I really enjoyed Ron Fimrite's ON THE SCENE column in the Nov. 24 issue, telling about the Instant Replay bar in Santa Barbara, Calif. But Fimrite says that Instant Replay owner Clyde Bennett has been videotaping teams and showing them on his big screen since April 22 and then adds, "It's questionable if an operation as extensive as Bennett's could succeed anywhere outside of Santa Barbara." Ha! Filthy McNasty's Saloon in beautiful downtown Seneca Falls, N.Y. has been taping teams since early in the spring of 1979. Maybe Seneca Falls isn't Santa Barbara, but I can assure you that our athletes, near-athletes, once-were athletes, never-were athletes and never-will-be athletes enjoy seeing themselves on the big screen as much as anyone in Santa Barbara does.
We hereby challenge the Instant Replay bar to a Softball game on a neutral field in, say, Kansas City, the losers to go back to the winners' bar and watch themselves on the big screen.
Filthy McNasty's Inc.
Seneca Falls, N.Y.
BUCKING THE TIDE
Douglas S. Looney's article on Notre Dame (Notre Dame Had 'Bama Bound, Nov. 24) was fantastic. The only thing wrong was that SI didn't own up to the fact that it didn't rank the Irish in the Top 20 in its college football preview (Sept. 1). You should have known better. When a Notre Dame coach announces his retirement at the beginning of the season, you can be sure the Irish players will see to it that he leaves with a national championship.
PAUL J. SALEM
In my opinion, sportswriting hit a new low when Douglas S. Looney made light of Coach Bear Bryant's willingness to accept the blame when Alabama loses a football game. I am anxiously awaiting the day when Bryant's influence will extend to all coaches and players in the nation, so that they will accept victory or defeat with the same class and good sportsmanship that the Alabama coach and his team do.
Unlike Notre Dame's fans, who are behind their coach, win or tie, Crimson Tide fans appreciate what Coach Bryant is contributing to football at Alabama.
Perhaps everyone makes a big deal out of each Alabama defeat because the Tide loses so infrequently. Example: every 'Bama loss or near-loss this season has been covered in an article in SI.
BILL KLING JR.
Believe me, there's no discontent with Bear Bryant in my part of the state. I don't know how Douglas S. Looney can hear people whispering so well.
As Douglas S. Looney said, there is whispered discontent over Bear Bryant in Alabama. Against Notre Dame, there were many costly mistakes made by the Bear, most of which Looney noted in his story. While the Bear is a living legend, he has proved that nobody's perfect.
AIRING IT OUT
My compliments to Mike DelNagro on his fine article concerning college football's recent shift in thinking (A Real Breath of Fresh Air, Nov. 24). The increased emphasis on passing has created a much more exciting game. There is, however, one slight flaw in the article. Purdue Quarterback Mark Herrmann did throw for 439 yards on Nov. 8 to set a Big Ten single-game passing record, but that achievement came in three quarters of action against Iowa, not Illinois as you reported. Later the same day, Illinois' Dave Wilson passed for 621 yards in a near-upset of Ohio State, breaking Herrmann's record.
The showdown between Herrmann and Wilson took place three weeks earlier. In that game, Herrmann first set the aforementioned record with 371 yards before being taken out. He then watched from the sidelines as Wilson surpassed it by finishing the day with 425.
THOMAS N. YANKEY
West Lafayette, Ind.