19TH HOLE: THE READERS TAKE OVER

December 01, 1980

PHILLY PHLEGM & FURY
Sir:
I have been a big fan of SI for the last 15 years, but your piece on the Philadelphia Flyers (The Team That People Just Love to Hate, Nov. 17) was a disgrace.
PETER S. DOONER III
Wynnewood, Pa.

Sir:
Larry Brooks' article on the Flyers was ridiculous. It's unfair to imply that the team is a "system" of intimidation. The Flyers have outstanding players who know how to play hockey the way it's supposed to be played, and intimidation is part of the game. Paul Holmgren, whom Brooks criticizes, happens to be a man who plants himself in front of the opposition's crease, where opponents try to knock him away. Yes, he gets penalties, but he can't be a nice guy and expect to be able to handle the position.
RAY WEINMANN JR.
Wynnewood, Pa.

Sir:
Call me a skeptic, but I don't believe the Flyers produced the best record in the NHL solely by the use of terrorist tactics.
RICHARD D. PEARCE
Wilmington, Del.

Sir:
Larry Brooks' article was absurd. The Flyers are a very talented hockey team. If a team wants to mix it up, the Flyers have the muscle to win. If the other team wants to skate, the Flyers have the speed to skate with them and win that way. A team that has won as consistently as the Flyers have during the past 10 years deserves some positive credit.
JIM WAGNER
Newtown Square, Pa.

Sir:
I agree that the NHL is in trouble because of violence and the selective application of the rules governing violence. However, to reinforce the bad reputation of the Flyers and imply that they're the sole cause of NHL violence is ridiculous.
S. GOTWOLS
Hatboro, Pa.

Sir:
Thank you for a terrific article on the real Philadelphia Flyers, the greatest bunch of cheapshots in the NHL.
TOM HANSON
Willmar, Minn.

Sir:
Your article on the Filthadelphia Flyers was accurate.
STEVE FOCARDI
Greenlawn, N.Y.

Sir:
I'm glad the dirty tactics used by the Flyers are being brought to light. Their crude methods are nothing new, but maybe the slow-moving NHL directors will see the light.
SUE SMITH
Buffalo

Sir:
I'm a hockey fan and a longtime Flyer follower, but your article served as a painful reminder: How long can any professional sport condone, indeed encourage, violence that an average citizen could be arrested for?

Wake up, NHL, before someone gets killed.
CHUCK EGNER
East Thetford, Vt.

Sir:
Your solutions to the problem of violence in hockey would probably clean things up. For fans who are afraid the game will turn into an endless, boring wind sprint, I suggest you recall the 1980 Winter Olympics, in which fighting meant instant ejection. There was no lack of contact, but it was the kind of contact the game was meant to have, not stick-swinging brawls.
HARVEY WEISBERG
Bryn Mawr, Pa.

DOGS' DAYS
Sir:
I really loved the article by Joe Marshall on the Georgia-Florida game (How 'Bout Them Dawgs?, Nov. 17). It's so nice to see a different name on top of the polls instead of the same old ones, particularly Alabama.
KENT GIVENS
Pittsburgh

Sir:
You wrote that "the Bulldogs could gain their first national championship with a win in the Sugar Bowl." In your Sept. 11, 1967 issue, Georgia is listed as national champion in both 1942 and 1946.
BOB KIRLIN
Spokane

•SI's 1967 story noted that a dozen different rating systems had picked top teams over the years. Three lesser-known systems selected Georgia in 1942, one in 1946, but the Associated Press (UPI didn't begin its poll until 1950) named Ohio State No. 1 in 1942, Notre Dame in 1946.—ED.

MORE HAVE NOT
Sir:
The team I cover gets no respect. Eastern Michigan wasn't even mentioned in your story about the bottom teams in Division I-A college football (A Who's Who of Have-nots, Nov. 17). Yet the Hurons finished 1-9; they've had only one winning season since they went big-college in 1976; and this year's team had eight straight losses. That's the worst Eastern Michigan streak since the 1959-62 small-college bunch went 29 games without a win. But that team didn't have athletic scholarships.
STEVE KORNACKI
Ann Arbor News
Ann Arbor, Mich.

HOLD THE EELS
Sir:
From the time my students told me that Jimmy Connors had won the Marlboro Canton Grand Prix Tennis Classic, I'd been wondering: Pro tennis in China? Not until To China with Love-15 (a marvelous headline) in your Nov. 17 issue did I get an explanation. Thank you.

One small point. Canton is not exactly Lower Slobbovia, being a metropolis of nearly two million people that's visited by thousands of Western businessmen yearly. I find it difficult to believe there is only one Western-style restaurant in town.

And do us readers a favor. Spare us from more of the "grass-snake soup and sweet-and-sour eel" bit. I assume Susie Trees wrote that with tongue in cheek, but my fellow Ohio residents take such phrases literally and have their stereotypes reinforced.
SAMUEL C. CHU
Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio

BIG JOHN SPECIAL
Sir:
Ray Kennedy's Clear the Tracks for Big John (Nov. 17) evoked memories of rejoicing and occasionally dying with John Madden and his Oakland Raiders. I found myself laughing out loud and feeling a little less disappointment that Madden had retired.
JIM HASHIMOTO
Salinas, Calif.

NOT BORING FOR ALL
Sir:
May I compliment J.D. Reed for his excellent discussion of sports in the Persian Gulf (The Name of the Game Is Petrosports, Nov. 17)? As a Bahraini studying in the U.S., I totally disagree with the American refinery manager's statement: "Kids are restless and bored." Restless, maybe, but never bored. How could one be bored playing a sport like soccer in the Garden of Eden?
MOHAMMED BUSHIRI
Austin, Texas

Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, New York, 10020.

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