19TH HOLE: THE READERS TAKE OVER

February 06, 1984

SHOE COUNT
Sir:
After reading Foot Soldiers of Fortune in your Jan. 23 issue, I decided to see who won the "sneaker war" in the rest of the issue. Here is my unofficial tally of individual sneakers pictured in your various photos and advertisements:

1. Adidas (20)
2. Nike (11)
3. Converse (10)
4. Puma (6)
5. Tie: New Balance, Spot-bilt (4)
6. Tie: Brooks, Tretorn, Tiger (2)
7. Tie: Pro-Keds, Pony, Blazer (1)

Boom Boom's shoes have me baffled.
CHUCK DAVIS
Annapolis, Md.

•Mancini's shoes are Vans (see above), made by the Van Doren Rubber Co. of Orange, Calif. Mancini has worn the shoes—made especially for him in Italy's red, white and green—for his last two fights. He wears them because he likes them, not because he's paid to.—ED.

FOOT SOLDIERS
Sir:
Thanks for the enlightening article on the sneaker war. While I was shocked to learn about the six-figure checks those shoe companies throw around, I was delighted with John Wooden's advice on the canvas Converse shoe. I have always had trouble with blisters on my little toe, but after I cut the seam over the toe, the problem was resolved.
GARY P. APPEL
Lexington, Va.

Sir:
The authors of your shoe story should have read Anthony Cotton's article in the same issue {Bigger but Not Necessarily Better). McCallum and Keteyian state that Lew Alcindor bested Artis Gilmore in the 1970 NCAA national championship basketball game. Cotton, however, correctly notes that Alcindor's rookie NBA season was 1969-70. UCLA's center in the '70 season was Steve Patterson, who, along with forwards Sidney Wicks and Curtis Rowe and guards Henry Bibby and John Vallely, did defeat Gilmore and his Jacksonville University teammates in the championship game.
JAMES L. FARR
Boalsburg, Pa.

Sir:
I take exception to the statement in the sneakers article about "pickup games involving the school band in which everyone plays in wing tips and black socks." As a high school band director, I constantly see the boys in my organization, many of whom are athletes, fight the opinions of peers who think that playing in the band makes them appear to be sissies or weirdos. I've seen football players drop out of my band program because they didn't have the physical coordination to march and play an instrument at the same time. And yet these same kids turn around and knock those kids who can do this and do it well. Incidentally, our football team has had only one successful season in the last five years, while the basketball team, half of whose members are in the band, was in second place in the county as of Jan. 27.
DANIEL T. CROFT SR.
North Star High School
Boswell, Pa.

UNTWINING TWINS
Sir:
I congratulate you on giving the ski team the publicity it needs to get support from this country by publishing There's Gold in Them Thar Hills (Jan. 23). But I'm afraid you misidentified the person in the photo on page 24. That's Steve Mahre shown in the gate, not Phil. It's easy to tell them apart because the name Steve has five letters and he wears goggles rimmed in white (five letters). Phil (four letters) wears blue (four letters) goggles.
GREG BELONOGOFF
San Francisco

TERRIFIC TOSS
Sir:
This lifelong hurler thoroughly enjoyed Jonathan Walters' discussion of throwing (PERSPECTIVE, Jan. 16). I once witnessed a memorable Type III ("not a chance in hell of making it") instant replay of a Type II ("aimed at one thing and hit another") throw.

One evening during my junior year at the University of Michigan, my roommate, Bill, and I were studying in different rooms in our apartment. Suddenly he yelled, "Hey, Beck! You've got to see this!" I rushed in and found Bill sitting at the table, pointing incredulously at the wastepaper bag 12 feet away. There, on the outside of the bag, hanging vertically from the edge by its metal clip, was a disposable ball-point pen. Bill said, "It ran out of ink, and I just fired it at the bag."

As we laughed about the odds against making that shot, I retrieved the pen, and, after guaranteeing him an eight-scoop ice cream dish if the shot was ever made again, I flipped it to him. Still laughing, he flung the pen toward the bag. To our utter amazement it clipped to the bag exactly as it had before. We gave up on studying and headed for an ice cream parlor to celebrate.

Bill, whose last name is Frieder, has graduated from making shots to calling them as Michigan's head basketball coach.
WILLIAM D. BECK
East Brunswick, N.J.

GRETZKY'S GENIUS
Sir:
I greatly enjoyed your article on Wayne Gretzky (Man with a Streak of Sheer Genius, Jan. 23). I'd like to add a statistic that highlights his accomplishments to an extraordinary degree. Gretzky could have won last year's scoring championship without making a single goal. His number of assists (125) alone exceeded anyone else's total of goals and assists (Peter Stastny was second with 124 points on 47 goals and 77 assists).
JOEL M. SCHOCHET
Canoga Park, Calif.

RUSHLAW REVISITED
Sir:
I would like to clarify two statements attributed to me in Steve Wulf's article (He's Real Trouble on the Run, Jan. 9) about Brent Rushlaw, the U.S. bobsled driver.

Concerning the suturing of Jim Tyler, Rushlaw's brakeman, I merely assisted Merritt Spear, M.D. in his treatment. Dr. Spear oversaw the entire treatment and to imply otherwise would be erroneous.

As for the quote about my wishing Rushlaw was "more of an athlete," what I meant was that it was unfortunate he wasn't a better pushing driver and more dedicated to his athletic training. Rushlaw has proved time and again that he is the best U.S. two-man driver of all time. One has to be an outstanding athlete to accomplish that.
JOHN D. COGAR, D.V.M.
U.S. National Bobsled Team
Bloomingdale, N.Y.

PROOF IN POSTERS
Sir:
I read with great jealousy the Jan. 9 SHOPWALK by Greg Myre about his poster of himself as a Yale defensive back. If only C.W. Pack Sports had been around when I was playing field hockey at College Misericordia. Wouldn't my nine children regard "Old Mom" with awe if I stood in 16" √ó 20" poster splendor, hockey stick in hand and resolve on my face as I put the ball past the goalie? They might even believe that I wasn't born age 50—and I might even believe it myself.
LIZ NOLL
Denville, N.J.

CHRISTMAS REUNION
Sir:
Compliments to you for your wonderful coverage of Christmas Island (Greetings from Christmas, Dec. 26-Jan. 2). Those of us who spent time there during World War II knew it would be a wonderful vacation spa.

Veterans who served on Christmas Island are self-dubbed "coconut heads," and we hold a reunion each year. We now have some 122 names on our mailing list but are always looking for more. Our next reunion will be held Sept. 7-9 this year in Pittsburgh.
L.E. METTLEN
Secretary
Assn. of Christmas Island Task Force
Hutchinson, Kans.

THE GREAT ONE
Sir:
There is one thing I can't understand. Why would you put Wayne Gretzky on the cover (Jan. 23) when the Super Bowl was just around the corner? Gretzky is good, but he isn't God.
CARY FORTE
Dover, Mass.

•Check again. In the NHL summary in the USA Today of Dec. 27, 1983, look who got the game-winning goal in Edmonton's 6-3 win over Calgary.—ED.

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PHOTO

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.

Monday's Results

G.W. Goal

Chicago 3, St. Louis 1

O'Callahan

Los Angeles at Vancouver

Boston 2, Buffalo 1

Kluzak

Toronto 6, Detroit 2

Anderson

Montreal 2, Hartford 1

Walter

Winnipeg 5, Minnesota 1

Babych

Philadelphia 5, Washington 4

Sinisalo

Pittsburgh 7, N.Y. Rangers 4

Gatzos

Edmonton 6, Calgary 3

God

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)