Frank Deford's reflection on the NBA is a compelling reminder of how sports were more genuine in the days before professional athletes became deified celebrities. For all that we've gained with the round-the-clock access to our beloved players, sports has lost much of its innocence.
This is an article from the May 14, 2012 issue
Paul Rose, Richmond Hill, Ont.
Small Town Charm
While I enjoyed Deford's memoir (When the NBA Was Young), I took exception to his characterization of Junior A hockey as akin to "adolescent servitude" that takes place in "jerkwater towns." Junior A offers a high level of entertainment in many small communities, and the players are often welcomed with open arms. These programs even help pay for players to attend college once their hockey careers are over.
Scott Phillips, Milton, Ont.
I want to thank George Dohrmann for his essay on Bobby Petrino and the effects his mistakes at Arkansas could have on women working in sports (SCORECARD). I am 15 years old and I want to become the first female general manager in Major League Baseball. While I have always known that this is a lofty goal, I had hoped the playing field would be level on all fronts. The Petrino scandal was a stark reminder that even in 2012, my being a woman could still influence how I'm judged in the workplace.
Katie Krall, Park Ridge, Ill.
I think your conclusion about the impact the Petrino scandal will have on women working in sports is way off. This was an isolated incident in which the unbridled hubris of Petrino and his mistress, Jessica Dorrell, backfired. Kudos to athletic director Jeff Long for swiftly firing Petrino and forcing the underqualified Dorrell out.
Churchill Buck Young, Rocky Mount, N.C.
In an otherwise great story on Fenway Park (A Lyric to the Little Bandbox) you neglected to mention one of the finest three-game series by a player there during its first 100 years. In June 1949, Joe DiMaggio hit four home runs and had nine RBIs to lead the Yankees to a sweep of the Red Sox.
William S. Conway, Highlands, N.C.
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WHEN THE NBA WAS YOUNG
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