ENERGY VS. THE ENVIRONMENT
I greatly appreciate the environmental concern you have demonstrated in recent issues, especially as concerns evidence published in SCORECARD with regard to PCBs in fish (July 16) and "synfuels" (July 30). Information such as this can usually be found only in Audubon Society and Sierra Club publications, which have not only smaller circulation but also less diversified readership.
G. TURNER HOWARD III
Berrien Springs, Mich.
As a charter subscriber, I've enjoyed many of your editorials, but the one in your July 30 issue is superb. Possibly the timeliest in 25 years. It should be required reading for every member of Congress and all those in the White House.
E. C. MACAULAY
The Energy Project at the Harvard Business School—and others—found development of synthetic fuels to be a far less promising course than increased conservation and greater reliance on solar energy. Why then doesn't the President or Congress advocate a full-scale conservation program and simultaneous full-scale switch to solar power? Probably because it is easier to "cut through the red tape" than to make the tough decisions.
While politicians promise more and more, less and less is accomplished; thus, thank you, SI, for having the courage to face the issues and advocate the correct course of action. Let us hope that the leaders of this country will for once stop thinking of themselves and electoral victory and do what is right for us and best for the world. And do it quickly, because the Soviet leaders do not appear to spend much time worrying about electoral defeat.
GEORGE EDWARD FURTADO
North Providence, R.I.
Shall we be held up by the nations from which we are getting our oil or shall we use the resources we have in abundance to produce our own energy? I have taken into consideration all the objections you raised. But you do not take into consideration that where we have used our coal, etc., there has been no permanent damage to any state. The places from which coal has been strip-mined have been covered with new grass and look as good as ever. As to the effects on individuals, that is pure speculation.
I have lived in Utah and appreciate the beauties of the mountains as much as anyone can. The real question is shall we be victims of the oil bandits, or use the materials nature has given us?
Do you want us to be so short on energy that we have to cancel all sports events? That is the message I get from your wanting to let our great coal resources waste while the nation suffers.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED was off base in its editorial opposing the President's synthetic fuels program. As the President said, the country is being seriously hurt by special-interest groups with narrow views, such as the one you expressed in your July 30 editorial.
Stay on your base, SI, and keep your eye on the ball. The President knows a lot more about our critical energy problem and its effect on the environment than you do.
GEORGE T. HEERY
Level Colorado to extract oil from its shale and salinate its rivers? Despoil Montana's and Wyoming's coal-bearing mountains and foothills and expose people to carcinogens from synfuel plants? Override the sovereignty of these Rocky Mountain states with an Energy Mobilization Board?
Let's tell President Carter we don't buy it—not a Rocky Mountain desert of the magnitude he proposes.
Instead, we'll all make smaller sacrifices. Millions of us will become students of the ways of conservation until renewable alternative energy sources (wind, solar, hydro) can fill our needs. We'll walk the golf course and let the electric carts rest in the pro shop; we'll roller skate to the tennis courts; we'll slake our thirst from a reusable bottle; we'll build a backyard clothesline and let the sun do the drying. We'll learn hundreds of ways to conserve and still have all of America to enjoy.
Congratulations, SI. You may have started the conservation war that saved the Rocky Mountains.
GENIE MAY GARFIELD
To think that our executive leader finds it imperative to put the preservation of a healthy environment in the backseat to the nation's quest for energy is appalling. Granted, our need to develop alternative energy sources is critical, but what good is it to have fuel for our automobiles and industry if we can't drink the water or breathe the air? The development of our energy resources should continue with the utmost consideration given to the limiting of the deterioration of this country's environment.
THOMAS C. FARRELL
Huntington Beach, Calif.
According to the article in your July 30 issue on the Guinness Book of World Records (There's Music in the Where?), Roger Bannister's feat of breaking the four-minute barrier in the mile played a "critical role in steering the McWhirters into the world-record business." The cover of that same July 30 issue was a photograph of Sebastian Coe, who smashed the mile record. What a coincidence!
Panama City, Fla.
Watching and then reading about Sebastian Coe's 3:49 mile performance burns the fat right out of the mind. Never before have I had so strong an impression of the exalting power of the will. Kenny Moore beautifully seized the moment (A Glittering Run in a Golden Mile, July 30).
Do I need glasses? Did John Walker finish sixth in the Oslo mile in 3:52.9? The quality of the race is still hard to believe.
I hope I'm not the only reader who noticed that new mile-record man Sebastian Coe looks like a younger version of venerable Beantown slugger Carl Yastrzemski.
If Sebastian is able to get as much distance out of his abilities as Yaz has gotten out of his, I believe he will ultimately lower the mile standard to 3:45.
North Andover, Mass.
Congratulations to Larry Keith for his terrific article on the Red Sox (Hoping for the Best, Expecting the Worst, July 30). He's one of the few writers who hit the story of the Red Sox right on the button. They've consistently played better than 90% of all the teams in the major leagues but have fallen victim to being in the toughest division, the American League East.
Yes, Boston fans' disappointments have been many and heartbreaking, but the Sox are the most exciting team to watch.
The article reminded me of a good pal of mine whom I met in the Air Force. He always said, "Them damn Red Sox always die at the end!" That's why I love the Detroit Tigers. They never give us false hopes. They collapse at the start.
The Red Sox are a great team and would win any other division, but Sox fans are going to have to wait another year or more because the Orioles are No. 1 again.
Larry Keith's article on the plight of the Red Sox was right on target. However, the statement about Boston fans probably caring more about their team than any other partisans in baseball is controversial.
Just take a look over the fence in the National League. There you find the Chicago Cubs and, more specifically, the fans at Wrigley Field. There is a kinship and closeness among Cub fans that is unmatched in baseball. They come out at the rate of about 1.5 million a year, despite having all day games, having all home games televised, having another major league team a few miles south and having a .497 winning percentage over the last 10½ years.
When Myron Cope first introduced the Terrible Towel to Pittsburgh football fans, I laughed (True Tales of the Terrible Towel, July 30). Honestly, a rectangular strip of terry cloth acting as a secret generator for the Steeler players? Ha! Besides, its inventor was the guy who gave us the song. Deck the Broncos, They're Just Yonkos! But after seeing the Terrible Towel perform miracles, I finally escorted one to the Steeler-Bronco playoff game last year. Now I'm a believer. The Towel may not get in NFL history books, but it will remain in the eager hands of Steeler fans poised to strike. Long live the Towel!
Just last night a Terrible Towel whispered in my ear that the Steelers were going all the way in Super Bowl XIV.
Being a devotee of and a believer in the Terrible Towel and all of its mystical powers, I was interested to read that Myron Cope's criterion for a vehicle to stir up the enthusiasm of Steeler fans was that it be a readily available household item. It boggles the mind to think of how close we came to carrying about a Wicked Washcloth, a Sinister Stocking, a Perilous Pillow, a Nefarious Napkin or even a Cunning Curtain.
Just to rock any cynics who may remain after Myron Cope's superlative tale of the Terrible Towel, here's another success story. Redesigned as the Wicked Washcloth and officially recognized by the administration of Franklin Regional High School (Murrysville. Pa.), the Franklin takeoff on the Steeler towel helped the girls' basketball Pantherettes win the Pennsylvania state AAA championship, capping a 30-2 season. Winning nine playoff games by an average of 21 points, the Pantherettes and the Wicked Washcloth brought the crown to the western part of the state, home of the Terrible Towel, for the first time since statewide competition began. This towel business is no joke!
DAVID A. CARFANG
The Terrible Towel has indeed been a driving force behind the Steelers. However, it takes more than gimmicks to bring home Super Bowl victories. In the past few years the Steelers have definitely been the superior squad in football. It's a shame fans may remember the Steelers for their Terrible Towel and not for their three Super Bowl victories in five years.
At the age of 23, Bjorn Borg is well on his way to becoming the greatest tennis player of all time. "The Angelic Assassin" has already accomplished more than most players ever dream about. Aside from winning his fourth consecutive All-England Championship, he is once again halfway to the Grand Slam—a feat he missed by a blister in 1978. Consider this an early vote for 1979 Sportsman of the Year.
It might be premature to nominate candidates for SI's 1979 Sportsman. However, it appears that the scene is being set for a storybook candidate. Consider the facts. In 1979 this man will get his 3,000th career base hit. Already this season he has smashed his 400th home run and joined the top 10 baseball greats in doubles, games played and appearances at the plate. He has gotten a free pass to first base more often than all but four other players in major league baseball history. Besides the personal accolades and records he will gather during the current season, he will celebrate his 40th birthday and strive by example to lead his teammates to an elusive world championship.
Regardless of his team's plight, for his 19 years of service, for his determination, hustle and leadership and for his place in the record books as an alltime great, let us consider baseball and Boston's Carl Yastrzemski for Sportsman of the Year.
MICHAEL F. FERRIS
•If Yaz makes it, he'll be a repeater. He was the Sportsman for 1967.—ED.
It was with sadness that I read in FOR THE RECORD (July 9) of the death of Conn McCreary. At a time when the most renowned jockeys were Arcaro, Longden and Atkinson, McCreary was my favorite. This may have been because of his come-from-behind style or his ability to get the most out of horses that weren't all that good. His way of riding caused Arcaro to paraphrase an old saying: "Never look behind because McCreary might be gaining."
You mentioned two Kentucky Derby winners ridden by McCreary. On Pensive, Conn won the first two legs of the Triple Crown and ran a close second in the Belmont. The other Derby winner was Count Turf, not the great Count Fleet, as you indicated. Count Turf paid something like $31. The best horse Conn rode was Stymie, the great handicap horse.
It is a shame that the only time Conn McCreary's name was heard recently was on the occasion of his death.
ANTHONY J. MORAN
Hamilton Square, N.J.
Deliver us from Andrea Jaeger (Brace Yourself, Tracy, July 9), another athlete in the news who would "rather be a bad winner than a good loser."
DAN G. KENT
Of the two, I think Tracy is cuter, but then again, I always did go for older women.
MOOSE ON THE LOOSE
Re Bil Gilbert's story (Goin' South, June 11), how's that moose doing?
MARY K. HARRIMAN
•Just mooseying about.—ED.
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