Michigan No. 1 (1983 College & Pro Football Spectacular, Sept. 1)? Surely you jest. How can a supposedly reputable group of sportswriters make such a prediction?
If Nebraska met Michigan, I think the score would be about 45-7. Nebraska will rule the nation this year.
Michigan doesn't have to worry about playing a weak team in the Rose Bowl, because to get there the Wolverines must win the Big Ten title, and Ohio State is going to do that! Go, Buckeyes!
Mount Clemens, Mich.
Copies of Ron Fimrite's article (The Anatomy of a Miracle, Sept. 1) about last fall's Big Game between Cal and Stanford ought to be framed and added to the growing collection of miracle-finish memorabilia. After reading his graphic analysis, I felt it was only a little less great than The Play itself. Years from now I can tell my grandchildren, with only a small twinge of guilt, that I was among the million or so who were actually there!
WILLIAM H. NICHOLAS
So the University of California scored a touchdown after making five lateral passes. Gosh! Pretty soon we may invent rugby all over again.
As dedicated Stanford fans who have endured the ignominy of The Play for nearly a year, we feel it is time to set the record straight. John Elway was right when he characterized The Play as "a farce and a joke," and here's why:
Although Dwight Garner alleges that he was not downed by Stanford, the films of the game we've seen show an official signaling that Garner is down. And the final lateral, from Mariet Ford to Kevin Moen, did in fact travel forward. A simple law of physics states that if you are moving forward with sufficient velocity, you may throw an object behind you and still have it land in front of where you threw it.
It is inexcusable that six officials in good standing with the Pac-10 could miss insufficient men on the line on the kickoff for Cal, a Cal player down and an illegal forward lateral by Cal, while miraculously calling all of the penalties on Stanford. Also inexcusable is your lack of comment about the officiating.
It is true that Cal won the game. It is also true that this sounds like sour grapes, and maybe it is. However, if people are going to talk about this play until 2082, they should know that Joe Kapp is wrong. Sometimes a game is over after 59 minutes and 56 seconds—unless, that is, it degenerates into a farce and a joke.
Palo Alto, Calif.
When Stanford Coach Paul Wiggin is reduced to ranting at the referees about men losing their livelihood over a football play, it is a sign that we who are associated with football have lost our capacity for laughter. I played for Stanford in the 1960s. In 1982 I also coached my last season at a medium-sized high school. The Play had an impact on my decision to quit coaching.