Curry Kirkpatrick's article Hey, You'd Be Hog Wild, Too (March 23) was probably the best I've read in SI in a long time. And Peter Read Miller's cover picture was great. It totally captured the moment of Oregon State's doom. The one thing that bothers me is that SI has forgotten that there is a women's tournament, too. Would it be asking too much for an article about the AIAWs?
•See page 67.—ED.
The two-page photograph of the bedlam following Razorback U.S. Reed's shot that beat Louisville was a masterpiece. I didn't get to see the game, but John Iacono's picture told it all.
Hot Springs, Ark.
The sports picture of the year appeared on page 16. The moment of Mark Aguirre's utter despair, disbelief and disapointment was poignantly captured. Congratulations to Manny Millan. What a great shot!
April 6, 1981
I was shocked and amazed. In his review of the East regional, Curry Kirkpatrick stated that the Irish "wouldn't still be around if they had been playing somebody other than Dolley, make that James, Madison, surprise winners over Georgetown." This was not only an insult to James Madison University and all its fans, but also a pretty ridiculous statement. True, the Dukes were not very well known before the NCAA tournament, but their statistics—they were ranked among the nation's top 10 in defense—show that they weren't a "surprise" entrant. If Kirkpatrick doubts the ability of the Dukes, I suggest he listen to Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps, who said. "James Madison is one of the most difficult teams to play in any situation...." As the coach of a team that beat Virginia, Kentucky and Maryland, who would know better than Phelps?
How appropriate that the "conceited, haughty...spoiled children of DePaul" were covered by the most conceited, haughty, spoiled and, may I add, unknowledgeable writer on SI's staff, Curry Kirkpatrick. The fact remains that, win or lose, the DePaul Blue Demons, Oregon State Beavers and Louisville Cardinals are three of the nation's finest teams. I also found Kirkpatrick's cheap shots, which he directed not only at DePaul's Mark Aguirre and Skip Dillard, but also at one of college basketball's most respected coaches, Ray Meyer, unnecessary, biased and unprofessional.
Curry Kirkpatrick's unkind reference to Tennessee basketball player Howard Wood as "the muttonchopped, squashed-nose Wood, who looks old enough to have dated Delilah" is most unbecoming. I don't think a writer's opinion of a person's facial features is relevant to a sports story. But if a writer feels he cannot restrain himself, how about a picture so we can form our own opinions?
Incidentally, Kirkpatrick could not have slurred a young man more admired by the people who know him.
LINDEN L. GILL
Lieut. Colonel, USAF (Ret.)
Eight Beauties and a Beat (March 16)? Come on, SI, you just gave us the swimsuit issue. Aren't you aware that there are men and women who take your sports magazine seriously and would much rather read about the accomplishments of an Ann Meyers, a Hollis Stacy or an Evelyn Ashford? To borrow the words of UCLA song girl Renee Gibson: No way; gross; blow it off!
Bruce Newman gave us a fine article on UCLA's song girls. However, I have one question: Why did you choose UCLA as the focal point of the story? Within the Pac-10 this season, the song girls at Cal, USC and Washington were all lovelier and more talented than their UCLA counterparts. Please don't tell the UCLA girls I said so, though. When I meet Julie Hayek in heaven, I want to be on speaking terms with her.
Thank you for E.M. Swift's very good article on the St. Louis Blues (Taking Aim at the Stanley Cup, March 23). General Manager Emile Francis has proved once again that he is the finest and most innovative hockey mind in the game today. I look forward to a cover picture of MVP Wayne Babych skating around The Checkerdome in May, with the Stanley Cup hoisted proudly above his head.
It's hard for an Oklahoma State fan like me to admit, but Iowa is undoubtedly the premier power in college wrestling today. Douglas S. Looney's story Lookalikes Do Alike (March 23) was especially delightful and is indicative of the high personal integrity of Coach Dan Gable and the young men on his team. They are definitely a cut above the average, and very inspiring.
By the way, there has never been any doubt about it—Oklahoma's Dave Schultz is a flake.
Douglas S. Looney's article was an excellent wrap-up of the NCAA wrestling championships. However, I have one comment: Dave Schultz, the 158-pounder from Oklahoma, may have been noteworthy as the favorite and as a flake, but his opponent in the finals, Ricky Stewart of Oklahoma State, also deserves some recognition. He won the 158-pound title last year and made it two in a row this year with a pin over Schultz. Earlier, Schultz had beaten Stewart in the Big Eight final and in the dual meet between the Oklahoma schools.
How ironic it is that in the same issue (March 16) in which SI published my letter questioning the use of bellicose language in sports reportage, there appears a textbook example of the very thing I decry: Bob Ottum's coverage of the world figure skating championships (A Munchkin and a Mind-set). He makes this most lyrical of athletic events sound like the conflict in El Salvador. I mean, come on, the Hamilton-Santee competition described as a "shoot-out"! By extension Ottum would headline Alexander Godunov and Mikhail Baryshnikov on the same bill as Gun-fight at the American Ballet Theatre: the Battle of the Pas de Deux.
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