MESSAGES FROM THE PRESIDENT
In an article in the Feb. 21 issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED called The Go-Go Girls of Sapporo you reported that Anne Henning and Dianne Holum received congratulatory wires from President Nixon which baffled the two recipients. The article implied that the two wires were poorly researched and haphazardly conceived.
The State Department has checked the texts of these two transmissions, and I have been assured that the two wires were sent from the United States Consul in Sapporo to the Olympic Village identical in language to the way they left the White House.
Knowing your desire to provide your readers with accurate material, I have enclosed copies of the two messages the President sent to Anne Henning and Dianne Holum which I hope will find their way into a future issue and correct the previous error.
HERBERT G. KLEIN
Director of Communications for the Executive Branch
The White House
MISS DIANNE HOLUM
U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM
C/O AMERICAN EMBASSY
April 10, 1972
HEARTIEST CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR SPLENDID VICTORY. ALL AMERICANS SHARE MY PRIDE IN YOUR WINNING PERFORMANCE. GOOD LUCK TO YOU AND ANNE HENNING IN THE 1,000 METER EVENT.
MISS ANNE HENNING
U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM
C/O AMERICAN EMBASSY
CONGRATULATIONS ARE DOUBLY EARNED FOR YOUR RECORD BREAKING GOLD MEDAL TRIUMPH IN THE 500 METER EVENT AS I UNDERSTAND YOU WON IT TWICE. AMERICANS EVERYWHERE JOIN ME IN WISHING YOU AND YOUR OLYMPIC TEAMMATES CONTINUED GOOD LUCK.
•Mr. Klein is partially misinformed. Two incorrect or garbled messages were received by Misses Henning and Holum, as we reported in our issue of Feb. 21. Subsequently, two corrected messages (above) were received by the athletes in question.—ED.
Ron Reid's article Vida Blue Stars in the Great Bathroom Farce (March 27) clearly illustrates the situation confronting major league club owners today. Here is a second-year man (Vida Blue) asking for a ridiculous $92,500 salary (part of which will go to his attorney, Robert J. Gerst) and threatening to quit the game for good if his demands are not met. This type of action is an injustice to the club owners, the fans and the game itself. The current trend of today's players demanding astronomical salaries can only end up one way, in disaster!
Who is going to pay the price? The fans, of course! But if the current rise in salaries continues, the average fan will not be able to afford to take his family to a ball game. When most workers are asked to hold the salary line to a 5.5% increase, one wonders how today's ballplayers get away with this type of economic neologism.
President Nixon, where are you?
I think Blue is clearly wrong to want $92,500. After all, one season of play, even though a fine one, does not establish a ballplayer as the superstar Blue thinks he is. I believe Charlie Finley's $50,000 offer is very generous. Wait and see what Blue does in 1972. If he has another season like 1971, then pay him the money he wants.
Falls Church, Va.
If Denny McLain is getting a $75,000 salary, then Blue should get at least $75,000. After all, as Finley said, it is the fans who pay the players' salaries, and Vida Blue drew 1/12th of the AL attendance last year.
After his spectacular 1946 season, Bob Feller had some bonus clauses written into his contract. If you add similar bonuses to Vida Blue's contract for his performance of last year, you get this result: Give Vida the $50,000 that Charles Finley wants to give him plus $25,000 for the 500,000 additional people he brought into the park (this is based on 5¢ for each person, which is close to what Feller received). Add $17,000 more for Blue"s great season ($1,500 each for eight of his nine victories past his 15th and $5,000 for his 20th). Total this and you get a sum of $92,000, about what Blue wants and not much more than Feller received. I think Vida should get what he wants.
FOOT IN THE DOOR
All the Best (March 27) is, I hope, the first of many excellent articles on the game of soccer (or, more appropriately, football). It is certainly time for America to focus her eyes on this game of skill. I have known very few World Cup championships to be boring. But it seems that our worshipped Super Bowls are more fiascoes than contests between two well-matched teams.
The beautiful thing about soccer is that you do not have to be 6'4" and weigh 250 pounds. Why we call our shoulder-pad game football is beyond me. It should be called Hugby. It is a shame that soccer is ignored as much as it is in America.
DAVID L. OLSON
Please accept sincere thanks for the article about Manchester United's George Best. Your coverage of events over here, be it international rugby or the Football Association Cup final, is most appreciated. In the words of Britain's Joe Namath: United we stand.
I was glad to see you giving sympathetic attention to the great game of soccer, even if the LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER does call it "amorphous." Do you have to half-kill, maim or injure people in order to produce an exhilarating, character-building and morale-boosting game?
Chief Representative in France
The (Toronto) Telegram
When the day comes that we have every stadium in the land bursting at the seams with soccer fans, we should have inscribed in marble, in a place of honor, the final words of your LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER. The comment, "We may one day ask not what others saw in the game but why it took us so long to see it ourselves," has the unmistakable ring of a historic statement.
Vice-president and General Manager
New York Cosmos
New York City
Your LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER was nice but off base. We cannot build heroes when they are ignored. For example, the Rochester Lancers just completed play in a world club tournament in Guatemala City, where they became the first U.S. pro soccer team to make the final round of six. But who did you tell about this?
Charlie Mitchell of the Lancers is as much a hero in our household as Mickey Mantle or Joe Namath. Maybe if you people came to Rochester (where 3,000 to 5,000 boys also play soccer), you wouldn't have to run up the expense account to go to England.
MAKE ROOM FOR HOCKEY
Thanks to Mark Mulvoy for the article on the NCAA finals (Puckish End to a Drab Affair, March 27). It is about time collegiate hockey got some of the publicity it so richly deserves. However, I feel that the article could have expressed more excitement. It is well known among B.U. fans that we have had a great deal of difficulty with Cornell in the past few years, and this game was packed with emotion. Tim Regan's play in goal was indeed out of a storybook, and how appropriate it was that Jack Kelley's last B.U. victory should be for the national championship, though certainly it was a team effort.
We at B.U. are proud to have an NCAA champion in a sport that is growing rapidly throughout the country and will soon match basketball for national recognition.
RICHARD W. DAIDONE
Congratulations to Virginia Kraft! To a hunter tired of being stereotyped as a beadyeyed hunchback laughing a demoniac laugh while blasting Bambi and Thumper with a .458 Magnum, her article on Ian Player (A Player in the Game of Life, March 27) was a shining light indeed.
By showing the part played by the sports hunter in setting up African preserves and fighting to protect the rhino, the author gives credit where some is due. Hunters have led the way in U.S. and African conservation crusades. As a group, we do more than any other segment in society. And as Player acknowledges, commercialized hunting farms may be the best way to save African big game and the wilderness necessary for its survival.
Loup City, Neb.
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