Congratulations to Sarah Pileggi and SI for the balanced and sympathetic treatment of President Carter's road-racing effort in the 10-kilometer Catoctin Mountain Park Run (Jimmy Carter Runs into the Wall, Sept. 24). After all, he did refer to himself at the starting line as "just a senior-citizen jogger." I was one of the concerned runners who passed by shortly after he stopped. Two hours later at the awards ceremony he appeared refreshed and was acclaimed warmly by the crowd.
Did you notice that a race organizer with a sense of history assigned President Carter the number 39? Carter is, of course, the 39th President of the United States.
BRUCE H. BURNSIDE
Because of running, I was able to lose more than 65 pounds about three years ago. I enjoy the sport immensely. Regarding Jimmy Carter's 10K run in Catoctin Mountain Park, all I can say is that I'm proud that our President has the determination to keep in shape. Those who don't run can't know the discipline it takes to keep at it. President Carter should receive accolades for his courage. I am proud of his spirit.
R. NICHOLAS BURTON
While Jimmy Carter was taking up four pages in a major sports magazine, Carl Yastrzemski was shoved back into the Baseball department, given a small black-and-white picture in honor of his 3,000th hit and not even any mention in the table of contents (The Last Was the Toughest, Sept. 24). When the President is given much more coverage for overexerting himself than Yaz is given for a tremendous baseball feat, it makes me wonder if you didn't get your priorities mixed up.
October 7, 1979
The Notre Dame football team makes only seven first downs and fails to score a touchdown in its 12-10 victory over Michigan, and SI puts this "Flying Start" on the cover (Sept. 24). Your magazine should be entitled IRISH ILLUSTRATED.
If the Irish are flying high, then Purdue's Boilermakers, who beat them 28-22 the next week, must be out of this world.
BOBBY L. MEADOWS
GIPP AND MALE
After two weeks of attempting to dispel the myths of Notre Dame, Knute Rockne and George Gipp (Knute Rockne: Legend and Reality, Sept. 10 and 17), it appears that you have turned around and joined the ranks of, the mythmakers in your Sept. 24 issue (Coming of Age in Ann Arbor). Doesn't your description of Notre Dame Coach Dan Devine discovering Chuck Male kicking footballs around the Notre Dame campus sound hauntingly similar to the Rockne-Gipp episode of 60-odd years before? Could it be that in 60 years another sportswriter will be trying to dispel this new Notre Dame myth?
THE UMPS' STRIKE
I read E. M. Swift's interesting article Odd Man Out on the Diamond in the Aug. 20 issue. Writing about the eight substitute umpires who worked during the strike, Swift stated that the eight were not strikebreakers "because the 52 regular umpires had been working under a contract with a no-strike clause." Swift was in error. Apparently some of your readers were misled by Swift's error (19TH HOLE, Sept. 3) and they, too, were critical of the regular umpires.
The fact is that the umpires' basic agreement did not include the subject of salaries other than the minimum. Umpires' actual salaries for many years have been negotiated annually with the league offices. The no-strike provision in the basic agreement applied only to those provisions which had been negotiated, and incorporated into the basic agreement. Indeed, when the league presidents went into federal court to request an injunction as a bar to concerted action on salaries, the court rejected the leagues' petition. The basic agreement was found not to bar a strike over salaries.
Accordingly, if "scab" is the appropriate definition of those who work as replacements during a legal strike, then the regular umpires' description of their replacements is accurate.
MARVIN J. MILLER
Major League Baseball
New York City
CHEERS AND BOOS
Your article about team mascots, cheerleaders or whatever (Some Wild and Krazy Guys, Sept. 17) was a masterpiece. Or should I say an unfinished masterpiece? The Chicken and the others are great, but you left out the loudest and best cheerleader of them all. I'm talking about Wild Bill Hagy, who operates out of Section 34 of Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. When Hagy takes off his big white cowboy hat and waves it around in a circle, the entire crowd comes to its feet. Then, forming the letters with his body, he yells "O-R-I-O-L-E-S—Orioles!" Often the players will join in. I believe that no one leads a crowd better than Wild Bill.
The article certainly gives San Diego's Chicken enough ink! We are sure there are many people who think he is neat, cute, etc., but we're tired of seeing and hearing about him. The guy with the best personality—and costume—of all is Philadelphia's Phanatic. At least you gave him some mention, but otherwise your article was Chicken, Chicken, Chicken. And no picture of the Phanatic! What a disgrace! In our eyes, at least, the Chicken is strictly vulgar.
JOHN AND PAT FEICHTHALER
It was interesting to see the magazine that usually opposes extreme behavior in sports turn around and print an article about "wild and krazy guys." You deplore Bobby Knight's conduct in Puerto Rico, but it's a big joke when the Chicken makes a suggestive advance to a ball girl in a stadium full of people. Back in 1972, you seemed to attribute the cause of the infamous Minnesota-Ohio State basketball brawl to the fact that the crowd had been whipped into a frenzy by the pregame warm-ups. Now you tell us that some idiot running around with a drum, screaming and threatening the fans, is O.K. And it was really nice to see you make a hero out of a rainbow head who doesn't care if he ruins a game for some people as long as he gets on TV.
SI always makes a big deal about keeping the proper perspective in something like sports and not getting so wrapped up in winning or losing. Then you do a complete about-face and promote someone like Krazy George. I don't need some donkey telling me when to yell at a hockey game. And if you don't think people like George Henderson go a little far, look again at the expression on his face in the picture on page 64.
West St. Paul, Minn.
Because of her outstanding performance at Wimbledon and her victory at the U.S. Open, I nominate Tracy Austin for 1979 Sportswoman of the Year. She is an inspiration to the youth of America.
Woodland Hills, Calif.
For proving that superstardom and selfishness need not go hand in hand, and for bringing some of the joy back into big-time college sports, I nominate Earvin (Magic) Johnson for Sportsman of the Year.
JOSEPH J. HOWLEY
East Lansing, Mich.
Lenny Wilkens, coach of the NBA champion Seattle SuperSonics and an all-round great person.
In your Sept. 17 issue, one reader gave Webster's definition of a sportsman: "A person who is fair and generous and a good loser and a graceful winner." I think that Mario Andretti fits that description perfectly.
Willie Stargell. In team leadership, he ranks as the best.
In a time of inflated salaries and inflated egos, there remains one athlete who has set an example for youngsters and adults. After having perhaps the greatest season of any modern day pitcher last year, he unselfishly moved to the bullpen in an effort to help his team. Ron Guidry truly merits the award.
DANIEL D. CAVE
In glancing over the list of past Sportsmen, I noticed that the award has never been given posthumously. Perhaps this year should be different. Walter O'Malley typified the word sportsman. He helped promote baseball to the popularity it enjoys today and built the Los Angeles Dodgers into one of the most successful organizations in American sports. Although the award will probably go to someone like Carl Yastrzemski, Sebastian Coe, Renaldo Nehemiah or Bjorn Borg, men who have been great in their respective sports, maybe, just once, the award should go to someone who made his sport great.
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