A FEW WHO DARED
Your Oct. 3 issue brought strongly to mind a stirring Latin motto, Audentes fortuna adiuvat—Fortune favors those who dare. The article on the Oklahoma-Ohio State game (Never Too Late for the Sooners) opened and closed with Oklahoma Coach Barry Switzer laughing in the face of the odds. The piece on Vince Papale of the Philadelphia Eagles (Recovering from a Rocky Start) showed in words and pictures the personality of a true walk-on. And John Domini's sensitive account of his unsuccessful tryout for his hometown soccer club (Lessons from a Lower Level) spoke of his captivation by the subtleties of his sport that sustained him through the agony of the tryout and the frustration of failing to make the team. All three articles serve as testimonials to the riches to be gained through a willingness to dare.
JUDITH A. McMORAN
Your fine article on Vince Papale brought back vivid memories of another sandlot player who performed for those same Eagles (I say Iggles) in their heyday, the late 1940s. Jack Ferrante, also a receiver, was a local favorite. The starters were always introduced by college and name, and I'll never forget the way Jack was introduced: "From the sand-lots of South Philadelphia...Jack Ferrante." Shibe Park would erupt. Thanks for the d�j� vu—and the memories.
This letter in no way is meant to detract from Vince Papale. However, the statement that, as a 30-year-old, Papale "was the oldest rookie ever to play in the NFL" is not accurate. In 1946, with the same Philadelphia Eagles, Otis Douglas was a rookie tackle at age 35. Douglas continued to play through the 1949 season. Probably the best way to appreciate this is to reflect on the fact that he graduated from William & Mary in 1931 and played his first pro ball 15 years later.
National Football League Properties, Inc.
My parents and I marvel at the effort Vince Papale puts into each play. If everyone on every team played the way he does, one would have a tough time picking an MVP.
While it is always a pleasure to see my alma mater (currently undefeated) mentioned in your magazine, I did not greatly appreciate the statement in your article on the Oakland- Pittsburgh game (Once More, with No Hard Feelings, Oct. 3) referring to Mark van Eeghen "knocking tacklers down as if he were some kind of Bronko Nagurski instead of a Colgate alumnus."
Although a small school lacking a multimillion-dollar football budget, Colgate has produced 52 professional football players since the American Professional Football Association (progenitor of the NFL) began in 1920.
One of these alumni, Don Irwin of the Washington Redskins, scored as many touchdowns (four) as Nagurski did when they both were playing in the NFL in 1936 and 1937. Another Colgate alumnus, Marv Hubbard, has gained more yards rushing (4,416) than Nagurski (2,778), has a better average per carry (4.8 to 4.4) and more touchdowns by rushing (22 to 18) in his career with the Oakland Raiders and the Detroit Lions. And a third, Mark Murphy, is one of two rookies on the Redskins' roster this year. Then there is van Eeghen.
Although one of the top academic institutions in the country, Colgate is proud of its athletic traditions, and I'm sure that had Nagurski gone there he would have been proud, too. And who knows? Maybe with his help Colgate's undefeated, untied and unscored-upon team of 1932 would have been invited to the Rose Bowl after all.
BRUCE C. MILLIGAN
LSU sophomore Wide Receiver Carlos Carson, only 5'11" but possessing 9.5 speed, caught five passes in the 77-0 win over Rice that you barely mentioned in FOOTBALL'S WEEK (Oct. 3). The five catches were the first of Carson's varsity career and all were for touchdowns.
Carson's scoring receptions came on passes of 22, 29, 63, 20 and 67 yards. An unheralded high school running back from West Palm Beach, Carson set four LSU records, two SEC marks and an NCAA record by virtue of his receptions. Moreover, he caught a sixth pass for a sixth touchdown the following week against Florida, despite being double-teamed.
TIMOTHY R. TUCKER
West Palm Beach