If one picture is worth a thousand words, then your special issue, A Year in Sports, is worth 134,000. However, some pictures are worth even more. You captured every memorable event in sports during the past year. I shall hold on to this issue for a long time.
Fantastic! SPORTS ILLUSTRATED photographers seem to have a talent that other photographers lack, i.e., a knack for getting on film a picture that makes the reader feel a part of the action. Let me especially commend you on the excellence of the pictures in the baseball section. They were outasight!
New Castle, Ind.
It's too bad that you neglected to depict the third coming of King Kong to New York. Dave (Kong) Kingman might have clouted 62 homers, and Mike Schmidt might not have won his "third straight home run title with 38," if Kingman hadn't been injured. It would also have been nice to see a photograph of the American League home run king, Graig Nettles. Nice job, anyway.
Your use of the "New York version of the Boston Massacre" in this special issue certainly points to a need for preventing, or at least better controlling, such happenings. That incident was bad for baseball, but Rick Monday's rescue of the flag from two fans bent on burning it was as smoothly done as anything I have ever seen on a sports field. What a tribute to him and to baseball, especially in the Bicentennial year! Yet you did not use a picture of that.
February 28, 1977
Go back and look at your hockey photographs. What do you see? Larry Robinson punching Mel Bridgman in the face, and Jack McIlhargey, his face bloodied, skating off in a daze. They're trying to clean up the game, but with these pictures you're encouraging violence. You should have shown Gil Perreault faking out a defenseman or Ken Dryden making a big save for the Canadiens on their way to the Stanley Cup.
Printing one shot of a soccer match is at once neglectful of most of the world and of what is happening in this country. The most popular sport in the world is surely entitled to more enlightened treatment.
Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America
For some reason you have completely ignored amateur wrestling. The number of participants in this sport on the college and high school levels alone should warrant at least an honorable mention.
WILLIAM F. HILL
Hampton Bays, N.Y.
Your special issue couldn't have been better. You covered everything from the Olympics to the World Series of poker. Do it again next year.
My congratulations to Curry Kirkpatrick on his fine article on the Los Angeles Lakers (It's a Wild West Show, Feb. 14). Jerry West is doing a fantastic coaching job, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar puts a lot of excitement into the game. Abdul-Jabbar is one of the greatest basketball centers to step onto a court.
South Fork, Pa.
Jerry West has proved he can be an NBA coach and his assistants, Stan Albeck and Jack McCloskey, have done a commendable job. With young talent such as Earl Tatum, Don Ford and Tom Abernethy, the Lakers seem to be well stocked for the future. And with three first-round draft picks in 1977 they really don't have much to worry about.
Sun Valley, Calif.
I studied John G. Zimmerman's cover photograph of Kareem & Co. for about five minutes. It is an excellent picture, one of the best I've seen.
COUNTING THE TAKE
Sugar Ray Leonard may be a talented boxer and Angelo Dundee may be a talented handler, but I would suggest that they hire a talented fourth-grader to determine their take (The Day the Gold Turned Green, Feb. 14). If Sugar Ray received only $40,044 for his Feb. 5 bout, he was shortchanged by $3,616.
Figure it out. If Sugar Ray was to receive half of the live gate over $35,000 and the total gate receipts were $72,320, his share would come to $37,320 divided by two, or $18,660. Add this amount to Louis Grasmick's $10,000, CBS' $10,000 and the first $5,000 after the live gate passed $30,000 and you get a total of $43,660, not $40,044. Even though this was his first professional fight, Sugar Ray gave up a lot of sugar.
THOMAS STEPHEN TERPACK
•No sour note here. Sugar Ray's pot was as sweet as it could be. Before the $72,320 gate could be parceled out, 10% of it had to be deducted for taxes.—ED.
The gold did turn into green for Sugar Ray Leonard. But what about his opponent, Luis Vega, who received only $650 to Sugar Ray's $40,044? That's about a 60-to-1 ratio, winner to loser. Surely there could have been a more equitable distribution of the purse. Have promoters no conscience?
Sioux Falls, S. Dak.
BATTLE IN THE BIG TEN
We finally agreed with one of your college basketball assessments (Three Applications for One Vacancy, Feb. 14). The Michigan Wolverines are the most exciting team in the nation. We realize that Rickey Green is a super player. However, your article neglected to mention the most electrifying player in the country, Michigan's Dr. Dunk, Joel Thompson. Joel will soon make Bo's Boys the second most popular show in town.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
It was good to see SI grant recognition to one of those unsung heroes, the assistant coaches, particularly to the man who has really made Michigan an annual contender for the NCAA championship, Bill Frieder. Having attended the Michigan high school tournament finals for the past nine years, we have enjoyed watching some great invididuals and teams perform, but none stand out in memory better than Frieder's teams. They were never big, but they were fast and quick and as smooth as silk.
GLENN D. HOP
WAYNE D. HOP
In his article, Larry Keith slighted one of the Big Ten's best centers, Bruce (Sky) King of Iowa. As of Feb. 8, King was first in rebounding (12.9 per game), second in scoring (22.7 points per game) and undoubtedly his team's most valuable player. Although not given as much publicity as Mike Thompson, Kent Benson or Phil Hubbard, King may well be king of the Big Ten centers.
JOHN A. FLAMBO
Vice President and Station Manager
Minnesota is even better than you indicated. You didn't say anything about Guard Phil Saunders or Forward Kevin McHale, who often lead their team to victory. When all the Gophers are at their best, they can beat anybody. They lost to Michigan 86-80, but one game does not mean everything.
Regarding Pat Putnam's article on Union College hockey (No Heels in the Achilles, Feb. 7), I take personal offense at his categorization of Union as "this bastion of athletic dormancy." During the past six years Coaches Gary Walters, now at Dartmouth, and Bill Scanlon have built a small-college basketball powerhouse at Union, amassing a 103-30 record since the 1970-71 campaign. Conference rules prevent acceptance of NCAA bids, keeping the Garnet and Gray from getting the publicity it well deserves.
Union athletic tradition is about as old as the school (182 years), and participation of both men and women in intercollegiate and intramural sports is truly amazing. I was proud to co-captain the 1973-74 basketball team. I wish hockey the best of luck, but it is still a small part of the whole picture.
I can't resist calling attention to our brochure entitled "Hawaii Cruises" for the enlightenment of your readers. It shows that the S.S. Mariposa and S.S. Monterey (America's only luxury liners) are heavily committed to Hawaiian cruises, not only across the Pacific, but also around the islands as well. Thus, contrary to Frank Deford's statement that the ships are gone (Three Little Syllables, Jan. 24), there is generous service available the year round.
L. A. KIMBALL
Director of Advertising and Creative Services
Pacific Far East Line
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