Robert H. Boyle's meticulously written story about the death of boxer Willie Classen (No Man Was His Keeper, March 24), coupled with Marshall Arisman's sepulchral drawings of that horrible evening, was a vivid reminder of the tragic consequences of irregularities in the administration of boxing. The underside of the sport is as murky as the topside is glittery. However, the selfless actions of one individual went unnoticed. Tribute should certainly be paid to John Condon, the peppy voice of Madison Square Garden, who spent the entire night at the hospital, solacing Classen's wife.
RICHARD R. BARTMAN
New York City
The Willie Classen story is a sad one indeed. And it's made sadder still by the fact that his death could have been prevented. Thanks to SI for getting to the bottom of this mess.
Your article The Future Is Soon (March 10) does nothing to dispute Jimmy Jacobs' belief that boxing's heavyweight division is in a pathetic state. Your assessment that "most of the good ones are a year or so from a title shot" undershoots the mark by several light-years. Closer to the truth is your statement that "all are largely unchallenged."
That they are unchallenged is certainly borne out by the composite record of the young fighters mentioned in the story. The totals were 156 wins, one loss and three draws. Thus, only four of the bouts could have involved members of your young elite. The question therefore is: Who are the even more unknown boxers against whom your stars of the future have run up these lopsided records? And do all those victories really mean anything, coming as they have against no-name opponents? I doubt it.
ALLAN J. RYAN, M.D.
April 7, 1980
Shame on you.
Where, in your pictorial review of the Monterey Rugby Festival (Game for a Bloody Good Game, March 17), was a picture showing the rugby grounds of Pebble Beach, the cheering crowds or the friendly picnic-like atmosphere? Instead, we got blood and gore! Matrons don't lock up their daughters when ruggers are around; one even let hers marry an Oregon State player right on the field. The essence of Monterey is quality rugby in a beautiful setting with large crowds. You failed to capture it.
Rugby makes the NFL look like a birthday party for 7-year-olds, yet it's a game for gentlemen. One of these gentlemen, I might add, is my geometry teacher, Mike Mitchell, who is pictured on page 30. He's No. 9.
Mountain View, Calif.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Please inform William Nack ('CB' Plus 'CA' Spelled 'V', March 24) that he should add foresight to understatement and reserve as British national attributes. He says Alan Minter's restaurant is in a Jesuit abbey built in 1150. The Jesuit order came into being in 1540.
REV. JAMES KUNTZ, S.J.
Santa Clara, Calif.
The Jesuits don't live in abbeys and were founded in 1534.
JAMES F. MCGUIRE
New York City
•A Jesuit teaching group was formed in 1534, but was not officially recognized as an order until 1540. Minter's restaurant is in part of a building erected in about 1140 that subsequently became a Franciscan priory.—ED.
1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬® STRIKES, YOU'RE OUT
Referring to your article on inflation's effect upon sports statistics (SCORECARD, March 24), you have missed the point. Inflation's devastation stems from the fact that it diminishes value. To demonstrate how inflation would diminish the value in sports standards, we must apply the 18% annual figure in a way that diminishes statistics, records and dimensions. A few examples: after five years of 18% inflation, a nine-inning baseball game would be reduced to four innings. The Indianapolis 500 would become the Indy 219. The world record for the 100-yard dash would be 20.59 seconds, and the record for the mile would be 8:43.9. A 60-minute football game would take only 26 minutes.
I follow sports partly to escape the dreary realities of economics and politics. Five years from now I don't want to pay $2.86 for my weekly SI to read about stuff like this.
New York City
As a former resident of Sacramento, I would like to thank you for Roy S. Johnson's article introducing to the rest of your readers the Bill Cartwright that the Sacramento area has known for years (Were It Any Other Year, March 17). Larry Bird or Magic Johnson may win the NBA Rookie of the Year award, but Cartwright should be considered for Sportsman of the Year.
DAVID P. HOCHMUTH
Fort Collins, Colo.
Amid all of the hoopla about the on-again, off-again move of the Oakland Raiders, sans Ken Stabler, to L.A. (SCORECARD, March 17), the postmark on my Rams' season-ticket envelope should be published to keep the rumor mills grinding. Perhaps there's an even trade in the works, the Rams for the Raiders. The Anaheim Raiders? The Oakland Rams? Does Al Davis go to the same shrink as Charlie Finley?
RICHARD E. SMITH
Diamond Bar, Calif.
Bill Cartwright has indeed turned the Knicks around, and he has shown New York fans and all the critics that he is durable enough to go the entire season in the pivot. Cartwright has done everything that could be asked of a first-year player—and more.
MARK M. CEMBER
Spring Valley, N.Y.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
While I applaud the thorough and excellent coverage of the British Virgin Islands in your Feb. 4 issue (The Low-Key Islands), I must take strong exception to the article's inexcusably broad generalizations about "the rest of the Caribbean."
As your knowledgeable readers are aware, the Caribbean encompasses hundreds of islands and cays. One of the fascinations of leisurely cruising through the Caribbean—or island hopping by other modes of transportation—is the unique character of each island. The topography and flavor of two nearby islands may differ so dramatically that going from one to the other is analogous to crossing a border in Europe. And yet, Robert F. Jones suggests that all are cut from the same mold, that all are overrun with new high-rises and condominiums "sprouting like piles of guano along the once deserted beaches."
The U.S. Virgin Islands, which comprise more than 50 islands and cays, have become the No. 1 tourist destination in the Caribbean. The three main islands, St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John, also defy any one broad description.
Two-thirds of St. John, a jewel-like island, is preserved under the National Park System, and its one large resort complex, the Caneel Bay Plantation, is considered one of the most exclusive and beautiful resorts in the world.
One of St. Thomas' public beaches, Magens Bay, has been ranked among the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. Being as popular as it is for its tourist, cultural and natural attractions, St. Thomas does have hotel facilities to fit every traveler's budget, but it also has a number of secluded coves and beaches. A large portion of St. Croix, also a popular tourist spot with a wide range of hotel accommodations, is still in its natural state, and deserted beaches abound on the island.
More than one million tourists visited the U.S. Virgin Islands last year and figures in for this year indicate that it will be a record one. I feel the numbers speak eloquently for the islands.
AMAUEO I. D. FRANCIS
Commissioner of Commerce
United States Virgin Islands
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
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