SIXERS AND CELTICS
As a Sixers fan, I'd like to shake the hand of Heinz Kluetmeier, who took the May 31 cover picture of Dr. J in action against the Boston Celtics. In my opinion, he caught the greatest player in the league at his best.
I've been an ardent Boston fan for 15 years, but I want to thank you for the incredible photographs of Dr. J soaring through, over and above my beloved Celtics. The action shots accompanying the article Banishing the Green Ghosts (May 31) are some of the best I've ever seen.
Fort Collins, Colo.
As a fan of the 76ers, it would be natural for me to view the fans of the archrival Celtics as an unruly, noisy, nasty bunch. However, I watched on TV as they acknowledged the end of their championship dream by chanting their good-luck wishes ("Beat L.A.!") to the 76ers. It was an exhibition not only of good sportsmanship, but also of pure class. Had the roles been reversed, at the Spectrum, I'm certain we 76er fans wouldn't have done anything like it. Real nice folks, those Celtic fans.
RICHARD J. MYERS
West Nanticoke, Pa.
DEFORD ON INDY
Frank Deford should be canonized for the first honest portrayal of the Indianapolis 500 I have ever read (Hey, Show Us Your Goose Bumps, May 31). As a nearly lifelong resident of Indiana, and a former resident of "Indenapplis," I was only too glad to come across someone else who can see to the heart of this madness. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
DAVID G. EDWARDS
Many thanks to SI and Frank Deford for the brilliant, entertaining article on the Indy 500. The promoters of Indy never cease to remind us that it is the biggest sporting event in the world. However, I have little doubt that if they could build a football stadium with a VA-mile circumference, you'd see crowds well in excess of half a million. Furthermore, the spectators would know what was going on on the field.
Indy is the most overrated event in America. It's nothing but a collection of drivers who are non-athletes, onlookers who are nonsports fans and noisy machines that are non-cars. Deford makes that abundantly clear.
A more appropriate title for Frank Deford's story on Indy would have been Hey, Show Us Your Ignorance, because he certainly did. I suggest Deford stay home next year and watch Ping-Pong on TV. That's a sport he may understand.
LEROY TURNER JR.
Never in all my life have I read anything that made me want to burn this magazine as did Frank Deford's tasteless, degrading, ridiculous story on our wonderful 500-mile race. We Hoosiers are proud of all of the activities before, during and after the greatest spectacle in racing. To be sure, there are those who go and never see what the whole thing is about, but the true racing fans know each driver by sight, the name of his car and owner, the speed he qualified at, the position from which he's starting and as much as they can about his personal life. My reply to Deford is, "Thanks for coming, and I hope you never come again!"
MARILYNE J. WALL
Frank Deford would probably find a pit in his cherry pie.
Casa Grande, Ariz.
What a terrific story on Martina Navratilova (Merrily She Rolls Along, May 24) by Sarah Pileggi! The life of this young lady seems to be so sad, so unreal—the loss of a normal childhood, not knowing about her brother, the loss of her father and the substitution of a strong stepfather, those gosh-awful young muscles, the lonely ups and downs of tournaments, the tenacious self-doubt, apparently being deprived of that irreplaceable and exhilarating thing called romance, the inability to share success with her family, the depressing search for security in all those homes she bought.
I've watched Martina a hundred times, and invariably thought of her as petulant, moody, arrogant, self-pitying—a cold fish who was fabulously talented but unable to cope with the inevitable shocks of bad luck.
It must have been a temptation for Pileggi to gush and weep for this gifted gal, but I think she kept it all in steady balance. Next time I see Martina, I'm sure I'll understand her better and appreciate her more.
New York City
Tracy may have the form and Chris may have the temperament, but Martina has the guts to be the world's foremost player over the course of time. A truly fantastic article!
MIKE SCHMIDT'S ADMIRERS
I've been an avid baseball fan for 10 years or so and have followed Mike Schmidt from his rookie season. I commend Ron Fimrite on a superb article (An Image in Sharper Focus, May 31). He captured the style of Schmidt. In these times when many athletes are not the kind youngsters can really look up to, it's refreshing to see a quality athlete with the values and sincerity of Schmidt. He said he doesn't look at himself as a hero, but those who do couldn't find anyone more deserving.
When Mike Schmidt was a student at Ohio University, I had the privilege of serving as president of that school. One of the great rewards of being a teacher or an academic administrator is to watch-fine young people continue to mature and contribute to the happiness of other people. Mike was outstanding at Ohio. My respect and admiration for him have grown over the years.
VERNON R. ALDEN
This letter is a rebuttal to the statements concerning Lufkin tape measures found in the article on the TAC indoor championships (A Meeting of the Brilliant and the Bizarre, March 8).
The notion that Lufkin tapes are difficult to read or interpret is negated by their widespread use at international sporting events, including the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. Since 1869, Lufkin measuring tools have developed a reputation for quality of workmanship and accuracy.
A more plausible explanation for any erroneous reading of the tape is the official's unfamiliarity with the metric system of measurement.
ROBERT T. MARKOVSKY
Director of Merchandising
The Cooper Group
Letters should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.