DEFORD ON BOWLING
Frank Deford Goes Bowling (Jan. 25) was a long-overdue examination of a sport—yes, sport—that many people equate only with recreational activities like miniature golf and going to movies. The problems Deford addresses are real to those of us who receive quizzical looks when we reveal ourselves as serious bowlers.
However, I was disturbed by Dr. George Allen's statement that bowling centers don't attract college-educated crowds. Allen must not know about the Young American Bowling Alliance, Collegiate Division, which has more than 8,000 members nationwide. Approximately 400 teams compete in regional and national tournaments that culminate each year at the National Collegiate Bowling Championships.
The Bronx Bombers—we are four ex-New Yorkers living in California—take exception to the article. Among us are a dentist, a psychologist, a stockbroker and a business executive. Our annual incomes average more than $100,000, we are all in our mid-30's, we are all married with children, and none of us is from the Midwest. If we are yuppies, so be it. We are not ashamed. Yuppies are good people, too. The bottom line is that bowling is fun and everyone can do it, young and old, rich and poor, well-educated and not. As for being well-dressed, we designed our own T-shirts, complete with New York Yankee pinstripes, and we own our own bowling shoes.
PHILIP KEMPLER, D.M.D.
Laguna Hills, Calif.
I'm a bank marketing director and an avid bowler, and I'll pummel the first person who calls me a yuppie. I understand why the bowling industry is desperately trying to take the game out of the gutter (so to speak): so it can attract yuppies and their limitless money. But bowling is biting the hand that feeds it. Do us all a favor—let the yups, DINKS, whatever they want to be called, embrace their next big trend. Leave bowling to those of us who enjoy it.
February 22, 1988
After reading Frank Deford's portrayal of Bob (Bull) (Cyclone) Sullivan (The Toughest Coach There Ever Was, April 30, 1984)—the best piece of sports journalism there ever was—I promised myself I would read anything and everything Deford wrote. This resolution was put to the test when I saw his article on bowling. Well, I enjoyed it so much "I didn't know whether to spit or go blind."
Frank Deford is an artist. Then again, what do I know? I'm a bowler.
WRESTLING PADRE (CONT.)
I was delighted to see your article A Ring and a Prayer in the Dec. 21 issue about Fray Tormenta, the wrestling priest of Xometla, Mexico. I am one of the sponsors of the Honor Society of the American High School Foundation in Mexico City, and my students have been working very hard to help the orphans under his care. Your readers will be happy to know that thanks to the efforts of these students, the orphans were able to have a very happy Christmas. On Dec. 19 we brought them pi‚Äö√†√∂¬¨¬±atas (left). Santa Claus presented a new pair of shoes to every child. In addition, there were toys, school supplies—Father Gutierrez requires every child in his care to attend classes—and a mountain of food provided by the high school student council. Now I'm working on arranging the chicken dinners they asked for.
American High School
Thanks for the comments on Dick Vitale (TELEVISION, Feb. 1). Someone has to put a muzzle on that guy. It's difficult enough to get my wife to watch college hoops with me, but when Vitale is the commentator, she's out of there.
I cannot fault Vitale's knowledge of the game. I cannot fault his enthusiasm, either. But as Jack McCallum says, most of us are not interested in what a great guy he is. We tune in to watch the game. He should move to the background, where he, and all commentators, should remain.
DREW B. GUFFEY
Jack McCallum's review is way off base. Dick Vitale's personal stories make his color commentary much more exciting. The only regret I have is that I don't know if Vitale hit the three-pointer when he shot around with the Ohio State team. Keep up the great work, Dick! We love you.
IRA D. PERLMAN
Woodmere, N. Y.
•Vitale says he doesn't remember how many three-pointers he hit in his shoot-around with the Buckeyes, but he knows he "was hot."—ED.
LEVER & CO.
We were pleased to see Lafayette (Fat) Lever receive the credit he deserves (Fat Is Lean and Tough, Jan. 25). However, Hank Hersch states that the only guard ever to exceed the 729 rebounds Lever got last season was Magic Johnson, with 751 in 1981-82. Not only did Oscar Robertson, the Big O, surpass Johnson's total, he did it three times—with 985 rebounds in '61-62, 835 in '62-63, and 783 in '63-64.
While it is accurate to cite Johnson as the "record holder" for triple doubles in a season (18), anyone discussing this artificial statistic should keep in mind that triple doubles were not counted until Johnson entered the NBA. Robertson, who averaged a. triple double in 1961-62 (30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game), surely had more than 18 triple doubles that season.
Hey, take it easy on us CPAs! In his article on the AFC Championship game (High and Mighty, Jan. 25), Rick Reilly writes that Bernie Kosar "is built like a CPA whose health club membership has expired." Then, in his piece on Fat Lever (Fat Is Lean and Tough) in the same issue, Hank Hersch says, "...he shows all the apparent passion of a CPA at a Chapter 11 hearing." I wonder how many of today's overpaid athletes could survive in the real world without the advice of accountants and financial planners. Besides, Kosar seems to do quite well with his CPA build.
I've always been a Maine hockey fan, even when the Bears weren't No. 1 (Bullish on the Bears, Jan. 25). The teams I cheered for while I was a student (Maine '85) were always tough and spirited. However, the team that I saw beat Wisconsin on Jan. 2 was outstanding. Thanks for giving the rest of the country a glimpse of a relatively unknown hockey powerhouse, and thanks, too, for reminding me of some wonderful times at Alfond Arena.
SANDY CHASE GRISWOLD
In his fine article on the Maine hockey team, Morin Bishop neglected to mention that one of the Bears' best players, defenseman Eric Weinrich, is not with Maine because he is performing for the U.S. Olympic hockey team in Calgary. We hope to see Eric back after the Games to help Maine wrap up a national title this spring.
As Maine coach Shawn Walsh is well aware, the Minnesota team his Black Bears beat 6-4 on Jan. 15 played without stars Dave Snuggerud, Todd Okerlund, John Blue and Tom Chorske, all of whom are on the U.S. Olympic team. The Golden Gophers, with their policy of recruiting mostly Minnesota high school players—as you report, half of Maine's players are Canadians—have contributed many fine players to our Olympic program.
Green Valley, Ariz.
While the success of the Maine hockey team has been dramatic, perhaps a more amazing college program thrives in Huntsville, Ala. In 1979 the University of Alabama in Huntsville established a club hockey program that went on to win the national club championship in 1982, '83 and '84 and finish second in '85. In '86 the Chargers, who now include players from the Midwest, New York, Canada and Finland, joined the NCAA's Division II. This year, they are in Division I and in fact played Maine on Oct. 30 and Nov. 1 in Huntsville, losing both times, 8-2 and 8-1.
Through Feb. 5, the Chargers' record was 11-10-1, and they were ranked eighth among independents. Their six-year record was 121-40-1.
The POINT AFTER (Jan. 18) by Penny Ward Moser really hit home. I am an avid sports fan. Often the advertisements on NFL telecasts have left me wondering why everyone was having a great time while I was worrying about what to cook for my family's postgame supper. Thanks for putting the proper perspective on these wild dreams they call commercials.
New Lothrop, Mich.
It was wonderful to find that someone else feels, as I do, that something's missing. I tried to find a time in my life when I had as much fun as they do in those commercials, but I couldn't.
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