WOMEN IN SPORTS
In the Sept. 29 issue of SI a male sports executive commented on the slow progress of women sports executives in a male-dominated society as well as the fact that most people in the sports world are chauvinists (The Most Powerful Woman In Sports). Unfortunately, he requested anonymity. I can't help but wonder that if he had identified himself, others who might feel the same way also would make their views known. Perhaps this could lead to more equity in the world of sports.
Sarah Ballard has reported it well: Her article on the lack of women's clout in sports should be required reading in all sociology, political science, history and physical education courses in high school and college.
Feminists knew that as women's sports in high school and college gained money and respect, men would figure out a way to gain control of them. I had hoped the loss of control would be temporary, and I decided the fight was worth the cost. I still hope the women athletes of the '80s will refuse to be shut out. They need to claim their place in running both amateur and professional sports. They need money—private sponsorship of amateur and professional sports and public school sports dollars—to develop skills. Controllers of the money sources need to look to them as leaders to administer the funds. Our work is cut out for us.
CYNTHIA L. BARRETT
Kenny Moore believes that the shortcomings of the American system are responsible for the lack of dominance by the United States in the 1.500-meter/mile run (Where Have All Our Milers Gone?, Sept. 22).
One reason European milers have competed more successfully is that track and field is a much more popular sport in Europe—and in the Commonwealth countries—than in the U.S. Moore says that "we love the mile." Compared with major league sports we don't.
As for racing too much, the American university that has produced more world-class milers than any other, Villanova, races as frequently as any school in the U.S. However, each race serves a purpose in the overall scheme of season and career. Sydney Maree (Villanova '81), Marcus O'Sullivan (Villanova '84) and Gerry O'Reilly (3:54 mile in 1986, Villanova '87) are not American-born, but do most of their training here. Moore talks about a European system, but one important point about milers or good track athletes in any event is that they can't be trained as one component in a "system." The European coaches named by Moore are very individualistic, and any system is mostly their own.
MICHAEL T. MCGRATH
Assistant Cross-Country/Track Coach
Sports Information Director
GIANTS VS. JETS
Concerning your Sept. 29 cover line In The Big Apple The Jets Are Always Second Banana, I have just one question: What Big Apple? The Jets and Giants play in New Jersey.
JONATHAN WILSON FRANKLIN
•Here's a list of teams that play in communities other than those for which they are named—ED.
Hockey: Washington Capitals, Capital Center, Landover, Md.
Basketball: Washington Bullets, Capital Center, Landover, Md.
Detroit Pistons, Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Mich.
Football: Buffalo Bills, Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, N.Y.
Dallas Cowboys, Texas Stadium, Irving.
Detroit Lions, Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Mich.
Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field, Green Bay, or County Stadium, Milwaukee
L.A. Rams, Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim, Calif.
Giants and Jets, Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
The Big Apple slant of your cover story will infuriate New Jersey residents who taunt New Yorkers about where the Giants and Jets play. I am hoping that an NFL team will move into Shea Stadium so that the "land in between" will finally have a real New York team to root for, instead of those two phonies playing in New Jersey.
New York City
Your recent article on the Giants and Jets, Reaching For Respect (Sept. 29), brought back some terrific memories. Having grown up in Connecticut and spent 13 years working in New York, I can vividly recall the rivalry between the two teams.
After living in the Chicago area for the past seven years, all I can say is that I miss New York football with a passion. Sports in the Big Apple will always have a touch of class, and the Windy City will never come close—despite the Bears' recent Super Bowl win. Given the choice of who I would want my kids to look up to, Joe Namath—or even Phil Simms—will always beat Jim McMahon.
Your story on Ralph Sampson, the most misunderstood figure in professional sports, was excellent ('To Find Out Why I'm Out There", Sept. 22). Sampson and company will win the NBA championship very soon, and then everyone will want to be his friend, maybe even Boston Celtics fans.
Virginia Beach, Va.
Obviously, the University of Virginia has maintained its lofty academic rating by offering a seminar entitled The Psychology of the Gifted Athlete. My question is, was this seminar offered to the general student body?
WALTER J. ANDRASI
•The course is offered to gifted athletes on a pass-fail basis and does not affect their cumulative average. The athletes do, however, receive credit for the course if they pass. No students in Sampson's class failed.—ED.
It is probable that people who know nothing of Montana State University found the football story entertaining (Focus, Sept. 15). To those of us closer to the school it was a missed opportunity to emphasize that academic and athletic success are not mutually exclusive. That is unfortunate in these times of frequent news reports about the lack of academic and moral standards in college athletics. During those three years of fluctuating football fortunes (1983-85), 32 of the 98 academic all-conference players were Bobcats. The championship team included one first-team and one second-team academic All-America and had more players (six) named to the District 6 team than any other school, including Nebraska.
As a fan I'm proud of national championships; as a citizen and a faculty member I'm proud of the academic standards and success of the Bobcats—win or lose. The trite statement that universities exist for academics often appears to be ignored, not only by coaches and fans, but also by many administrators, faculties and national news reporters.
WHO'S ON FIRST
Thanks to Alexander Wolff for conjuring up wonderful memories of personal searches for the autographs of my baseball heroes (Mets Autographs, Sept. 15). I still cherish my Bobby Richardson-signed baseball, which I rubbed for good luck during my Little League career.
The photo of Jerry Grote particularly caught my attention. I noticed he's protecting one of the bases from Mark Belanger—not home plate. Do you have any information as to the circumstances surrounding Grote's excursion from the catcher's box?
MARK H. HAYES
•Here's a look at the play from a different angle. In it, Belanger singled over first, and when the Met first baseman, Donn Clendenon, ran out to field the ball, Grote went to first and took the throw from rightfielder Ron Swoboda. Belanger was safe.—ED.
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.