If there is going to be a shock at Melbourne, I think that it will be provided by members of the British Commonwealth. Since the 1948 Olympics their runners and throwers have been coming on at an astounding rate of speed. Beyond the more famous Bannister and Landy, there are such men as Johnson, Chataway, Pirie, West, Du Plessis, Gardner, Elliott, Agostini, and Harry Kane, the young 400-meter hurdler who recently split Litiyev and Yulin at London. They are today what Russia's athletes were in 1948, just under their peak and always going better in each subsequent race. They are in a position to wreck any timetable set up today.
KENNETH J. OBERMAN
A STORY LONG OVERDUE
Your Beau Jack story, Nov. 24 issue, was excellent, interesting and heart-warming. It produces an inspiring message to young fighters who wish for the greatness Beau Jack had as an athlete. It's a story that was long overdue. Congrats to SI on a fine job, on a great guy....
CARRY A TORCH
I will never regret my charter subscription to SI. It surely is one of the most satisfying publications I have ever read. Until the Nov. 15 issue, however, I did have one complaint and was, in fact, about to register same until seeing the Slippery Rock article....
I do not carry a torch for Slippery Rock particularly, but for what it represents?the hundreds of small colleges with hundreds of thousands of alumni and supporters throughout the country....
I thought of this one day early in October. Returning from a business trip in New York, it was necessary for me to make a two-day stopover in a small town in western Pennsylvania?Meadville. The local newspaper informed me there was a college football game that afternoon between Allegheny College, sporting a 12-game losing streak, and Hobart College, an overwhelming favorite, featuring two "little All-Americans" in their lineup.
Knowing little about these schools, but being an ardent fan of any kind of football, I took in this game, and had the most enjoyable afternoon that I have experienced in a long time.
Allegheny, while clearly outclassed, never stopped trying. One of their halfbacks, a freshman playing his first college game, took a kick-off six yards deep in the end zone and ran it back 106 yards for a TD. What a thrill this must have been for this boy. Yet no one more than 50 miles from Meadville would ever read about his outstanding feat (which, for all I know could be the longest run of the season in any game), but every fan in the country would read over and over again about an Alan Ameche making a spectacular one-yard plunge. Ameche, of course, is great, but must a boy attend a large, well-publicized college to earn acclaim?...
?We couldn't cover them all, but a count shows we reported on 122 college teams?some big, some small.?ED.
SI's comments over this last football season on higher education?football relationship recall this true story.
Enough time has passed so that this tale can be related without embarrassment to any of the actors.