I hope my alma mater will either adopt a realistic attitude and relax admission standards for athletes or drop back and punt the football program.
After reading of the troubles plaguing the Northwestern football team and University President Robert H. Strotz's explanation for those troubles, it is easy to understand why they exist. Strotz is oversimplifying the situation if, as you reported, he attributes North-western's football failings to lower academic standards at other schools and Northwestern's lack of a physical education major or any courses of study in which jocks can hide. Other schools have high academic standards and still enjoy success in athletics. As for courses in which jocks can hide, anyone who majors in physical education takes courses such as anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, biomechanics, statistics, research, etc. that offer students few places to hide.
By maligning physical education, Strotz may have given us a hint as to how to solve the problem at Northwestern: Find a president who understands the role of athletics in education.
MICHAEL T. VOGL
In your article on Northwestern football, I was quoted as saying I was a "Sophist" when asked what school of philosophical thought I found solace in. The Sophists were a group of pre-Socratic philosophers who were teachers of rhetoric and philosophy. What I described myself as was a solipsist, not a Sophist.
Northwestern Football Team
Why don't you put Northwestern on the cover? Perhaps the famous SI cover "jinx" will work in reverse!
West Chester, Pa.
Medora Goes to The Game (Nov. 16) by George Plimpton is one of the most heartwarming and entertaining articles I've ever read. It reminded me of the time I took my 4-year-old nephew, Dylan, to a Philadelphia Phillies game. When the Phillies staged a late-inning rally to win, I found myself cheering and yelling to Dylan, "The Phillies won, they won!" An unimpressed Dylan looked up at me and said, "Why?"
Haddon Heights, N.J.
George Plimpton has written thousands of entertaining words telling us that he's no champion athlete, but in a few pages he has established himself as a world-class father.
What a lovely story about Medora! Did she ever get her horse for Christmas and, if so, what did she call it?
New York City
?Alas, Medora didn't get her horse, but in the course of the year, her likes have changed.
Her father says, "Her interests have gone to water completely. For this Christmas she wants a Sunfish and a pet duck."—ED.