It's good that SI published some hard facts and numbers about anabolic steroids (Special Report: The Steroid Explosion, May 13). I'm a drug-free powerlifter who trains in a gym in which a good many of the competitive powerlifters and bodybuilders are on steroids. Even some of the noncompetitors take steroids, just to get big. How stupid.
The American Drug Free Powerlifting Association is powerlifting's alternative to steroid use. It lets members compete fairly against each other, not against the pharmaceutical industry. Perhaps football should institute a similar league, a National Drug Free Football Association.
Steve Courson should be commended for bringing this problem to the public's attention and for being honest about his own use of steroids.
I congratulate William Oscar Johnson, Jill Lieber and Armen Keteyian for having guts enough to focus attention on the seriousness of the steroid problem. As a weightlifter, I'm constantly exposed to the world of chemically synthesized bodies. I have been told how huge and strong I could be if I just went on a steroid cycle; one person was even so "nice" as to offer me an entire bottle of Dianabol for $10. I imagine I'm crazy for refusing such a great offer, but then again, I won't be on a kidney machine at age 50.
May 26, 1985
A big thanks from all of us whose only drug is desire.
My compliments to the SI staff for making the May 13 issue the best I've ever read. The steroid report was dynamite.
As a person who is about as athletic as a Ritz cracker, I have never stopped playing sports and trying to improve at them. I believe all my nonathletic counterparts share the same dream—that with hard work, I, too, may someday make it big. Well, at age 30, I have never even made it small, and now I'm thankful. My modern-day heroes have shown me that hard work and dedication are not enough—chemistry is the key to success.
Well, I am sick of it. I'm sick that these players and a former player, NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw, want to bury their heads as if no problem exists. It does! I feel for the Steve Coursons of pro sports who believe they need chemicals to be competitive. But what about others who do not wish to partake in the armor-building-through-chemicals game. Are we going to eliminate these people from professional sports because they had the guts to say, "This is wrong"? Why don't these players take a stand for their own sake?
Pete Rozelle and other leaders had better open their eyes and take action before every 13-year-old with a dream is preparing his armor with the help of chemicals.
Why is everyone so afraid to say, "Stop, this is wrong," and enforce it by putting people who use drugs out of the game? I'm fed up with worrying about players' rights and privileges—to hell with them. Let's give a dream back to the youth in this country. Let's show them that it's all right to be ethical, and that you can still succeed with hard work and determination. Let's get rid of every coach and trainer who looks the other way as the players "improve themselves" with the local pusher. Let's show the kids the guts it takes to do the right thing and set an example that will let my children enjoy sports the way I used to.
White Plains, N.Y.
Your report on the steroid explosion changed the mind of at least one high school student. I'm now against using steroids.
If several NFL players admit steroid use, and apparently many more keep it secret, why doesn't Pete Rozelle do something about it? Come on, Pete, get on the ball!
I once saw a high school junior named Earvin Johnson (Magic Faces The Music, May 13) outscore an entire team! He had 54 points in a 73-47 Lansing Everett win over Lansing Sexton. Anyone who thinks Johnson can't shoot has severe mental problems. As to charges he "blew" the championship last year, how many shots did Kareem miss? Didn't James Worthy throw the ball away in the opening minutes? Didn't any other Lakers miss free throws? To look at the closing minutes of any team contest and say a particular individual lost it is unfair.
Thank you for teaching me a lesson. I, too, blamed the Magic Man for last year's playoff loss to Boston, but now I can sympathize with Johnson the man. The Lakers lost that series as a team, not just because of Magic. If there is true justice, the Lakers and the Celts will meet again in this year's finals, and Magic will have his chance to dance.
Guys who play just to "have fun" lose it in the seventh game. Team play is hard work, and life is not all fun. The Celtics have fun after they've won the title. Magic needs to do some more thinking.
Magic can keep on tap-tap-tapping outside that championship door, but, sorry, he can't come in. The Celtics in five over the Lakers.
SCOTT C. DAY
Three Rivers, Mass.
KEEP THE DH
Howie (Dump the DH) Newman cannot hide from the effect of Oakland DH Dave Kingman, shown in full swing in the same INSIDE PITCH (May 13). Other American League teams can bring their pitchers back to the batter's box if they wish; we A's fans prefer to enjoy Kong's towering home runs.
MICHAEL P. ERNST
If Howie Newman is the traditionalist he appears to be with his DUMP THE DH stickers and Boston Braves shirt, why does he have an aluminum bat?
I was flattered to see our Fan Appreciation Night promotion mentioned in SCORECARD (April 29). While I enjoy Ken Fogarty's great sense of humor as much as anyone, I would like to point out to your readers that the Minnesota Strikers defeated the Wichita Wings 7-2 on Fan Appreciation Night before our largest crowd of the season, 7,987.
As of this writing, we have drawn more than 7,000 fans on two other occasions this year, including a game on April 28, which was a 3-2 quarterfinal playoff victory over the Las Vegas Americans.
Our attendance this season compares very favorably with crowds that many other MISL teams drew in their first season of indoor soccer competition, even the teams that now regularly attract more than 10,000 a game. We are confident that our fans will continue to grow in number as more and more Twin Cities residents are exposed to this great sport.
IN DEFENSE OF P.E. INSTRUCTORS
When I read Douglas S. Looney's article "All I Want Is To Be Happy" (April 22), I couldn't help thinking that it was just another story about the downfall of college athletics. It seems to be happening everywhere. However, as I read the paragraphs describing John Williams's academic career at Tulane, I took offense, as I am sure all of my colleagues in the physical education profession did. Looney's reference to certain physical education courses as being "decidedly nonacademic" is an unfair generalization. One must understand that serious physical education majors are required to take courses designed to enhance their skills and prepare them to teach at various levels. These courses usually include classwork in areas of officiating, coaching and developing skills in different sports. They are not mere play periods.
One of the biggest problems we as physical educators face every day is lack of respect in the academic community and in the general public. Looney's article did nothing to help us. We are not mindless ball-bouncers. We are the ones charged with teaching your children intricate physical skills and good health and fitness habits. And judging by the fitness level of the average student, as reported in SI (Hold On There, America, Feb. 7, 1983), he is not getting that instruction at home.
WAYNE H. QUINLAN, M.S.
Steve Wulf's article on the return of Billy Martin to the Yankees (Oh No, Not Again, May 6) held a special interest for us, because we're long-time Tiger fans. We were intrigued by the picture of Martin as manager of the Tigers. We had no trouble identifying Billy; however, the players on the bench were difficult to name. After probing our memories, we have come to the conclusion that the Tigers pictured are, left to right, Tony Taylor, Chuck Seelbach and Fred Scherman. Please confirm or correct our identification.
STEVE LATHROP, CHRIS NUGENT, ANDY TANNENBAUM
East Lansing, Mich.
•You've got it right.—ED.
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