SPIRIT OF DETROIT
Congratulations are due Larry Keith and Jerry Kirshenbaum for their excellent articles in the April 24 issue on the Tigers (Roar? No, the Tigers Go "Tweety!") and the Red Wings (Octopuses Were Flying). Along with the renovation of downtown Detroit, these two teams are symbolic of the new spirit that has put a dash of excitement into what was a depressing city.
Ralph Houk deserves the accolades of the baseball world for his patience in constructing "the best young team in baseball." Maybe good young teams finish third, but by the time those blue seats have all been installed in Tiger Stadium, the Bird and the rest of the Battling Bengals will be walking off with a World Series.
As for the Red Wings, Coach Bobby Kromm and General Manager Ted Lindsay have to be considered miracle workers. The Wings fell to the mighty Canadiens this year, but Detroit hockey fans will be throwing octopuses on the Olympia ice for years to come.
JEFFREY E. PECKHAM
People who throw live octopuses onto the ice should stay away from hockey; obviously, they've been hit on the head by the puck once too often.
HELEN M. BURKE
May 7, 1978
Hats off to Jerry Green for his account of the rejuvenation of aging Tiger Stadium, Owner John E. Fetzer's determination to keep the Tigers on the corner of Michigan and Trumbull is a tribute not only to the likes of immortals Cobb, Gehringer, Greenberg and Kaline, but also to the people of Detroit, who deserve better than a 29-mile trip to suburbia to support their baseball team.
TOWNSEND HOOPES III
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
I grew up in the shadow of Tiger Stadium and never missed a Tiger game from '35 to '48. After reading Jerry Green's story, I swear I could smell those great hot dogs grilling.
While other teams are willing to overpay players in an attempt to win "instant" pennants, it is heartening to see a team that is content to build the old-fashioned way—from its own farm system. When Detroit's turn comes to win the pennant, the victory will be appreciated that much more.
New Kingstown, Pa.
How many times are you going to put Mark Fidrych on your cover? Your April 24 issue was for the birds!
STAN W. FRYCZYNSKI
JOE HALL'S KENTUCKY
Congratulations to Barry McDermott for one "hail" of a feature on Kentucky's championship season (Forty Minutes to Glory, April 24). Those of us in North Carolina who live basketball in much the same way as Kentuckians can appreciate the constant pressure on coach and players because we are the ones who apply it.
Unfortunately, Kentucky Coach Joe B. Hall's predicament is not unique. Gene Bartow would not put up with the living ghost of John Wooden at UCLA. Dan Devine found himself in a similar situation following in the footsteps of Ara Parseghian at Notre Dame until his team won this year's football championship. And pity the man who follows Dean Smith.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Never before have I seen the phenomenon of "pressure" so well expressed in writing.
PAUL J. PUPO
As a Kentuckian, I am very proud of the Wildcats and the job Coach Hall did this year. Hall was an example to others, especially to his players, that nothing worthwhile can be achieved without dedication, hard work and determination. I'm sure some of the other teams had more "fun," but they didn't win the NCAA title. I'm also sure the Wildcats had plenty of fun when they brought home the trophy.
In his quest to emulate famed Kentucky Coach Adolph Rupp and win an NCAA title, Joe Hall found it necessary to become involved in recruiting violations, subject his players to militarylike discipline, publicly criticize them after sub-par performances and instill in them an almost fanatical devotion to basketball and to winning. I, for one, would rather see a feature on a coach like Duke's Bill Foster, who can field a championship-caliber team without having to put college basketball so wildly out of perspective.
BRENT A. TORSTRICK
JIMMY JACKSON'S RESPONSE
In the last month or so, Herman Weiskopf and Bruce Newman have written articles on wrestling that have included me (After the Fall in Dixieland, March 20, and The Brothers Raised a Ruckus, April 24). I'd like to say that I was very displeased! In both articles I seem to be a villain.
Weiskopf's article on Louisiana State's wrestling program was not completely accurate. I beat George Atiyeh because I was a better wrestler, not because he made a "freshman's error."
In his article, Newman doesn't seem to understand that I'm also a student and must attend school, so I was unable to go to the AAU championships in Ames, Iowa that week. I had wrestled two weeks earlier in the World Cup in Toledo, beating Soslan Andiev, the Olympic gold medalist and three-time world champion, 8-6. And one week later I beat Andiev in East Lansing, Mich. by a fall. So you see, I do wrestle around, but I wait for a tournament that I think is of national or world quality. I have beaten Erland van Lidth de Jeude and Greg Wojciechowski several times in the past, and I will do it again this summer in the World Games trials. That tournament will prove who is the best heavyweight in the U.S. today.
The sport of the '80s is here! We skateboarders in Rochester, Mich. think your move to make "rad" O.K. with dad was very "tasty" (Super Rad Means O.K., Dad, April 24). Keep up your interest in skateboarding, and we'll yawn along with your golf articles (no offense. Dad!). SkateBoarder magazine is fine, but your coverage, in my opinion, will make the public more aware that skateboarding is an art and a sport, not a Saturday morning TV phenomenon.
William Zinsser's paean to skateboarding evokes this comment from a 33-year-old female hot-wheels aficionado. All athletes become a bit more cautious with advancing years, but even Katharine Hepburn has been known to do a mean grapevine on her skateboard. I'm less likely to push myself to do high-risk maneuvers than I was in the good old days. But, believe me, I "go for it"—over 30. female and all. Flowing into some fast turns in front of the Superdome or getting quickly and smoothly to various air terminals makes my traveling job as host for "Women in Sports" on the CBS Sports Spectacular even more fun.
So, go for it yourself, Zinsser. Just wear gloves and pick a small hill at first.
New York City
Dr. George Sheehan's article On the Run but in No Hurry (April 17 and 24) was a beautiful, realistic, stark picture of running. As a novice, I have experienced the loneliness and psychological barriers of running. Yet, there is something very contagious about getting in that extra lap or mile.
Sheehan not only told why a person would want to run, but he also gave me hope that I might be able to increase my mileage and maybe even run 26 miles and 385 yards.
For those of us who have been running since the '60s, George Sheehan has emerged as our spokesman. His account of his experiences in the '76 and '77 Boston Marathons was a sheer joy to read.
Dr. Sheehan expresses an attitude toward physical fitness that I hope will become as popular as running itself. With fitness come self-confidence and pride, qualities that Sheehan possesses and expresses so well.
Dr. Sheehan's grim depiction of distance running as some sort of masochistic ego-trip ritual is one that many of us who participate in the sport are not fully prepared to accept. Pain and the mystique of overcoming it are but one facet of the total experience of running, an experience that should make one feel better, not worse. If Dr. Sheehan is suffering so much, perhaps he ought to pause at the top of the hill, sniff the wild flowers, enjoy the view and contemplate the long, happy run downhill.
Santa Monica, Calif.
One should not randomly criticize elderly physicians who keep their bodies in reasonably good physical condition. This is an admirable characteristic. However, reading Dr. Sheehan's article reminds me of Mark Twain's description of a politician making a speech down around Aurora, Nev. The fellow had an inflated idea of his own accomplishments, and his speech could be only partially written up in the newspaper because the typesetter ran out of the capital letter I.
Many of us physicians are frustrated athletes, and certainly there is no harm in doing as well as we can. However, to imply that completion of the marathon is a feat practically equivalent to the Resurrection is somewhat wearisome.
ROBERT R. MCIVOR, M.D.
The method of taking one's pulse described by Dr. Sheehan—that is, by grasping both carotid arteries simultaneously—is a risky practice that may lead to fainting, dangerous heart-slowing, etc. A safer technique is to take the pulse of one carotid artery or—easier yet—measure the radial pulse by placing the index and middle fingers across the wrist so that their tips are on the thumb side of the hand.
Forest Park, Ill.
ONE FOR POPCORN
Concerning your reference to Bill Walton sitting in the stands eating popcorn and watching his teammates in the NBA playoffs (Why Is This Man Eating Popcorn? April 17), I resent the fact that you call popcorn junk food. It is in fact good food and good for you. It is only when you put tons of salt, seasoning and butter on popcorn that it takes on the aspects of junk food.
GARY A. FREITAS
San Jose, Calif.
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