As an avid sportsman—hunter—and conservationist, I commend Robert Sullivan on his special report (The Torrent of Death, Oct. 15). The investigative work he did was amazing. I applaud SI's view that the wilderness and all within it are just as important, if not more important, than a large power company's operations. The last few sentences of that article left a picture in my mind that will remain for quite a while.
JAMES A. DEMARCO
Once again SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has proved itself a leader. Robert Sullivan's writing and Dan Budnick's photographs made a magnificent special report.
As a civil and environmental engineering major at Clarkson University, I have studied many engineering projects, including several hydroelectric plants. I believe Hydro-Quebec should be made liable for all cleanup costs. As professionals, Hydro-Quebec's experts should have been responsible enough to research the possible effects of the project on the environment and not have been so oblivious to the caribou migration. Has Hydro-Quebec taken a step forward in hydroelectric power production? Perhaps it has. However, it has also taken two much larger backward steps in terms of the environment.
JAMES M. FRASER
Before I even finish reading the article on the drowning of 10,000 migrating caribou, I must ask: How could this terrible tragedy occur? And if you people were able to photograph these poor stranded animals, why couldn't someone help them?
October 29, 1984
Douglas S. Looney's account of Alabama's travail under coach Ray Perkins (It's Ebb Tide, and the Fans Are Restless, Oct. 15) may be the first article ever to foster & feeling of camaraderie between Alabama and Notre Dame fans. As you may have heard, there's another formerly great football program that has become a sad joke, and like our crimson-clad counterparts, we Irish partisans are not amused.
As one who attended the 1973 Sugar Bowl game and watched the Irish edge the Tide for the national championship. I look forward to a rematch someday. To that end I say: Jerk the Perk and oust Faust!
ROBERT J. TRIZNA
Bear Bryant didn't ask Ray Perkins to come home to win a popularity contest, but rather to restore an already decaying football program. Given ample time, Perkins will win—and win big. The so-called Jerk the Perk Fan Club mentioned in your article is obviously made up of Auburn people. In fact, the only jerk is Birmingham sports columnist Paul Finebaum.
BILLY RAY MOORE
What's all this fuss over the Crimson Tide's slow start? One bad start since 1957? Times are a-changing. No longer will the Alabamas, Notre Dames, Nebraskas and USCs dominate college football the way they have for so many years. These powers can no longer hoard scholarship players as they did in the past. The NCAA has put a cap (95) on their numbers. What this eventually will achieve is parity among the 1-A college football teams.
SPORTS AND MONEY
John Underwood's article on the University of Florida Gators (Partly Cloudy Week in the Sunshine State, Sept. 10) was right on the mark. The efforts of the university to achieve excellence in academics and athletics hit a snag with coach Charley Pell and his gang.
Of more concern is the insidious argument advanced by some that big sports promote heavy donations to a university. Of the 22 most heavily endowed colleges in the country, only three are engaged in big sports programs—Texas, Stanford and Notre Dame—and the Texas money comes from oil. The other 19, with some $15 billion in endowments, are considered the wimps of college athletics—Harvard, other Ivy League schools, Chicago, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern and, in the South, schools like Rice and Emory. Six of the 19 do not even field teams.
Big sports promote giving to football-related activities, not to the educational purposes of a college.
CLYDE C. CLEMENTS JR.
WILLIAM A. CLARK
Just as the San Diego Padres were rallying stunningly to win the National League crown with three straight victories over the Chicago Cubs, I picked up your April 16 issue featuring Graig and the Goose on the cover, in that issue, Steve Wulf brought the making of the Padres to life (The Beast Team in Baseball). Few articles draw such a compelling portrait before the actual achievements are recorded.
Going back into your earlier issues can be immensely rewarding.
DAVID R. CONNERS
There may have been good reasons to oppose Bowie Kuhn's decision to open the World Series in the American League park in the event that the Cubs represented the National League, but loss of the home-field advantage—as was claimed in SCORECARD, Sept. 17—certainly wasn't one of them. Do you realize that in 21 of the last 30 World Series—including this year's—the team opening on the road has emerged victorious? I see no clear reason for this, but my best guess is that the team opening at home is under pressure to win both of the first two games, while the visitor knows that merely winning one of those two is likely to be sufficient. Overall, the team opening at home probably needs to win three of four at home—a tall order—whereas the team opening away need only win two of three at home and split on the road.
Edmonton and Buffalo will go to the Stanley Cup final, as you predict (Hockey 1984-85, Oct. 15), but the Sabres will win!
Old? Last spring you predicted that the Islanders would win the Cup. They lost it, and now you call them old! I say they'll bring the Cup back to Long Island this season.
The characterization in your scouting reports of former North Star Al MacAdam as "chief griper" on last year's Minnesota team is unfair to one of the most decent men in the sport. At no point during last season did he express dissatisfaction. He waited until the season was over and then asked to be traded. His conduct was above reproach at all times. That, of course, was no surprise to general manager Lou Nanne or to any of us who knew him in his six years at Minnesota.
Hockey Information Director
Minnesota North Stars
Back in 1977 (Oct. 17) you had a Denver Bronco (Rubin Carter) on your cover. The next week the unbeaten Broncos intercepted seven passes against an undefeated Raider team and won the game. Two weeks later you published a letter from me about the death of the "SI cover jinx," and the Broncos went on to the Super Bowl.
This year (Oct. 8) you had Sammy Winder on your cover, and the next week the Broncos once again intercepted seven passes, this time against the Lions. Does this mean that if you publish this letter Denver will again beat the "jinx" and be on its way to the Super Bowl?
Well, I can dream can't I?
DINO DE SANTIS
I was pleased to discover Walter Payton on the cover of the Oct. 15 issue; I was afraid postseason baseball would overshadow his accomplishment. Rick Telander's article Up and Over, to the Record and Beyond does an. excellent job of pointing out what a fine player Payton is and how good-natured he is. We'll be watching him for quite some time.
It took Walter Payton 436 more carries and 18 more games than Jim Brown had to surpass Brown's record of 12,312 yards. I've had the pleasure of watching Brown play, and if there is, or was, a better athlete than Brown or Jim Thorpe, I'd like to know who it is.
The chase is over; Jim Brown's yardage record has fallen, and I'm sure many of your readers will be nominating Walter Payton for Sportsman of the Year. Nobody deserves it more. His statistics speak for themselves, but forget statistics for a moment. The term "Sportsman" implies traits that go beyond athleticism: humility, kindness, generosity. A true sportsman is someone who combines these personal attributes with athletic ability. Payton is just such a man.
Kansas City, Mo.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the photograph supposedly showing the end of the play on which Walter Payton set his record (page 46 of your Oct. 15 issue) was actually a picture of the play preceding the record carry.
•Right. For a look at the play on which Payton broke Brown's record, see above.—ED.
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