VILLAINS, VIPERS, LUST AND LOVE
Don Paul's brilliant rationale of football villainy (Pro Football Is Plenty Rough, SI, Nov. 28) is obviously one of the brightest new developments in gamesmanship, the science of how to win without actually cheating, created some years ago by England's Stephen Potter. The importance of Mr. Paul's contribution is that it is no mere theoretical speculation, but was actually synthesized in the field, apparently through years of plodding, dogged experimentation. Mr. Paul is a doer, not merely a thinker, like most of us gamesmen. Yet his conclusion that the safest approach to villainy is "to try to aggravate or intimidate the opponent to the point where he is giving only the minimum effort, but still slays in the game" is a brilliant theory. This "psychic decay" gambit will surely rank with Potter's own tennis ploy: "If you can't volley, wear purple socks." I am sure that among your many readers there are some who cannot see the difference between villains and vipers and that Mr. Paul will come in for some abuse on "sportsmanship." Theirs are the minds that also fail to see the beautifully fine line between a tax saving and tax evasion or between lust and love. We call these clods "sportsmanshippers," a far cry from true sportsmen.
New York City
WHAT AN EXAMPLE
Pro Football Is Plenty Rough was quite an article and those quoted present a very interesting commentary on the state of athletics in this country.
When one analyzes the thinking of these meat-and-bone Goliaths and witnesses the behavior of baseball players on questionable decisions in our ball parks, one naturally wonders whether the example set by these men is conducive to the good sportsmanship we expect from our young people.
WALTER J. ASH
Carle Place, N.Y.
I AM SORRY FOR HIM
Rough, clean play is admirable but deliberate dirty play is shameful and cowardly. Obviously Paul does not understand the meaning of sportsmanship and fair play, and I am sorry for him and particularly for his children.
New York City
NOT ONE BIT DIRTY?
I thought your article Pro Football Is Plenty Rough was very good and I agree on the rough stuff part, but I can't understand why Don Paul doesn't think he is one bit dirty. I think the Lions were perfectly justified in calling Don Paul the dirtiest player in football. As Don Paul stated, he can blame himself for the penalty near the end of the Rams-Lions game that gave Detroit a first down and later enabled them to win. But the way he talked he blames Bobby Layne, saying: "But when he saw the pass was going to miss, he suddenly remembered I had brushed him and he began Bumsteading all over the joint." I really wonder what Don Paul considers "brushing."
Although Charley Brickley was a little ahead of my time, I well remember his fame and it was very interesting to read about him in ANNIVERSARY (SI, Nov. 21). However, shouldn't it have been pointed out that Brickley was a specialist at the drop kick, an art which is dead or dying, whereas the field-goal kickers of today, even the pros, are placement kickers?
?Correct. Charles Brickley did drop-kick his field goals, a tricky play derived from Rugby. Since Brickley's day the ball has gradually become narrower and more pointed so as to aid the passing game. This "new" ball has made drop-kicking a lost art.—ED.
Here is my one dollar short snorter. Have been carrying this thing around for 10 years and four months. About time it went for a worthy cause—Olympic Fund and membership in Happy Knoll Club.
L. A. SCHULHOF
BOWL GAMES AND THE OLYMPIC FUND
The chances of me or any other individual without good connections obtaining tickets to one of the coming bowl games is very small. However, thanks to television, come game time my wife and I will be right on top of that ball from our living room 50-yard-line seats. With that hot Auburn-Vanderbilt go at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville December 31 and a choice early January 2 of either the Sugar or Cotton Bowl, topped off later in the day with that UCLA-Michigan State meet in the Rose Bowl, it sure promises to be a gala weekend.
So as not to go entirely for a free ride on this wonderful trio of games, enclosed is a check to the Olympic Fund for $6: a dollar apiece from each of us for the three games.
Mr. and Mrs. B. P. MOORA