Ray Kennedy and Nancy Williamson have written the finest and most important piece of sports journalism (Money: The Monster Threatening Sports, July 17) I have ever read. It should be mandatory reading for fans, for sportswriters and for editors, the people responsible for letting the owners get away with fooling most of the people all of the time. Congratulations on a fine public service.
CHARLES W. MCKENNA JR.
Thank you for one of the most important articles ever to appear in your magazine.
Your analysis was sharp and clearly presented. The wit and style of the writing made the complex and potentially tedious subject matter highly readable.
JOHN A. PARKS
This type of reporting is long overdue in American sports writing. After all, it's the readers who are plunking down their dollars to feed the sports machine. They should at least know how it works.
Takoma Park, Md.
July 30, 1978
I am thoroughly disgusted with the greed and poor sportsmanship of some of the "superstars," the occasional outlandish behavior of owners and fans, and, finally, the desire of practically everyone in professional sports to wring as much money out of the public as is humanly possible.
ANDREW GREGG MCLANAHAN IV
Camp Hill, Pa.
If Jimmy Carter really wants to cut inflation, maybe he should look into pro sports.
As much as we may enjoy watching O.J. run or Dr. J jump, we cannot justify their salaries when compared to those of the vast majority of Americans and their contributions to our society.
Too many wheeler-dealer franchise owners are more interested in tax shelters than the welfare of their teams. Even tighter tax laws than those enacted in 1976 should be considered in the areas of player depreciation and capital gains.
In all my years as a reader of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, I have never seen a more pitiful, stupid issue. Who gives a hoot how much an athlete makes?
Money in sports? Alex Karras was right. It is boring.
You really opened up the closet. Of course the owners should have the power to "make, change, and enforce the rules of sports." Also the power to "control the time, place, number, quality, and price of games." If they don't have such power, who do you propose should, the—shudder!—government?
You make propaganda out of the constant negative use of the word monopoly. I believe that the unique nature of sports demands monopolistic practices.
Ray Kennedy and Nancy Williamson have only served to misinform with their superficial economic analysis. The primary problem stems from their enchantment with the "monopoly" they see in each sport. The Yankees do not "monopolize" New York. They have to compete with alternative sports (e.g., watching or playing golf) and entertainment (e.g., going to the theater). Baseball is not operating in a vacuum.
The more fundamental problem lies with the sports fan who moans about high ticket prices and overpaid stars but then shells out $15 to see the game, anyway. As long as the fans keep paying, the monopoly argument is specious. If the fans really have a complaint, let them make their money do the talking.
State College, Pa.
Your cover photograph is a low blow to sports fans. Do you think your readers really look like that?
West Columbia, S.C.
I was distressed by the glib citation of Shakespeare's line "Let's kill all the lawyers." To blame attorneys for the greed and litigiousness of the owners makes no more sense than blaming doctors for the diseases of their patients. The line was a cheap shot at an honorable profession.
STEPHEN R. JAFFE
Beverly Hills, Calif.
Great article but better check your illustration of Steve Carlton. Carlton throws baseballs with his left hand. He holds his umbrella with his right.
Is money ruining sports? You better believe it. There's no such thing as sports for the good, wholesome fun of it anymore. Everything is geared to the almighty dollar.
WILLIAM F. O'BRIEN
Is sports ruining money? If sports were outlawed, shaving cream, panty hose, rental cars, deodorants, chewing tobacco, popcorn poppers—all the finer things of life—wouldn't cost so much.
WILLIAM G. SWANK
For sure only two men have won three consecutive Wimbledons (Wimbledon's Toonder Storm, July 17). For being one of them, Bjorn Borg deserved to be on the cover. Absolutely. For sure.
MICHAEL M. TSUJI
John Y. Brown, the Boston Celtics' new owner, says, "I want to be responsible for my own destiny. If we fail, I fail." (Will Red and Brown Harmonize?, July 17). He sure failed in Buffalo. He ruined a perfectly good basketball team and the amazing part is that he did it in only a year and a half.
JOHN W. REIS
The best thing the Celtics could do would be to get rid of Red Auerbach. He has a big ego and his draft picks have been lousy. Anybody could have won with Sharman, Cousy, Russell and Heinsohn.
ROBERT E. REEL
In comparing the Western Division race to the stateroom scene in A Night at the Opera (A Flip-Flop Farce, July 10), be informed that only three of the Marx brothers (Groucho, Chico and Harpo) were in the movie. Zeppo wasn't.
The Royals could easily pass for Margaret Dumont, though.
What can we do about getting the Cubs into that division?
For 50 weeks of the year sportscasters on TV and radio say "The score is thirdy-fordy," and "The leadoff bidder is...." For two weeks of the year they say "Wimbleton." Is there a simple explanation?
NIGEL H. SEARLE
Keene, N. H.
I am an Oklahoma State graduate and one of the "fanatical adherents" referred to in Doug Looney's article Deep in Hot Water in Stillwater (July 3). Like many other Cowboy fans, I am shocked by what our football team is involved in. But I must also ask why this is the only article I recall reading in SI about Oklahoma State. I don't remember ever seeing more than two sentences about Terry Miller, who was one of the greatest college running backs of all time. Moreover, the Cowboy golf team has won the NCAA championship two out of the last three years. Why couldn't you have written about them? Give us a break.
In objecting to the two-stroke penalty for slow play imposed on Bobby Impaglia in the U.S. Open (19TH HOLE, July 10), Irwin Glauberman says that if it had been Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus no penalty would have been assessed. It so happens that a two-stroke penalty for slow play was assessed against Nicklaus. It happened in the 1962 Portland Open and Jack still won the tournament—by four strokes.
DAVID S. NELSON
Santa Rosa, Calif.
•The PGA has long punished slow play, Nicklaus' penalty being one example. The USGA finally has such a penalty, too, and Impaglia is the first to get hit with it in a U.S. Open.—ED.
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