SIZING UP THE BIG E
Elvin Hayes has attracted more criticism for his play in crucial games than any athlete needs to take. Curry Kirkpatrick joined in by calling the Big E a choke (Whatever Happens, It'll Be Washington, June 5, and Down to One Last Collision, June 12). Hayes is now a world champion. Need more be said?
Garrett Park, Md.
Contrary to what Curry Kirkpatrick believes, Elvin Hayes had an excellent series against Seattle. He led the Bullets in scoring (145 points), rebounding (83) and blocked shots (14) and was second in steals (11).
PETER A. LEIDEL
I found some of Elvin Hayes' and Bobby Dandridge's comments about teammate Wes Unseld unfortunate and ironic. Being a perennial Boston Celtic fan, I cannot recall Dave Cowens, John Havlicek or any of the other Celtics ever criticizing Paul Silas' lack of offensive ability while he was helping them win a couple of NBA championships. I guess that Hayes and Dandridge just don't appreciate Unseld's all-round team play as much as they should. After all, it was Unseld who won the MVP award for the championship series!
I must disagree with Curry Kirkpatrick's comment that the Bullets and SuperSonics were "rather mediocre, rather monotonous adversaries." The championship series was one of the most hard-fought and exciting I have ever seen. Intensity, tough defense, big baskets and unexpected heroes filled each game. I get as much of a thrill watching Wes Unseld snatch a rebound and fire an outlet pass as I do watching Dr. J dunk or Doug Collins shoot 20-footers.
Silver Spring, Md.
June 25, 1978
Manny Millan caught the NBA finals with his photograph on pages 24-25 of your June 12 issue. Until the final minute of the final game, the series was definitely up for grabs.
I want to pose a couple of questions. Would the results of any or all of the Triple Crown races be different if Steve Cauthen had been aboard Alydar? What would be the result of a match race between Affirmed and Alydar if Cauthen were aboard Alydar? We can't answer the first but the second sounds like a promoter's dream.
SHELBY O. ALCOTT
West Allis, Wis.
THE WBC TITLE
What is the world of sport coming to? A look at your June 12 cover reveals Ken Norton wearing the official WBC belt symbolizing the best in boxing. What appears on this trophy? The name Adidas. Does the World Boxing Council have to carry advertising on its championship trophy?
PHILIP B. GIBSON
I can understand commercialization of race cars or basketballs, but not of the belt that symbolizes the world boxing champion. Now that Larry Holmes is the WBC belt recipient, does he become a subsidiary of Adidas?
JOHN H. ZIMMERMAN
San Marino, Calif.
Your cover picture of Ken Norton wearing the WBC championship belt was an insult to boxing fans. Don't misunderstand me. I like Norton and would like to see him champion. I feel very strongly, however, that a boxing title should be won in the ring, not awarded by a boxing organization.
I was delighted to see that ridiculous "Norton is champion" bandwagon pulled out from under you after you climbed on. Norton is now consigned to the category of a future trivia question: What heavyweight "champion" lost all three of the championship fights in which he was involved?
JOHN KELLY KARASEK
I saw the Norton-Holmes fight on ABC-TV, and I think Ken Norton served as a perfect example of a true sportsman. In spite of all the prefight verbal warfare between the two and with the decision going to his opponent, Norton worked his way through the mob to offer his hand to Holmes. Also in a postfight interview he made no excuses, but, rather, said, "More power to Larry." Ken Norton for Sportsman of the Year.
DARN GOOD COMBO
The real and imaginary baseball batteries offered in SCORECARD (May 22) and 19TH HOLE (June 12) reminded me of the Capital University (Columbus, Ohio) baseball team of the early '20s. Our dad claimed that three of his classmates ('22) formed the double-play combination. I don't recall who played which position, but their names were: P. Julius Sinner, Herman Damm and Rudolph Helle.
You may consider this combination of names some kind of hoax, but I can attest to the academic prowess of the three men. They all graduated in 1925 from Capital's Lutheran Theological Seminary.
JAMES E. SEIM
Golden Valley, Minn.
•According to the Reverend Mr. Sinner, the double-play combination was imaginary and first appeared in the joke column of The Spectator, a Capital University student publication. As Sinner recalls, he was the only baseball player—first baseman on his class team—while Damm and Helle played football (left end and center on their senior class team). Sinner's varsity sport was tennis.—ED.
KENYA'S BIG GAME
In the otherwise perceptive first part of Robert F. Jones' article The Game Goes On (May 22 and 29) there is a misleading omission. While the Masai Mara Reserve, the "pearl of Kenya's tourist circuit," undoubtedly does get special protection among Kenyan game areas, much of its game is protected most of the year by neighboring Tanzania. These animals are part of the well-known migratory herds of the Serengeti Plains, and visit the Masai during the dry season. For most of the year Tanzania, with a trickle of tourist income compared to Kenya's but a far more effective game conservation program, husbands these herds. Those concerned with the widely reported "end of the game" in Kenya should consider the case of Tanzania, where, in the Serengeti and elsewhere, wild animal populations have been stable or increasing over the past 10 years.
Serengeti Research Institute
The article The Game Goes On is a superior piece of artistry, and I shall share it with others who may have missed it and who would appreciate such composition.
Robert F. Jones writes with wistfulness, yet he leaves his reader encouraged about the perseverance of God's animal creations. Aside from Hemingway, whose writing obviously was quite different, I know of no other contemporary writer, who is also a hunter, who creates such beauty with words. I felt almost as if I were making the African journey with Jones, sharing his warm appreciation of the beauty of nature.
RICHARD O. ARNESON
It is indeed a pleasure for those of us deeply concerned about the future of big-game hunting, not only in Africa but also throughout the world, to see it written as it really is. We compliment you on your editorial courage in an era of antihunting emotionalism.
H. NORDEN VAN HORNE
Safari Club International
The report on the Human-Powered Speed Championships (All Power to the People—or, in This Case, from Them, May 22) gave an excellent portrayal of the excitement of an unusual event that each year shows man moving faster under his own power.
However, the report omitted mention of new race events that were perhaps more significant and equally exciting. These were the long-distance races: a one-hour race one day, and a 30-km. race with a Le Mans start the next. Both races featured speeds of about 30 mph, with maneuvering around turns in strong, gusty winds. They introduced thinking about practical pedaled vehicles that in time might alter some transportation trends in the U.S. The winning vehicles were not ones that were tops in the 200-meter dash, but instead were the medium-fast machines that combined some rider comfort with the ability to cope with tricky crosswinds. Their road stability was just borderline. Bryan Allen, in the Bill Watson Streamliner, won the one-hour race by covering 29.4 miles, but in the 30-km. race, while comfortably in the lead, he flipped in the wind one kilometer from the finish and came in second to Kurt Miller in Sandra Martin's Bike World Special. The long-distance races will be emphasized more next year.
Incidentally, this is the same Bryan Allen who flew my man-powered airplane, the Gossamer Condor, to the Kremer Prize last August (On Grossmer Wings, Aug. 1).
PAUL B. MACCREADY
President Aerovironment, Inc.
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, New York, 10020.