I have long been a Formula I fan, and I regularly attended the U.S. Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, where the race was held until this year. I have always admired your coverage of Formula I drivers; it is unequaled. However, one matter is unexplained. The hierarchy of the sport has shown flat-out cowardice in explaining the move from the Glen to Vegas. First, they blamed track conditions. After improvements in the track were made, the reason given was back debt. At that point, a number of public and private concerns offered a bailout. Still no go!
The truth is that the world of Formula I is a world of high rollers, of weeks spent in places like Rio, Buenos Aires and Monaco. For these people, Las Vegas is much more appealing than upstate New York. I can understand why this is so. It's a shame, though, that they hide behind complaints about money and track conditions and then run the race in a parking lot.
IN A TRAP
In your Oct. 26 SCORECARD you write of the four-way scramble at the end-of-the-season Pensacola Open among golfers Tom Kite, Ray Floyd, Tom Watson and Bruce Lietzke.
Your final comment on the very tight race for seasonal honors was "So who needs Nicklaus vs. Palmer anyway?"
I dare you to schedule a series of matches on the same golf course on successive days offering Jerry Pate vs. Kite, Floyd vs. Watson, Bill Rogers vs. Lietzke and finally Palmer vs. Nicklaus.
Tell the owners of the golf course that they can have all the proceeds from three of the matches if they let you have the proceeds from just one of your choice. If you choose any but the Palmer-Nicklaus match, you've got rocks in your head.
"So who needs Nicklaus vs. Palmer anyway?"
Golf and the fans need them.
While Leonard, McEnroe and Gretzky may be strong contenders, it should still take your editors no longer than 3 minutes, 47.33 seconds to choose Sebastian Coe as Sportsman of the Year.