True football fans everywhere salute you. Your Dec. 9 cover picture of New York Jets Quarterback Joe Namath has done more for the image of pro football than any single event in many years. Through your publicity of Joe's horrific assembly of hair, public opinion reached such a frenzied peak of disapproval that AFL President Milt Woodard was forced to initiate action leading to his shaving off his mustache. But Joe remained his sweet, wholesome self to the end—he shaved it off for a $10,000 profit. After all, with $10,000 maybe he can buy another full-length mink coat. By the way, the cover is now lining my wastebasket.
FREDERICK P. CICHON
I've been coaching high school athletes for 15 years and insisting that all the boys who represent us have a neat haircut and be cleanly shaven when participating on our teams. You've helped to pour all that right down the drain. I know that Joe will probably laugh all the way to the bank when and if he reads this, but some night when he is loafing around that neat pad of his, and there aren't any "foxes" around to bother him, how about his giving some thought to these fine boys who think that he and the rest of our professional athletes are the greatest.
We propose a replay of the last 25 seconds of the Chicago Bears-Los Angeles Rams game. The officials for this game were responsible for the Rams' losing a precious down in the closing seconds and, although suspended from further games this year, their mistake can never be forgiven. The Rams are an exciting team and have put together last-second winning efforts throughout this season. This tragic and heartbreaking loss eliminated the Rams from the most thrilling divisional race in recent years and made the showdown game between the Rams and Colts not even worth watching.
F. SCOTT NICKERSON
S. RODNEY LYNCH
Notre Dame, Ind.
I enjoyed Coles Phinizy's analysis of Bob Beamon's long jump (The Unbelievable Moment, Dec. 23), but I'm sorry he overlooked the wind factor. Beamon had an assisting wind of at least the absolute maximum. The reading was 2.00 meters per second (4.473 mph), and 2.01 meters per second would have invalidated the jump. As it is, there is some question on the wind readings. Over a two-day period world records were set in the triple jump (by two athletes), the long jump and the women's 200 meters, and in each instance the official wind reading was exactly 2.0 meters per second. The odds against this coincidence are incredible.
Just how much the wind, legal or otherwise, assisted Beamon is hard to say. But six inches seems reasonable. Thus Beamon's astounding jump was a combination of the greatest talent ever, a firing-up for the ultimate in competition, a perfect step (rare for Beamon), fast runway, the altitude, a maximum assisting wind and good form. Each plus factor added a few inches and, happening all at once, Beamon achieved the unbelievable.
President and Publisher
Track and Field News
Los Altos, Calif.