AS SIMPLE AS THAT
Bob Hall deserves congratulations upon two counts: First, he contributed to SI an interesting and informative article on the college football television problem. Second, he flushed Bernard Honan of Lebanon, Ind., whose letter-to-the-editor appears in SI's Jan. 24 issue.
Honan set out in his communication to disparage Hall's statements; but he succeeded in proving Hall's case with full conclusiveness.
By his own comments Honan shows himself to be an enthusiastic football fan. Fortunately for him, he resides within easy driving distance of eight stadiums in which major college football contests regularly take place. However, he insists upon getting his football via TV. He wants nothing but the best—and, if he doesn't get what he considers to be the best, he feels that he is being mistreated.
I wish that Honan were unique. The truth, I fear, is that he is typical of a large number of football followers. Honan and others with the same point of view constitute the reason why the NCAA must exercise control of football telecasts if the game of intercollegiate football is to survive.
What baffles me is why Honan et al. don't realize that if television carried all of the games which they want to see, there would soon be no games to televise. No sponsor of a sports event can give away millions of free tickets through television and expect to sell some thousands of them at the same time. It is all as simple as that.
ASA S. BUSHNELL
Eastern College Athletic Conference
THAT TRUE-BLUE FAN
Just completed reading the letter from Bernard Honan in rebuff to the article by Robt. Hall (SI, Jan. 10). If Honan is disgusted with Mr. Hall and his opinions, he should know my opinion of his views.... First, he is located near not less than eight schools which he deems to have football teams worthy of his attention. Teams he could see with a minimum of travel and expense. But, does this true-blue fan go to see any of these schools play their games? Of course not, and furthermore he announces proudly to one and all that he is a TV fan. This probably causes wild exotic dances of joy by the athletic departments of the schools in his vicinity. He plainly says that about all he is prepared to spend for a Saturday afternoon of fun is his time, at the TV of course. So, when a national sponsor and the NCAA cater to him, it is only natural to suppose that he will appreciate the offering.... But again, poor mistreated Mr. Honan fails them, and he writes letters just dripping with vitriol in stern rebuke. Why, you say? Why simply because that stupid fellow who makes up the schedule of games for TV did not schedule the game dear Bernard wanted to see.... He suspects that the NCAA, the TV station, the teams playing that day are all in one big cloak-and-dagger operation and are sitting up nights thinking up bad games to put on the TV, and ruin his Saturday afternoon. However, he soon gets solace from the thought that tomorrow is Sunday and the pros will be on. Oh happy day.... Just in parting would like to let Honan know that his letter has shattered Sid Gillman, coach of the UC Bearcats. When he read that a real fan such as you had never heard of him he has become quite a problem. He has locked himself in seclusion, refuses all foods, and we here in this town are afraid he might consider suicide. Just a shattered man. Please accept this bit of advice, Mr. Honan, if you do you will find a greater peace of mind: investigate the various buttons on your set, you will find one of them is marked "on" and "off." Please make use of this when you do not care for what you see on your set....
This letter is directed to Mr. Bernard Honan. First of all, orchids to SI for the finest sport publication on the newsstands today. Since I am a graduate of Western Michigan College of Education, Kalamazoo, I was a little ashamed of what Kalamazoo's "Average Reader" said about your periodical (SI, Jan. 17, 19th HOLE), but "Forgive them, they know not what they do."
Now for Mr. Honan. Sir, I am in agreement with most of your rebuttal to Robbert Hall on NCAA TV. However, you made some awful insinuating remarks that I just can't go along with at all. I quote, "Who wants to see Miami play Cincinnati any time anywhere? Certainly no football fan, because they don't play football. Haven't the players nor the coach and don't know how."
You couldn't be further from reality, Mr. Honan. Or don't you remember what Miami did to your dear old state institution last fall? Tsk, tsk. And just a week after it had topped a good Michigan team. Or perhaps you've never heard of "Stu" Holcomb, former mentor at Miami? Or more recent, ever heard of Woody Hayes who left the Oxford, Ohio campus to lead Ohio State to a Big Ten title, a mythical championship, and a Rose Bowl win?
They don't play football? Please, that's going too far. Let's take a look at Miami's schedule for next season. Northwestern, Indiana and Marquette. Why that's a better slate than some major colleges play ( Maryland, for example), and I guess it doesn't mean anything to have had one of the longest winning streaks in the country as Cincinnati had early last fall—against some tough competition.