Congratulations on Dan Jenkins' fine account of the Pittsburgh- Cincinnati battle (Smashing Through the Snow, Dec. 6). Walter Iooss Jr.'s photography was particularly impressive. The pictures on pages 30-31 and on page 32 were reminiscent of such famous battles as New York-Baltimore in 1958, when Alan Ameche scored in overtime, and Dallas-Green Bay in 1967, when Bart Starr plunged across in sub-zero weather.
I've come across some great pictures in your magazine, but none as good as the two-pager of the Steelers and the Bengals. Walter Iooss Jr. captured the whole game in one perfect photograph and Dan Jenkins did another fantastic job on the article. I've not seen or read better.
Your story omitted an important point. The reason for the blowing snow and poor football conditions was the starting time of 4 p.m. Why should the paying customers be forced to witness a game at an inconvenient time for the benefit of TV? If the game had started at the usual time of 1 p.m., it would have ended before the snow started.
JAMES L. WARNER
Brigham Young University fans appreciate the article by Joe Marshall on Rutgers University (Stuck in a Winning Rut, Dec. 6). Our area's teams and top players know what it is like to be caught in an identity crisis. But why did you pick on the Tangerine Bowl?
BYU (9-2) shared the WAC championship and won its final six games, scoring an average of 41 points while giving up an average of 17. The Cougars were first nationally in passing, sixth in total offense and eighth in scoring. The Tangerine Bowl has the top two candidates for next year's Heisman Trophy in BYU's Gifford Nielsen and Oklahoma State's Terry Miller.
An unbeaten team that is leading the country in defense probably does deserve to be in a bowl game, but there are other bowls no less guilty of bypassing Rutgers than the Tangerine. And there are other teams that make annual bowl appearances even when they have mediocre records. So don't point a finger at the Tangerine Bowl. You might find the Brigham Young-Oklahoma State matchup an "intriguing" one after all.
If Joe Marshall wants to match Rutgers in a bowl with a good Big Eight team, how about Iowa State? The NCAA ranks ISU second nationally in total offense and fourth in scoring (33.5 points per game). Iowa State failed to get a bowl berth despite an 8-3 record, including victories over Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas. Moreover, Iowa State's opposition compares favorably with that of bowl-bound Ohio State, USC, Texas A&M, UCLA, North Carolina, Kentucky, BYU and Wyoming. Rutgers may not be bowl-bound, but it is ranked nationally and has appeared on regional TV. Even these honors have eluded Iowa State.
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Your article on Rutgers failed to elicit much sympathy from Colgate fans. As a subsequent SCORECARD item (Dec. 13) related, a devastating miscall by an official may well have helped Rutgers maintain its precious winning streak. Rutgers should not feel snubbed that it is uninvited to a major bowl. Instead, the Scarlet Knights should be downright thankful they are undefeated.
JO CLARE HARTSIG
A TOUCH OF PRIDE
Hooray! It's good to read that sports can be played with intensity even when there is not much more at stake than pride. Your article on the National Touch Football League championship (They Won It Handily, Dec. 6) gave us a real insight into the admirable character of those who play the game.
ALEX MURASHKO JR.
I must take exception to Ron Reid's description of the national touch football champions, the Four Seasons Nursery team from Columbus, Ohio, as "a more elderly bunch." We consider ourselves "experienced," not elderly.
MARK A. DEVILLING