MILITANT IN PHILADELPHIA
It was almost too much to read the so-called review of the Army-Navy game (It's the Biggest Draw in Philadelphia, Dec. 8), by your answer to W.C. Fields, Pat Putnam.
I was rather amused by his reference to Kennedy Stadium as a stadium "shipped in from ancient Rome and donated to the city by William Penn." Kennedy Stadium is one of Philadelphia's great legacies from the U.S. Sesquicentennial of 1926. Of course, Putnam's reference was one more futile attempt to be clever, but we of Philadelphia need only look at "Flushed Meadows" to see the legacies left from New York's most recent attempt to provide something of lasting value.
I am not a native Philadelphia. If I were I would find Putnam's article deplorable. As a transplanted Midwesterner well-acquainted with New York's vain efforts to be the center of all sophisticated humor, I find his weak attempt laughable.
JIM M. MILLIGAN
I thank you and congratulate Pat Putnam on the heartwarming article. His third paragraph sums up the whole value of service academy athletics.
COLONEL RED REEDER
Upon hearing of President Nixon's decision to award Texas or Arkansas a plaque representing national collegiate football supremacy, I became convinced that the country will any time now be caught in the clutches of subjective reporting. It appears that the Administration's scathing attack on the fourth estate has overlooked the field of sport, where an effete corps of impudent sportswriters has kept Penn State neatly tucked away.
What is to become of our nation if even such vehement and colorful figures as Vice-President Agnew fail to recognize how a small minority of snobbish reporters can influence the whole nation and convince even Ohio State, perhaps, that the game on Dec. 6 was indeed the game of the year. Are the sportsmen of America to be molded to believe that Penn State's schedule is any easier than those of Arkansas and Texas? Is America to ignore the fact that, despite the pomp surrounding the "big game," one of the two major polls puts the Nittany Lions in front of the Hogs? Can America think for itself?
Despite Penn State's decision to go to the Orange Bowl, I feel certain that justice will emerge triumphant. I can foresee the silent majority, that dubious entity, led by Joe Paterno and Notre Dame on New Year's Day destroying all subversive thoughts, along with Missouri and Texas, and victoriously beginning a new decade of sport that will prove helpful to the continuation of the glorious American Way of Life. Penn State—last year and this year—No. 1!
Every year millions of dollars are fed into that cancer of American society, the Mafia, Syndicate, or whatever you want to call it, through betting on college and pro football games. What does SI do about this? We get a glorified story of how " Chad" made $2,970 after paying the vigorish (You Can't Top a Good Loser, Dec. 8). Even Mark Mulvoy won his bet. Gee, what sport.
Mark Mulvoy's article on winners being losers was one of the best I have ever read in SI. But let's not forget that a team is out to win, not lose.
Howard Beach, N.Y.
The Nov. 24 issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED carried a story, The Brooklyn Delicatessen Caper, by one Edwin Shrake. Just who is Edwin Shrake? We already know that he carries the title of associate editor, but this does not really tell us anything about him as an individual; therefore, we must look to the article itself to determine the nature of the being who penned it.