I could not fail to compare your Feb. 4 swimsuit cover of Christie Brinkley with your Feb. 18 cover of track star Mary Decker. Brinkley's smile is for the camera, not from the heart, but Decker's smile is one of pure joy, from real athletic achievement and from the genuine respect of those fortunate enough to have witnessed her remarkable run. I suspect that most of your readers would rather see the latter than the former.
When I first saw the cover of the Feb. 18 SI, I thought you might have been featuring a photograph left over from the swimsuit issue. I don't mean to sound sexist, but Mary Decker is that attractive. And besides, can Christie Brinkley run a four-minute metric mile? Indoors?
I think I'll hang Mary Decker's picture on my living-room wall. Pure beauty is marvelous, but it's strictly courtesy of nature and cosmetics. Accomplishment plus beauty—that's greatness with a bonus!
WILLIAM E. CARSLEY
Joe Marshall's article Hail, the Conquering Heroine! was great. It is an illustration of women in sport that I can save to show my infant daughter when she grows older. Mary Decker and many other women athletes have earned a place in SI. Forget the swimsuit issue! Mary Decker is a true beauty!
VIRGINIA A. DELANEY
March 3, 1980
That is how a sports story should be written! Joe Marshall had my heart pounding and my face beaming as he described Mary Decker's astounding record-smashing run. I could hear the Garden announcer's voice in my living room as the crowd urged Mary on to the world record. I was so pumped up I did 50 laps around the dining-room table! (It was too cold to run outdoors.)
I can't help but be amused by the letters criticizing your annual swimsuit issue (19TH HOLE, Feb. 18). I am a woman and a serious athlete, but I am in no way offended by this annual issue.
San Pedro, Calif.
My husband didn't mind Christie Brinkley, but boy did he get mad at the cover photograph of Eric Heiden (Feb. 11)—"Those racing suits leave nothing to the imagination!" Sound familiar?
To each his own. I love ya, SI. Keep those letters coming in! They keep things interesting for the rest of us readers.
My three favorite things in SI are the photographs, the articles and the 19TH HOLE two weeks after the swimsuit issue. For all of those women's libbers who disliked the bathing-suit issue—well, I hope they get drafted.
Maple Park, Ill.
Despite your getting some anti-swimsuit mail, all I can say is, great issue! If those girls aren't athletic-looking, then someone better get his specs checked. Anyway, don't the do-gooders know swimming is a sport?
Merritt Island, Fla.
In tabulating the 19TH HOLE comments on the swimsuit issue it is interesting and gratifying to note that of the 29 published statements, 16 were anti-swimsuits and 13 were pro. Of the antis, eight were from males.
These statistics squelched my husband's argument that only middle-aged wives would object to such a shameful display of flesh.
Add me to the list of objectors.
CATHERINE G. LANK
I have just read the letters from the people commenting on your swimsuit issue, and it seemed as though all the young, hip people were for it and that only the conservative, older readers were against it (i.e., parents not wanting their kids to see it, a reverend, a librarian). Come on! There are many young, educated people who also thought the article offensive. Please stick to sports.
Allow me to join the group of people who took the time to write regarding your swimsuit issue.
Total disgust! I usually pass on my copies of SI to my young friends, but the nearest garbage can sure got that issue—and I might add that the garbage may also get other issues. Clean up your magazine. Americans do not need any more dirty magazines, so why ruin a great sports magazine?
A. C. MARTIN
This year I feel you have gone too far. Let us decent people have a say as to what comes into our homes. I don't subscribe to any girlie magazines and was very much offended by your almost nude swimsuit pictures, which had nothing to do with sports. A classy sports magazine certainly doesn't need to stoop so low.
I recently asked the mother of one of my adolescent patients if she had any objection to the contents of your annual swimsuit issue. She replied, "I'd rather my son looked at pictures of women in bathing suits than a quarterback being flattened by a couple of big bruisers." Amen.
SCOTT K. SOKOL, M.D.
Floral Park, N.Y.
Re the annual swimsuit issue. Wow! It even livens up things around here.
GEORGE W. LITTLE JR.
Rose Hill Cemetery
Three cheers for recognizing indoor soccer as a major sports attraction (They Get Their Kicks on a Hockey Rink, Feb. 18). I recently took seven of my team's soccer players to an indoor game at Philadelphia's Spectrum, and we fell in love with the action as the Fever defeated the Buffalo Stallions. I can't exactly explain why the game is so popular—unless of course you count the nonstop, fast-break, never-a-dull-moment action! It's a great way to enjoy the world's No. 1 sport indoors. I'm looking forward to the MISL playoffs.
Being from the Detroit area, I have the opportunity to see many professional teams. When it comes to sports entertainment, I go to Detroit Express indoor soccer games because they are exciting and unpredictable, and I'm guaranteed a good time. Your article was excellently done. But don't stop there. The NASL playoffs are under way.
The Memphis Rogues aren't just "close to the lead in their division," they are now the NASL Western Division champions! My thanks to J. D. Reed for his excellent piece on the most exciting sport around.
I don't see how J. D: Reed could have left out the sensational reigning champions of the MISL, the New York Arrows. They have the incredible human scoring machine, Steve Zungul, and the best American goalie around, Shep Messing. Otherwise, the article was great.
Sure, some people get excited about indoor soccer. They also get excited about The Superstars and The World's Strongest Men competitions. And, when you get right down to it, indoor soccer, like Superstars, is Trash-sport. Why does the leader in sports journalism devote more space to silly athletic aberrations like indoor soccer and truck racing than it does to pure Olympic sports such as wrestling and bicycle racing?
New York City
I thought my week had been made complete when I received my custom-made frame set from Merz Manufacturing Co. After all, custom bikes can take anywhere from six months to two years to reach the customer. Then imagine how my eyes popped when I saw your article on Tullio Campagnolo (La Crema delta Crema, Feb. 18). My three bicycles are knee deep in Campy parts.
It was also refreshing to see Keith King-bay mentioned in your article. He is a cyclist's cyclist if ever there was one, and his opinions are to the point.
The only thing I wish your article had conveyed is that serious cyclists are burdened with an unfair label: grownups on children's toys. Touring cyclists in the States are treated like second-class citizens, and they don't deserve it.
As a "100% Campy" cyclist, I truly enjoyed Coles Phinizy's article on Tullio Campagnolo and his bicycle-components company. I own two Campagnolo-equipped bicycles and have enjoyed Campagnolo products for more than seven years. I had often wondered who the man was behind the famous name.
Wearily pedaling my bicycle up the Appalachian, Ozark and Rocky mountains on a recent cross-country trip, I seriously questioned the "most efficient means of transportation" theory. Many times I would have traded my "six pieces of gas pipe" for any dog, cow or horse that trotted by, if only I could have caught one. Maybe I should have eaten some more oatmeal, as opposed to my standard peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich.
But then again, maybe all I needed was a few more quality components. A Campy rear derailleur was the only expensive piece of equipment to grace an otherwise undistinguished bicycle. I admit with considerable embarrassment that it doesn't even have quick-release wheels. I doubt if "full Campy" would have aided my progress, but the bike sure would have looked a lot more impressive!
BLUE DEMON COACH
Hooray for DePaul Basketball Coach Ray Meyer (Out from the Shadow of the El, Feb. 18)! Your article was wonderful. Meyer is just like cheese and wine, he does gel better with age! He's an inspiration to the people in the Chicago area and our Blue Demons are the best team in the country. Ray Meyer is the Knute Rockne of basketball.
Thank you for Curry Kirkpatrick's superb article on Coach Ray Meyer and the history of DePaul basketball. I confess that I have actually rooted against the Blue Demons. Forgive me, Coach—I'll never do it again!
THE REV. DONALD G. SCANDROL
Madison-New Madison United
The article on Darryl Dawkins (Now You See Him, Now You Don't, Feb. 11) and a subsequent letter to the editor (Feb. 25) mentioned the backboards smashed by Dawkins and specifically referred to them as Plexiglas.
Rohm and Haas, the manufacturer of Plexiglas, wishes to point out that backboards used by the NBA are not Plexiglas acrylic sheet, but tempered glass.
It may be of interest to your readers to know that acrylic sheet does not have the shattering characteristics displayed by tempered glass. Plexiglas, when subject to intense impact, may crack, but it will never shatter.
JACK R. POUNDS
Manager, Public Relations
Rohm and Haas Company
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, New York, 10020.