LETTERS

July 13, 1997

RED WINGS

After 42 years, why couldn't you put Steve Yzerman and the
Stanley Cup on your cover instead of Malone and the Manchild?
JAMES C. BENOIT, Chicopee, Mass.

The Red Wings were led by an athlete who is a classic sportsman,
Steve Yzerman (Crushed, June 16). He has played for Detroit his
entire 14-year NHL career, through terrible seasons, injuries
and years of playoff frustration. Yzerman's dedication to his
team and city is rare in this era of bounty-jumping players.
AARON GEISTER, Clio, Mich.

One million fans turned out at the downtown rally and parade to
celebrate the Red Wings' Stanley Cup victory. No arrests were
made. Perhaps now the rest of the world will see what many of us
have known for years--that Detroit is a fun and classy town
quite far removed from the violence of years past.

Kudos to Mayor Dennis Archer, the fans and, of course, the Red
Wings.
MATTHEW LAURA, Leeds, Mass.

It has been four decades since Detroit last won the Stanley Cup,
and the only article SI can write has to do with how poorly
Philadelphia played?
JULIE LAUGHLIN, Stevens Point, Wis.

KEVIN MITCHELL

No story on Kevin Mitchell is complete unless it mentions the
bare-handed catch he made while playing leftfield for the San
Francisco Giants in 1989 (Livin' Large, June 16). As I recall,
he overran a long fly ball to leftfield and, his back to the
plate, reached up and caught it with his meat hand as it flew
over his head. Sadly, this was one of all-too-few highlights in
what could have been a spectacular career had it not been for
Mitchell's many injuries and his battle of the bulge.
JOHN D. JONES JR., Walpole, Mass.

As a 15-year public school teacher who makes $32,000 annually, I
had a hard time seeing any humor in your story on Kevin
Mitchell. He symbolizes all that is wrong with big-time American
sports and our present-day economy.

Mitchell is an immature, self-indulgent crybaby who makes far
too much money. He wastes it on superconsumerism when many in
our country want for the basic necessities. In the cities our
school buildings are falling down around us, and our ability to
deliver even the most fundamental education to our children is
languishing. Meanwhile, Mitchell and hundreds like him are
buying yet another all-terrain vehicle to drive around city
streets.

In America it appears as if the money a person makes (and can
squander) is inversely proportional to the value of the services
he or she performs.
JODY MARQUARDT, Emporia, Kans.

GOOD SPORTS

It's about time the NCAA did something about college crew
(SCORECARD, June 16). I was getting really tired of the new cars
being given to leading high school coxswains, the scandalous
behavior uncovered in rowers' dorms and the oar-shaving
scandals. It's comforting to know that the NCAA is doing its
usual excellent job of policing college athletics.
KENNETH J. NACHBAR, Hockessin, Del.

Fourteen years ago, as a member of the San Diego State freshman
crew, I went to Stanford to race at Redwood Shores, the
Cardinal's home course. Although the two boats traded the lead
several times, our bow crossed the line first. Once on shore, as
we washed and dried our boat, my counterpart from the Stanford
boat came over to me, shook my hand and took off his shirt and
gave it to me. It was wet with his sweat, and there was some
blood on it from where he brought his hand in to his body at the
finish of his stroke. Though I won many more shirts over the
next four years, there is no shirt that means more to me. In
fact, there are few things in the world that I treasure more.

I strongly urge the NCAA to rethink its position on the
wonderful tradition of "betting shirts." The NCAA should
remember that the letter of the law should never override the
spirit of it.
JOSH GRUENBERG, San Diego

I find an interesting parallel between subjects discussed in
your SCORECARD and POINT AFTER of June 16. The NCAA outlawing
the shirt betting of collegiate oarsmen is the equivalent of the
NHL banning the handshake at the end of each Stanley Cup series.
MICHAEL CURI, Goshen, Conn.

COLOR PHOTO: RONALD C. MODRA Mitchell was livin' large in his 1989 MVP season. [Kevin Mitchell]

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