I read your May 22 article (Gimme an 'S,' Gimme an 'E,' Gimme...) on the NFL cheerleader craze with great interest.
Particularly intriguing was Suzanne Mitchell, who replied to Staff Writer Bruce Newman with the following gem: "Obviously we don't put the girls in those uniforms to hide anything. Sports has always had a very clean, almost Puritanical aspect about it, but by the same token, sex is a very important part of our lives. What we've done is combine the two."
Why is "Puritanical" football lacking something? What's wrong with keeping sex between lovers and keeping an NFL football game between teams of athletes? Must we now endure this kind of "sex" through the medium of professional football? I mean, enough is enough.
Cosmeticians tell us how to look sexy, the commercial "brains" crank out daily doses of "Be sexy with this toothpaste, that hair spray or this perfume." And now, during what is presumably athletic competition, NFL management plans to bombard us with bouncing busts, bare bellies and lanky legs. Hey, I've got a helluva suggestion. Why don't we create a professional football league?
I was one of the 1,500 who applied to be a Chicago Honey Bear, and was immediately rejected because I am not a professional dancer. I guess it's irrelevant that I'm a lifelong Bear fan and don't have to be told when to cheer. I have paid my way into Soldiers Field to cheer for my team in all kinds of weather, so I don't understand why the cheerleaders should complain of "low pay."
•According to Corinne Nierman, general manager of the Honey Bears, applicants don't have to be professional dancers, but it helps. Cheerleading experience, personal appearance and size also count.—ED.
I have decided to change my college major from physical education to journalism. In that way I can cover this new sport from the bottom up. Thanks a million.
ALEX B. BELL
I have always doubted the validity of mixing sex with sports, but I changed my mind after seeing the picture of those NFL cheerleading contestants. Contestant No. 14 showed me better moves and more fluid motion than Tony Dorsett! How did she fare?
West Allis, Wis.
•No. 14, Shannon Baker of SMU, made the team for the third time.—ED.
Why is there such an uproar over the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders? The answer is simple. Tex Schramm's team is so good that the fans need something to sustain their interest during the second half of each week's game.
In response to Mark Mulvoy's article Never Rile an O'Reilly (May 15), I hope you will run a follow-up article on Terry O'Reilly, including a picture showing what happens to O'Reilly when he stands up long enough during a fight. The fight I'm talking about took place in the second period of the fourth game of the series between Philadelphia and Boston. If O'Reilly's face is a map of Ireland, the Flyers' Mel Bridgman sank it.
Toms River, N.J.
I am amazed by Mulvoy's biased, inconsistent observations. He criticizes the Toronto Maple Leafs for tough, hard-hitting hockey, then glorifies Terry O'Reilly of the Boston Bruins for exactly the same style.
In your Pro Basketball Scouting Reports last October you mentioned the SuperSonics as "a last-place club through and through" and even referred to them as "patsies"!
Well, here we are in June and the patsies have disposed of the Los Angeles Lakers. Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets and now are facing the Washington Bullets for the NBA championship.
Also in your scouting report you predicted correctly that Coach Hopkins would be dropped in favor of Lenny Wilkens and that the NBA championship would remain in the hands of the Pacific Northwest. But you picked the wrong city.
RANDY F. HUDSON
The rise of the Washington Bullets and the Seattle SuperSonics as finalists in the NBA playoffs is the final piece of proof that the one-on-one game has at last gone off to join the dinosaur.
Woodland Hills, Calif.
I used to look forward to the end of each week and the arrival of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. Lying back in bed, I would open the magazine anticipating the delights of beautiful photography and writing. Then, too late as usual, I remembered that at least two subscription invitations from Time Inc. would fall into my eyeballs. If I survived the first attack without retina damage, I had two choices. I could put the solicitations back in the fold of the magazine and wait for a surprise assault as I read on, or I could put the invitations on a nearby flat surface, where they would eventually be thrown away with all the other unsolicited junk mail cluttering my house. Neither of these alternatives appealed to me. So I ask similarly afflicted subscribers to join me in forming the Society to Prevent Invitations from Time Inc. (S.P.I.T.).
Mill Valley, Calif.
EYES HAVE IT
Wow! What great news (SCORECARD, May 15)! I finally found something that I've got that Paul Newman and Robert Redford don't have: brown eyes and faster neural impulses! I'm forever indebted to Professor Landers.
JAMES E. ABBOTT
The only adjective my unliterary mind came up with to describe Bill Eppridge's photographs of the Swiftsure Lightship Classic in the May 22 issue was "mind-boggling." Eppridge captured the essence of the race—the sheer power and beauty of the boats and the grandeur of the setting.
New York City
THE WEST BRANCH
My sincere congratulations to Bil Gilbert and SI for the superb story on the West Branch of the Susquehanna (Journey into Spring, May 8). Growing up in the late '20s and '30s in central Pennsylvania, I would often accompany my father on his business trips to such lovely towns as Cherry Tree, McGee's Mills and Clearfield, and my memories of the West Branch are still clear. We would often stop to dip a line into it for a finny prize to take home for dinner. I am very glad this superb river is making a comeback.
JOHN G. TOBIAS
Carmel Valley, Calif.
I thought you would be interested in knowing that since Bil Gilbert came down the West Branch the Clearfield sewage plant has become a secondary treatment facility and the coloration from that source has improved drastically.
The big problem, of course, is the pollution from the old deep mines along more than 30 miles of Clearfield Creek, which feeds into the West Branch below Clearfield. There are more than a hundred. Some of these discharge sulfur water all the time, some only when we have a heavy rain. Federal and state studies have been made of this, and Maurice Goddard, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, and I have discussed it a number of times. With limited funds the state tries to clean up one or two tributary streams a year, but it's a discouraging, slow process.
Under the new federal stripping law, a fee of 35¬¨¬®¬¨¢ per ton of soft coal mined goes for reclamation. The state distributes the money, and we have already pushed strongly to be sure that Clearfield County, now the leading strip-mine producer in Pennsylvania, gets its share. Ironically, a factor working in our favor is that many of these small drift and deep mines are above where the strip miners' heavy draglines are now going and, in the process of reaching the deeper seams, they are cleaning up the troublemakers. Then, of course, with the backfill, the abandoned mines are closed in.
I also noted with interest Gilbert's remarks about the Curwensville Dam. During Hurricane Agnes the dam filled to within 14 feet of the top. If we had not had the Curwensville Dam, Clearfield would have been 12 feet under water. The dam had a sizable impact on the Lock Haven level, too. During the 1936 flood we were under three feet of water.
As Gilbert has pointed out, the fishing is really getting good now. It had been 50 years since the West Branch was clean around Clearfield, but about seven years ago some of us put in catfish fingerlings. Two years later we were getting eight-and nine-inch catfish. Now the river is loaded with suckers, and there are bass and trout, too. The big bass are inclined to go down the river but the trout seem to be comfortable, especially near the mouths of the feeder runs.
Another boon from the Curwensville Dam is that dam tenders let us know when they are going to let some water out of the dam and one can ride that crest for miles.
WILLIAM K. ULERICH
The secret is out, but I suppose it is time we shared this canoeing gem with other people. Bil Gilbert has captured the wilderness, scenery and solitude of the West Branch as well as revealed its problems.
I went to school alongside this lovely river, and your article brought back more memories of the joy I experienced on its banks than any class reunion could.
I will set aside this issue with the intention of reading it again and again. And I'm sure many others who have had an affair with north-central Pennsylvania and its West Branch will do the same.
The title of Joe Marshall's article summarizing the 1978 National Football League draft (The Same Old Song and Dance, May 15) couldn't have been more inappropriate in the case of the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have been notorious in recent years for their poor draft selections. They have not enjoyed a blue-chip draft since 1973, when they acquired Joe DeLamielleure and Joe Ferguson. That all changed this year when the Bills, behind the drafting genius of Chuck Knox, picked Terry Miller, running back extraordinaire, in the first round.
Miller, who is fourth on the alltime NCAA rushing list with 4,582 yards, could very well be the man to fill the recently vacated running shoes of O. J. Simpson. After a long silence, Buffalo Bills fans will once again have something to cheer about.
Re your SCORECARD item (May 8) on Kentucky All-America Art Still's switching of agents, perhaps Agent No. 1, Matt Snell, should hire Agent No. 2, Mike Trope, as his agent. Then Trope could hire Agent No. 3, Harold Daniels. It looks as though the time has come when an agent needs an agent needs an agent....
The nerve of that Art Still! Does he think he can get out of a contract with his agent as easily as his agent will be able to get him out of a contract with an NFL club owner? Still had better consult his agent—whoever his agent happens to be.
East Moline, Ill.
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