WORLD SERIES TELEVISION
William Taaffe's TV/RADIO article NBC: Nobody Does It Better (Oct. 25) summed up my frustration over ABC's awful coverage of the baseball playoffs. In fact, the only reason I watched the playoffs on TV was to see the picture, and at times that was bad, too.
The World Series, though, was a refreshing change. Dick Enberg, Tom Seaver, Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek were very good. Thanks for hitting the nail right on the head.
William Taaffe hit a grand slam with his comparison of NBC's skills in bringing baseball to the public and ABC's inability to hold the interest of those watching. My set was one of those turned off because of ABC's so-called coverage. I just waited for the real thing to start. Shows like NBC's World Series almost kept me from missing the NFL.
J. ROBERT SLONE
After enduring seven World Series games telegoofed by NBC, what do I see in SI but a column praising the efforts of that TV sports enigma. NBC over ABC? Surely you jest. O.K., Tommy Lasorda acts as though he's on a Hollywood game show, Keith Jackson belongs in the booth at Beaver Stadium giving us play by play for Penn State vs. Nebraska and Howard is...well, Howard. But what does NBC counter with? More of the same, only the names are changed.
Tony Kubek's constant giggling over Garagiola's inane anecdotes, topped off by Dick Enberg's explaining why baseball is a funny game, offers no better alternative.
ROBERT M. MACSI
ABC's coverage was superior in two respects: the Jim Palmer-Earl Weaver team and the extensive use of replays. Palmer-Weaver were constantly speculating about the strategy of the game—the essence of baseball—and this intensified my interest. The NBC team understands baseball, but it has become too "laid back" in its analysis. Palmer-Weaver kept my mind on edge, while NBC occasionally allowed me to drift off.
With regard to replays, I prefer numerous replays to crowd shots, managers chewing tobacco or irrelevant statistics. Many viewers find baseball boring because they don't understand the concept that each pitch constitutes a separate play. By providing a greater number of replays along with the accompanying analysis, the TV team can direct the viewer's attention to the "inside game" between pitcher and batter. However, I found it incredible that ABC missed Ben Oglivie's catch down the leftfield foul line in the final game of the regular season. ABC had cameras all over the place but not in the crucial place.
THOMAS S. MAZANEC
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
AHMAD RASHAD'S VIEW (CONT.)
The article by Ahmad Rashad as told to Frank Deford (Journal of a Plagued Year, Oct. 18 and 25) was the most enjoyable I've ever read in your magazine. If those two guys don't go on to write a book, I'm going to go to Ahmad's house every Sunday and beg him to tell me football stories.
STEVEN C. FASNACHT
Ahmad Rashad's journal was excellent, but hardly as good as reading about Ahmad himself. I knew him as Bobby Moore at Oregon, where he was suspended from the freshman basketball team because his Afro was too long and where he caught three touchdown passes in his first varsity game. I followed his college career as he became one of the greatest players in West Coast history, surpassing one of his heroes, Mel Renfro. For years I wondered why SI hadn't given him much press. The reversal came with a soul-warming bang—not just an article about Ahmad but one by him.
Rashad isn't only a man who made good, but he is also a good man. It was definitely time for such an article. The social, moral and family values demonstrated by Ahmad need publicity. The Jerry Freis and Dennis Moores do also. All have combined to make Rashad a person of purpose and a person with perspective. And for those who are in their 30s, who have mastered their craft, who have begun to seek and accept leadership, and who are "independent, individual, even egotistical," he is the perfect football hero.