TALE OF ONE CITY
My sincerest thanks for Richard W. Johnston's article about San Diego (A Playground Divided, Nov. 8). It was the first honest and fair description of this city's sports scene I have read. The San Diego Union and Evening Tribune (the only major newspapers in San Diego) failed as usual to give a completely objective report on the subject.
San Diego, its people—most certainly, Mr. Breitbard—and its sports are not bush. The city council, Walter Hahn and Mayor Curran definitely are bush. And Peter Graham? He's the superstar of the bush league.
DAVID P. YARUSS
I compliment you on your timing. Here I am in college, fresh out of San Diego, homesick for its weather and my friends, and you print that fantastic article. Thank you so much. However, the article did fan a flame of resentment within me. By printing it, you have furthered the efforts of the "Dutch uncles" to stuff San Diego down the throats of America. Currently, the phrase on the lips of almost every city official is "San Diego—City in Motion." I have reservations as to where this motion is taking the city.
I am sure that most San Diego residents dislike the sad disfigurement of Mission Valley caused by Stonehenge West, the monstrous interstate highway overpass. A thousand years from now people will think we used it to calculate the starting time of Charger games. We have minimal air pollution (what little we have is brought in by jet from L.A.), and San Diego Bay is remarkably clean. Your article brought this out most effectively. However, I can just see some corporate head now reading SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and thinking of ways to defile San Diego's air and water. The reason San Diego's businessmen and officials want the Republican National Convention is the money, publicity and growth it will bring to the city. It is that kind of growth and publicity that is turning San Diego into another Los Angeles.
You did an excellent job of showing how wonderful San Diego is. I just hope that people will realize what a good thing we have and that they will help us to keep it.
Numerous aspects of our diversified community drew nice mentions. But there was one line that hurt a considerable segment. Del Mar racing, credited with having "its best meeting," scarcely is "minor" league, as was indicated in the paragraph embracing brief mention of the track in the same sentence with the WHL Gulls. With an average daily attendance of 12,169 for its 43-day season, Del Mar Turf Club exceeded every other sports draw in this area with the exception of the Chargers, who play a home schedule of only 11 games. Del Mar, which has developed such nationally ranked horses as Cougar II, Kentucky Derby champion Tomy Lee and Your Host (the disappointing Derby favorite who sired Kelso), has been major league for years.
The San Diego Union
Was that a sports story or an annual report?
JOHN W. DUCH
Congratulations on your article chronicling the development of one of America's most complete sporting communities, San Diego. As a recent visitor to this sports haven I have had the chance to witness firsthand the capabilities of man in providing an ecologically sound and incomparably diverse mecca for sports.
PAUL M. SOLENICK
BALTIMORE VS. MIAMI
I am sick and tired of all this jazz about Boo Bulaich and how great the Colts are (They Had Better Be Super, Nov. 8). No true Miami Dolphin fan would trade Mr. Everything, Jim Kiick, for Bulaich, unless the Colts included Bubba Smith and their first and second draft choices for next year.
Larry Csonka leads the AFC in rushing, not Boo. In case you've forgotten, the Dolphins are in first place in the AFC East, not Baltimore. Your Tex Maule, expert that he isn't, seems to think that the Colts have the next Super Bowl aready won.
Norm Bulaich of Baltimore is a fine running back. But by the time he achieves the class of AFC East leaders Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick or even Mercury Morris, John Unitas will be drawing Social Security checks. Miami is in first place in more ways than one!
KEITH SMITH JR.
KING OF THE BOARD
As one of the country's chess buffs, I want to thank you profusely for the magnificent coverage you are giving Bobby Fischer's quest for the world title (Bobby Clears the Board for the Title, Nov. 8). In a world where the Russians have trumpeted their chess superiority as a sign of the supremacy of the Soviet system (as they do with any sport in which they are good), Bobby has rattled them right down to the grass roots of the South Slobbovia chess club. Let's hope he beats Boris Spassky and completes the puncturing of the myth that only Russians know how to play chess. Tell them Fischer is coming!
JOHN E. HERZOG
As an avid chess player I have followed Bobby Fischer's successes closely, and Robert Cantwell's story is the best I have read. I hope you place Bobby on the cover of your magazine when he wins the world championship this coming spring.
My candidate for your Sportsman of the Year award is Bobby Fischer. Since more than 50% of all games between grand masters arc drawn, Fischer's feat of winning 20 consecutive games without a draw is incredible. Furthermore, Fischer is the first Westerner to earn the right to meet Boris Spassky for the championship of the world, and, in my opinion, he is better than even money to win it.
ROBERT W. WOOD JR.
It seems strange that Pete Rozelle found nothing wrong with Ralph Wilson, an NFL owner, when he was suspected of dealing with shadowy figures (Mud Flies All Over the Track, Nov. 1), but he did insist that Joe Namath and Ernie Wheelwright, NFL players, sell their interests in bars for similar reasons, even though they were cleared of the charges.
South Orange, N.J.
We would like to correct the record stated by Robert H. Boyle regarding the National Football League investigation of Ralph Wilson. Boyle says: "Twice in early September agents of the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau asked the NFL to contact them about the case, but no one from Rozelle's office ever did...."
Sometime after Sept. 29, while attending a convention of the Society of Ex-FBI Agents in Atlanta, I had a brief and informal conversation with a representative of the TRPB. At that time he advised me that Mr. Wilson was under investigation by the TRPB and the New York State Racing Commission because of irregularities in the sale of racehorses. I asked this representative whether or not this investigation concerned the sale of the racehorse Jim French and he acknowledged that it did. I advised the TRPB representative that we were aware of this investigation from another source and that we did not believe that the National Football League desired to inject itself at this point into an investigation being conducted by an official body concerning a matter not related to professional football.
It was only following the announcement of the suspension of Mr. Wilson and the alleged basis for this suspension that we believed it was proper to conduct an investigation to determine whether Mr. Wilson's conduct was in fact detrimental to professional football. Our investigation proved that it was not.
JOHN J. DANAHY
Director of Security
The National Football League
New York City
•According to its chief investigator, Cliff Wickman, the TRPB twice sought the NFL's help in the investigation, but never received an official yes or no.—ED.
DOCTOR IN VIRGINIA
Peter Carry has done the basketball fans of America a favor by pointing out the virtues of the Doctor, Julius Erving (A Back Door into the Big Time, Nov. 1). In his two college varsity seasons, Erving certainly gave every indication of having the potential to become one of the premier cornermen in pro basketball. I for one can't understand the rap put on the boys who sign a pro contract before securing their college degrees. I believe that if their detractors were in the same position, they would find it difficult to turn down a salary as fantastic as the one reportedly paid to Nate Williams by the Cincinnati Royals. Regardless of how they perform in pro ball they can always go back to school, can't they?
WIN ONE, LOSE ONE
Nice try, but Pat Putnam's article on the visit to Mexico City by the Notre Dame frosh (Hold On, Ara, the Freshmen Are Coming, Nov. 1) doesn't quite cover up the Irish loss to Southern Cal. Nor does the grudging admission by Gwilym Brown (FOOTBALL'S WEEK, NOV. 1) that Ara's boys need a quarterback erase the memory of the SI Scouting Report (Sept. 13) that pointed out that Notre Dame was to be No. 1 this year, quarterback or no. Parseghian is beginning to look a little like Tom Landry: even with all the ammunition, the gun still goes "pop" instead of "boom."
WILLIAM P. HINCKLEY
Hopefully, our future good relations with Mexico will never again be entrusted to emissaries from Notre Dame. After a reading of Pat Putnam's article, it appears that this year's freshmen are being well schooled in the traditions and philosophy of the Irish varsity and its coach, Run-It-Up Ara Parseghian: worry about those national rankings and to heck with the feelings of the outclassed opposition.
Mr. Putnam finds all of this very cute. To this observer it provides just another illustration of why Notre Dame is despised in many college football circles.
Roger Rapoport's article Peddling God's Country (Nov. 1) presents one of those curious "success stories" so mistakenly identified with the American Dream. The title "Land Developer" is flaunted by men like Jeff Dennis as if nature and the wilderness have lain in utter, undeveloping dormancy for four billion years, eagerly awaiting the dam, the saw, the bulldozer and a thick layer of pavement to develop into something worthwhile.
It is useless to argue with the likes of Dennis concerning the wisest uses of our last wildlands. For the land developers there are dollar signs on every tree or stream or bit of earth, and Federal laws still encourage private profit where no one man should ever hold sway. But developers can no more be faulted for their greed than a cat can be condemned for scratching a curtain; this is their nature. That the people of this nation allow such rapacity to continue in a day when their wilderness heritage has already been clawed to its last shreds is truly pitiful. Americans, each and every one of us, must strive to put wanton destruction by land developers out of the protection of our laws.
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