It's too bad that Alfred Wright was tied up at the board meeting at Bermuda Dunes during the play of the Bob Hope Desert Classic (Thanks for the Memory, Feb. 22). He missed a terrific golf tournament.
Of course, I know it's hard to concentrate on such dull stuff as a six-hole shot-for-shot stretch drive between Ray Floyd and Arnold Palmer or their subsequent playoff when you have such excitement as the ticket deal between Bill Conway and Ed Crowley or Mollie Cullum's cocktail party. But couldn't you at least have had a picture of Arnie's great birdie putt in sudden death or his eagle on Saturday or a story on how it feels to be back in the winner's circle after so long?
In short, for the millions in Arnie's Army who waited so long to revel in his great comeback, and for golfing fans everywhere, your article was a miserable letdown.
ROBERT L. DAWSON
You blew it! You missed the tension, drama, excitement and glory as the king of golf proved his worth. You saw only the fun and games of Vice-President Agnew, Willie Mays, Mollie Cullum and a lot of business executives. True, they support the tournament, but who makes it go? I'll tell you who. Arnie! That grand old guy who led his army over the hill and on to victory! Through five days of fighting, with thousands of troops following him, cheering him on through every hole, Arnie sank a 25-footer to win his first tournament since December of '69.
In bypassing Arnold Palmer's first tournament victory since 1969, SI ignored one of the most popularly significant sporting events of recent years.
I cannot help thinking that even Spiro Agnew would have been happier to see more about the "restoration of a monarch" and less about his own erratic tee shots.
West Salem, Wis.
No thanks for the memory.
I would like to congratulate Morton Sharnik for his excellent interview with Joe Frazier (I Got a Surprise for Clay, Feb. 22). Mr. Sharnik seems to have succeeded quite skillfully in performing a task few others have even attempted—that of eliciting from Smokin' Joe an honest display of how the fighter feels about himself, about Muhammad Ali and about boxing in general. Amidst the numerous articles on the controversial and colorful Ali, this one on Frazier proved to be both refreshing and informative. Now all is left up to the fighters, and the best man will win.
After reading your interview pieces about Ali and Frazier, I am convinced that Frazier is the likely winner. His analysis of everything, the fight and his life in general, is consistent with his style in the ring. He is remarkable for his straight-line thinking, devoid of the slightest nonsense. He continues to impress me, not just as a highly efficient fighter, but as a well-motivated, determined businessman. Many would do well to study him for inspiration.
Joe Frazier can plan, train and shoot his mouth off all he wants, but when he gets into that ring with Muhammad Ali, I doubt that he will have the time or the sense to throw his cute little phrases at the real champ.