Your article Who Are the Hub Men? (July 13) like many others expresses the opinion that Boston fans shun the Celtics and Patriots. Granted, neither of these two teams draws crowds equal to the Bruins' and Red Sox'. It should be pointed out, however, that the Celtics' average crowd and total seasonal attendance ranked in the top five of the NBA. Also, the Patriots have stirred up considerable emotion in the football fans of New England now that they have a place to play; they are a promising young ball club and it no longer holds true that the New York Giants dominate the football scene in our area.
The article was terrific but I had to disagree on those two points. It should also be pointed out that the Hub Men fall under two categories: the fan and the politician.
Frank Deford implies that professional basketball in Boston, namely the Celtics, is on the verge of leaving Boston because of hockey, the Bruins and a rumored minor league team. It seems to me that the true-blue Boston fans are forgetting some very important details: 1) the Bruins have won one title in 29 years, the Celts have won 11 in 13 and they've been in the playoffs 12 of those years; 2) It was the Celtics that focused national attention on Boston starting way back in 1957. The Bruins were strictly a fifth- and sixth-place team from 1960-67. It's true that the Bruins are on the way up while the Celtics are rebuilding, but how can a city put a losing football team and a minor league hockey team ahead of a team that has dominated its sport for a decade?
I sincerely hope this letter helps fans see the light.
Perhaps we Bostonians have not cared to alter our existing arenas and realign our athletic teams because we do not look upon them as merely detached business franchises. Rather we accept them and desire them to be an integral part of the Hub's own distinct culture and society and we love them as they are. This is why we feel justified in criticizing our teams as well as praising them, for they are as much a part of Boston as the city council. We of Boston have long known that there is something special about our town and its teams, and I for one thank SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for paying tribute to this uniqueness in such a superb article.
CHARLES F. KANE JR.
Mr. Deford suggests that the Hub Men are setting a precedent by not building a new stadium. Actually, the people of Denver have already set this precedent. The Hub Men should follow Denver's example and should, if practicable, renovate what they have, be it Fenway Park or Harvard Stadium.
You say that in the Battle of Bunker Hill (all right, Breed's Hill) the Americans were routed by the British, which is not completely true. Despite the fact that the Americans had to abandon their position atop the hill, the British suffered casualties almost 2½ times those of the Americans, 1,054 to 449. This, contrary to Frank Deford's thinking, is not a rout of the Americans.
Concerning the lobster race won by Falcon (FACES IN THE CROWD, July 13): if the other contestants had been informed of the consequences of losing, the race might have had a different outcome.
I protest! I protest the method of rewarding the winner of the International Lobster Racing Championship. Eating all the losers will soon result in a new breed of speedy lobsters. And I can scarcely afford a decent lobster dinner as things are now. Do we never learn?
R. D. LOTTO
My pet turtle Fred seemed to be rather upset about the whole thing.
Reading A Home on the Range (July 6), which was about Airstream Caravan No. 71, I remarked to my 11-year-old daughter: "Well, I'll clip this and send it to Grandpa"—who was with Airstream Caravan No. 74, somewhere in Saskatoon. Finishing the article, I had second thoughts. Grandpa might not enjoy reading it at all!
So Caravaners wear blue berets and "tend to huddle" in their "way of life." So what? So they like to relax on the road on over-organized Middle American comfortable cushions in identical "glistening aluminum-skinned vehicles." So what? So these "over-60s" have earned "all the fun and none of the responsibility" of grandparents everywhere—in this case, all the fun (and none of the trials) of travel.
Give me the silver hairs in the silver trailers any day.
ELINOR H. THORKILDSEN
Old Saybrook, Conn.
Walter Bingham's excellent article on the Bermuda Bowl (No One Could Trump the Aces, July 6) leaves one thing out. He says that the opposition was not the greatest and he is correct in that statement. But he does not point out—and really could not—that the North American team played the best 512 hands of bridge ever played. It wasn't perfect. Perfect bridge is impossible to achieve, but in my 40 years of playing and watching I have never seen a performance to equal theirs. They may never play this well again, but for that one period they would have beaten any team that ever played bridge and beaten them decisively.
Over the past years there has been a thought or two as to why pitchers have been allowed to stand immune to reprimand or punishment for throwing beanballs. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn and Superscout Frank Lane (SCORECARD, July 6) have agreed on some solutions to some of these problems.
My suggestion is to make the pitcher-batter-relationship more of a duel. If the pitcher is permitted to throw "at" the batter, then give the batter an equal opportunity under the equal opportunity and fair practices act to throw at the pitcher.
It is very hard to believe that the staff at SI, some members of which are graduates of the University of North Carolina, could approve of the first SCORECARD item in the July 6 issue concerning the decision of young Tom McMillen to attend that school.
You suggest that the University of North Carolina uses a system of college recruiting geared to obtain a basketball player instead of the student or person. Tom McMillen is an 18-year-old student who plans to become a doctor. He—not his parents—should be the one responsible for making a decision concerning his college education. Undergraduate as well as graduate schools in the field of medicine at North Carolina have always been highly regarded on a national level, at least until the recent article by SI. Also, a statement that Tom McMillen decided to attend North Carolina just to play basketball and without regard to its scholastic program underestimates the intelligence of a person who was the valedictorian of his high school class.
HUNTER H. GALLOWAY III
Chapel Hill, N.C.
One thing you failed to mention in your article about the heavy-hitting Reds (The Cincy Cannonball, July 13) was that baseball was meant to be played on grass, not on some synthetic. The fact is that like all other teams with AstroTurf, the Reds will also begin to lose. Not one team with AstroTurf is above .500 (Houston 39-53, St. Louis 41-49, San Francisco 43-46, Chicago White Sox 32-62, the last with just a synthetic infield). And Cincinnati recently lost two games in a row to the Padres, the worst team in the National League. While AstroTurf may be of use in preventing football injuries, it makes the game of baseball less exciting. Give mean un-symmetrical park with grass: Crosley Field, Connie Mack Stadium or Wrigley Field. That is where baseball is played. The Reds will find that out.
P. STUART REICHERTZ
I am taking violent exception to a sentence in the July 13 issue: "...instead of that marching-band-at-halftime nonsense, ABC will run film-clip highlights of all the pro football games played the day before."
Perhaps Mr. Creamer does not realize it, but his "nonsense" is an integral part of team support. An awful lot of young people literally work themselves to the point of sickness to put on a good halftime show. Some of the precision marching shows done now are so complex as to be art forms in their own right. And in no other country in the world are marching routines as sophisticated as those in America.
J. RANDOLPH CALL
Address editorial mail to TIMF & LIFE Bldg., Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.