This is an article from the May 4, 1998 issue
Thanks for acknowledging how far women's hoops has come and how
much fun we're having here in Knoxville.
WOODY ENGLISH, Knoxville, Tenn.
Some found this season's NCAA basketball tournament the most
exciting ever (Comeback Cats, April 6), but the year that stands
out in my mind as having the most exciting early-round action is
1990. Out of 48 first- and second-round games, 22 were decided
by four points or less. Of course, any year could probably be
called the most exciting ever. That's what makes the NCAAs the
best sporting event in the country.
SCOTT VERBOUT, Chandler, Ariz.
Now that we have the Sweet 16, Elite Eight and Final Four, why
not round out the picture: Successful 64, Toughened 32,
Tantalizing Two and Omnipotent One?
HARVEY F. LUDWIG, Bangkok
Thanks for the wonderful coverage of the Tennessee women's
basketball team (Good, Better, Best, April 6). One omitted stat:
coach Pat Summitt has a 100% graduation rate, a brag fact of
which all Lady Vols fans are proud.
The best basketball game I have watched in 73 years was
Tennessee against Louisiana Tech in the NCAA women's final. I
could not believe the energy and all-out effort of the Lady
Vols. They never slowed down from wire to wire.
R.H. BRACHT, Houston
Phil Taylor's article on my hometown team was right on the money
(Slitting Their Own Throats? April 6). The Wizards are long on
talent, money and skill, but short on court smarts. They have
three stars in Chris Webber, Juwan Howard and Rod Strickland,
yet none wants to take charge.
ERIC ISAAC, Washington, D.C.
Until the NBA suspends or bans players like Webber and
Strickland, boorish behavior and puerile antics will prevail. I
refuse to pay $50 to watch a bunch of preening egomaniacs prance
up and down the court jamming and high-fiving.
I love basketball as it should be played--and is played by teams
like Duke, Princeton, Utah and the Indiana Pacers--with
unselfishness, class players and coaches who emphasize
fundamentals and traditions.
THOMAS M. NEALE, Richmond, Va.
The Washington Wizards are young, energetic and exciting.
They'll be fine. Leave them alone.
RICHARD E. RUGGERI, Warwick, N.Y.
WORLD HOCKEY ASSOCIATION
Allen Abel's story on the emergence of the WHA was fabulous
(When Hell Froze Over, April 6). The renegade league rocked the
hard-line NHL general managers and owners who ruled hockey, and
it changed the game forever.
DAVE DE MELO, Mississauga, Ont.
The high level of play of some WHA teams cannot be questioned.
When the league died in 1978, four of its teams--Edmonton,
Hartford, Quebec and Winnipeg--joined the NHL. They were allowed
to protect only four players each from their WHA rosters,
rendering these teams ineffective for several years, with the
exception of Edmonton. A team like Winnipeg, had it been able to
keep its roster intact, could have challenged the NHL elite
rather than ending with the second fewest wins (nine) in NHL
history (minimum 70-game schedule) only three years later.
CAMERON POTTS, Chanhassen, Minn.
When the Raiders left New York to become the Jersey Knights,
they moved into the old Cherry Hill Arena, which had
insufficient locker room facilities. Visiting teams had to get
dressed at their hotel and ride the bus in uniform. I will
always remember seeing a picture of Gordie Howe getting on the
bus in uniform, skates slung over his shoulder, to head for a
"major" league hockey game in a 4,000-seat building.
JOHN SPAHN, Washington, D.C.
Why in the course of his otherwise interesting article did Allen
Abel find it necessary to inform us, not once but four times,
that hockey great Bobby Hull wears a toupee?
GREG NOLD, Freeburg, Ill.
Ian Thomsen writes that Marcelo Rios plays "from far behind the
baseline, the way Agassi does" (Changing of the Guard, April 6).
Fault. Rios does, indeed, play back, but Andre Agassi camps
virtually on top of the baseline to take the ball early. In
fact, it is a distinctive feature of his game.
ANDY P. SIERING, St. Louis
THE REAL WHA
Ten pages devoted to the WHA and not one mention of the
Cincinnati Stingers? C'mon, the WHA was bigger than Bobby Hull,
John McKenzie, Mark Messier and Derek Sanderson. It was about
future Hall of Famer Mike Gartner, ESPN's Barry Melrose and
feared fighter Paul Stewart, now one of the best referees in the
NHL (above). The WHA was a stepping-stone for many greats of the
BRENT SPELDER, Cincinnati