PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW
From all indications, in your professional football scouting reports (Sept. 19) a team's schedule appears to be almost as important a factor as a team's talent in determining what its season record will be. Couldn't the NFL devise a system of scheduling that would give more weight to ability?
Granted, the better teams should not be unduly punished for their prowess by being forced to play only teams of equal strength, and the weaker teams should not play only equally weak teams. However, if a more equitable system were devised, we would not have a situation wherein virtually the same Cleveland Browns squad of 1976 (9-5) will be fortunate to achieve a 7-7 record this year. In addition, the hapless Atlanta Falcons have to play eight playoff contenders, while a strong New England team can almost sleep until the playoffs.
MARK W. RUPERT
I would like to thank the NFL players whom Dan Jenkins polled (A List of Naughty and Nice, Sept. 19) for awarding Green Bay first place in the "worst city to spend the night before a game or even to fly a holding pattern over and think about it" category. At least, the Packers will have won something this year.
Why is it that everybody takes cheap shots at the Philadelphia fans, as in Jenkins' poll in which they are rated the worst in the league? For years Philadelphia fans have been filling Veterans Stadium to watch the Eagles play football, even though they haven't been a winning team. Philadelphia fans are not the only ones around the league to boo their team. But when they do, at least there are 60,000 fans there booing.
MICHAEL A. MARROLETTI
Any pro quarterback that drives a pickup truck, drinks beer and listens to country music deserves the best. I hope Kenny Stabler (Gettin' Nowhere Fast, Sept. 19) makes it to another Super Bowl.
Steamboat Springs, Colo.
The entire article on Stabler, and in particular your choice of pictures, is offensive to me as a sports fan. As an educator of young men and women, I consider it a travesty. Telling the truth, hard work and dedication—that is the way to achieve one's goals, not abusing one's body with beer, cigarettes and loose living, as you have depicted Stabler doing.
Hannibal Central School
REBELS WITH CAUSE
From college scouting reports, Sept. 12: "Bad news: Mississippi lost its last three games (1976) by a combined score of 105-16. Worse news: almost everybody is back."
"Almost everybody" turned out to be too many for Notre Dame, your No. 1 pick. Ole Miss won 20-13, and you guys oughta be ashamed of yourselves!
Since Dan Devine took over in South Bend. Notre Dame football has taken several steps backward. In large part this is because of his very dull and predictable running offense, which is quite a switch from the explosive passing attacks Irish fans were used to for years.
If Notre Dame football is to stay at the top as it has year in and year out, it must replace its weak link.