MOVED TO PROTEST
It's bad enough when basketball players like Bill Walton are offered gigantic salaries to play the game they "love" ($1.9 million over five years can generate a lot of love), but when the ABA offers to move a whole team (the Carolina Cougars) to accommodate one man (SCORECARD, May 27)—that's going too far!
THE NCAA'S ANSWER
Your comments regarding various amateur sports bills before Congress (SCORECARD, May 13) appear to recognize that the existing problems have endured too long, that reforms in the conduct of this country's international amateur sports programs are needed and that some congressional action is appropriate to accomplish that reform. With those positions we are in agreement.
On the substance of the various bills your comments reveal a number of misconceptions—for example, there is no bill under which the President would be "given the right to select amateur sports leaders." Presumably such misconceptions are responsible for your support for an arbitration proposal supported by the U.S. Olympic Committee, a proposal that (not surprisingly) proves on close examination to be a formula for perpetuation of the status quo.
The status quo is not good enough. The conflict, mismanagement and insensitivity to our athletes' interests that in many areas have characterized U.S. efforts in international competition will persist unless effective mechanisms are established for the reform or replacement by more representative bodies of the organizations responsible for the U.S." international sports program.
June 9, 1974
These goals can be achieved by the establishment of a commission to study and make recommendations regarding the organization and management of our Olympic effort and a board with the sole purpose of reforming and replacing the organizations that purport to represent the U.S. on international sports governing bodies. A bill introduced by Senator Tunney (S.1018) and recently adopted by the Senate would accomplish the first, while another bill (S.3500) recently reported by the Senate Commerce Committee would provide the second element. The extent of government involvement contemplated by these measures does not seem excessive. Indeed, it is not significantly greater than the involvement associated with the measures for which you indicate support. The real difference is that, unlike the USOC-backed proposal, these measures mean change.
ALAN J. CHAPMAN
National Collegiate Athletic Association
•The Tunney bill (S.1018), which creates a National Commission on the Olympic Games, states, "The Commission shall be composed of nine members...appointed by the President...." And the Pearson bill (S.3500), which was passed, then recalled the same day for reconsideration, provides that the President shall appoint the five members of its Amateur Sports Board.—ED.
Congratulations on giving the Los Angeles Dodgers a little recognition (No Mirrors Now, Sir, May 27), especially since they are the best team in the majors and have the most explosive player in the National League, superstar Centerfielder Jimmy Wynn.
As a Cincinnati Reds fan, I thank you very much for putting Jim Wynn on the cover. When you put Willie Davis, then of the Dodgers, on your May 1, 1972 cover, the Reds started a nine-game winning streak on May 12. Last year you put two Dodgers on your Aug. 20 cover and the Reds soon took the division lead. So, judging from what has happened in the past, the Reds should pull ahead by the middle of June.
Cannonade wins the Kentucky Derby and is pictured on your May 13 cover. The Boston Celtics win the NBA championship and are shown on your May 20 cover. The Philadelphia Flyers win the Stanley Cup and Dodger slugger Jim Wynn gets your May 27 cover. I have nothing against Wynn, but don't you think that the Flyers deserved top billing? They turned on an entire city.
HENRY J. HEINE
If you had to do a baseball story, why didn't you write about the Phillies? They, too, were in first place!
•See page 24.—ED.
I was most disturbed to find only a two-page spread with one photo. However, if the exigencies of space required you to limit your hockey coverage in order to bring us the photo of that cupcake on page 38, then all my complaints are forgotten.
EDWARD J. R. BUZANOWICZ
NBC should be butt-ended from one end of the rink to the other for not having elected to cover the fifth and perhaps the most important game of the NHL championship playoff finals (NBC Considers Icing the Puck, May 20).
I was infuriated to find that I was unable to view this game when called away on a business trip. The local educational TV station elected to air the fun and games but not the network station under contract. If the Flyers had won the fifth game and the championship, what an egg in the face for NBC Producer Scotty Connal.
If hockey is to grow in stature, let the viewer get the coverage he deserves. If this is too difficult for NBC, let the other networks in on the action.
In regard to NBC's option year on NHL hockey, I do hope they ice the puck. Any major network that will broadcast a weekly game and not show all the Stanley Cup final games should be refused an option for the coming year.
TERRY H. BROWN
For the few of us in the United States who are privileged enough to be able to watch CBC's Hockey Night in Canada it has been a pleasant surprise to see an American sports program even begin to rival the excellence of our more experienced northern neighbors. When a network like NBC, with its notoriously dull baseball broadcasts and broadcasters (Tony Kubek attempting the sustained play-by-play of a hockey game boggles the mind), finally achieves an exciting critical success, it should be ashamed of itself for pulling the plug after two short years. NBC's Carl Lindemann ought to try to get a seat at an NHL contest without using his influence. In all but a very few of the arenas it is a near impossibility. His time would be better spent formulating a far more attractive schedule of games than those shown this past season. Great rivalries exist in hockey and better utilization of these match-ups would surely stimulate ratings. As the number of rinks in the U.S. increases each year at an astonishing rate, so do the number of participants and new-found fans.
For those of us who already love this sport and the millions more soon to love it, NBC has an opportunity to sustain a fine production and to show rare foresight. Let us hope that hockey fans win this face-off.
JAMES D. TONZI
Pine Valley's 10th hole (Short and Sweet but Oh So Deadly, May 20) is short and sinister, and Jack Nicklaus' tips on how to play it seem helpful, but a man I caddied for a few years back showed a duffer's disrespect for the Devil's Aperture and contempt for advice. He paid dearly.
Buoyed by a well-played front nine that had him ahead in the Nassau, my golfer scanned the green some 145 yards below and confidently asked for his nine-iron. Because a brisk wind was blowing toward the tee I suggested he use his seven. After questioning my mental health he finally agreed to an eight-iron as a reluctant compromise. He hit his tee shot well but got the ball up too high. It seemed to hang as the wind caught it, then dropped into the sandpit encircled by well-trimmed grass at the right of the green—the Devil's Aperture.
From his vantage point in the trap he could sec the white flag of the pin above and off to his left. From there the pin serves more as a tease than a target—it shows the golfer where the hole is and at the same time defies him to get there.
My golfer took the dare and swung directly toward the pin. Once, twice, a third time. Nothing resulted but displaced sand and a white ball trickling back and settling deeper into the sand. At the count of nine his fellow golfers were smirking; by 12 they began laughing uproariously. Normally a stoic when my golfer hit a bad shot, 1, too, started laughing—a cardinal sin for a caddie and one which did not go unnoticed by my man in the trap. The look he gave me told me I'd be getting the lowest possible pay this afternoon.
Then things got worse. More foursomes appeared—those now waiting on the 10th tee and those just finishing play at the 17th coming to the 18th tee—and added to the hysterical onlookers.
My golfer, after 20 strokes, was still in the trap. One swing later his ball flew up and onto the green—by coming out toward the right side! His feat was met with wild applause, which grew louder as the man himself—his smile a white crescent pasted on a blood-red face—emerged.
My man, completely unnerved if not somewhat humbled, self-consciously saluted the crowd and stepped up to his ball now safely on the green.
He three-putted—for a nice score of 24 on the par-3!
Edgewater Park, N.J.
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, TIME & LIFE Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.