NO PLAIN BILL
In tune with the times of the country, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED allows Bill Russell to speak his mind (Success Is a Journey, June 8). And Bill Russell does a lot of speaking out: protesting and attacking the Establishment. Many are doing just that today. Unlike others though, he does more than just shout that something is wrong. He offers some excellent solutions to problems.
JERRY THOMAS GATES
Bill's suggestion that all winners of athletic scholarships be guaranteed a complete education is an excellent one.
Albert Lea, Minn.
Bill blows a couple of big chances where he's guilty of the sins he likes least (tell us, Bill, who is Bailey Howell?).
I know why Bill Russell retired from basketball: because he has more to share with the world than just his basketball skills.
In rebuttal to those who will call Bill Russell ungrateful to basketball and the sporting Establishment for all they've given him, he's given them much more.
MARTIN B. ERDHFIM
Bill Russell's article was the best I have read on the philosophy and purpose of sports.
THOMAS D. LANCASTER
Lake Dallas, Texas
Few of us have the stature or opportunity to make a real and worthwhile contribution to our society. It is a genuine tragedy when someone like Russell, who has the opportunity, fails because of prejudice. There is no question our society has growing pains, but the great majority of Americans want wrongs made right every bit as much as Bill Russell, and this group includes the majority of the coaches and the majority of the police. Because I am a white cop, obviously I wouldn't be welcome at Bill Russell's home. But he will always be welcome at mine. If we could just have a little faith in each other, the ills in our society could be remedied so much more quickly.
Bill Russell is not only a credit to the field of sport but a real credit to the Human Race. We need many more like him.
C. R. WYNEGAR
The strength of this article lies in its subtlety and perspective, for it is not given to fist-pounding vindictives. The insight of the author serves to strip away the falsities which pervade the American sporting mind. Although SI deserves commendation for publishing this piece, true credit can rest only with the author.
THEODORE G. FAY
I realize that the definition of the term "the real McCoy" mentioned in your article on Kid McCoy (The Real McCoy, June I) was taken from The Random House Dictionary. But isn't it true that the term refers to a black inventor of the late 1800s and early 1900s named Elijah McCoy?
•There is no doubt that Elijah McCoy (1844-1929) was real. He was the holder of more than 50 patents, and he is best remembered for pioneering methods of lubricating heavy machinery. But the fighter has to be cited as the real "real McCoy" in the sports world.—ED.
THE WAY IT HAPPENED
The item about me in SCORECARD (June 1) did me a gross injustice. First of all, you failed to mention that Gary Player was 40 yards away. We had been kidding each other during my practice session prior to my performance at the Champions International Golf Tournament. Player was with a small group of people, and I had a group around me. Gary called to me a number of times to ask me to hit certain trick shots for his group of fans and friends, which I did. During this exchange of banter, and for no particular reason, I took out the blank pistol you mentioned and pointed it at Gary. When I fired it twice, several people flinched, but Gary laughed. Your account stated that he did not laugh. This is very unfair to me.
I have worked hard to create an image that would command respect from the fans. I value my reputation and ask you to set the record straight.
Your SCORECARD piece of June 8 regarding Terry Bradshaw's operation failed to consider all the facts. Terry pulled his right hamstring muscle in the North-South Game in Miami last Christmas. Although still hurting, he played in the Senior Bowl at Mobile on Jan. 10. Terry and his family physician believed the injury was a minor one, and his recovery was progressing normally until he began workouts in preparation for the Coaches All-America Game in Lubbock. Only then did he discover the injury had not healed properly or completely.
At this point, he mentioned his condition to our trainer, Ralph Berlin. We then had Terry examined by our team physician, Dr. John Best, who discovered the calcium deposit. Dr. Best concluded that the best and most certain way to restore the muscle was through surgery. The operation was performed exactly one week after the examination. It would have been done the same day, but Terry had to return to Louisiana Tech for final examinations.
DANIEL M. ROONEY
I take issue with your negative opinion about the choice of the 1976 Olympic Games sites by the International Olympic Committee (SCORECARD, May 25). I do not minimize the tremendous capabilities of Los Angeles, but Montreal will do a fine job. What's more, Canada has never hosted the Olympic Games, and the IOC used discretion in considering this factor.
More important, however, is the fact that the IOC did pick the best candidate for the 1976 Winter Games. Denver is the hub of winter sports activity in the U.S. Last year it was estimated that approximately 250.000 out-of-state visitors came to Colorado to ski. There have been more than 50 international sports competitions hosted in Colorado. Denver already has 80% of the necessary facilities for the Games, thereby minimizing the need for construction of expensive new facilities that would end up as white elephants in a nonmetropolitan area. It has excellent transportation facilities, a communications network, a stadium for opening and closing ceremonies, several ice arenas, housing for competitors and officials and many hotels and motels for visitors—all necessary for a superior presentation of the Games. Furthermore, Denver, as Queen City of the Rocky Mountain Empire, is well suited to stage a cultural arts festival during the Olympics, a required adjunct to the Games.
Denver and Colorado will host the Winter Games in the spirit of the Olympic ideal and in a manner that will bring credit to all citizens of this country during the centennial year of the State of Colorado.
RICHARD H. OLSON
Colorado Olympic Commission
The SI editorial completely overlooked the IOC's reason for choosing Montreal and Denver as 1976 Olympic sites: these two cities pledged value instead of money, money, money. Moscow offered up the Russian treasury, while Los Angeles offered a Hollywood spectacular. This was exactly opposite to IOC wishes.
It seems SI views the closeness of facilities (√† la Squaw Valley) and a colossal world's-fair-type building project (√† la Mexico City or Tokyo) as necessities for a successful Olympics. Modern transportation and communication negate the former and economy negates the latter. The IOC has finally downshifted. Perhaps it's a step we all should take more often.
RICHARD M. HANN
HOME ON THE RANGE
I am one of the "backpack breed who view motorized campers as unwelcome intruders" (Camping Out the Easy Way, June 1), and I believe the wilderness should be reserved for those who appreciate it. We backpackers appreciate the drumming of the white-headed woodpecker and hold disdain for the blaring of the portable radio. We love the panorama from the top of Yosemite Point more than the soap operas from the portable TV sets on the valley floor. And we would prefer to depend on the map and compass to warn us of our approach to "civilization" rather than the frequency of the cigarette wrappers and beer cans.
Yes, there is a place for camping out with all the conveniences—your own backyard.
EDGAR J. HEE
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