GEORGE ALLEN'S DEPARTURE
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?
Any dedicated football fan can clearly see why Allen left Washington. I suspect it had very little to do with stock options and a great deal to do with the fact that he has taken a football team, the Washington Redskins, and. through bad management and frivolous drafting, totally decimated it.
You mention that Allen has taken his team to the playoffs five out of the last seven years. This is impressive. What is just as impressive, though, is that in two of the last three years, the Redskins have not been there. I suspect that Allen left Washington because he knew his number was up.
JOSEPH J. RICCI
Poland Spring, Maine
There is one exception to Joe Marshall's postulate, which says that NFL coaches are hired to be fired: Tom Landry of the world champion Dallas Cowboys. He has proved over the years that he is the best there is.
M. D. LEONARD
That the Giants did not hire George Allen the second he became available is totally incomprehensible to me. John McVay is probably a nice guy, but he is not the man most likely to turn the Giants around. Allen would have given the Giants some leadership, some dedication and some hope.
SAM B. COSTANTINO
THE PRO BOWL VOTE
Your SCORECARD item (Jan. 23) regarding John Hannah of the New England Patriots stated in part: "Curiously, Hannah was not selected to play in this year's Pro Bowl, for which the coaches do the voting."
The statement is incorrect. Beginning this year, the voting to select Pro Bowl players was by both coaches and players. Each team in each conference had two equal votes—the vote of its head coach and the consensus vote of its players.
A check of the AFC balloting shows that Hannah received considerable support. He finished tied for second in the voting by the coaches and fourth in the voting by the players. The composite placed Hannah fourth in the balloting behind Joe DeLamielleure, Gene Upshaw and Bob Kuechenberg, the three selectees at guard.
VAL PINCHBECK JR.
Assistant to the President
American Football Conference
New York City
It was very kind of you to include our daughter Merilyn in FACES IN THE CROWD (Jan. 16). However, the face you featured was not Merilyn's. We would be most appreciative if a correction of this error could be made in one of your future issues.
NORMA F. CHAPMAN
?For a picture of gymnast Merilyn Chapman, see below. SI apologizes to Merilyn, who at last December's British Invitational became the first American since 1970 to win an all-around title while competing directly against U.S.S.R. gymnasts. SI also apologizes to 15-year-old Tricia Stultz of Braddock Heights. Md., whose photograph appeared in Merilyn's place. Tricia, a center forward for the Middletown (Md.) High School junior varsity and varsity field hockey teams, earned consideration as a Face in the Crowd by scoring 24 goals in her sophomore season and seven goals in one jayvee game, the latter feat establishing school, league and county records.—ED.