The reasons for anyone in his right mind killing a giraffe, a polar bear, a leopard, a seal, a tiger or any of the trophy animals escapes me (Sayonara Bambi, Feb. 18). These poor sportsmen certainly have strange values; too bad they can't direct those enormous sums of money to an activity that is truly worthwhile.
BECKY CRAWFORD ANDERSON
I resent these people killing off the wildlife that belongs collectively to me and all the other people in the world. When will this elite, or "upper class" as you call them, realize that the wild areas of the world are not its private domain.
People like Mr. Klein justify their killing with such Pentagon double-talk as "studying populations" and "controlling environments." Has Mr. Klein or any other hunter studied the population of the snow leopard lately, not one but two of which adorn the mausoleum that he calls a "trophy room"? Thank you, Mr. Jersig, for wanting "to preserve the past" for us, but I'd prefer to preserve a few living specimens for the present, and maybe even the future. (Hunters I'd be happy to relegate to the past, properly mounted and provided with glass eyes.)
I mourn for all the dead animals in the words and pictures of J.D. Reed's article, and I feel contempt for the persons responsible for driving many of them to the brink of extinction.
JOHN L. LANGE
March 3, 1974
It is really a crying shame that so many people do not understand and are against this fine sport. Consider the sportsman who shells out $3,000 to $15,000 on a safari to bag that dream giant argali ram, that grandfather bongo or kudu. The money paid goes to help conservation of wildlife in that nation or state.
I get sick and tired of the prejudiced anti-hunting campaigns that try to demean and destroy this regal sport by acting out of sheer emotion. Master trophy hunters such as Elgin Gates, Herb Klein, Seattle's Klineburgers, Jay Mellon, C.J. McElroy and Prince Abdorreza Pahlavi of Iran, not to mention the millions of hunters throughout the world, will keep the sport alive. Whether you're after that 100-pound tusker or on your first big-game hunt, you can be glad to be involved in that grandest of sports—trophy hunting.
Anyone who says hunting is easy is crazy. Have you ever tried to hold a gun steady in the thin air while hunting sheep, or to keep going in the blazing humid heat of the jungle after bongo? You have to be in fantastic condition. Trophy hunters are true athletes.
ED ORMSBY JR.
The following is taken from an article in SI, Feb. 7, 1972 (It's Just Like Old Times) by Peter Carry: "...it is unclear how much of the Celtics' eminence is due to their own prowess and how much to the incapacitation of Knick Center Willis Reed." This year (The Sledding Was Tough, Feb. 18) Peter Carry suggests the Celtic success in the playoffs will be directly related to the physical status of Reed, again recovering from an injury. It seems that Carry is too preoccupied with Willis Reed's knees to notice what a truly fine team the Celtics are and have been. Last year the Celtics won 68 games in capturing their second Atlantic Division title in as many years and are on their way to a third title this year. They have clearly established themselves as an NBA power, and would have done so even if Reed had played every minute of all 82 games for the last three years. As for this year's playoffs, Carry states that without Reed New York's hopes of defeating Boston are nil. I feel that New York's hopes with a healthy Reed are also nil.
Peter Carry stated that Boston's 68-14 record of last year is the second best in NBA history. This is not true. Philadelphia's 1966-67 team posted a record of 68-13. Both teams are behind the Lakers' 69-13 record set in 1971-72.
It is true: anytime you play Chicago, New York and Milwaukee (twice), it's going to be rough. Note, however, that between Feb. 6 and 17 the Milwaukee Bucks played Boston twice, Chicago twice, New York, Detroit and Capital. That's seven games in a row against playoff-bound teams. No other team in the league, not even Boston, has had to match that.
Do you realize that Mike Riordan made your cover twice in 15 months (Nov. 13, 1972 and Feb. 18, 1974)? In both cases the Bullets were playing Boston and some guy wearing No. 17 for the Celtics got into the act Now your readers think that he is the one your photographer was really shooting. I hope you will straighten this matter out when the Bullets take the championship.
Silver Spring, Md.
It's about time someone realized that Pittsburgh's Panthers owned, for a few weeks, the longest winning streak in the country (Scratch One More Patsy, Feb. 18). I am a Pitt alumnus, a member of the "Band Era," when the only thing worth seeing at a Pitt sporting event was the band. Now Pitt has achieved an amazing turnaround in both football and basketball. And the band plays on.
Pitt's team is very much like the Miami Dolphins in their undefeated year: it has a somewhat easy schedule, a potent offense and a deceptive defense. But best of all is the intrusion of a new name in the Top Ten.
I read with dismay and disbelief the articles in your Feb. 18 issue on the 1974 Figure Skating Championships and the 1974 World Championships of Skiing.
As is true in other amateur sports in the U.S., criticism is expected and indeed welcomed by those who are involved with the particular sport. However, it is difficult enough in this country to solicit support, both morally and financially, for these two sports without receiving criticism such as you presented. Perhaps an in-depth study of the personal sacrifice and involvement of Dorothy Hamill, her relatives and friends and of the Ski Team organization might elicit enough help to present our unsung national athletes in a more favorable light both to your magazine and to the entire world. We shall look forward to appropriate contributions from you and your readers to reverse the trends which you have set forth.
WRIGHT HUGUS JR.
General Counsel and Director
U.S. Ski Team
Judging from Jeannette Bruce's coverage of the '74 USFSA National Championships, Dorothy Hamill's solid credentials for ascension to the title were totally negated by one less-than-spectacular performance. The fourth-best woman figure skater in the world in 1973—at the age of 16—will undoubtedly prove in the world championships at Munich this month that she does not deserve the cloak of mediocrity that Jeannette Bruce has cast around her shoulders.
This is in regard to your article Big Fish in a Small Pond (Feb. 18) concerning Dave Broyles, a former University of Wyoming swimming prospect who now attends Southwest Minnesota and his statement that "the University of Wyoming coach sent somebody to talk to me. He couldn't be bothered to see me himself, and here Coach Palm drove all the way from Minnesota. I was impressed."
The real story behind Dave Broyles is that he definitely was recruited by the University of Wyoming and was even offered a scholarship to attend school here. In the late stages of recruiting, when we normally bring the athlete in for a campus visit and make personal calls at his hometown—in Dave's case, Cheyenne—we found that he simply could not qualify for participation in the Western Athletic Conference or the NCAA due to low high school grades.
The NAIA, of which Southwest Minnesota is a member, has different standards than the NCAA, thus enabling Dave to enroll and participate on the swimming team. We feel that it is unfair for Dave to give the impression that Wyoming did not bother to recruit him when we had done all we could under the circumstances.
Swimming/Water Polo Coach
KUDOS ALL AROUND
Pity your competition. You have always been the essence of excellence in your sports coverage, both pictorially and journalistically. How something so good can continue to improve is amazing.
Lately, you seem to be reaching new fronts. These stories aren't "jock talk." John Fowles' evocative ecological piece three years ago is an example. Sometimes the story is reminiscent, such as the warm study of Charlie (Choo Choo) Justice, or the almost eerily beautiful story on Cool Papa Bell, certainly one of your finest presentations. And now comes Annie Dillard's Footfalls in a Blue Ridge Winter (Feb. 4). The quality these stories, and others, share is a very high level of writing.
STILL THE ARMY
It seems to me your magazine has an obsession to show just how awful Arnold Palmer's golf game has become in the last few years. Over and over again you actually criticize the man because he is 44 years old and is no longer able to win a tournament a week. Palmer is doing something that he dearly loves, and yet your magazine seems to be holding this against him.
Barry McDermott's article on Arizona basketball (Blooming Cactus Flowers, Feb. 11) is in accordance with SI's customary excellence. But Barry errs in coupling Tucson with retirement communities, shuffleboard sticks, "rusted arteries" and Bingo. Tucson is no St. Pete or Sun City. Tucson's median age is lower than that of most major cities. Its population, which is made up of many who have dared to "go West," is vigorous, ambitious, glorious and predominantly young. And that is Tucson's real Cactus Flower.
FRED L. VANCE
Thank you for a very fine article on the University of Arizona's basketball team. The Wildcats and Coach Fred Snowden were portrayed as they are, winners. Snowden naturally wants to bring a national championship to Arizona, and that event may not be far off.
WILLIAM N. JONES
The walls of my 12-year-old son's room are covered with color pictures of Jets, Mets, Knicks and Rangers, all snipped lovingly from the pages of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. When Richard received the Jan. 28 issue with the pretty bikini-clad girl on the cover, he flipped right past the cover and over all those inside color pages with no more than a cursory glance to get to the important stuff about basketball and hockey. Then came the Feb. 11 issue containing three cries of outrage from a mother, a school principal and a priest. You guessed it! Richard made a bee-line for the Jan. 28 issue to get a better look at the offending pages to see what he had missed. Then he came to me for my explanation about "what was so bad."
It is no wonder that a child is bewildered by such reactions from adults to pictures of pretty girls in bathing suits. All those who might in the future consider writing such letters should think first of what adverse effects their comments may have on other people's impressionable children.
In this violent and aggressive world, some people complain about one of the very few nice and innocent things left on this globe—women in bathing suits. I would like to ask them if they also remove the pages on which pictures are shown of violent actions in sports like football, hockey and boxing. If you ask me, these people have the wrong idea about what is harmful to children.
The Hague, The Netherlands
In response to the letter from two members of the female sex who argued that Cheryl Tiegs did nothing to depict or promote women in sports, I would have to strongly disagree. After viewing all the beauties in your Jan. 28 issue I have been putting in two to three miles of roadwork a day. Cheryl and friends did wonders for my sports program!
Although I enjoy your annual bathing suit issue as much as the next guy, one of my favorite issues from year to year is the one that carries all of the letters in protest to it.
DOMINIC G. FLORY
Hooray for your break-through article on adult athletes (Hurdling Life's Barriers, Feb. 4). Bud Deacon makes a fine representative for the thousands of adults who seriously train in all sports for healthier, happier and more active lives.
We wish to correct three misconceptions, however, in regard to the International Senior Olympics Adult Athletic Program. First, Senior Olympics is not part of any organization other than its parent, Senior Sports International, Inc., a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation. Second, the Senior Olympics five-year age groupings begin at 25 but have no upper age limits. Third, Senior Olympics competition is offered for all men and women in 35 sports, from archery through wrestling, including track and field.
WORTH D. BLANEY
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, TIME & LIFE Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.