SI Vault
Edited by Gay Flood
February 13, 1978
GEORGE ALLEN'S DEPARTURESir: George Allen was not chased out of Washington by the fans, but by the sportswriters. I was absolutely disgusted to read Joe Marshall's article about Allen being fired (Let's Start the Music, Jan. 30). It appears Marshall is just joining the detractors. He pointed out that Allen often has been called "devious and deceitful." Doesn't it look kind of fishy that as soon as Allen was fired. Jack Pardee resigned as head coach of the Chicago Bears, was immediately the leading choice as a successor to Allen and was signed within a week? In all fairness, how can you accuse Allen of job hunting and not even mention the possibility that Edward Bennett Williams was searching for a new coach while Allen was still under contract?FRED SCHEPARTZ Potomac, Md.
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February 13, 1978

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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I really enjoyed your article and pictures on indoor midget auto racing in Indiana (Come In, the Noise Is Frightful, Jan. 30). However, another driver deserving of mention is Mel Kenyon. the 1977 USAC midget champion. His accomplishments are worthy of an entire article. Despite losing most of his left hand in a 1965 racing accident, he has won a record total of five USAC midget crowns and is the alltime leader in midget feature wins, with more than 85 to his credit. He also has placed in the top five at Indy on four different occasions. Kenyon is to midget racing what A. J. Foyt is to USAC championship racing and is quite possibly the best ever to drive the mighty little cars. Moreover, he is a gentleman and a credit to the sport.

In the article about Earvin Johnson (Just Another Guy Named Earvin, Jan. 23) you stated that Michigan State Basketball Coach Jud Heathcote had been an assistant at "remote Washington State and a head man at even remoter Montana." In Heathcote's fourth year at Montana, he led the Grizzlies to the Big Sky title and a first-round NCAA playoff victory over Utah State before losing to eventual national champion UCLA 67-64. If your reporting on Montana continues in this vein, SI will become remote here.
Missoula, Mont.

I enjoyed Robert F. Jones' fine article on the care and feeding of partridge (A Firm Stand for the Quaking Aspen, Jan. 30), but I was sure grousing last winter after those birds ate most of the big, fat fruit buds from more than 3,000 young highbush blueberry plants in a selection nursery at Jonesboro, Maine. Next time maybe they will leave enough for us to evaluate the blueberry progenies for winter hardiness and fruit quality.

I have no direct information on whether or not Maine's sweet lowbush blueberry provides a significant food source for partridge. We have more than 40,000 acres in commercial production. The much smaller fruit buds, deep snow coverage in the winter and lack of cover for the partridge probably would all discourage its general use as a food source.
Associate Professor of Horticulture
University of Maine at Orono
Orono, Maine

Your item "Honesty Gets Mugged" in SCORECARD (Jan. 30) brought to mind an opposite experience. Last year I was a coach of a fourth-grade girls' soccer team. We sent in accurate information on our team, including ages, which meant that we had to play in the age 10-to-12 league because several of our players would turn 10 before the end of the year. The experience of our team was zero, while the other teams averaged several seasons' experience.

We did not win a game. Even worse, we did not score a goal. This was pretty hard on the coaches and the parents, but the girls were playing with the same enthusiasm at the end of the season as at the start. And when we distributed team pictures and participation trophies, one would have thought the team had won them all. Winning is great, but these girls taught us adults that it is not everything.

Congratulations to Peter Nord for cutting through the babble of the experts to show us tennis as we've come to know and hate it (The Game Normal People Play, Jan. 23). However, Nord overlooks the useful tool of racket personification. After smoothly stroking a backhand off the far fence or placing a service return at your own feet instead of at your opponent's, glare at your racket. This lets spectators know that your racket is an autonomous thing and the true cause of your sins.

If personification fails, loudly inquire of a friend on the sidelines where in heck he found the racket you are borrowing. You may lose some friends, but at least you'll salvage enough dignity to hack away another day.
Grinnell, Iowa

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