THE COLLEGE GAME
It was a delight to see you devote three straight cover stories to college basketball (March 23 et seq.). I'm glad the sport is getting the publicity it so much deserves. The excitement it aroused during the regular season and throughout the NCAA tournament was remarkable, as was SI's coverage.
College basketball has to be considered America's third-most-popular sport, after baseball and pro football. It's a shame that after their college years the Isiah Thomases and Albert Kings have to enter into the boredom of the NBA.
Bel Air, Md.
Your April 6 cover of Isiah Thomas, the "little child" who led the Hoosiers, and the adoring fans with the huge red hand indicating No. 1 was fabulous and captivating. Even though I was a North Carolina fan that night, this cover made up for the loss.
Curry Kirkpatrick wrote his most complimentary article ever about Indiana University basketball (And a Little Child Led Them). And your cover photo was wonderful. Isiah Thomas, along with the crowd, showed the world what Hoosier Hysteria is all about.
April 20, 1981
College basketball three weeks in a row? Certainly another sport was worthy of your cover for at least one of those weeks. I, for one, am saturated with basketball.
THE LADY TECHSTERS
My thanks to Kathy Blumenstock for her piece on the undefeated Louisiana Tech women's basketball team (It Was a Tech-book Year, April 6). Coach Sonja Hogg and her staff deserve a great deal of credit for winning an AIAW championship after only seven years of competition.
However, while Blumenstock rightly lauded the play of Tech's front line. I don't think enough was said about Point Guard Kim Mulkey. Those who viewed this game on TV watched a superior playmaker at work.
THE OTHER SIDE OF DR. J
John Papanek's article on Julius Erving ("I've Always Felt Powerless," April 6) was a masterful piece of journalism. Papanek and Erving remind us of the true meaning of athletics and the pride that a professional athlete takes in his job. both on and off the court.
As an ardent follower of basketball and as a former Philadelphian, I can testify that Julius Erving has enriched not only the quality of basketball, but also the quality of life for those people who have ever had the opportunity to come into contact with him. John Papanek's article gave us all a little more insight into a great man who will continue to do great things long after his basketball days have ended.
ROBERT N. GILMOUR
Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
Many thanks to Roy S. Johnson for his tribute to Molly Bolin, a native Iowan who made it to the big leagues (The Lady Is a Hot Shot, April 6). She justly deserves the recognition she's finally receiving at the national level.
It's unfortunate that the Cornets, who split their home schedule between Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, were among the several original WBL clubs that folded. The Iowa team not only led the WBL in attendance for two years, but also made the finals in consecutive seasons—a credit to the players and coaches as well as to the many dedicated fans.
While Molly may feel that a lot of famous Iowans didn't get to be famous by staying in Iowa, there can be no question that her enthusiasm for the game that led to her eventual success—and the achievements of many other professional athletes—can be traced directly to the outstanding high school and collegiate sports programs throughout the Hawk-eye State.
TOWNSEND HOOPES III
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
It's too bad that all basketball players don't have the smile of Isiah Thomas, the class of Dr. J and the body of Molly Bolin.
Once again Dan Jenkins is right on the mark (Trying Time for Big T, April 6). I have long admired Tom Weiskopf not only as a golfer, but also as a man. Weiskopfs image as a non-phony is no less a part of his makeup than is his picture-perfect swing. A great many of us give a damn that he could not spend Masters Week as a player in Augusta.
Rolling Meadows, Ill.
Weiskopf's outspokenness and his antics have helped bring the tour down to earth by adding some fun and variety to it. I hope to see another fine article on Tom after he wins one of this year's majors.
SHAWN VON NIEDA
Daytona Beach, Fla.
Surely Tom Weiskopf is a perfect example of a person who has sunk to his own level. His admiration for that boorish Ilie Nastase says it all.
Charleston, W. Va.
Although it has been almost 40 years since I bowled a maiden over or poked one through the slips, I was delighted to read your article on cricket (This Isn't Cricket...But It Is, April 6). However, the nearest analogy in baseball terms to wicketkeeper would be catcher, not shortstop. Because there are no foul lines, it is hard to determine the cricket equivalent of shortstop, but silly mid on might be the closest.
I spent three years in England in the Air Force and it was nice to get a story about a really famous sport that is not well understood in America. Again, SI shows it covers all sports. But it was deceiving to see Englishman Roland Butcher with a baseball glove on his hand. It might make us Americans believe that a glove is generally worn to catch the ball, which, of course, it isn't. Only the bare hand. Having caught a cricket ball, I can attest it hurts. Only wicketkeepers wear gloves—and on both hands.
•Butcher uses his only in practice.—ED.
Tex Schramm's idea to move the NFC and AFC championship games to non-NFL, warm-weather sites (SCORECARD, March 30) is sound. As with the Super Bowl winner, the conference winners should be determined under conditions that permit the teams to fully display their skills rather than under weather conditions that might not allow a proper contest.
As for the fans, only a minority of them live within practical traveling distance of an NFL field. The great majority provide major support to all NFL teams via TV, and their interests should be considered. No TV market, no TV money. I can hear the charge of "studio sports," but because I write this from the distant boondocks, I shall be unmoved.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF SHOOTING
Peter Meinke's REMINISCENCE (April 6) about "the art of shooting a bottle cap" had me almost in tears. He could have been writing about a Vietnamese kid shooting bottle caps in a small town in the Mekong Delta back in the '50s. The "rules of the-game" were exactly the same; the only difference was that we used to fill our caps with asphalt, not wax. Thanks for the memory.
TRAN HUU DUNG
Jack Rudloe's article From the Jaws of Death (March 23) on the tragic predicament of the loggerhead turtle is the best I've ever seen in SI. As shocking and heartbreaking as it is to read, people need to be made more aware of the price we're paying for progress, which, as the story indicates, is too high. Let's just be thankful for the understanding of the Corps of Engineers and the efforts of Captain Glen Buffkin and his crew. Such people give wildlife a chance to survive.
There were very disturbing themes in the letter from Messrs. Pagel, Fischer and Deutz (March 23). They say that fighting is "the most exciting element of hockey" and that they "wouldn't go to a hockey game if it wasn't for fighting." To accept the reality of fighting in professional hockey is one thing, to patronize it is another. Unfortunately, this type of aggressive, sensationalistic, anti-cultural attitude seems to prevail in this age of "civilization." I sincerely feel that these three "gentlemen" have never understood the meaning of the word sport. I will take comfort in believing that you printed such a letter satirically, its very words eliminating the need for rebuttal.
College Station, Texas
Steve Rogers' letter (March 23) concerning excessive violence in hockey was excellent, but his knowledge of rugby is faulty. Were a rugger playing in a Rugby Football Union-sanctioned match to engage in the kind of behavior generally found in hockey games, he would be sent off the field immediately, his team would play a man short for the remainder of the game, he would be suspended for at least one game and his name would be sent up to the state rugby union for further action, if warranted.
No, Mr. Rogers, pro hockey is not rugby. We would never let rugby sink to that level.
Old Boys Rugby Football Club
This is in response to the letter from D. Salmen (March 23) about the naked New Guineans and how "obscene" and "unfashionable" Salmen thought their "tubes" were. Those comments are typical of the cultural snobbery of many Americans: make them dress as we do! We formerly lived in Papua New Guinea, and reader Salmen and any other readers who took offense at SI's pictures might be interested to know that many New Guineans think such Western customs as blowing our noses into a handkerchief and then putting the soiled handkerchief back in our pockets are obscene.
JIM AND BARB (HUETER) REARDON
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