SPORTS AND THE STATUS SEEKERS
I reject in full the premises of Vance Packard stated under the heading All Status and No Play...(SI, May 18).
In no phase of human behavior is Packard's status seeker so easily marked or rewarded as in the sports picture of our day and age.
One of our racial minorities, the Negro, is currently committed to a national drive to use sports as a powerful lever in its attempt to increase status for its people.
Each year thousands of students are provided with college educations because their athletic abilities are recognized, and their future workaday status enhanced by college-day sports achievements.
The club squash champ is more likely to be a somebody than a member who is merely an architect. A good golfer invariably makes a desirable neighbor.
In so far as sportswriters and their status are concerned, I can only refer Author Packard to any metropolitan newspaper in the U.S., where the sports editor and columnists are better known personalities on the paper than is the political pundit—usually better paid, too.
The names of Grantland Rice and Damon Runyon come far more easily to the memories of people of top class levels than do the names of scholars with whom Vance Packard must fraternize as close associates.
A Mickey Mantle can easily afford to ignore Mr. Packard, but can Mr. Packard afford to ignore the Mickey Mantles?
GOLFINGLY, HARRY SPRAGUE
It is indeed with great pleasure that I write to congratulate you on the fine articles, Dear Mr. Tabor by Herbert Warren Wind (SI, May 18 & 25). It's the greatest since J. P. Marquand's Happy Knoll days! Do keep Mr. Wind's great hand busy, to fill an important niche in American sportsmen's reading.
As a charter member of your magazine and a guest card holder in the Happy Knoll Country Club, I would deem it an honor to have this, my application for membership in the Otter Lake Country Club, presented for consideration at your earliest opportunity.