I share your indignation over the non-sport that hockey has become (Week of Disgrace on the Ice, April 26). I am currently a second-year law student. At the time of the Forbes-Boucha affair, I was on hockey's side, seeing the judiciary as overstepping its bounds in attempting to subject hockey to legal scrutiny. I now view the courts as the last hope.
We do have a legitimate hero in hockey. His name is Bobby Hull and he has the courage to condemn the violence in the game.
ROBERT J. DORAN
Violence in hockey and the supposed public outrage do not depend on whether or not crimes have been committed, but rather on who does the violence. Does anyone honestly think that a hometown player would be arrested if he beat the daylights out of a visiting player? On the contrary, he would undoubtedly become an instant hero. Also, how many people who are revolted by such violence were cheering heartily when the Flyers "took on" the Russian Army team? An atomic bomb is heaven if your side has it, and hell if your enemy does.
If the Ontario attorney general is going to arrest Don Saleski, Mel Bridgman and Joe Watson, then what about the Toronto fan who just about started the whole thing? They say the Flyers are animals. You don't know the meaning of the word until you see the Toronto fans. I think that whatever happens in a sports arena should be handled by the sports officials, not some government official who singlehandedly tries to "clean up hockey."
Cornwells Heights, Pa.
May 9, 1976
•Following Game 6 in Toronto of the Flyers-Maple Leafs playoff, a Toronto fan was charged with common assault for elbowing Dave Schultz in the ribs as Schultz made his way to the dressing room from the penalty box.—ED.
Speaking of fans, a tribute should go to the Los Angeles Kings' fans. At the start of the third period in a game April 22 against Boston (in L.A.) a "fan" threw something that narrowly missed the referee and one of the Bruins. Instead of cheering the spectator or playing follow the leader, the crowd actually booed that person, and the people who were in the vicinity pointed him out to the ushers and the police, who escorted him from the Forum. That shows that the fans of Los Angeles want to see exciting, good clean hockey and will not tolerate fan abuse toward opposing teams or the referee. I hope fans of other hockey cities will take notice.
Many thanks for the fine article on lacrosse (Attack from Both Sides, April 26). The color photos were particularly good. Exception should be taken, however, to the contention that the attack units of Johns Hopkins and Cornell are probably the best ever to face each other. While Cornell's may well rank with the best, the Hopkins unit is not particularly superior when matched against some past units. That the current attack unit has had to carry the burden of the team scoring can be attributed to the fact that the Blue Jays do not have their traditionally strong midfields out front.
It also has been said that Virginia's attack unit from its 1972 NCAA champions—Jay Connor, Tom Duquette and Chip Barker—was the best, although a strong argument could be waged by the Hopkins unit led by Joe Cowan and Downy McCarty in the late 1960s.
CARLTON A. VAN LEAR
Joe Marshall said, "The clear-cut winner was Cornell, which not only displayed a high-scoring offense but also enough defense that it now must be considered the front-runner for the NCAA title." This statement totally discounts the University of Maryland team. The Terps are ACC champions and undefeated this year, as well as defending NCAA champions. There are some who feel that the Terps are No. 1.
Having refereed for nine years in the Midwest Lacrosse Association, I must clarify a statement made by Joe Marshall in his otherwise excellent article on the Cornell-Hopkins game. Referring to body checking, he states, "The rules of lacrosse allow a player to hit an opponent who is within five yards of a ball.... It also means that a bruising hit is perfectly legal when the man and ball have recently parted company."
However, Rule 5, Section 3-b, clearly states that an "illegal body check" includes "the avoidable body check of an opponent after he has thrown the ball." Possibly Marshall was thinking of this particular regulation when he referred to "late hits," but the distinction is an important one and needs emphasis. Lacrosse does not encourage the unnecessary violence that has brought its sister sport, ice hockey, into increasing disrepute.
STANLEY L. SWART
BLACKS AND WHITES
After reading your article (The Student April 5) I must say I was a little disillusioned and hurt. Disillusioned because I was a member of the Missouri basketball team for the past four years. Hurt because I am black and I do know blacks can be disciplined. I know personally that black players aren't treated any better than whites.
I have seen Missouri players like LaMont Turner, Felix Jerman and Glenn Robinson leave before their graduation dates. If there is no race problem or any problem, why do all these black players leave? All blacks are not born ignorant, poor and fatherless. We, too, have been disciplined to some extent or another. My point on discipline is that when you come to college, you are your own man. Your parents are not around to make decisions and say what is right or wrong. It's what you feel that guides you in making these decisions.
As for my being black and not saying, "The hell with you, I'm leaving," I've put my priorities elsewhere instead of into basketball. I value a quality education and alumni that are willing to help me get out and get a job. If I did aspire to play professional basketball like the blacks who left, I, too, would have been long gone.
I'm not coming down on your article. Missouri basketball is good basketball, and it should get some attention. Norm Stewart is one of the finest coaches in the nation. All I'm saying is straighten out the record on the treatment of blacks and whites.
JOCKS FOR JESUS (CONT.)
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, et ah, must be doing a great job if you have seen the need to unleash one of your hatchet men for a three-part exposé (Religion in Sport, April 19 et seq.). Frank Deford is not a full-fledged hatchet man, but he's quite amusing with his rubber sword.
The attacks on "fundamentalists" are quaint. Not even "fundamentalists" (1920 version) call themselves fundamentalist any more. The reference to "Bible belt" is ludicrously inaccurate. If you mean theologically ultraconservative areas, you should realize that Southern California and notable stretches of New England possess considerable concentrations of religiously ultra-conservative dollars and votes.
The charge that FCA is preparing its members to win is interesting. Since when has "loser-ism" become the Great Sports Goal? Deford's recourse to Malcolm Boyd and his "theology of losing" is a real laugher. Boyd has become a kind of patron saint for the "new breed" minister from mainline Protestant denominations of the 1960s. They were above such things as membership growth and new church establishment. The "new breed" was going to demolish the "institutional" church in order to construct a more "relevant" structure. The "new breed" lost. The loss was cataclysmic for mainline Protestantism. But the same period has seen a fantastic growth among those churches unashamed of their Christ-centeredness, their zeal for new members and their serious consideration of the Bible as Word of God.
If FCA, et al., can lead young men and women to Christ in ways I cannot, I salute them, even if you dare not.
THE REV. CLYDE W. HARMON
First Baptist Church
A hearty word of gratitude is to be offered to Frank Deford for his opening salvo on religion in sport. We do not often expect a prophetic word from so secular a medium as SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. But here is one professing evangelism who appreciated deeply his fair and perceptive probe of those who seek to win the athletic world to Christ. The largely shallow and unthinking programs and efforts of "Sportianity" certainly leave one wondering where the offense of the Gospel lies. The wholesale adoption of the values of the modern sport scene inclines one to believe that all this is "another gospel which is no gospel at all"—and St. Paul had some pointed words for those who would offer "another gospel" (Galatians 1:6-9).
We shall begin to believe in this movement among the Christian athletes when they begin to question and to challenge the ethics and values of the world in which they live. And they could do it far better than we who are on the edge of that world.
ROBERT W. LYON, PH.D.
Professor of New Testament
Asbury Theological Seminary
One of my sons belonged to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes while he was in high school. The FCA helped him. It made him a better person. It brought him closer to God. Why do you criticize this?
MARY ANNE SANSBURY
Your series is right on target. You have not thrown "the baby out with the bath water." Too often people reject all of the Christian faith because of what is done by groups which have made their faith into an idolatry that creates and feeds on guilt, or provides a ready-made identity complete with all the answers.
I am sure you are being prayed for at this very moment, but as for me, I say thanks.
As one who is and has been associated with FCA for a number of years, I commend you for your series on religion in sport. I hope we will give your criticisms a fair hearing and not summarily dismiss them as the product of an antagonistic, secular mentality.
Bad Axe, Mich.
As one who did publicity work for the Braves during their 13 years in Milwaukee, I suppose I could be expected to remember that Henry Aaron wore uniform No. 5 during his rookie season before switching in his second year to his now famous No. 44. But imagine my surprise when I read your piece comparing Fred Lynn and Jim Rice's rookie season to that of some of the game's greatest players (Pair Without Parallel, April 12) and noticed that your illustration of Aaron had him correctly wearing No. 5. That's what I call accuracy.
Just to set the record straight, Nebraska and Ohio State, those feared Midwestern juggernauts, were not the only college teams to have 11 players taken in the annual NFL draft (Getting Chilled by a Very Slight Draft, April 19). Lowly Colorado was similarly honored. Center Pete Brock (New England), Defensive End Troy Archer (New York Giants) and Offensive Tackle Mark Koncar (Green Bay) were drafted in the first round. Wide Receiver Dave Logan (Cleveland), Defensive Back Mike McCoy (Green Bay) and Offensive Tackle Steve Young (Tampa Bay) went in the third round. Running Back David Williams (Dallas) was picked in the seventh round. Running Back Terry Kunz (Oakland) and Offensive Tackle Bob Simpson (Miami) were taken in the eighth round. And Linebacker Gary Campbell (Pittsburgh) and Defensive End Whitney Paul (Kansas City) were selected in the 10th round.
What is more, San Diego State Quarterback Craig Penrose, chosen in the fourth round by Denver, was a member of the Colorado squad before transferring. Not bad for a team with just 16 seniors on its varsity roster at the end of the 1975 season.
Glenwood Springs, Colo.
In his article on rally driver Orville J. Meyer (High Road to the Good Life, April 19), Phil Singerman says: "Meyer remembers one rally...instruction: Every time you see the word creek spelled out, increase the average speed 10%, but every time creek is abbreviated, decrease average speed 10%. 'You're going along at 50 mph and you see creek spelled out, so you increase to 55,' he says. 'Then you see cr. and nine out of 10 people decreased to 50 rather than 49.5.' When he was asked how one managed to drive at 49.5 miles an hour, Meyer just chuckled."
But at the next "creek," the 10% increase works out to 54.45 mph. And at the next "cr.," the 10% decrease makes it 49.005. Or worse, another "creek," and he's supposed to drive 53.9055.
Meyer's speedometer would have to be four feet across and graduated in 1/1000th mph. Come on. No one should start a progression without working past the first step.
Stony Brook, N.Y.
In answer to Tom Burke's letter (April 12), women athletes at TCU are Horned Frogs and women athletes at the University of Arkansas are Razorbacks. We definitely do not want to be called Pig, Sow, Hogette or any of the numerous other uncomplimentary derivatives of Razorback.
Sometime back I asked the sports editor of our student newspaper to run an article to see if students could come up with a better feminine nickname than "Lady Razor-backs." The only suggestion submitted (tongue in cheek at that) came from our woman tennis coach. She favored the name "Pork Chops."
Razorbacks, it is.
Women's Intercollegiate Sports
University of Arkansas
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