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Original Issue


Sirs: In my humble opinion, the Boston Bruins are doing O.K. (Watcha Doin', Brother Bruin? Jan. 3). It seems to me that the Boston fans are far too critical of all their professional sports teams and expect, if not demand, perfection. As long as the Bruins are winning, what's the difference? More power to Bobby Orr for minding his own business, namely defense, and for his better all-round attitude this season. At least he's contributing to the team's success. Bobby is good enough for me any day, and so are Phil Esposito and all the other talented Bruins. Peace horrible? Never! Peace is wonderful!

As usual, the greatest hockey writer of this century, Mark Mulvoy, has written a story that all hockey fans will be interested in reading. The former Stanley Cup champs have lost only two games in their last 25 outings, and if that is deep trouble, as Bruin fans contend, Buffalo Coach Punch Imlach said it perfectly, "I'd love to have such trouble." As many a hockey fan has noticed, the fearsome Bruins have not hit as much as they have in the past, and the other teams in the league are taking advantage of this. Boston is trying to skate rather than fight, but the Bruins have a reputation to maintain, and they are not the type of hockey club to finesse their way to the Stanley Cup. To beat the high-flying Rangers, the Bruins must show a little more muscle, as they did by winning 8-1 on Dec. 16. Still, I think I'll put my money on the "new" New York Rangers!
Carteret, N.J.

"Maryland was going to be the best this and the biggest that, but what it came up as was a victim of foot-in-mouth disease" (Sweating Through the Dreads, Jan. 3).

After routing Western Kentucky 103-67 and crushing ninth-ranked St. John's 90-69 on successive nights, Maryland's feet would seem to be planted firmly on the ground. Your diagnosis of foot-in-mouth disease might more aptly apply to yourselves.
Rockville, Md.

I would like to make a few comments on Curry Kirkpatrick's unreport on Maryland basketball. First, it seems to me that it was SI and not Driesell that put Tom McMillen on the cover, that ran an article on last year's freshman team proclaiming it perhaps the best in the country and that this year ranked Maryland in the Top Ten.

Second, to say the Terps cannot score unless they get the ball to big Mac is just bad reporting. Tom was the leading scorer in only three of the team's first nine games, and he averaged only 19 of the team's 90 points per game. This is not to knock Tom but merely to indicate that a team that shoots better than 55% from the floor has more than one shooter.

Instead of reporting on the early-season struggle of a team trying to come together, Curry gave us a string of ad hominem arguments and a treatise on Southern dialect implying that the Terps just are not as good as their press. One can only conclude that Curry is the type of guy who would spill out fine wine after tasting it before it had a chance to age properly.
Riverdale, Md.

As a teacher of journalism, a lover of the sport of basketball and a great fan of Frank McGuire and his University of South Carolina Gamecocks (who are now up where Mr. Driesell said Maryland was going to be), I say thanks and thank you again to Curry Kirkpatrick for telling it like it really is on the court at UM. Bravo!
East Paterson, N.J.

To be the best, to be No. 1, is to strive for perfection. It takes hard work, and Maryland's Lefty Driesell has worked hard in striving to reach the pinnacle of college basketball. As a member of Maryland's mediocre basketball teams of the past three years, I would boast, too. This year's team shows the dedication and hard work that Driesell has put into coaching and recruiting. Hail to the chief!
Newark, Del.

Sirs: Tex Maule has always been more than fair in writing about the Dallas Cowboys, who have had their ups and downs. I want to particularly compliment him for his article The Cowboys Fly—The Redskins Die in the Jan. 3 issue. It was well written, and it was most deserved. Thanks, SI, for a great year of football coverage.

Congratulations on your Jan. 3 issue. It was one of your best ever. John Underwood and Tex Maule wrote fine articles covering the NFL playoffs, and your photographs of the games were great.
Arlington, Mass.

John Underwood's interpretation of the Miami-Kansas City game was excellent. He not only gave due credit to Garo Yepremian, who should be in the Pro Bowl as he proved by outscoring Jan Stenerud during the regular season and outdueling him decisively in a head-to-head showdown, but expertly described Curt Gowdy, who is one half of the worst announcing team communications will ever know.

Thanks, John Underwood, for a very fine overall article, but a special thanks for setting readers straight on who belongs in the Pro Bowl.
Duluth, Minn.

Thanks to SI and William Reed for the article Good Times Come to Cajun Country (Dec. 20). If it were not for this fantastic account of the University of Southwestern Louisiana and Dwight (Bo Pete) Lamar, the nation's basketball fans might have gone through the entire season not knowing about this very fine team.

We are proud of Coach Beryl Shipley and his Ragin' Cajuns.
Simmesport, La.

We at Louisiana Tech were overjoyed to read your Dec. 20 story on our old basketball rival, the University of Southwestern Louisiana. You were correct in adding the statement that the Cajuns could enter the NCAA Midwest Regional if they don't "allow themselves to be shot down by somebody like Louisiana Tech."

While the Cajuns have moved into the major Top 20 with their glamorous big-time schedule, Tech has been devastating assorted opponents in the college division. Tech is rooting for USL to come into its two games with us with the highest possible rating because we do indeed plan to shoot them down—twice, instead of our usual home-and-away split.

Tech has a pair of lightning-quick guards with dipsy doodles that Dwight Lamar is still trying to imitate, and 6'10" Mike Green makes Roy Ebron look like an ordinary man. Y'all come back to Lafayette Jan. 22 and then be in Ruston on Feb. 14. That's when we're going to "let the good teams roll."
Managing Editor
The Tech Talk
Ruston, La.

Your "Poor Sport" item in the SCORECARD section of the Dec. 13 issue is a very fine example of a short memory with regard to the passing record of John Reaves of the University of Florida.

John passed for 15 yards after his team paid him the highest tribute and respect in their grasp-they got the ball for him to have another shot at the record. This was accomplished in spite of what seemed to be a deliberate attempt by the Miami team to keep him from having an opportunity to tie or break Jim Plunkett's NCAA passing record.

The record John set was achieved against teams such as Houston, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, LSU, North Carolina and Florida State. In 1971 Florida (and John Reaves) played six teams that appeared in postseason bowls. Nothing phony here.

Reaves has earned the right to be proud of his fine record. He brought many thrills to the fans who follow the Gators. It certainly is not a phony record, and it will be difficult to break.
Sarasota, Fla.

Your comment re John Reaves' passing record was a poor example of editorial comment, not because the content was inaccurate but because the target was singular.

This sort of display by college teams is becoming increasingly more frequent due to the emphasis put on statistics. Witness Ed Marinaro carrying the ball a jillion times, Penn State letting Lydell Mitchell score five TDs in a game, Nebraska, Oklahoma and others leaving first teams in to run up scores on hapless opponents. The latter can be attributed to the idiocy of the polls in which a handful of "experts" who rarely see all the teams play vote for the coveted No. 1.

If you are going to start berating shameful performances and phony records, you can devote an entire issue to the subject.
Bellevue, Neb.

Since Charlotte, N.C. has become the power of the Eastern Hockey League, everyone here is interested in learning about hockey in all of the leagues. Therefore I read Pat Jordan's article (Icemen You'd Love to Hate, Dec. 13) with great interest-until I got to the last section, where Mr. Jordan began to generalize about the entire EHL.

If Mr. Jordan had visited some of the finer arenas in the southern half of the league, he would have seen different facilities, a different brand of hockey and different fans from those described in his article. Our arena in Charlotte is modern, seats 9,575 fans and is usually sold out. The fans appreciate aggressive play but are just as happy with good, clean hockey. We don't have a hatchet man, but we did defeat New Haven for the league title last year four games to one. Generalization is dangerous, even in sports-writing.
Charlotte, N.C.

Pat Jordan's article was as tremendous as some of the players he wrote about. I've been to many an EHL hockey game. I've gone mainly to see Kevin Morrison's right hook. A tough league is the EHL. A tough player is Kevin Morrison. Keep up the good work!
New Haven, Conn.

I find myself at a temporary loss for words to express my displeasure at the sketch of Reggie Fleming. Anyone who knows Reggie personally knows that statements like "He is the kind of man people like having known but not knowing" are the farthest you can get from the truth.

For the record, I am not an irate relative who feels Fleming has been unjustifiably criticized. However, I have come to know Reggie for what he really is: a warm, compassionate human being who actually delights in making those around him happy. Corny as it may sound, it is true. He is perhaps the most unselfish man in professional sport today. The next time I reach for an article on this misunderstood man, I hope to find a sketch of the man and not of someone's distorted impressions of him.
San Diego

Congratulations for scoring a hat trick with your story of the tough men of hockey, What Pat Jordan really showed is that these men are not mean but simply tough men playing the game the way they know best and to the best of their ability.
Quincy, Mass.

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