PORTAGO: SHARED RISK
Racing Is a Vice by the late Alfonso de Portago (SI, May 13) verily predicted the death of this handsome and daring sportsman. Though "off the road" many times himself, his accident was caused by that 5% chance for mechanical failure, and was directly responsible for the lives of his co-driver and 11 bystanders.
It is to be hoped that our own famed Indianapolis "500" will be run safely this Memorial Day, without the loss of any spectators' lives at least, although the drivers who enter it do so at their own risk.
Racing of any kind has been and always will remain a dangerous but thrilling spectacle to see, whether it be on land, sea or air. But until proper safeguards for the defenseless public who come to see them are more rigidly enforced perhaps we can better do without them. We have enough highway killings every weekend now, due in large part to this "vice" called speed!
FRED LA CHAPELLE
?For a discussion of the challenges and responsibilities of auto racing, see Speed and Indianapolis, page 14.—ED.
PORTAGO: PERSONAL SHOCK
After reading Racing Is a Vice, by Alfonso de Portago, I felt all the shock of losing a personal friend when the news of his death came.
TV BASEBALL: TIGHT RACE IN DETROIT
The wonderful H. Allen Smith article on TV announcers (SI, May 13) certainly homered in Tiger land. It seems to me our TV cameramen never have the camera on what the Tiger announcers are describing.
Our two announcers are president and vice-president of the "Never Give the Score" club. It seems they have a contest going on to see who can go the longest without giving the score. Van Patrick, I believe, now holds the record at 14 minutes 16 seconds, but the other broadcaster, Mel Ott, is gallantly trying to better Patrick's record.
Also, could SPORTS ILLUSTRATED let its readers know who are the officers of "Laugh at Our Own Jokes" club? We have an excellent candidate if there is a vacancy in the club.
?Nominations are open.—ED.
TV BASEBALL: ST. LOUIS BLUES
H. Allen Smith's Baseball on TV Is Swell—I Think was a perfect description of our local boy. Surely no other team is "blessed" with such talent.... Holy cow!
BOB and HELEN WEISSFLUG