Thanks for Leigh Montville's fascinating article on the Zamboni (You're an Old Smoothie, March 30). I've been a Zamboni fan for years. In fact, I used to live in Waterbury, Conn., and when the Whalers were floundering not too long ago, we would go to the Hartford Civic Center and pay good money to see the Zamboni perform. Something resembling hockey was played during the long intermissions.
According to Charlie Brown, there are three things you can't help but stare at: a babbling brook, a crackling fire and a Zamboni cleaning the ice.
It doesn't do drugs. It doesn't take under-the-table payments. It doesn't complain to referees or talk back to coaches. I nominate the Zamboni for Sportsthing of the Year.
I applaud Northeastern University for continuing to offer a scholarship (this time an academic one) to hockey recruit Mike Maruzzi, even after he was paralyzed by crashing headfirst into the boards during a high school game (SCORECARD, March 30). Considering all the heat that universities have taken lately because of recruiting violations, this story is especially heartwarming.
West Monroe, La.
Congratulations to E.M. Swift for a good article on our Olympic city (Countdown to the Cowtown Hoedown, March 9). His account of the ticket controversy and the lack of snow at Mount Allan spoke for all Calgarians. We are angry and embarrassed.
However, let's get one thing straight: Calgary is not that much of a cowtown. Sure we hold the Stampede, that one quick 10-day period of "cowboyness" every July, and there are ranches scattered around the city, but don't think we ride around on horses while carrying a lasso. Some of us don't like being thought of as cowboys or cowgirls.
As informed Canadians, we are well aware that the Calgary Olympics are on schedule and destined to produce a financial surplus. However, we were enlightened to learn that "Canadians, by nature, expect to fall flat on their faces in almost any international forum." Names of world or Olympic champions from Canada like Ben Johnson, Brian Orser, Laurie Graham, Gaètan Boucher and Alex Baumann come quickly to mind. We can assure you that we Canadians do not expect our world-class athletes to fall flat.
TIM AND JANET MATTHEWS
William Nack's story Slip-Slidin' Away to '88 (March 9) failed to mention one important group of outstanding athletes who are adding depth and strength to the U.S. bobsled team, namely, those from the Armed Forces. Willie Jones, Greg Pennell and Greg Henderson (all USMC); and Jeff Hay, Ted Sundquist and Brian Van Sise (all USAF) are alternates for the U.S. team.
COL. PETER F. ANGLE, USMC
Armed Forces Sports Committee
Your story on Frank Zamboni and his remarkable machine prompts me to tell you that we are fortunate to have the oldest complete unit, No. 4, here at the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
Ten years ago Frank's son, Dick, asked us if we would like to have it. We said yes, and this symbol of the sport has been greeting our visitors ever since. That's our goalie mascot, "Stan the Stick," in the foreground of the photograph of No. 4.
The Ice Capades originally owned the unit before selling it to private interests. Dick eventually recovered No. 4 and got it to us.
ROGER A. GODIN
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