OLYMPICS IN REVIEW
I have thoroughly enjoyed your written and pictorial coverage of the Olympic Games. However, I was shocked at the suggestion in SCORECARD ("Terror in Munich," Sept. 18) that abolition of future Olympic Games might be necessary to eliminate the possibility of any further catastrophes like the murder of the Israeli athletes.
If this type of thinking is the solution to the problem, then we should abolish all organized athletics throughout the world. And then what happens to the millions of people who benefit from athletics?
We all sorrow over the unfortunate events instigated by people who are undoubtedly sick. But is athletics the cause?
RALPH E. JONES
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
La Crosse, Wis.
I must strongly disagree with the idea that the Olympics should be abolished. The Olympics are the only occasion for the athletes of the world to get together to prove who is the best. Let's not have the Games stopped because of eight crazy men. Of course, I was shocked and appalled by the tragic events that took place in Munich, but what was overshadowed is the fact that the spirit of friendship still exists among the majority of participants in the Olympics. It is just that the men who do not have that spirit override the ones who do. The media give the public only the bad news and hardly ever the good news.
Rock Hill, S.C.
Due to the outstandingly comprehensive Olympic coverage by the American Broadcasting Company, we television viewers have been well educated as to what the Olympics are really all about. But while we have been exposed to many fine athletic pursuits previously unfamiliar to the casual sports fan, we have also glimpsed the darker side of a supposedly amateur sporting spectacle. After the Israeli team tragedy, the horrendous judging of the boxing, gymnastics and diving competitions, the great pole-vault controversy and the dual outcome of the championship basketball game, I for one was left wondering if perhaps the United Nations headquarters might not have been a more suitable location for the contests. It often appeared that the athletes themselves were merely pawns in the more important game of international politics.
Obviously, the events that depend upon the opinion of judges are those most open to the insidious objective of demonstrating the supremacy of one political system over another. The only solution is to have judges selected solely on the basis of competence and with the expressed goal of total repudiation of any type of political quota system.
The playing of the national anthems of the medal winners is yet another call to nationalistic irrationality. Although I must admit that seeing an American athlete standing on the victory platform and hearing The Star-Spangled Banner fill the stadium is a beautiful thing, it is clear that the practice serves only to intensify the political taint of the Games. The ceremony should be discontinued.
The stated purpose of the Olympic Games is to provide a setting that allows the world's finest athletes to compete fairly against each other in an atmosphere of friendship. I cannot see where the present organization of the Olympics promotes or even provides for the achievement of this ideal. For years we have been led to believe that perhaps the Olympic Games were the only place where men and women of all nations could compete in good will and good faith. Now the cold light of truth has shone through to the disillusionment of us all. As they now stand, the Olympic Games are a classic example of an institution that does not work. Without change, they are not worth keeping.
Monte Sereno, Calif.
My sincere congratulations to the authors of your fine pro football preview (Sept. 18). Although I disagree with many of your predictions, especially your selection of Baltimore over Miami, they were obviously made with an open mind. Also, SI should be congratulated for featuring Walt Garrison on the cover instead of one of the more publicized Dallas Cowboys.
Little Ferry, N.J.
As usual, Tex Maule has astounded rational observers with his predictions. Baltimore's defense with Bubba Smith was exceptional. Without him, it is no better than half a dozen others. So how will a 39-year-old quarterback (even Johnny U.) take the Colts over the improved Dolphins?
The most amazing guess has to be Detroit over Minnesota. Does Tex really expect people to believe that the Lions, without Charlie Sanders, can best all those Purple Bruisers, especially with Fran Tarkenton there to give defensive lines headaches? Come off it, Tex.
My heartiest congratulations to Morton Sharnik for his article on Bob Brown (Strong Impulses and a Short Fuse, Sept. 18). I am delighted to see this perennial All-Pro get the attention he so richly deserves. How could the Rams trade away The Deacon and The Boomer?
It is about time the hidden heroes of the gridiron got some publicity for their hard work and guts. The offensive line is the most physical place on the field. Here is where the play either works or fails. If it weren't for good linemen, great quarterbacks like Namath, Unitas and Gabriel, to name a few, would get nowhere.
Thank you for an exceptional article on an exceptional man. Bob Brown's uncompromising words and actions reflect a total human being exploiting his full potential in an otherwise glamourless mechanical position—offensive tackle.
Well, you've really done it (See No Evil, Hear No Evil...Ha! Sept. 4)! You have wasted six pages of your excellent magazine giving publicity to three of the most disgusting men on Boston radio: Jim McCarthy, Eddie Andelman and Mark Witkin. I was a constant listener when Sports Huddle was on WBZ and, in my estimation, more of the calls were from people asking why the Huddlers could not take an objective viewpoint on any one sport like other Boston sportscasters, than from people asking questions about sports events. Take that, Jim, Ed and Mark!
At first they were amusing, but now they get their kicks from being insulting and obnoxious. Many of us remember the good years Yaz gave us and the enjoyment the New York Giants gave us when New England didn't have a football team. Plenty of us still root for the Giants, who gave the Patriots a good pasting Aug. 27, even if it was only an exhibition game. So I say, come on, Bruin, Red Sox and Giant fans, let's get Sports Huddle off the air.
Well done, SI. I'm glad to see these talented Huddlers given due credit. I have learned to appreciate and respect their viewpoint on sports, but more importantly I have learned to use their comic approach to help keep sport in its proper perspective. I can now watch a football game and know that at its conclusion my furniture will still be intact. My mother thanks you, Eddie, Jim and Mark.
Long Beach, N.Y.
I thank Herman Weiskopf for his fine article about the latest exploits of the Sports Huddlers. In a city where it seems that most sportscasters (with the notable exceptions of John Kennelly and Charlie Eckman) are devoid of all opinions, Sunday night on WBZ was a time to hear sports broadcast the way they should be, without the morbid seriousness that marks most other sports reports. The Huddle changed my outlook and assisted me in forming my own opinions on sports issues. Unfortunately, the program is not heard here in Baltimore anymore, but perhaps it will serve as an example to change the style of sports reporting in America. When this change comes, it can only be for the better.
Thank goodness for Sports Huddle, the only enlightened sports attitude in this town. As for Bruin President Weston Adams' comment about the show's appeal, he should check into the "lunatic fringe" appeal of his own street fighters and so-called sportsmen.
Bravo on a great story about the finest representatives we of the lunatic fringe have ever known.
JOSHUA K. GARRY
Kansas City, Mo.
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