Very unsportsmanlike conduct, SI. You slighted all the thousands of real athletes throughout the world by opting to feature Kris Kristofferson, Burt Reynolds and Jill Clayburgh—Jill Clayburgh?—on the cover (Nov. 7). How could you? The article Semi-Tough Goes to the Movies was even more unsportsmanlike. A busted play.
RICHARD S. QUINTANA
Cochiti, N. Mex.
Surely there was an athlete, a team, a coach, an animal—something—more deserving of your cover that week. Now I suppose I'll have to start reading movie magazines for sports news.
The Nov. 7 cover is the worst you have ever had. Period. I didn't even want to read the story.
SCOT A. FRENCH
Thanks to Dan Jenkins for another superb piece of literary work. I always look forward to reading material from my alltime favorite author. Semi-Tough kept me laughing from start to finish. If the movie is half as good as the book, it will be semi-hilarious. Also, SI, please keep assigning Jenkins to the golf tournaments. Those articles alone are reason enough to subscribe to your magazine.
November 21, 1977
Dan Jenkins is proof positive that what the world needs more than peace, love and the Rozelle Rule is a sense of humor. May the movie version of his novel be a box office semi-smash.
I can just see the next sports flick.
SCENE: 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Sportswriters plot to blow up the Coliseum during the premiere of a new Olympic track event: the Hertz 100-yard dash.
CAST: O. J. Simpson as Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley; Burt Reynolds as O. J. Simpson; Farrah Fawcett-Majors as Nadia Comaneci; Lord Darth Vader as Howard Cosell; Arnold Schwarzenegger as Vasily Alexeyev; Charlie's Angels as the U.S. track team; Producer Irwin Allen as Roone Arledge; Ronald Reagan as Jerry Brown; John Wayne as Dan Jenkins; and Roosevelt Grier as the Goodyear blimp.
Congratulations on your story about Los Angeles' bid for the 1984 Olympic Games (Found: A Place in the Sun, Nov. 7). You have captured the spirit of the Games and of our bid better than any other publication has to date.
We would only record disagreement with your characterization of our 1980 bid as that of a "straw-man candidate" against Moscow. That bid was very real and came within a swing of nine votes of victory.
As Lord Killanin recently noted, a race is not won by even a sole competitor until the finish line is crossed. For Los Angeles the finish line is May 19, when the International Olympic Committee meets in Athens to make its final decision on the location of the 1984 Games.
JOHN C. ARGUE
Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games
Having attended the last two Olympics at Munich and Montreal, I noticed that one thing was not mentioned in connection with the Games at Los Angeles, namely, transportation. Both Munich and Montreal had efficient systems for moving large crowds. If Los Angeles hosts the Olympics in 1984, I predict the greatest traffic jam in history.
Garden Grove, Calif.
William Oscar Johnson omitted one important question concerning the 1984 Olympics' going to Los Angeles: What are the athletes going to breathe?
CLEVELAND AND CLYDE
It has been said that Cleveland does not get any national attention. But in your Nov. 7 issue, Larry Keith used Cleveland to show the lessons of baseball's free-agent draft (Is It Daft—or Deft—To Draft?); Walt (Clyde) Frazier told us that Cleveland is not Siberia, although he admitted that he plans to be here only three years, not a lifetime (Clyde, Laughing Cavalier); and, finally, Cleveland was mentioned by Dan Jenkins as one of two foul-weather American Conference cities in which the playoff segments of the movie version of his book Semi-Tough could be filmed.
So maybe Cleveland is still the butt of bad jokes. You can't have your cake and eat it, too.
It is interesting to note that the oft maligned city of Cleveland has relieved New York City, that mecca of sophistication, of one of its greatest natural resources, Walt Frazier. Whether or not the removal of Frazier proves to be of help to the Knicks this season, New York is losing one of the class athletes of all time.
I have followed Frazier's career since his first season with the Knicks in 1967. He has provided me with some of the greatest thrills I have ever had from sports. And all the while, even in the last two turbulent years, he has performed with class. I watched in disbelief as Dr. J, Joe Namath and Tom Seaver left New York, but when Clyde departed it brought mist to my eyes. If any one person can stop those awful Cleveland jokes, it will be Clyde. I hope he takes the Cavaliers all the way.
I am a Cleveland Indians fan, and watching the New York Yankees in the World Series these last two years has given me a mighty funny feeling. I couldn't help thinking that I was seeing former Cleveland players Chris Chambliss, Oscar Gamble, Graig Nettles and Dick Tidrow—not to mention Canton, Ohio's own Thurman Munson, who was making no bones about wanting to play in Cleveland. Worse yet, there was Cleveland Shipbuilder George Steinbrenner paying all those high salaries. And Gabe Paul was a general manager in Cleveland not so long ago. I think the world championship belongs to Cleveland. We just play in New York.
My pocket calculator reveals that the average batting average of the 18 hitters among last year's free agents listed in the article Is It Daft—or Deft—To Draft? (Nov. 7) was only .259, at an average cost of $2,109.28 per base hit. Bad as that was, the three California Angel batters listed (Rudi, Grich, Baylor) had a combined .253 average at a whopping $5,155.67 per hit.
JAMES E. ABBOTT
Your article concerning baseball's free agents was one of the fairest accounts I've read. It brought out an interesting point: the money paid free agents is for the most part spread out via multi-year contracts. Therefore the failure or success of a particular player should not be judged on one season alone.
ROBERT C. SCHOETTLE
Why does everyone keep saying that Gene Tenace, who hit .233 last season, had a disappointing year? His lifetime average before 1977 was .245. He has never hit 30 home runs or driven in 90 runs. Who ever said that he was a good defensive catcher? Just because someone gives him a fortune, is he now supposed to be a superstar, or even a respectable big league hitter?
T. E. REA
IN SEARCH OF NANTUCKET BLUES
Are you sure that the name of the author of your article Tumult on a Wild Shore (Nov. 7) isn't William Melville Humphrey? Our numerous visits to Nantucket's Great Point have been made in a Wagoneer loaded with fishing gear, children, coolers, blankets, charcoal and a picnic supper. We always make the trip in the late afternoon, for there is nothing like seeing the sun sinking behind the Great Point lighthouse. On arrival, mothers set up camp, children play hide-and-seek in the dunes and, 90% of the time, the men pull in blues. After a meal of hamburgers and fresh grilled blue-fish, we sit around the fire enjoying ghost and fish stories. Although the trip is far from comfortable, the children often fall asleep on the return rather than arriving home "battered and bruised from our wild ride...."
William Humphrey's article totally swept me off my feet. Fantastic!
New York City
I believe Adrian Dantley of the Indianapolis Pacers erred when he said he was the only Rookie of the Year in any sport to be traded after having won the award (Scouting Reports, Oct. 31). I recall that Bill Virdon was traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Pittsburgh Pirates after the 1955 season, in which he was named National League Rookie of the Year.
TIMOTHY J. MILLER
Adrian Dantley is mistaken. After he won Co-Rookie of the Year honors in 1976 with the Cincinnati Reds, Pat Zachry was traded to the New York Mets in the Tom Seaver deal. (Zachry shared the award with Butch Metzger of the San Diego Padres.)
NEALE X. TRANGUCH
ON THEIR TOES
In the article They're Kicking Up a Real Storm (Nov. 7) you stated that Russell Erxleben would be unable to wear a square-toed kicking shoe in the NFL. If I am not mistaken, Ray Guy and Errol Mann of Oakland, Jim Turner of Denver, Fred Cox of Minnesota, Jim Bakken of St. Louis, Mark Moseley of Washington and ex-Ram Tom Dempsey all wore or are now wearing square-toed shoes.
•Right. A regulation square-toed kicking shoe is allowed by the NFL.—ED.
Bruce Milligan's letter (Oct. 17) and your article Is Colgate Going To Be Squeezed Out Again? (Nov. 7) lament the fact that Colgate was not selected for the Rose Bowl in 1932. Undoubtedly, one of the principal reasons Colgate was "unscored upon, undefeated and uninvited" was the fact that after trampling St. Lawrence, the Red Raiders played Case School of Applied Science. In that game Colgate was unable to penetrate the Case line and had to rely upon its exalted passing game to win.
After the game, Colgate Coach Andy Kerr led a group of reporters and photographers into the Case dressing room and was photographed between four members of the Case team. Thereupon he told the press, "These four men can play on any team in this country." The New York newspapers noted the incident and pointed out that Case was an "unheard of school in the Midwest.
ROBERT W. SEIFERT
If the Red Raiders go unbeaten this season, they will have done so while playing only four games at home. It's tough to win on the road, no matter what the caliber of the opposition. The selection committees of the postseason bowls should give Colgate serious consideration.
Thanks for Michael DelNagro's article on a most deserving Colgate football team. Bowl bid or no, it's nice once in a while to see national recognition accorded a superior team from a small, highly selective college that doesn't give athletic scholarships.
ROBERT H. HABERER
Nobody, but nobody, crunches Tennessee State (FOOTBALL'S WEEK, NOV. 7). Tennessee Tech, a fine small college team, did indeed crunch East Tennessee State 63-20, but Tennessee State? No way. Coach John Merritt's TSU Tigers are 8-1-1 for the season, having lost only a 31-28 squeaker to Florida A&M and tied Tennessee-Chattanooga, 14-14. With little recognition, this predominantly black school has been one of the premier producers of NFL talent for many years, ranking right alongside the Notre Dames and Ohio States.
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