19TH HOLE: THE READERS TAKE OVER

March 23, 1981

THE ICE FOLLIES
Sir:
I was a witness to the Feb. 26 Boston-Minnesota brawl, and your SCORECARD article (March 9) was to the point. The record-setting 406 penalty minutes is just one more thing Boston cannot be proud of. Coach Gerry Cheevers said that "fighting is all part of the game!" When a professional coach endorses violence in his own sport, something is seriously wrong. If that wasn't bad enough, Minnesota Coach Glen Sonmor told Cheevers to "bring a basket to take his head home in." Now boys, this is not rugby or a roller derby, this is pro hockey. NHL President John Ziegler had better do something about it.
STEVE ROGERS
North Attleboro, Mass.

Sir:
I have to disagree with many of SI's ideas. Yes, bench-clearing brawls should be controlled, but the fighting will never stop. I agree totally with John Ziegler that fighting is an '"outlet for frustration."
DAVID SUSMAN
Oak Park, Ill.

Sir:
There is only one thing worse than somebody stepping on our cowboy boots, and that is someone putting down the most exciting element of hockey—fighting. What is your problem? Most people wouldn't go to a hockey game if it wasn't for fighting, including us. We want the fighting to stay. As for you, Mr. Editor, you can take your clean hockey and go to the ballet—and stay there.
GARY PAGEL
BILL FISCHER
JOE DEUTZ
Marshall, Minn.

Sir:
No doubt many Philadelphia Flyer fans will take pen in hand to defend their team against the March 9 SCORECARD item. I will not.

Hockey is a game played in a civilized society. If it cannot conform to society's rules, it should fold up shop. If John Ziegler thinks fighting is a natural reaction to frustration, then we should distribute boxing gloves to all drivers on the nation's highways. We should also allow fighting on the nation's golf courses and certainly at the supermarket check-out line.

If we extend this ridiculous practice to other sports, we may one day see a scouting report of GOOD FIELD, NO HIT—GLASS JAW.
TOM MAZZA
(Philadelphia native)
Oklahoma City University
Oklahoma City

MAGIC MAN
Sir:
Your article on the return of Magic Johnson (And Now for My Reappearing Act, March 9) was a classic. Thank you for such an informative article on one of the greatest players in basketball.
TODD PETERSON
Canyon Country, Calif.

Sir:
Magic Johnson's success has nothing to do with being in the right place at the right time. There are no wrong places, times or teams for Magic. His talent is so immense it allows him to plug any gap. Who else would have chosen to sit in Kareem's regular airplane seat last year when the team flew to Philadelphia for the final game?

We are conditioned to expect that genius must come soberly wrapped in quiet seriousness. I submit it can also arrive in a smiling, oversized package exploding with joy.
BARBARA L. PATON
Grand Rapids, Mich.

MOUNTAIN CLIMB
Sir:
While looking at Mountain of the Mists (March 2), all of a sudden I realized that I knew these natives. I had grown up with them. My parents are missionaries in Irian Jaya, and I was born there. Sam Moses did a fine job of describing the natives. They are what make Irian Jaya such a great place to live in. Congratulations on a splendid article.
J.P. SCHULTZ
Toccoa Falls, Ga.

Sir:
The opening picture of Mountain of the Mists was beautiful, but the lewd photographs of the naked New Guinea tribesmen were disgusting. I subscribed to a sports magazine, not a magazine for obscenity. If you wanted to use those pictures, you should have made the New Guineans wear something besides those unfashionable-looking tubes.
D. SALMEN
Stillwater, Minn.

DEATH OF AN ATHLETE
Sir:
My younger brother was injured not long ago with results similar to those suffered by Kenny Wright (Kenny, Dying Young, March 9). He also was an all-league high school tight end. He, too, experiences pain—to such a degree that now only addictive drugs are effective.

Phyllis Wright's poignant question to her son—"Why didn't you fight longer?"—only emphasizes the ordeal of a person so injured. To see a body and spirit crushed is the greatest tragedy one can witness.
STEVEN L. CRANFORD
Arkansas City, Kans.

Sir:
The communications experts predict that soon all Americans will want all their news presented visually and orally. The written word will survive if writers like Frank Deford continue to craft stories like Kenny, Dying Young.
JAMES R. BROWN
Sandusky, Ohio

Sir:
Kenny, Dying Young was a dramatic presentation of a tragic situation. Unfortunately, it doesn't make as interesting reading to learn about the thousands of quadriplegics, like myself, and other handicapped individuals who have been able to compete, and win (cope), against this foe, which is a far greater struggle than facing any opponent on any athletic field of our past.
MERLIN OLSON
Mayor
Wakefield, Neb.

J.R.
Sir:
Thank you for William Nack's excellent article on J.R. Richard (I'm Going to Return, March 2). What a story. And what a man. If we could all only view life as he does.

It's going to be fantastic to see him on the mound soon. I envision him as the 1981 World Series MVP!
TIMOTHY W. WOLF
Minneapolis

Sir:
I take exception to the adjective "massive" when referring to J.R.'s stroke. As president of the Memphis Stroke Club, I see monthly between 30 and 40 stroke people. To one degree or another, almost all of them are seriously impaired. J.R. was fortunate to be able to have surgery and regain the use of his limbs. I would hope that readers would not think that what happened to J.R. is something that could be done automatically with good results for all stroke people.
DONALD J. REWALT
Millington, Tenn.

THE NEGRO LEAGUES
Sir:
I enjoyed reading Jim Kaplan's article about the old Negro league baseball players (TV/RADIO, Feb. 16). Growing up in Minneapolis in the '20s and '30s, I often saw games in which Satchel Paige. Josh Gibson and other greats played.

And one should not forget the black stars who were cut out of what organized basketball there was in those days. When I tried out for the freshman team at the University of Minnesota, I was informed that the Big Ten had an unwritten rule against blacks playing. That was in 1924. I ended up several years later playing with a colored House of David team (beards and all!), touring the Midwest and the Far West. If we cleared $10 per night we were fortunate. Our big paydays came on holidays like Christmas, when we played in one town on Christmas Eve, in another on Christmas afternoon and in a third on Christmas night. We carried only five men, so that we would not have to split the money too many ways. But it was great fun, and one way to beat the Depression!
JOHN F. THOMAS
Geneva, Switzerland

THE KING
Sir:
As an avid fan of auto racing, especially of the NASCAR variety, I looked forward to Sam Moses' coverage of the Daytona 500 {Hats Off to the King, Feb. 23). I wasn't disappointed. He did an excellent and thorough job of covering stock car racing's premier event. My only disappointment was that King Richard Petty, who has won the prestigious Daytona race a record seven times, been NASCAR point champion seven times and has a career total of 193 victories, wasn't on your cover.
MARK STEVENS
Lake Katrine, N.Y.

THE PITS
Sir:
I'd like to inform SI's Robert H. Boyle, Rose Mary Mechem and all conservationists that on Jan. 31 three companions and I fished the Florida phosphate pits pictured on page 90 of your Feb. 9 issue (There's Trouble in Paradise). Those "slime ponds" produced 37 bass weighing 1¾ to 7½ pounds in six hours of casting. We lost that many again and threw back many smaller ones. And please note: every ounce kept from this catch will be eaten.
C.V. CULBERTSON
Annapolis, Md.

•According to Fred Langford, a fisheries biologist with the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, fish do thrive in the waters of freshly dug phosphate pits. Excess algae slough off into the deep holes, and the phosphate tailings make for rich nutrients and are nontoxic. However, once a pond is used for the retention of slime—the clay created in the mining process—and the slime takes over, the fish are killed. Other sources report that slime ponds contain higher concentrations of radioactive material than does the land around them. Exactly what effect this may have on the fish—and on the humans who eat them—has yet to be determined.—ED.

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

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)