John Papanek's article on the exciting seventh and final game of the NBA championships in Seattle (They're First, At Long Last, June 19) was disappointing and insulting. It is hardly relevant that President Jimmy Carter was kept waiting by the Bullets, while his helicopter idled on the South Lawn ready to whisk him off for a weekend at Camp David. What is relevant is that the Bullets were detained by thousands of Washingtonians who had gathered at the Capital Centre and along the parade route to cheer and welcome them home. This tremendous outpouring of affection, so seldom seen in this city, was a sight to behold.
SHERYL B. EVERED
Silver Spring, Md.
Granted, it was the longest basketball season ever. Granted, it ended in the middle of the baseball, soccer, golf and track seasons. Still, 70 pages are a lot to thumb through to find out who won the NBA title. What if you had decided to have a 68-page issue instead of a 100-page one?
The fact that the No. 1 sports magazine had somehow found the time and energy to devote one and a half pages to the Bullets' biggest accomplishment ever was truly inspirational, and that lone black and white photograph had us Bullet fans in a state of ecstasy.
DONALD C. JEFFRIES
We agree that a horse winning the Triple Crown deserves to be on the cover, but when you choose to write more about Alaskan baseball than a world champion basketball team, something is wrong.
New Carrollton, Md.
July 2, 1978
What really burns me up is that Nancy Lopez was given only a two-page article in your June 19 issue (All Smiles While She Tears Up the Tour) despite all she has done for the LPGA in her rookie season. Affirmed and Alydar ran a tremendous race in the Belmont, and I am proud to have been a witness to that great event, but what does Nancy have to do to get more coverage?
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Nancy Lopez is the best thing ever to happen to women's golf. A standout with talent and personality to match is just what the doctor ordered for the LPGA, as Barry McDermott pointed out. Lopez' tremendous play and popularity should benefit the women's tour in two areas: much more national television coverage and increased purses. Right now Lopez and all the rest of the women are playing major league golf for minor league money. Lopez could well be the force to change all this.
It's early yet, but it's becoming obvious that golf's new ace, Nancy Lopez, is the Sportswoman of the Year.
SHARON L. RAYMOND
Chevy Chase, Md.
HOGAN, PALMER AND NICKLAUS
There's never been a story like Dan Jenkins' There's Never Been an Open Like it (June 19) on the 1960 U.S. Open. Thanks, Dan. We needed that.
MICHAEL G. HUTSKO
In reference to Dan Jenkins' article Simons Says: Play Faster (May 29) about Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament, I would like to point out some facts. In one paragraph, Jenkins states that "the rain eliminated parking in the fields." Then in the next paragraph he lists all the inconvenient places in which patrons were made to park. Where did he expect them to park, since the fields were unavailable? Every effort was made to overcome, in an orderly fashion, the inconvenience caused by the rain.
In addition to this, he takes a cheap shot at the "traffic cops" and their efforts to maintain order, with thousands of vehicles daily trying to park close to the clubhouse when no space was available. One thing Jenkins didn't point out, as he should have, was that 210 members of the Fraternal Order of Police volunteered more than 2,500 hours of their personal time at Muirfield on behalf of the Children's Hospital Charity Fund.
If Jenkins has trouble parking next year, I will be happy to tell him where to go!
Fraternal Order of Police
Capital City Lodge No. 9
I can attest to Evan (Big Cat) Williams' ability to hit the long ball (The Whack of the Cat, June 5). I was on the 5th green of Toronto's St. George's golf course a few weeks ago during the pro-am event preceding the Peter Jackson LPGA Classic. The hole played to 355 yards onto a small elevated green. Just before I attempted my 15-foot birdie putt, following what I thought was a super drive and a wedge, a ball suddenly rolled onto the putting surface, coming to rest pin-high 10 feet from the stick. Looking back to the tee, we could see that Williams, playing in the group behind, was apologetic but definitely pleased with the blast.
Slightly unnerved, I missed my putt.
R. T. PUTNAM
Congratulations on the splendid coverage of the first round of the World Cup (Getting a Handle on the Cup, June 19). As a native Peruvian, I was thrilled by Clive Gammon's description of "our" 3-1 victory over Scotland. However, the opinion that Peru's team was "old, patched together" reflects the lack of interest (and, therefore, knowledge) that most sportswriters show for South American teams, with the exception of Brazil. I think that Peru's advance to the second round, as well as Tunisia's splendid campaign, will teach the old fogies something about fútbol in the Third World.
Soccer is the great equalizer in a world divided by political and racial strife. When I read in my newspaper (in the smallest print possible and without descriptive commentary) that Peru had beaten the Scots, I knew that for a moment my country had been united in happiness, that rich and poor, white and Indian alike had joined in an otherwise elusive, seemingly impossible brotherhood. I am sure Italy's team has done the same for the Italians, whose political plight needs no elaboration. Your article on the Cup, as far as this subscriber is concerned, has pushed the United States a little closer to membership in that mysterious entity known as "the rest of the world." !Enhorabuena!
By the way, there is one thing that is more boring than reading about runners and their obsession (VIEWPOINT, June 5). According to my patient friends, it is listening to a rabid fan expound on the miraculous foot of Peru's Teófilo Cubillas.
END OF THE LINE
An item in your June 19 SCORECARD says that Phil Lansford, this year's first draft pick of the Cleveland Indians, and, presumably, his brother Carney (California Angels) and cousin Buck Lansford (Los Angeles Rams)—not to mention cousin Tex Ritter (country & western star)—are directly descended from Sir Francis Drake. My great-aunt, the family genealogist, told me I was too, and I continued to believe it until I visited Drake's home in England.
Sir Francis never had any children. When he died, his possessions went to his youngest and only surviving brother, Thomas.
CHARLES CRABBE THOMAS
While Rod Carew is being walked for his prowess with the bat, his teammates are being run down with the pen (A Cutdown in Cuts, June 19). Your reference to the rest of the Twins' lineup as a "forest of green or dead wood" is quite inapplicable. The Twins have a history of fine hitters, and this year is no exception. The Twins currently rank fourth in the AL in batting, with two .300 hitters.
Furthermore, they consistently finish in the top five in batting average year in and year out. As a follower of the Twins for 13 years, I know that what they lack is pitching, not mature trees.
UNDER THE ALASKAN SUN
As an ex-Alaskan, I was very pleased to read Richard W. Johnston's article on baseball in Alaska (Having a Ball at Midnight, June 19). In Texas it is very difficult to come across anything pertaining to Alaska, much less baseball there. It is even harder trying to convince my friends that one can still hear the crack of the bat past midnight—without the use of lights.
I feel fortunate that I was in Alaska when Red Boucher was in his last season as manager of Fairbanks' Goldpanners. I was also fortunate enough to have watched Chris Chambliss (now with the Yankees) playing for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots when they won the National Baseball Congress title in 1969. The biggest thrill of all, however, was when I played with the 1969 and 1970 Elmendorf AFB Babe Ruth All-Stars in the Glacier Pilots' park in Anchorage and in the Goldpanners' park in Fairbanks.
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, New York, 10020.