And on the Eighth Day, God created the U.S. Olympic hockey team.
After reviewing the bathing-suit edition of SI, we've decided to demand equal time. We want pictures of the U.S. hockey team in their shorts!
LEHMAN, 4TH FLOOR
The Boys of Winter proved themselves to be the Men of America.
Take heed, National Hockey League. What thousands of potential hockey fans now want to see at an NHL game is the same type of good, clean hockey that they saw, perhaps for the very first time, at the 1980 Winter Olympics.
Clean up your act, NHL, and maybe you, too, can win the hearts of your countrymen.
What a beautiful sight it was to see the U.S. Olympic hockey team captain, Mike Eruzione, gold medal around his neck, his head high, his hand over his heart, singing the national anthem at the award ceremonies! To me that's what the Olympic spirit is all about.
ALLEN C. DEMMIN
I have just reread Of Gold and Gophers by William Oscar Johnson (Dec. 10, 1979). That story showed uncanny foresight in regard to our Olympic gold-medal hockey team. When Winger Rob McClanahan—referring to the fans at the Washington Capitals game in Lake Placid in October—stated, "They made us do what we never believed we could do," he might have been thinking ahead to last month's chants of "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" in the same arena.
And Coach Brooks' words in Johnson's story also strike home: "Passes come from the heart, not the stick." These 20 men reached down into theirs to reach out to ours, to turn the impossible into reality.
WAYNE D. CALLAHAN
The loudest Bravo! of the afternoon at the City Opera's Feb. 24 matinee of La Traviata was not for a stunning aria. It followed the announcement that the U.S. Olympic hockey team had just defeated Finland. Thanks, guys, for a virtuoso performance.
New York City
With the aura of nationalism still lingering in the air of Lake Placid, now might be as good a time as any to nail another spike in the Olympic coffin. Whereas the original Greek Games did much to transcend the narrow politics of the city-states, our present-day version of the Olympics does, in fact, do quite the contrary. This may not be a problem in the future because, as many predict, the Games could die in Moscow. In such case, the resurgence of the Olympics could be a long time coming; the world community has quite a bit of growing up to do before true Olympian ideals become world realities.
STEVEN C. WILLIAMS
We are only two months into 1980 and the book is already closed on the selection of Sportsmen of the Year. Nothing will top the performance and class of the U.S. Olympic hockey team.
ROBERT E. KINGSBURY
There's no Heiden it. Eric is Sportsman of the Year.
JEFFREY M. FISHER
Sportsmen of the Year, a tie: Superman Eric Heiden and Superteam, the U.S. Olympic hockey team.
CHARLES R. DICKERSON
Bob Ottum's The Rise and the Fall (Feb. 25) was one of the most sensitive stories ever published in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. To find words for the sadness we all felt for Randy and Tai had to be a difficult task.
RICHARD W. BLAIR
Mr. Ottum describes the Russian pair as skating perfectly and flawlessly, but your picture of the two on page 35 contradicts this statement. Notice Zaitsev's hand as he hoists Rodnina. It rests on her thigh, while the rule states it cannot be on the leg.
GENE M. WRONKO
I hope Tai and Randy realize that their work, discipline and stress have not gone for naught. To those of us who love skating in its purest form, they cannot be surpassed.
MRS. JOHN S. RENOUARD
Garden City, N.Y.
Ron Rau's exposè (Valley of the Eagles, Feb. 25) of the plight of our national bird points out the self-serving attitude of too many Americans. It is truly unfortunate that the residents of Haines and the rest of us find it so difficult to take off our economic and political blinders when dealing with the environment.
The national bird must remain an eagle for the same reason the word heart must remain in all those memorable love songs. Surely, I didn't leave my liver in San Francisco. By the same line of reasoning, imagine the first man on the moon saying, "The Turkey has landed."
As a psychiatrist interested in sports and sports-related phenomena, I have long been puzzled by your yearly midwinter bathing-suit issue. It wasn't apparent to me why a magazine devoted to sports coverage would so drastically change its format.
Then it became clear. The bathing-suit issue is your readers' halftime show, coming as it does between the Super Bowl and spring training, and midway through the basketball and hockey seasons.
Beautiful, scantily clad women parade through the issue like cheerleaders at a football game. By presenting a halftime show, you confirm the fact that reporting and reading about sports is an event so intense as to require a change of pace—a time-out.
RONALD L. KAMM, M.D.
Tinton Falls, N.J.
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