JIM DUNN'S FOOTSTEPS
Young Man on the Run (Aug. 12) was an intensely interesting article. Jim Dunn's ingenuity, simple faith, sheer guts and appreciation of nature and his country should be a fine example for all Americans.
RANDALL. A. WEST
In an age when people jump into their cars to go two blocks for a pack of cigarettes, a six-pack or a loaf of bread, it seems to me that many of our adult leaders could find answers to a lot of questions if they pursued their problems with as much honesty, courage and determination as was displayed by this young man.
Someday in my travels around this country I hope I have the privilege of meeting Jim Dunn, for he is a true sports hero.
THOMAS F. KELLY
Thank you for allowing Jim Dunn to show all of us "young men on the run" the proper spirit with which to attempt any such endeavor. Unlike most of us, he not only made the run, he missed very little on the way.
WILLIAM G. RYAN, D.D.S.
August 25, 1974
I enjoyed Jim Dunn's story. He should be considered very lucky indeed to have such indulgent parents. Most people have dreams, but turning them into reality, well, that is something else. Having parents who recognize a dream and are willing to help can greatly aid in the complete development of a child.
My dream was to bike the same distance Jim traveled but from Canada to Mexico, following the coast. Two friends and I were financially prepared for the journey. However, our parents turned thumbs down on the trip, shattering our plans and egos.
Hats off to Jim and to his wonderful mother!
Walnut Creek, Calif.
Please thank Jim Dunn, not only for the tremendous account of his feat but also for his determination and perseverance to keep on running, no matter how much it hurt or how much he had to sacrifice. Three months ago I suffered a torn cartilage in my left knee and was operated on one month ago. I am just now coming around to where I could possibly start jogging. Jim's article, since it came from one near my age, has given me the incentive and encouragement I need to work harder than ever to get my legs back in shape for cross-country this fall. I am deeply in debt to him.
I remember hearing about Jim Dunn when he came to Tillamook, Ore. The article says he "stopped at the perimeter of a high school near Manhattan Beach to watch the football team practice and the cross-country team work out." The name of the school is Neah-Kah-Nie, and I'm a member of the cross-country team. I thought I recognized Jim but wasn't sure. I'll always regret not going over to him and saying Hi.
As a member of the physical education academic community, I was mortified to learn that my colleague Mike Marshall is a genuine flake (He Also Serves Who Sits and Waits, Aug. 12). It is indeed decent of Mike to demean himself by playing such a boring game with his obvious inferiors and to be forced into communicating with sportswriters who aren't sharp enough to get it straight. His obvious Herculean efforts at public relations should also be lauded. I hope his $87,500 annual salary will compensate for any discomfort he might incur.
On a good night Mike Marshall's screwball is practically untouchable. On any night his right arm is nearly invulnerable. His brain is awash with original and enlightening thoughts. He is the manager's dream and the public relations man's nightmare. He doesn't drink or smoke or kick doggies. Truly he is an amazing man. How come I can't shake the feeling that in the game of life Mike Marshall is still in the bullpen?
Mike Marshall luckily has been endowed with the ability to effectively throw a baseball. More power to him. But he has spent too much time among the academicians. I admire that he does not smoke or drink, but to deny the common courtesy of an autograph—that's bad.
Mt. Vernon, Ill.
I agree 100% with Mike Marshall when he says, "Just watching me perform does not give someone the right to steal my time off the field and thrust himself upon me." A lot of fans forget that pro athletes are people; they don't belong to the fan, but to themselves and their families. They deserve a little privacy.
Thank you for the fine article on Mike Marshall. I also took a course from Mike at MSU when he was only 24, and I could tell then that he was a truly remarkable person. He was still trying to become a big-league shortstop at the time, and I recall he had some interesting theories on hitting as well.
Part 2 of Roy Blount Jr.'s article on the Steelers (A Strange Kind of Love, Aug. 5) left something to be desired. In particular, I strongly object to Mr. Blount's description of a "prototypical Steeler fan" as a hard-drinking mine or mill worker. Assuredly, these fans are many in number, but they do not represent all Steeler fans. Pittsburgh is still an industrial city, but not the same one of the early 1900s. Some of the country's largest corporations call Pittsburgh their home, and executives of these companies are also Steeler fans.
On any given Sunday in Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh fans are loud and noisy and do their share of drinking and name-calling, but I'm sure a similar condition exists on that same Sunday afternoon in many other stadiums across the United States.
MRS. RICHARD V. SHORT
Being a Steeler fan for many years, I know what kind of love Roy Blount was referring to. Pittsburghers take a special kind of pride in the Steelers, whether they win or lose. We are devoted fans. It is not a small portion of Pittsburgh that loves the Steelers, but the whole of it.
I want to thank Roy Blount. I have never before read an article that so thoroughly examines the personality of a team—its management, its players and its fans.
We have beaten Gary Davidson to the formation of a league in a previously untouched sport. Our World Pool League will open late this month. During the first season we will operate with four franchises distributed throughout our hometown, Forest Grove, Ore. (pop. 10,000). Owners, besides ourselves, include Keith Pollock and Hans Holznagel.
Thus far no team colors or uniform designs have been announced by any of our teams. Mark Bunker will serve as commissioner, as it is his pool table.
Of course, expansion is imminent. We expect to have 30,000 franchises located on five planets by the year 2137. Present owners each paid 25¢ per franchise. Prices for future franchises will rise according to the state of the economy.
The WPL plays only eight ball. Each team has a 30-game schedule. All four teams qualify for the playoffs, as there is no room for losers in the WPL.
Playoffs are tentatively scheduled for early October. We will, of course, expect national coverage.
Forest Grove, Ore.
Tex Maule's report on the progress of the North American Soccer League (They Knew a Way to San Jose, Aug. 5) was particularly well timed.
During the preceding week, NASL contests attracted an average attendance of 8,455. Considering that the 1972 championship game was played before a gathering only half that size, Commissioner Phil Woosnam has good cause for optimism.
Perhaps the most encouraging sign is the Americanization of the game. NASL teams are employing more and more native performers while the quality of play continues to improve. The lowly St. Louis Stars fielded an all-American side on July 22 and upset powerful Werder Bremen of West Germany 1-0. Youth programs are flourishing, and the league will expand again next season.
The trend is obvious. Soccer is here to stay, and its continued growth and improvement give hope that the world's No. 1 sport may soon be America's as well.
One of the truly great stories of soccer's impact on a community is the one involving the Seattle Sounders. The city of Seattle and its sports fans are having a love affair with their pro soccer team. The town has gone completely soccer-crazy, and tickets to Sounder games have become rare items as game day approaches.
Seattle has had six straight sellouts and is averaging 13,521 fans per game. The seating capacity of the stadium was only 13,000 at the outset of the season but has been expanded to 14,876 by adding portable bleacher seats. Even so, Seattle has had three straight advance sellouts, including one nine days before kickoff for the July 26 Los Angeles game.
A junior soccer program involves over 20,000 youngsters in the Puget Sound area, and the Sounders have been staging clinics in cooperation with the Washington State Soccer Association. These have been very successful as has been the Sounders' "Meet the People" approach.
We feel San Jose deserves a great deal of credit for its success, but the most spectacular story in sports, concerning a team and its rapport with its fans, is in Seattle.
In FACES IN THE CROWD (July 29) you credit the anteater mascot to the University of San Diego. This is a grave injustice to the students of UC Irvine who in a moment of inspiration in 1965 adopted the anteater and the cry "Zot!" as emblematic of their independence from the Bears and Bruins of other UC campuses.
DAVID B. FOLLETT
Manhattan Beach, Calif.
WHALE OF A DIFFERENCE
I would like to congratulate you on Run Noisy, Run Deep and Go to Work by Richard W. Johnston (Aug. 5). In the current period of hysteria over the well-being of marine mammals, Mr. Johnston's work represents a fine piece of clear-eyed reporting. The popular literature on the subject could certainly stand more articles of this sort.
As a colleague of mine recently stated, whales and dolphins "are not little men in wet suits." They are fascinating, beguiling creatures, to be sure, but none attains an intelligence level equivalent to man's. Actually, a dolphin is about as intelligent as a dog.
A few minor points in Mr. Johnston's article need correcting. The Marine Mammal Protection Act was passed by Congress on Oct. 21, 1971 and took effect exactly one year later—not in 1973 as reported. Also, the going rate for killer whales has dramatically increased to $75,000. This last point is important only if one is purchasing the animal.
Mystic Marinelife Aquarium
The advent of the dramatic growth of women's athletic programs (Women in Sport: A Progress Report, July 29), particularly at the college level, offers, perhaps even demands, a reevaluation of athletic purpose and financial structure.
I am appalled that the Arizona State Board of Regents should grant 60 women's athletic scholarships to Arizona State. In these days of rising tuitions and shortages of academic scholarships, one could scarcely argue convincingly that the money could not be better spent elsewhere within our post-secondary educational system.
This is not to say that women do not deserve more money to improve opportunities for athletic experience. What I am suggesting is that male programs spend entirely too much money on too few people for questionable societal benefits.
Let me propose the unthinkable: that all collegiate athletic governing bodies adopt a 10-year plan for eliminating all athletic scholarships. In the first year of the program, athletic departments would lose one-tenth of the previous year's scholarship money, this money being contributed to academic scholarships. In the second year, two-tenths of the base year scholarship money would be contributed to academic scholarships, reducing athletic scholarships by that amount. In the third year three-tenths, and so on, until in the 10th year the entire base amount is contributed for academic scholarships.
After the 10th year, colleges would be free to allocate the money any way they saw fit, except for athletic scholarships. The increasing recognition of the student-athlete makes such a plan feasible and desirable.
ROBERT M. KOK
Phenix City, Ala.
As a tennis buff since the days of Tilden, I wish to commend you for doing a feature on WTT, with an oak-leaf cluster for majoring in the Boston Lobsters (Going to Pot with the Lobsters, Aug. 5).
Unfortunately you were tailing them at the low point of their season, which makes them come off like the Broadhurst High JVs. I hope their recent efforts have impressed you more.
Sure, there have been problems, but our heroes and heroines have the support of an expanding group of vociferous enthusiasts. Watch us next year. WTT is here to stay.
JAMES R. WALSH
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