SOCCERED TO 'EM
Four soccer articles in one year! Soccer on the cover and three color photos inside (Big D Reduced to Atoms, Sept. 3)! Keep up the good work and maybe the rest of the news media will get the hint. There is only one thing SI has failed to mention: the U.S. national team's recent, incredible 1-0 victory over Poland.
D. W. FLINT
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Finally, a championship team in Philadelphia. It boggles the mind. We are very proud of our Atoms, a great bunch of guys dedicated to their sport and to each other.
Sportsman of the Year? Why not Al Miller? Considering the success he brought to Hartwick College and the fact that his Philadelphia team, which in February of this year had no name, no colors and not all of its players, now has several NASL records, an NASL championship and its Coach of the Year, I can think of no one else who has done so much or come so far in such a short time.
JOAN E. YARTER
I am glad the Dallas Tornado did not win the NASL championship. If it had, Kyle Rote Jr. would have become some kind of god American soccer fans would have to pay homage to. Instead, Philadelphia showed the true building blocks: conditioning, consistency and teamwork. The Atoms have no outstanding individual, just the best pro soccer team in North America.
Next time you publish an article on soccer to be read nationwide, I wish you would get your facts straight. You stated, "Philadelphia became the first expansion team to win a championship in its first year in any American professional sport." The Cincinnati Comets, in their first professional season in the oldest professional soccer league in the U.S. (the American Soccer League) captured the ASL title in 1972. As hard as I searched, I could not find a word about that game in your articles. Now I know how the AFL felt, and like its fans I will complain about unequal time. Only once have I seen anything about the ASL in SI, and that was when you included MVP Ringo Cantillo in FACES IN THE CROWD (NOV. 13).
The 1973 ASL championship game will be held Sept. 8 in either New York or Batimore, depending upon which team wins their semifinal game. The Cincinnati Comets, in only their second year, have already earned a ticket to the final by defeating Cleveland. How about equal time, SI?
•Alas, the Comets failed to make it two in a row. The New York Apollos, from whom they won their 1972 championship, beat them 1-0 in double overtime to regain the title.—ED.
Many thanks to Ron Reid for his Sept. 3 article on Bubba Smith (Setting 'em Up for the Kill). Being a devout Raider fan, I was cheered to read it and I can visualize myself yelling "Kill, Bubba, kill." But right now all I can see is Ray Chester, the best tight end in football, making that key third-down catch in a Baltimore uniform. Nevertheless, the Raiders will be right up there come playoff time, and maybe this year....
BILL ST. ANGELO
Valley Stream, N.Y.
Bubba Smith certainly makes the trade worthwhile for Oakland, but on the Colts' end it is hard to understand it. I question Joe Thomas' ability to control a pro team. Ray Chester is a fine tight end, but with Tom Mitchell (73 receptions in two years) the Colts already had that position well filled. Without Bubba, Baltimore's line is a unit of no-names, and Thomas' trades brought in few linemen. As a matter of fact, a lot of his trades were for draft choices.
GIFT FROM THE INDIANS
After reading your article Murder Ball in a Box (Sept. 3), we took time off from our studies at Syracuse University to journey to the Syracuse War Memorial Coliseum and see our first box lacrosse game. The action was so fast and exciting that one has to wonder why the game hasn't achieved a great deal more popularity. Thanks for introducing us to this stimulating sports experience.
STUART B. LEVINE
Thanks for the fine article on box lacrosse. I remember clearly when several of us on the Cornell squad went up to the armory in Rochester to play in what was supposed to be the first intercollegiate box lacrosse game between Cornell and Syracuse. We got a real lesson that night from the Onondaga Indians.
EDWARD SIEGEL, M.D.
Deputy Executive Vice-President
Medical Society of the State of New York
Lake Success, N.Y.
Congratulations on the exceptional article by Priit J. Vesilind. Once again SI has displayed its in-depth concern for all sporting events, this time by highlighting a genuine American game.
My three sons, ages 10, 12 and 16, have played on the Newton (N.Y.) Senecas' minor lacrosse teams, and for these boys it has been more than an opportunity to play an exciting game. It has been a chance to play a game that brings out respect both for one's own teammates and for the opposition.
BERNARD R. REHBAUM
TO THE DOGS
I wish to put in my two cents' worth regarding Ernest Havemann's comments about dog racing (Run, Rabbit, Run, Aug. 27). If he wishes to lose his money in 31 seconds, that is his prerogative, of course. Me, I prefer to lose it more slowly on the horses, particularly the pacers and trotters, who usually take more than two minutes to complete a mile race.
I'll purchase a "win" ticket on SI anytime for publishing such super articles as Run, Rabbit, Run. As a greyhound follower for several years I sincerely enjoyed reading about the history of the sport, and Sonny Alderson's tips are as excellent as his dogs.
LANA K. JOHNSON
It is sometimes hard to understand—and hard to accept—SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S attitude toward the shooting sports as evidenced by the item entitled "Sportsmen" (SCORECARD, Aug. 27). You may have a certain expertise in the spectator sports—but, while you purport to serve all sports, your ignorance and lack of objectivity rear their heads on such subjects as gun controls.
The women who run the YWCA have the right to take a stand. And we sportsmen have the right to object. Do you suggest that we continue to voluntarily contribute to an organization that has lined itself up against what we believe in?
By going out of its field the YW has left itself open to valid criticism and reduced financial contributions. It is sad that other organizations will suffer along with the YW. It is equally sad that sportsmen have long suffered at the hands of liberal legislative overreaction because coddled criminals have used guns in too many crimes.
Wake up SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, you missed the bull's-eye here.
L. R. WALLACK
You have reported the situation in reverse. It is those who advocate gun-control legislation whose action is "coercive and smacks of intimidation." Withholding contributions from community funds is not coercive in the slightest.
If I own something (e.g., money) and am able to use it according to my own values (either giving it to the United Fund or not), then I am not being coerced or using coercion. But if I own something (e.g., a gun) and somebody takes it away from me by force (gun-control legislation), I am being coerced.
By refusing to distinguish economic power from political power and ascribing to the former the vices of the latter while obliterating the virtues of each, SI and the YWCA (in this instance) are helping deliver the world to collectivism.
I've just finished reading your article Hottest Guns in the South (Aug. 13). It is probably the best coverage of a shooting event I have ever read. However, as a trapshooter, I take offense at your references to my sport. The statement that trapshooting was felt to be easier than skeet really was a low blow. Also, the statement on the "more gentlemanly" skeet shooters was rather upsetting.
STEVEN J. BOSSI
San Leandro, Calif.
Jack Olsen's story on the Umpqua (Love Letter to a Restless River, Aug. 20) is highly amusing but could be extremely misleading to those who do not know the river. He says, "Fish queue up to mug your hook" and "Umpqua tradition has been to take your limit and tell no tales." What nonsense.
It is nothing like that and has not been during the 30-odd years I have fished there. As Rod Haig-Brown, Jack Hemingway or Loren Grey would tell you, an experienced steelhead fisherman would consider himself fortunate to hook one a day. I know of instances when anglers of international reputation have not landed one in a week of hard fishing.
The Umpqua is a great and beautiful river but a big producer of fish it definitely is not.
Lake Oswego, Ore.
Unfortunately, Jack Olsen's article on the North Umpqua River was ill-timed. The river is at its lowest flow in history. Fishing this year has never been so poor. Because of the low flow it is estimated fishing has been ruined for at least the next five years. Please relay this information to your readers.
For those still bent on fishing the river, however, the least Olsen could do is give directions as to how to get there: drive straight north from Portland until you see the signs to Steamboat.
Idleyld Park, Ore.
•Oregonians apparently will go to any lengths to protect their river. While most Oregon rivers, including the Umpqua, are low this year and fishing is down from recent high levels, state officials assure us that fishing on the Umpqua is far from "ruined." As for Mr. Nolte's directions, don't swallow the bait. The Umpqua lies some 180 miles south of Portland.—ED.
OUT TO PASTURE?
My comments concern Bob Ottum's article on the miniaturization, economization and dehorsepowering of Ford's great Mustang, now Mustang II (The Horse That Turned Back into a Pony, Aug. 27). I just hope Chevrolet keeps its Camaro a true sports car in every sense of the word—size, looks and performance.
Ford will quickly lose most of its reputation on the stock-car circuit, which the old Mustang has done so well on. Fuel shortage or not, high gasoline prices or not, a lot of people still like real sports cars as opposed to merely a sporty-looking car. After all, a four-cylinder or V-6 these days can only do so much.
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