This year's swimsuit issue (Sugar and Spice and, Oh, So Nice, Feb. 9) knocked my socks off, as usual. The photography and location were beautiful, and the suits were stunning! Elle Macpherson, with her fun-loving smile, and Kathy Ireland, with her captivating eyes, were definitely two of the brightest sights to behold.
The highlight of my week was when our 21-month-old daughter looked at the cover of your swimsuit issue, pointed and said, "Mommy."
What a perfect child—except, perhaps, for her eyesight!
As my girlfriend proofreads this letter over my shoulder, we concur that your annual swimsuit issue is tasteless, sexist, degrading, immoral...(she just left the room)...artistic, invigorating, stylish, refreshing, sensuous.
What the heck, it's my subscription.
West Haven, Conn.
My wife was ready to cancel our subscription until she saw the ad in your swimsuit issue showing Jim Palmer smiling happily in his swimwear. Perhaps SI should consider him for next year's feature. He is not an "undernourished fashion model," and he is a "pretty good athlete."
My husband and I have an agreement: He gets to play basketball twice a week, and I get to cut out the pictures in the swimsuit issue before he gets home.
No way am I going to provide those pictures for my two sons to see! Maybe they can see the same sort of pictures someplace else, but not in my living room.
Fargo, N. Dak.
As a red-blooded American male, I certainly appreciated the swimsuit issue. However, as an ex-jock with a daughter who is a college basketball player, I appreciated even more the issue in which you devoted several pages to covering women's collegiate basketball (Feb. 2).
JOHN R. KING
New Providence, N.J.
Frank Deford should be complimented for taking a valiant stance on the controversial issue of boxing (POINT AFTER, Feb. 9). I remember Jesuit priests proclaiming 20 years ago in philosophy classes at the University of Scranton that the sport was immoral and unethical. At the time I wasn't ready to believe such an unpopular tenet. I later came to agree. Now, in the most widely read sports magazine in the country, the same conclusion is expressed. I hope the American public gets the message.
GERALD A. BEURKET
Kudos to Deford! What kind of society is this that gives millions to men for participating in such a moronic "sport"? SI should eliminate all articles related to these modern gladiatorial events.
I am tired of reading denunciations of boxing. A boxing course is mandatory at all the service academies, to develop self-discipline, coordination and courage. Boxing has always been recognized as an honorable sport for those reasons. The demands of professional boxing include other variables that are not all honorable. However, I think onetime New York City mayor Jimmy Walker put it best when he said that boxing is a profession in which "they don't fight behind each other's back, but face to face. They shake hands right off, fight it out according to agreed rules, the winner and loser shaking hands again at the finish, face to face, as they began." That is what a child watching it on television should be told.
LIEUT. JIM SHANNON, USN
A child will no more get the impression that society approves of violence from watching boxing than from watching pro football or, for that matter, any of a dozen prime-time television programs.
Boxing has its problems. But I submit that it is boxing's essential honesty, not its violence, that scares Deford. Boxing is about the struggle of will, body and spirit to survive. Instead of hiding beneath pads or behind societal conventions, boxers, naked to the world and to each other, collide. The winner wins and the loser loses—simple, honest and very frightening.
ROBERT J. MAJTELES
Palo Alto, Calif.
Whether or not it is a gruesome reminder of a bygone era, boxing's brutality is at least controlled. The uncontrolled violence that fills contemporary life makes men punching each other with padded gloves according to rules enforced by a referee pale by comparison.
JACK M. GREENFIELD
New York City
I wish to clear up some inaccuracies in COLLEGE BASKETBALL (Feb. 16). It was stated that Reggie Miller is "in his senior season, besmirching his surpassingly elegant play with some basic Jugheadian behavior. Spitting at opposing players, slapping away defenders' hands, disdainfully bouncing balls off their legs on inbounds plays and gesturing at officials with rubbing fingers (the familiar sign for payola) are just a few of Miller's lowlights this season."
The spitting incident occurred once, when UCLA played at BYU during Reggie's sophomore season, more than two years ago. At the time, Reggie said that he had spit because one of the opposing players had spit at a Bruin, but he realized his reaction was not the correct one. He was benched for the first half of UCLA's next game (against St. John's at Madison Square Garden) by head coach Walt Hazzard, and the incident has never been repeated.
Reggie's gesturing at an official also happened just once, and that was last season at Tucson, after Reggie fouled out of a game. As for the other items mentioned, I'm sure that Reggie is not the first (or last) player to slap away a defender's hand or to toss the ball at an opponent's legs when he is inbounding the ball, running out of time and unable to find an open teammate.
Reggie, now the No. 2 scorer in UCLA history, has worked hard to put certain incidents from early in his career behind him. I feel you have done him a disservice by stating that these old incidents occurred this season.
UCLA Sports Information Director
•Dellins is right. The spitting incident and the gesturing at officials did not happen this season. SI apologizes.—ED.
I was pleased to see the item on my son, Steve Calandra, in FACES IN THE CROWD (Feb. 16). However, my son's picture appeared with the wrong write-up—one about Gary Johnson, the Morgan City (La.) high school basketball player and hurdler who became the first male to win the International Open Cheerleading Championship. My son is the one who, with a 56-3 record, including 23 pins over four years, became the first three-time Slate Belt Midget League wrestling champion, from St. Anthony's Youth Center here in Easton.
•Sorry about the mix-up.—ED.
I just finished tearing my husband (of just six months) away from your annual swimsuit issue. Our marriage may survive past next February, but, just to make sure, kindly remove next year's bathing suit bonanza from his subscription.
Also, in fairness to the rest of the female sports fans in the world who put up with this every year, please run a picture of the enclosed poster of my favorite hockey team, the University of Illinois at Chicago Flames. They may not be wearing swimsuits, but at least they play a sport!
I appreciated Sarah Ballard's article on the America's Cup (Master on a Mission) in your Feb. 9 issue. I also enjoyed the photography, particularly Robert Garvey's excellent shot capturing the intensity of the moment as Stars & Stripes crossed the bow of Kookaburra III in the third race of the finals.
This goes to show you that I buy SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for sports coverage, not the girls.
JERRY L. BROWN
•Incidentally, the credit line for the opening photograph, showing a salt-sprayed Dennis Conner at the helm of Stars & Stripes, was inadvertently trimmed at the printing plant from the pages of some copies of the issue. The cameraman who provided us with that shot was Stars & Stripes mainsheet trimmer Jon Wright (in the foreground of the photograph below).—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.