THE ESPOSITO SONS
A hearty huzzah for the interesting and illuminating article by Jack Olsen on the Esposito brothers and their devoted parents (Oh, Brother! A Pair To Watch, March 29). Being a father myself, I can well understand and duly sympathize with the mixed emotions and loyalties expressed by the Esposito elders. However, with all due respect and admiration for Tony, the goalie supreme, I have concluded that No. 1 son Phil will lead the Boston Bruins in a successful defense of the Stanley Cup against No. 2 son Tony and his Chicago Black Hawks.
WILLIAM F. O'BRIEN
Jack Olsen not only captured the unusual relationship between two brothers, but he also showed the incredibly loose attitude of the Boston Bruins. It is a rare thing when a man like Phil Esposito can accomplish so much on the ice and still find time enough to enjoy life away from it. The Bruins prove that a team can be great without an all-work, no-play discipline, and that success can be fun.
The Esposito brothers are beautiful, and so was your article on these two great NHL players. My hope is to see the Black Hawks go all the way this year, and with Tony they can do it. Most of the true hockey fans of the Chicago area realize that brother Phil is a tremendous player, but we love Tony Esposito. Come on Hawks and Espo—Tony that is!
Question: "How will Tony stop Phil if the two finest teams in hockey collide again in the Stanley Cup?" Answer: the New York Rangers with Ed Giacomin and Co. will capture the cup this season.
ROBERT V. JOHNSON
April 12, 1971
In your LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER (March 29), you mention a few of the brother combinations in various sports. However, the National Hockey League must hold the record. There are 15 brother acts now playing in the NHL: Phil and Tony Esposito, Frank and Pete Mahovlich, Dave and Ken Dryden, Mickey and Dick Redmond, Chico and Wayne Maki, Danny and Kevin O'Shea, Jim and Fred Stanfield, Cliff and Bob Schmautz, Bobby and Dennis Hull, Bill and Keith McCreary, Dennis and Bryan Hextall, Ernie and Bill Hicke, Larry and Wayne Hillman, Ron and Dan Schock and last, but not least, Barclay, Bob and Bill Plager.
ROBERT L. STETSON
HOME OF THE PERRY BOYS
I would like to congratulate Roy Blount for his article on baseball's Perry brothers (Return of the Natives, March 29). He captured the kind of homelife during boyhood that is needed to make winners—in baseball and in life as well.
Jim and Gaylord Perry are credits to the game, not only because of their achievements on the field but also because of their achievements in the business world.
It was the finest article I have ever read in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
JAMES M. FROEMMING
Martin County, N.C. may not have produced many professional athletes, but it certainly has produced two good ones in Jim and Gaylord Perry of Williamston (pop. 7,000). Martin County now seems sure to be a well-known place for travelers to pass through or to stop for a rest at the Holiday Inn. As for the Griffin's Quick Lunch, I practically grew up on the delicious food served there (at 16, I am now 6'3" and weigh 175 pounds).
After reading your article on the Perry brothers, I was very disappointed that you did not mention George Griffin. This man probably did more for the Perry boys than anyone, with the exception of their parents. He carried them to basketball and baseball games during their high school days, he gave them employment during the summer and he advised them. He was also responsible for the excellent barbecue and Brunswick stew banquet.
BOSTON U.'S TEA PARTY
Mark Mulvoy's article on the NCAA hockey tournament (America First, B.U. Foremost, March 29) is more than I can bear. Admittedly, Boston University has a very fine hockey team with some great talent, particularly defenseman Bob Brown; but to say that B.U. won the tournament "easily" is ridiculous. Led by their brilliant center, Mike Antonovich, the Minnesota Gophers outshot, outskated and outsocked B.U. for most of the championship game. Only some fine goaltending by B.U.'s Dan Brady, two unfortunate injuries and some questionable officiating kept the Gophers from defeating "impossible to beat" Boston U.
New Brighton, Minn.
Mark Mulvoy writes as though the Boston University hockey team was in a class by itself and that it was only natural that it left Syracuse, N.Y. with the NCAA championship. Still the facts remain: Cornell beat B.U. badly during the regular season and almost beat the Terriers in the ECACs while playing shorthanded most of the way. And wouldn't it appear that Clarkson should have gone to the championship along with Harvard? After all, they emerged as the two best squads of the ECAC tournament.
Come out of your Boston shell. Mr. Mulvoy. There are better hockey teams elsewhere.
CHRIS B. WALLACE
Thank you for the article on collegiate hockey. It is an upcoming sport which deserves SI's attention.
However, I cannot see the justification for the NCAA selection committee's optional decision to send B.U. to the championships in the place of Clarkson. Clarkson earned its way to the tournament by playing the game where it counts—on the ice, not at the committee table. Should Marquette, with its unbeaten season, have been selected to oppose UCLA in the NCAA basketball championships even though Villa-nova had won the privilege on the court?
Clarkson's history of fine seasons and fine players as well as its previous tournament victories are proof of its power in ECAC hockey. The Green Machine will be back!
RICHARD B. GRANSTRAND
Fort Bragg, N.C.
Congratulations to Mark Mulvoy for his fine portrayal of the B.U. hockey team. The article showed what a fine coach Jack Kelley is and served as a climax to an already exciting season. We at B.U. are proud to have an NCAA championship, especially in a sport like hockey which is gaining more and more popularity. Since Boston is becoming the hockey capital of America, how appropriate that its finest college team should be the national champion.
In dictionaries of future years the definition of "basketball expert" will have to be changed to read: "Anyone who can remember the last time UCLA's cagers lost an NCAA tournament game" (A Close One At Last, April 5).
Culver City, Calif.
An ode to UCLA:
What a way for the champs to play; Stall ball for nearly half the game. While Howard and Hank enhanced their
To salvage pride from the victor's shame.
HAROLD I. GULLAN
To those who have been saying that Sidney Wicks is the single best college basketball player in the country, the facts now speak differently. Granted Wicks is a great player, but matched against a man whose size and agility equaled his own, he was badly outplayed. Howard Porter not only held Wicks to seven points, but he scored 3½ times that many points against this man who is also considered to be the supreme defender. In rebounds the two were about equal.
In any sport a man should be judged not on how he plays against the average opposition, but on how he performs against the best. The best came together in Houston, and Howard Porter won going away. Hats off to Howard Porter and to the entire Villanova team: they were beaten by a great coach, not a better team.
TED S. GROFF
Cape Coral, Fla.
I am the individual who called Gus Greebe, the TV announcer in Wichita, and told him to forget UCLA because Kansas had the best team (Just Forget UCLA, the Man Said, March 29). Now that the NCAA final is over, I feel I should be allowed to speak again. UCLA could have been beaten, but it refused to lose. Previous UCLA teams were untouchable! This team is tops because it won.
As for Kansas, let's not take anything away from the Jayhawks' efforts. Next time our boys won't be beaten.
Kansas City, Mo.
No one can forget those Bruins. As a native of Seattle and a Washington Huskie rooter who has had those people up to here, I would like to commend Curry Kirkpatrick for his statement that "The Pacific Eight Conference is the strongest college league in the land." Hooray! Finally we got the recognition we deserve.
ROBERT B. WISEMAN
Garden City, Minn.
Question: What do such postseason tournament teams as Fordham, Western Kentucky, Duquesne, St. John's, Providence, St. Bonaventure, South Carolina and Ohio State have in common? Answer: Each was defeated by one of Philadelphia's Big Five.
Which leads me to a trickier question: Whence the contention that the Pacific Eight is the nation's strongest league? I contend that in no other league are more highly ranked teams played, and defeated, than in the Big Five.
Three cheers for Frank Deford. His comments in praise of Chick Hearn, the voice of the Los Angeles Lakers (TV TALK, March 29), were long overdue. It's too bad the rest of the country can't hear Chick, too. I'm sure others would be as entranced as we are. There was only one flaw in the article; Mr. Deford underrated the Laker color man, Lynn Shackelford. Lynn can hold his own against anyone, even Chick. Unlike other announcers who just drone off box scores, he is very amiable, witty and intelligent. He has done a magnificent job.
I have, on occasion, listened to Los Angeles Laker Broadcaster Chick Hearn's play-by-play work, and he does a fine job indeed. But to Milwaukee Buck listeners, Eddie Doucette is as much a part of the game as an Alcindor stuff shot.
Eau Claire, Wis.
When it comes to coining basketball phrases, Chick Hearn could not carry Boston Celtic Voice Johnny Most's microphone jack—and Johnny's an old pro!
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