THREE BIG MEN
Elvin Hayes stated that he hoped Lew Alcindor would play because he did not want UCLA to have any excuses. Well, Alcindor and UCLA offered no excuses (A Dandy in the Dome, Jan. 29). But when an excuse is justified why not say it? It's no longer an excuse, but a reason.
Alcindor obviously was not in top condition for the Houston game. This is not to say that his eye hindered him, for Lew insisted it was fine. But his overall play was not that of Lew Alcindor. He wasn't getting back on defense, and his timing was off.
Still, despite all this, UCLA lost by only two points. At full strength it is easily the better of the two clubs. The Bruins were bound to lose sometime, though it probably won't happen again. Come the NCAA finals in March, Houston will find itself on the losing end for a second time. Not by two points, but more like 20.
I found the UCLA-Houston basketball game one of the most exciting I have ever seen. Elvin Hayes played the superstar role to the hilt, which helped to bring his team to a much-deserved victory.
But I think, on the other hand, that Johnny Wooden played the role of the super-coach when, before a large television audience, he most graciously accepted defeat without alibi and without bitterness, although everybody knew what he must have felt. If this is representative of UCLA and its basketball team, then I salute Coach Wooden. He is not only a great coach, but, more important, a great man. I can hardly wait for the rematch.
J. A. GUST
It was the greatest disappointment to receive the January 15 issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and see that you had joined the bandwagon of the Year of the Navel theme (Bora-Bora, a Paradise on a Precipice). What a cover! I sincerely hope that you are deluged with letters of disapproval.
My boys are age 13 and 10. They polished cars and mowed lawns to earn the price of a subscription. Needless to say, they are not interested in your plastic descriptions of Gernreich's $28 to $55 swimwear. Please maintain your magazine at a level suitable for sports lovers of any age.
Mrs. MARTIN VOGEL
I am writing to ask you to please refrain from having feminine-type pictures on the cover of your magazine.
We receive SI at school every week, but once in a while I notice that we miss an issue. I decided to ask the superintendent if he knew anything about it. He told me that he did not put out certain issues because of the naughty pictures on the covers.
I don't really mind them, but I'm not able to read your great magazine when this happens. Please help!
I always look forward to your issue containing the swimsuits for the coming season, not so much for the pictures of the beautiful girls in the skimpy swimsuits, but for the letters in your succeeding issues from irate mothers who threaten to cancel their subscriptions because they do not expect such "filth" from a magazine of your quality. Every year they threaten, and every year you come through again.
I was most interested to read your article on Author Albert Payson Terhune, Kind and Canny Canines (Jan. 15). It thrilled me to find Terhune still thought of and written about today.
I am indebted to you for the information about Mrs. Leishman's drive to restore Terhune's former dwelling, Sunnybank, as a shrine. A wonderful undertaking, indeed. Perhaps the enthusiastic readers who once annoyed Terhune with their visits to Sunnybank will become the means of keeping his beloved home and memory alive,
When all the other girls were reading Cherry Ames and Nancy Drew stories I was busily reading all the Terhune books in the library. I was delighted to find Robert H. Boyle's wonderful article about Terhune and his collies in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. Mr. Boyle underestimates Terhune, however, in limiting him to the '20s or '30s or "even into the '40s." I am only 27 years old now, so I did not meet up with Lad and Bruce until the '50s. And you can be certain that my children will also be devotees of the "kind and canny canines"!
BLACK AND BLUE
I would like to say how much I enjoyed the delightfully ridiculous article by Curry Kirkpatrick in your January 15 issue (Harvard Earns a Bluenose). In addition to being grossly exaggerated, it was also beautifully confusing and chock full of suspense. It wasn't until the last 35 lines of the article that I was aware of what he was writing about (it was evident he didn't know either). After some drivel about the weathermen, the Nova Scotia climate, the historical significance of the city of Halifax, the legend of the Bluenose, the Bluenose II and half-moon backboards, Mr. Kirkpatrick then got down to serious business, that of hockey, national anthems and, last but not least, Newfoundlanders.
Oh, yes, there were a few lines in there about a basketball tournament, I think. Beautiful, Curry baby, just beautiful.
RICHARD L. HAYES
The next Prime Minister of Canada may well be Robert L. Stanfield, a Bluenoser who probably reacted to Mr. Kirkpatrick's comments as did 750,000 other Nova Scotians—with frothy mouth. He'll organize us Canucks to join forces with the Viet Cong and bomb the U.S. with all our used-up half-moon backboards (worn out by all the one-handed push shots), tired, Canadian-made basketballs and tape recordings of old Canada vs. U.S. international hockey games.
Tell Mr. Kirkpatrick that way up here we all have Japanese-made car radios, which can pick up American rock 'n' roll stations wherever we go. An inestimable asset, that.
For a native Haligonian, it was good to see an article about Halifax and the Bluenose Classic. But, to begin with, we do not get enough snow in Nova Scotia to make snowshoeing feasible. The author's sarcastic statements stem from the fact that he arrived during the first major storm of the winter. In all other Canadian cities the average yearly temperature is lower (e.g., Winnipeg 39°, Montreal 42°—and Halifax 45°).
Nova Scotia is not far away from anywhere except in relation to where you are. Anyway, with today's means of transportation, Montreal is less than two hours away by air.
I presume Mr. Kirkpatrick's reference to "peering out the windshield through a blizzard along a lonely highway" was a result of driving from the superhighway, the Bicentennial Drive, for a distance of 23 miles.
As to the crowd being "uninformed, confused and quiet," the reason may have been that the local teams did not fare well enough to allow the crowd to become vocally excited. Had the score of the Harvard-St. Mary's game been less one-sided, perhaps the crowd would have reacted more to Mr. Kirkpatrick's liking.
I would also like to point out that never in the history of Nova Scotia have dogsleds been used as a means of transportation except by the Micmac Indians over 200 years ago.
DAVID S. ZLATIN
Your article Old Harvard Earns a Blue-nose was not laughable. The author's description of our Nova Scotia winter weather reminded me of other ignorant visitors who arrive here with skis fastened to their cars—in July.
G. M. SMITH, M.D.
THE PILLAGE (CONT.)
I read with a great deal of interest and concern your article How to Stop the Pillage of America (Dec. 11). Your suggestion for a Council of Ecological Advisers is admirable, but it has long been my impression that laws and regulations are not the answer to the problem of conservation of our renewable natural resources. To do the job through legislation you would have to control all movement and actions in the area of natural resources, a state of affairs which smacks of bureaucratic control and loss of freedom to the individual. After all, are not these renewable resources there for the wise use of the individual?
This brings me to the point I wish to emphasize: without public education, conservation of natural renewable resources is doomed. This education should be an accredited part of the school program, starting from the student age level of 10 years and extending right through senior high school.
How to Stop the Pillage of America is a fine article and deserves special commendation for presenting possible solutions rather than merely describing the sad state of conservation in certain areas.
I am particularly interested in your recommendation as to "strong congressional legislation...needed to afford protection to coastal estuaries and wetlands." In my opinion, this is one area that is desperately in need of stop-gap legislation. However, of the various bills on estuaries which are presently in Congress, it appears that more national concern must be expressed before Congress will enact a bill providing for the type of moratorium and permit system administered by the Secretary of the Interior that will bring a halt to the daily intrusion on the estuaries. I feel very strongly that a too-permissive approach is no longer appropriate.
As one who has viewed the often conflicting courses between industrial activities and the preservation of our wildlife, I think your article is a very responsible one and would hope that it receives the wide circulation it deserves.
CHARLES R. ROSS
Federal Power Commission
Your article How to Stop the Pillage of America has raised the stature of your publication tenfold in my estimation. As a sportsman who has personally witnessed the unprecedented decline of fisheries on Long Island referred to in your article, I can attest to the acuteness of the problem. I can also attest to the ignorance and apathy which form the taproot of this dilemma. It is only through conscientious journalism, as displayed in your article, that this root can be severed. Again, my compliments.
THOMAS J. McGRATH
Like the "unknown soldier" whose self-pitying letter was printed in your December 25 issue, I too am serving in Vietnam. I won't attempt to dispute his support of the proposed Negro boycott of the Olympic games. It is tragically self-defeating in itself.
What I will dispute is his contention that Negro GIs are discriminated against and "...get the worst and most dangerous jobs here." This is pure nonsense, as any man here, black or white, will testify. My battalion was under attack for two weeks in early December near the Cambodian border, and during that whole time Negro and white GIs worked and dug in—and died, sadly—together and equally.
It is tragic that it takes combat to show what true equality can be, but the courage and professionalism of Negro and white soldiers in Vietnam will never be marred by racists of either color—especially those afraid to name themselves.
PFC. JACK FADELEY
APO San Francisco