SI Vault
July 23, 1956
THE SANCTITY OF SPORTS Sirs: I was distressed to read your description of the first "politathlon" (E & D, July 2), and I was the more disturbed when I saw that you had continued the subject the following week. The implication of the two pieces is decidedly political, and the importance of their subjects to the world of sport is dubious. Since SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has devoted itself to sports, why then let us stick to sports and sports alone, unadulterated by political selections (if such a thing is possible in an election year). I would indeed be loth to see the most enjoyable of my sanctuaries sullied by the dark influences of the world's second oldest profession. ALAN ROTH New York
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July 23, 1956

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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Just read how to remove a fishhook (Tips for the Trail, SI, July 2). How primitive can you get?

The simplest, neatest way is to run a sharp, pointed knife blade along the inside of the hook to the barb. One or two short movements will cut the tissues under the barb and then, leaving the blade where it is to cover the barb, the hook can be very neatly backed out. No sweat, no strain, no trauma.
Sarasota, Fla.

?Fishermen not surgically inclined still prefer to push the hook through the skin and cut off the barb.—ED.

I am thoroughly puzzled by Henry Longhurst's cryptic reference to the refusal of Stan Leonard and Al Balding to play in the Commonwealth vs. Britain golf matches (SI, July 16). Why did they feel "not welcome" in England? What happened? Did Canada have any representation at all?
New York

? Canada was not represented. Stan Leonard and Al Balding, a couple of young Canadian pros used to the cheerful amenities of New World locker rooms, were totally unprepared for England's stark and Spartan approach toward golf. The two Canadians were far less impressed by the hoary trophies and traditions of the almost century-old Royal Liverpool Golf Club than they were by the awful weather, the unavailability of hot food and the tournament committee's neglect in reserving hotel space for Leonard. Rooms were finally found 12 miles away in Liverpool (as much a symbol of urban dreariness in English humor as Hoboken is here), but Leonard and his family soon fell into a state of brooding depression over these accommodations. Someone had scattered dead fish around the hotel door, and every night scores of trucks rumbled past their windows to the open vegetable market down the block. Under these circumstances Leonard and Balding found it hard to give of their best on the links (Balding finished 17th and Leonard failed to reach the final day). Both players were scheduled to play in the Commonwealth matches two weeks away, but the prospect of a fortnight in Liverpool was too much: the Canadians packed their bags, Leonard gave a last shuddering look at the hotel and both went home to Canada. Henry Longhurst, an eminent British golf writer who reported on the Open for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, was nonplussed. "Most young men of my acquaintance," he wrote in the London Sunday Times, "would give anything for a five weeks' trip, first class and free, to the New World, but the process in reverse lacks appeal.... Human nature has not changed much since Shakespeare wrote "Blow, Blow, thou winter wind...." Said Stan Leonard: "I've had more fun and seen better organization in a Vancouver caddies tournament."—ED.

Enjoyed The Pikes Peak Boys (SI, July 2) but confused by some remarks in the article. I refer to the following quote: "He [Dad Unser] does commandeer prize money when the Unser boys win it—which they do frequently. Dad officially owns and enters all the cars the boys drive. This preserves the boys' amateur status."

By what line of reasoning can one arrive at this conclusion?

?Amateur regulations are not rigidly defined in automobile racing. Although the Unser boys receive no money for driving their father's cars, they are not amateurs by SCCA standards, which in general forbid entering competitions for prize money.—ED.

Dad Unser and his Pikes Peak boys was a fine story and I see they did all right. But why no picture of Uncle Louis? How did he make out on the climb?
Phoenix, Ariz.

?Uncle Louis (see below) came in a respectable sixth.—ED.

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