Your March 22 SCORECARD remarks about the poor being priced out of viewing the Frazier-Clay fight were callous, to say the least. It was not only the poor who were barred. I don't consider myself poor, but millions of the elderly as well as the nonunion workers are priced out of many sports events unless they are on network television. I have been a rabid sports fan all of my life, but today, due to the get-rich-quick greed of the stars in the entertainment and professional sports world, I can no longer a afford the prices.
So far as the fight was concerned, all that millions of us hoped to do was to read about it. Even with today's complete disregard for values, can you honestly maintain that those two men were worth $5 million? What will the rematch bring, twice that amount?
This era is unique. We are sports fans and never before have we been barred quite so ruthlessly.
WILLIAM A. FAIRTY
Right on (as they say) with your March 22 editorial. You've got into the mainstream of American thought. "Familiar and boring" are the right terms for the Times' arguments and you might also add "shrill," like a petulant old woman.
Stay in there. You are well aware that sport seems to be the only place where excellence is rewarded and where exceptional doesn't mean retarded.
JAMES E. GATES, PH.D.
College of Business Administration
University of Georgia
NO HOME ON THE RANGE (CONT.)
In regard to Part 2 of your series The Poisoning of the West (March 8 et seq.), I doubt very much if the author has ever had the experiences of caring for a flock of sheep during lambing when it is 30° below, nursing every lamb to health and tending each one until it is big enough to be turned out onto green grass only to have some mangy coyote come through and kill 20 at one time just for the fun of it. Personally, I would rather have a few grouse, chickens and pheasants running around instead of coyotes, foxes and raccoons.
It might not be a bad idea for you to get the sheepman's view; after all, most are not as terrible as your article suggests.
MRS. JOE MORSE
Jack Olsen wrote some real fine articles, but I feel he should have cut out a few extraneous comments. For instance, in Part 3 Olsen quoted some conservationists who exaggerated the number of coyotes being killed by poison by about as much as some of the sheepmen exaggerated the number of their flocks being killed by coyotes. The statement by trapper John W. Crook that the coyotes in southern Colorado had been whipped by poison in the 1940s was about as farfetched as it could be.
I live in southern Colorado and the days are few and far between that we can't step out the door at some time during the night or early morning and hear coyotes howling. We can always find fresh tracks and signs in the brush and foothills. On the contrary, coyotes obviously are gaining in numbers here.
In general I agree with Olsen. We make the main part of our living from sheep, and as long as the rabbits are left alone the coyotes bother us very little! When they do, it is usually only a certain one that will keep coming back. Coyotes did not infest the country before Government trapping began. Why should they suddenly overrun it now? It would be to the nation's shame if coyotes were brought to extinction!
My home is in the Berkeley hills. We are overrun by hundreds of deer. They ruin our gardens. We could use coyotes, mountain lions and bobcats to help balance the population.
LEROY D. SMITH
Jack Olsen's superb exposure of the Federal Government's disastrous predator control program is another example of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S continuing efforts on behalf of wildlife.
More and more we of the Sierra Club are seeing signs of increasing citizen and legislative awareness. Endangered-species bills have been introduced in several states. New York has enacted two of the best. California is considering protection for the mountain lion, and New Mexico has taken the first steps. New Jersey has held hearings on endangered-species legislation and will remove the bobcat and black bear from the hunting list if proposed regulations are accepted. And in Washington bills have been introduced to protect hawks and owls, wild horses, tule elk, predators and rare species and to control hunting from aircraft. More than 50 such bills are now in various committees.
Each of these steps forward is a major battle. Each advance is over the opposition of some concerned group such as sheepmen, cattlemen, farmers and, frequently, hunters. Fortunately, these same groups also contain many enlightened individuals.
About three years ago the Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club established a special committee on endangered species and wildlife. Our committee, representing a new area of emphasis within the club, has triggered similar committees in chapters around the country and last month a national endangered-species committee was authorized by the Sierra Club's board of directors. Our most important weapon is public education. We look to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED to continue to be a leader in this effort.
ROBERT C. HUGHES
I wish to applaud SI and Jack Olsen. I hope we will realize, before it is too late, that ignorance, selfishness and greed have put us on a collision course with disaster.
ROLAND B. CARLSON
Long Lake, Minn.
Jack Olsen's last sentence holds the key: "We animals of the earth are a single family, and the death of one only hurries the others toward the final patch of darkness."
Thank you so much for William Leggett's fine article featuring Wes Parker and the 1971 Dodgers (In Greek It's Los Angeles, March 22). All L.A. fans see the great talent and potential of a sure pennant winner. Around here it's called Dodger Fever.
North Hollywood, Calif.
The Dodgers have about as much chance as a man in a footrace with a Ferrari. You gotta pick the Big Red Machine!
John Underwood must be congratulated on his article (They're Ho-Hummers No More, March 15). Whether Denny McLain and Curt Flood will help the Washington Senators this season remains to be seen, but their presence will be felt at the gate. And if the team does make a good showing, most likely it will be because of these two "bad boys" whom Mr. Short, who must also be congratulated, cleverly obtained.
Mr. Short may think the Senators need "characters" to draw fans, but the fact is that the area around the stadium is one of the real reasons for declining attendance. Who wants to be mugged in order to see a ball game. You can do that at home. Also, I am sure that, given the choice, a fan would rather watch the Baltimore Orioles instead of the Senators, considering the distance between the two clubs and the levels of their talents.
RICHARD D. LEWIS
Huntington Park, Calif.
Thanks for the article on the Eastern Basketball Association (Toughing It Out Around the Purgatory League, March 15). It reminded me of the time when the Patriots were around town. Scores often wound up as high as 160-140. There was also an abundance of fisticuffs, technical fouls, etc. Obviously, the league has come a long way since those days. Hats off for a wonderful feature that showed what the game of basketball is all about.
Don Delliquanti's story on fencing at New York University ("But What Else Do You Do?" March 8) would be duly appreciated by anyone who has been part of Hugo Castello's tenure as coach of the Violet parriers. To me, as a former sports publicity director for the university and one intimately familiar with the trials and tribulations of a maestro in a sport that rarely reaches the newspapers, it seems even more fitting.
Some readers may cringe at Castello's projection of New York Knick Center Willis Reed as a world-championship class épée fencer, but he was not just making words. In the fall of 1965 Hugo spotted a gangling 6'4" sophomore hustling through the classroom halls at NYU's Washington Square campus, took off in hot pursuit and asked the boy if he were an athlete. Startled, the boy replied, "If you call JV tennis and soccer in high school athletics, yes." Castello sold him on a few fencing lessons, and 18 months later George Masin won the NCAA title in épée.
Unfortunately, fencing has too long carried the stigma of a silly sport. Quite the contrary, fencing demands as much physical and emotional preparation as most major sports. Castello brings out the best of both in his pupils.
JOHN F. GEIS
New York City
PROSPECTS ON ICE
We in St. Catharines, Ontario and, I would imagine, many others in cities with Ontario Hockey Association Junior A teams, take issue with the statement by Mark Mulvoy (To Pick a Golden Flower, March 1) that Guy Lafleur is the outstanding junior player in Canada and virtually the automatic first draft choice by National Hockey League teams next June.
As the story indicates, Lafleur plays in a much weaker league than the OHA Junior A and, while we don't dispute that he is a fine player, we feel that the record of Marcel Dionne during his three years with the St. Catharines Black Hawks is more impressive.
In his first season with St. Catharines (1968-69) Dionne, despite missing the opening five games because of problems in obtaining his transfer from Drummondville, Quebec, finished second in points scored to Rejean Houle of the Montreal Junior Canadiens by only eight points—108 to 100—and was the first rookie in the more than 40 years of OHA Junior A hockey to reach the 100-point mark.
Last season Dionne led the OHA Junior A League in every scoring department—goals (55), assists (77) and points (132). He finished 11 points above Gil Perreault of the Junior Canadiens, who was the first draft choice by Buffalo and who now appears to be headed toward Rookie of the Year honors in the NHL.
This year Dionne missed six weeks and 14 games of the schedule because of a broken collarbone, but nevertheless has an excellent chance of becoming the first player to win the points championship in two successive seasons. He has already scored more career points than any other player in the history of OHA Junior A hockey.
The St. Catharines Standard
St. Catharines, Ontario
I really liked the article by Mark Mulvoy. But I must disagree with the suggestion that Guy Lafleur could be another Bobby Orr. Impossible!
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