Thank you for putting George McGinnis on the cover of your Pro Basketball Issue (Oct. 27). He deserved the honor more than any other player, even Dr. J. And Jerry Kirshenbaum should be congratulated for his fine writing (Big City Country Boy). His article showed that McGinnis is indeed basketball's Superman. And off court he is mild-mannered Clark Kent.
George McGinnis will prove in the NBA exactly what he proved in the ABA: that he is without question the best forward in all of pro basketball.
PETER D. KIRLES
Congratulations, SI. I thought it would be impossible to find a writer as erroneously opinionated as Tex (NFL) Maule, but you have found him in Jerry (NBA much tougher than the ABA) Kirshenbaum. That one statement ruined an otherwise excellent article on George McGinnis.
WAYNE A. BRANNON, D.D.S.
UP, UP—OR AWAY?
The man who wrote in your pro basketball preview "The once-mighty Pacers will be back—probably back of everybody but Bill Musselman's San Diego Sails" is going to feel pretty foolish when Indiana wins the ABA title again this season.
As a New York Knick fan, I vehemently protest your prediction that the Knicks will endure another woeful season. I was also very upset over John Huehnergarth's accompanying illustration showing the Knicks being stepped on by the other three clubs in the Atlantic Division. The Knicks have now obtained the agile big man they sorely needed to catapult the club into the playoffs, Spencer Haywood.
•When the acquisition of Wilt Chamberlain seemed possible, SI and Huehnergarth re-estimated the Knicks' chances (see below). But at press time the deal had not been made and neither had the one with the Seattle SuperSonics for Spencer Haywood (The Fortune Cookie Smiled, Nov. 3).—ED.
You practically ignored one of the best and most exciting young players in the NBA. Where was Bob McAdoo, the man who won the scoring championship and was named Most Valuable Player just one season ago? And how could you pick the Buffalo Braves to finish behind the aging Celtics?
Grand Rapids, Mich.
It was gratifying to see that you gave the Golden State Warriors some of the recognition they have earned. A team that was underrated and berated all last season, the Warriors made a fantasy come true. Your pictures and commentary helped reflect the excitement and fun of a good team victory.
I can only hope the season measures up to the brilliance of Curry Kirkpatrick's introductory article.
West Lafayette, Ind.
You missed one (They're Having a Field Day, Oct. 27). You failed to mention probably the best college placekicker in the country. So far this season Carson Long of the University of Pittsburgh is 11 for 14 on field goals and 28 for" 28 on extra points, and he either holds or has already tied all Pitt records in placekicking.
Cherry Hill, N.J.
I was highly disappointed to see that you neglected a fine kicker in Temple University's Don Bitterlich. Don has already 1) kicked a 56-yard field goal against Akron; 2) kicked three field goals per game in four of our eight games; 3) kicked 71 consecutive extra points, threatening the current NCAA record (77) for most consecutive extra points kicked in a career; and 4) kicked 15 field goals in 22 attempts (68%). In 1974 he finished second in the nation in kick scoring.
LAWRENCE J. OTREBA
You did a story on college placekickers and didn't include any mention of Dan Beaver of Illinois? Oh boy! Did you see what he did against Purdue? He broke the Big Ten record with a 57-yarder and also kicked three extra points.
JOHN W. BRANTA
Downers Grove, Ill.
Add the name David Jacobs, Syracuse University, to your list of field-goal kickers. This 5'7", 141-pound freshman is 10 for 19, including a 58-yarder against Boston College. Also, he had a 50-yarder against Navy, three shorter ones against Tulane in the Superdome and a 41-yarder to beat Iowa in the final 22 seconds.
LAWRENCE A. KIMBALL
Vanderbilt's Mark Adams led the nation in field-goal accuracy last year and this season has been responsible for all of Vandy's points in two of its four victories (9-6 and 6-3 wins over Rice and Tulane). Unlike most of the kickers you mentioned, Adams doesn't watch all the rest of the game from the sidelines. He is also a starting linebacker.
After reading Ron Fimrite's excellent article (Stormy Days for the Series, Oct. 27), I am wondering whether the umpires in charge of the World Series use the same rule book I do. Plate Umpire Larry Barnett is quoted as saying, regarding the collision between Cincinnati's Ed Armbrister and Boston Catcher Carlton Fisk: "...It is interference only when the batter intentionally gets in the way of the fielder."
Oh yeah? Rule 7.09 (1), states: "It is interference by a batter or runner when he fails to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball...." SI's picture clearly illustrates that Armbrister "failed to avoid" Fisk. This is not even a judgment call if the rule is to be enforced as it reads.
THOMAS E. STAPLETON
I only hope that when the Cincinnati Reds are given their World Series rings, Umpire Larry Barnett is not overlooked.
If Carlton Fisk was actually interfered with, one of at least two things would have happened: 1) he never would have fielded the ball cleanly, which he did; or 2) he never would have gotten off any type of throw, which he also did.
Did the thought occur to anyone that Fisk's vehement displeasure was really caused by his own poor throw?
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Your editorial (SCORECARD, Oct. 27) about baseball putting itself at the mercy of TV was ridiculous. Because of the decision to play World Series Games 6 and 7 at night, more people than ever got a chance to witness two of the most exciting games in Series history. I applaud this decision and any others that help to make these events available to as many people as possible. Perhaps next year TV can negotiate to start the games at 7:30 instead of 8:30. Those late games can be murder the next morning.
BARRY R. BARTH
I agree TV has much too much impact on the American public. But in the case of the World Series, I love it.
JAMES E. TINGLE
I completely endorse your comments on how television has downgraded the traditions of baseball. I liked the World Series better when the real fans carried around radios, caught a few innings on television and filled in the rest with reports from friends. Somehow it doesn't seem right that Fenway Park's time in the sun came at midnight.
J. C. RINEHART
For once one of your covers was not a jinx. In fact, your spring training cover (March 3) was a prophetic one. It showed not just one but five members of the Cincinnati Reds" pitching staff, and the pitcher throwing the ball was Clay Carroll, the winner in Game 7 of the World Series.
What a surprise. What a treat! Ron Rail's article Flushed with Success (Oct. 20) was just what this old Kansas boy needed. It recalled super memories of past hunting trips with my father and friends. My adrenaline is flowing as I think of my plans for Nov. 8, opening day, in Kinsley, Kans. Thanks so much for this story and a chance to dream of those fields 2,000 miles away.
RICK D. UTERMOEHLEN
I can easily relate to Ron Rau's article as I have done the same kind of drive-block pheasant hunting in South Dakota and Iowa. Three years ago at college in South Dakota I had the pleasure to hunt on the opening day. It was the kind of day you read about in sporting magazines. After a while the day became meaningless because the pheasants could be had so easily. I thought back on all the miles I had walked in Ohio to get even one chance at the wary bird.
Last month on a visit to my roommate's ranch for a sharp-tailed grouse hunt I couldn't help but think how much he sounded like the Lieutenant. He complained, "We only got 17." Rau's last sentence summed it up perfectly.
Please keep hunting stories out of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. Hunting is not a sport.
R. R. COLBERT
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