John Papanek's article on Bobby Knight (Triumph and Turmoil in the Pan-Am Games, July 23) was more of a personal attack against Knight than a story on the team's success. Knight did the job he was hired to do—train a group of young men so they could win a gold medal. His personality isn't warm, but he's good at his job, which is one item Mr. Papanek forgot to mention.
Morgantown, W. Va.
Why so anti-Knight? If someone poked you in the eye, wouldn't you be prompted to strike back?
I'm embarrassed about the report written by John Papanek rather than by the behavior of Bobby Knight. The picture of Knight on the shoulders of the players tells their feelings toward the coach.
Fort Wayne, Ind.
Papanek states that Knight violently berated 18-year-old Isiah Thomas. He doesn't mention that Thomas later said. "I felt real embarrassed the next day when I read how they were getting on Coach Knight. I felt I deserved that chewing-out, and the rest of the team felt the same way."
August 5, 1979
Mr. Knight is obviously an emotionally unstable person who needs understanding and help. But he is also a national embarrassment, and I certainly hope that more care will be exercised in the future selection of our national representatives.
DANIEL L. HEBERT
It would be the gravest mistake since gunboat diplomacy in the Caribbean to send Knight to Moscow in 1980. Let's keep him and others like him within the limits of Indiana. He is the original "Ugly American."
When a coach's display of temperament overshadows the game itself, something is definitely wrong.
Fort Myers, Fla.
Bobby Knight's antics may well be appreciated at Indiana University, but in international competition, when the eyes of the world are upon you, there is no place for such disgraceful behavior. His actions overshadowed the great accomplishments of the entire U.S. team.
Bobby Knight's inexcusable behavior in the Pan-American Games was an insult to every decent, respectable American.
JEROME L. MUNFORD
It is high time Hoosier fans realize that one national championship should not exempt Bobby Knight from representing us in a manner in which we can be proud. My only consolation in this matter is knowing that Knight is a transplant. John Wooden is a born-and-bred Hoosier.
D. J. HANEY
I found your coverage of the Pan-American Games most disturbing. You did not give the Cuban team the credit it deserved. For a country with 4.4% of the population of the U.S. to get more than half as many gold medals, while finishing a strong second in total team performance, is quite an achievement. On the contrary, you made it sound like the Cubans were the defeated favorites. SI would never engage in bias due to the political system in Cuba, would it? Give credit where credit is due!
It's nice to see Nolan Ryan get the credit he deserves (Hats Off to You, Nolan Ryan, July 23). He is one of the best pitchers in the game.
As I was filing away the cover photo of Nolan Ryan with other notable SI pictures, I noticed it was almost identical to that on the cover of the June 16, 1975 issue, with two exceptions: Ryan no longer has his name sewn on the back of his uniform, and the price on the cover has risen from 75¬¨¬®¬¨¢ to $1.25.
JEROME E. RAPACZ
WHEE FOR LEE
The article on Lee Mazzilli (Hometown Kid Makes Good, July 23) was excellent. He is one of the finest outfielders in baseball but because he plays for the lowly Mets he was virtually unknown outside of New York. Mazzilli's home run and bases-loaded walk in the All-Star Game made the entire country aware of this great young talent.
East Meadows, N.Y.
I've heard of a rabbit in a road race, but never a carrot (Oh Wow! A Careening Carrot!, July 23). I'd rather watch the Artists' Soap Box Derby than Indy anytime. Tell me, when is the next one?
•Whenever the mood strikes.—ED.
Sarah Pileggi's fine report on the Women's Open made me feel I was right there on the scene. You said that Jerilyn Britz was not the oldest winner, but was she the first Open champion who had not previously won a pro event?
FRANCIS B. KERR
•No. Murle Breer in 1962, Mary Mills in 1963 and Sandy Spuzich in 1966 all were first-time winners.—ED.
We are pleased to announce that Joan Ackermann-Blount (Up in Arms About My Arm, July 16) currently represents, as a pitcher and shortstop, a fine local establishment called 20 Railroad Street. She is batting .656, and even though she thinks she is missing a muscle, we're sure she's not. Her arm has improved to the point that women are now asking her, "How'd you do that?"
KAREN W. SMITH
My disappointment with Frank Deford after his review of Goldengirl (A Great Big Golden-girly Production, July 16) approaches the inexpressible. Deford having knocked out Rocky II in the first round. I counted on his not letting Goldengirl out of the blocks. Reading the review, I got the feeling Deford's detrimental comments were restrained, while he had to dig deep to find elements of the film deserving praise. Evidently the Rocky worshippers who wrote in to support their hero have tamed sports journalism's reigning gold medalist.
Deford has been running a great race; I would hate to see him fade in the home stretch.
Strange woman, this Goldengirl. Her 100-meter time of 10.91 would be an American record, but her 20.03 in the 200 would not only be a world record (the current mark is 21.71 set by Marita Koch of East Germany earlier this year) but would also surpass the fastest time run so far this year, a 20.04 by James Mallard of Alabama. She may run too straight-up in the 100, but she's obviously doing something right in the 200. I'll have to see the movie to find out just what.
Klamath Falls, Ore.
BEST & WORST
In BASEBALL'S WEEK (July 16) Kathleen Andria said Mike Schmidt is the first man in history to twice hit home runs in four consecutive plate appearances (over two games). Mike Schmidt is the second man to do this. Ralph Kiner was the first; he seems to have been forgotten by everyone.
•Kiner, in fact, did so only once, in 1949. In 1947 he hit home runs in four consecutive at bats but walked twice between his third and fourth homers.—ED.
Many thanks for your four-line coverage of Mike Schmidt's four home runs in a row and seven in five games. Anything that you don't say about the Phillies will be greatly appreciated.
F. N. GALLAGHER
Andria wrote, "[Oakland has] a shot at another record: worst winning percentage in baseball history." The worst record was by Cleveland in 1899, its last year in the National League, when the Spiders were 20-134-.12987. In order to "beat" this the A's would have to be 21-141-.12963, and they had already won 24 games. As much as I would like to see the A's set any kind of a record, this one has slipped away.
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