 yards on 35 rushes and was taken out with 10 minutes left in the game. He scored six touchdowns and broke or tied five school records, not including an NCAA record for most yards in a quarter (214 in the first) as SIU beat Northern Illinois 54-0. He was picked as AP Back of the Week ahead of Dorsett and gained a spot in that week's UPI backfield. I would say that is not too bad for a kid who did not play high school football and who is still learning the game.
C. A. DANIELS
Andre Herrera is now third in the nation in rushing, with a total of 1,404 yards and an average of 156 yards per game. Shame on you, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED!