MUCH ADO ABOUT McADOO
Curry Kirkpatrick's story on Bob McAdoo (Shoot If You Must...I Must, Says McAdoo, March 8) neglected to mention one important point: the Braves have never won an NBA championship, even with "the hottest shot in the game."
In comparing Dave Cowens, Rick Barry and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to McAdoo, the only thing accomplished is a comparison of three champions to an outstanding individual ballplayer. I don't know if McAdoo would trade his scoring titles for an NBA championship. McAdoo shows great admiration for himself. So does Muhammad Ali, but he is the champ.
G. J. FREDERICKS
Dave Cowens of Boston has it over Bob McAdoo in one important facet of the game: winning. This season Cowens has stifled McAdoo every time they have met, and the Celtics have beaten Buffalo four out of five times. The only time Buffalo won McAdoo didn't play.
What a pity it is that an athlete as talented as Bob McAdoo has to resort to obnoxious boasting in order to satisfy his ego.
As an avid basketball fan and player, I can appreciate McAdoo as one of the game's most outstanding talents. He has to be the best-shooting big man in the game, and his quickness and leaping ability make him dangerous around the boards. Yet, McAdoo is not a player without weakness. There are a number of other superstars in the pros with a lot going for them.
It would certainly be more realistic if McAdoo considered himself for what he is: not a star above stars, but a star among stars.
My thanks to SI and to Curry Kirkpatrick for the much deserved article on the finest player in the NBA today, Bob McAdoo. For 3½ years Buffalo Bob has been proving to fans that he is the best thing to come along since the net. Now he can prove it to the whole country.
As Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said: "Nobody takes [shots] from where McAdoo does and hits."
E. D. PRUESSING
The Face of Pain (March 8) brought home to me a side of the athlete that had never before been quite real. Amid all the complaints about high salaries, sports fans should be made to realize that athletes are not robots: they are people, and their suffering extends beyond the final whistle. Never again will I heedlessly turn away from the television set when an athlete goes down on the field.
I have never been as moved by an article, in any periodical, at any time, as I was by The Face of Pain. You have explored a topic which, though universal, is seldom discussed.
As a casual athlete I had one knee operation when I was 17. At 21 I now have chronic arthritis, which originated in the injured knee and is gradually spreading to the other joints in my body. I ask no one's sympathy, nor do I expect any. I will continue to indulge in athletic pursuits until I am unable to do so. "Playing with pain" becomes a meaningless phrase; playing is the important part. Pain is dealt with before and after.
EDWARD J. AMATO
New Haven, Conn.
How could Mark Kram fail to mention Mickey Mantle and Willis Reed?
MIKE CORDARO JR.
These athletes must be motivated by something higher than the almighty dollar.
Mark Kram's article dealt only with professional athletes. I suggest that college scholarship athletes, who in a very real sense are professionals, too, are dealt an even more severe physical and mental blow by athletic injuries. These athletes face injuries in a world where their only compensation is their scholarship money. The repercussions of their injuries are often given little though!.
Football All-America, 1969
University of Florida
America has always extolled the virtue of pain but always shunned its reality.
ON THE HIGH SEAS
Bravo for a classic story by a legendary Gulf Stream sailor and superb yachting author, Carleton Mitchell ("Reaching and Retching" to Nassau, March 8). I enjoyed the photos, too.
CHARLES H. QUINN
Your last two yacht racing articles, the one on Lowell North (North to the Southern Sea, Jan. 26) and your coverage of the SORC circuit by Carleton Mitchell with the super photograph on page 14, have caused many favorable comments by those of us who are involved in the racing end of our sport. "Reaching and Retching" was an outstanding piece.
KEVIN J. SUMMERELL
LESSONS FROM MICA CREEK
I read with considerable concern your account of the disastrous effect of the Mica Creek Dam (When They Build Without a Blueprint, Feb. 23). Why is it that as man continues to build, he also continues to destroy?
I'm sure that the article stirred the heartstrings of every tree-hugger in America. The "conservation at all costs" ethic appears again and again in this article. The U.S. is currently-in the midst of a time-consuming and costly appraisal of each and every major federally funded project. This appraisal takes the form of an environmental impact statement, required by the National Environ-mental Policy Act of 1969. If this procedure had been in effect since the Declaration of Independence, we probably would no longer be a nation. We'd be a group of savages living among the trees, unable to cut firewood without the necessary environmental documentation.
Robert Cantwell probably takes electricity, highways and good health for granted. All of these advances have been made because of some environmental trade off.
We should establish parks for the Cantwells of this world, where they could spend the rest of their lives enjoying all the advantages of the pristine wilderness. Then they might find that some seemingly adverse environmental impacts are acceptable, no matter how great or irreversible.
JONATHAN R. POLHAMUS
The article was a breath of fresh air in the all too stuffy atmosphere of environmental preaching. Neither the developers nor the environmentalists can have it all their way, but long-range planning and research might prevent any more Mica messes. "Haste makes waste" for the developer, the recreationalist, the hunter, the backpacker, the dam builder, the mountain climber and the user of electricity.
(THE REV.) PAT O'LEARY, S.J.
To one who for too many years has been a member of an ever-growing chorus that has emotionally—and it would now seem mindlessly—blamed hunting for all of wildlife's woes, the Mica Creek Dam horror story was an eye-opener. While I still don't approve of hunting, never again will I disagree when a hunter argues that habitat destruction and not hunting is the biggest danger facing our wildlife.
Wellesley Hills, Mass.
I enjoyed Jack Knights' article on Antero Katainen's outboard sail invention (Don't Row, Row, Row, Clip It On, March 1). I have seen a primitive forerunner (aftrunner?) of his elegant rig in the St. Vincent Grenadines, where the kids used opened-up flour sacks instead of Terylene, bamboo for the spars, and advertising signs provided by a rum distillery for the "rearboard." The less affluent boys dispensed with spars and rearboard and simply stood on the transom holding the flour sack spread out. The boat wouldn't point worth a darn but moved along smartly on a run, and the flour-sack sail had as an advantage the fact that it could be folded into a pants pocket or used as a parka in a squall.
Hear, hear for alternative, nonpolluting power sources to small motors, but how has anyone decided that oars pollute?
AID TO BIKECENTENNIALISTS
After reading about the Bikecentennial (The Road to Independence, March l), I've gone to work on an idea whereby one group of hobby enthusiasts can help another.
With 10,000 to 18,000 cyclists touring part or all of the U.S., a means of communicating with the folks back home between stopping points on the tour will be in demand. And since many cyclists may be traveling on a shoestring, some economy in getting such messages handled might help.
The amateur radio operators who participate in the National Traffic System designed by the American Radio Relay League have the means by which this need can be met. Initial efforts to alert the hams along the bike route and elsewhere throughout the country are already under way. I expect that the less mobile hams will also enjoy the trip as they keep busy on the air while the bikers do their thing.
CURE FOR COACHES' ANTICS?
Crowd control at basketball games is becoming a major concern. Some coaches seem to invite fan misbehavior by their actions, particularly home-team coaches who attempt to use the reactions of the crowd to their own advantage.
Wouldn't it be crazy if, when a technical foul is called for courtside antics by one coach, the other team's coach, rather than one of the players, was made to take the foul shot? Imagine in the ACC an official whistling a T on Lefty Driesell, and Dean Smith going to the line and no doubt embarrassing himself. Smith could return the favor, and after both had been sufficiently embarrassed, the game could proceed without any further coaching antics. By this time, the crowd's profanity would have been reduced to hysterical laughter and the coaches would have gotten the attention they were desperately vying for.
Of course, university search committees would probably seek to hire coaches with foul-shooting abilities. Career records might then read 130 wins, 75 losses, 30 for 90 from the line.
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, TIME & LIFE Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.