Walter Bingham's article Shoot-out at the T Bar M (March 20) is really an injustice to Nancy Richey Gunter, who has been playing brilliantly of late. Admittedly, the participation of both Evonne Goolagong and Chris Evert greatly enhanced the tournament in terms of crowd appeal and made excellent copy for the press. Furthermore, no one will dispute the statement that the draw was bad. But those who witnessed Mrs. Gunter's come-from-behind victory over Miss Evert here in Bethesda in February would take issue with Mr. Bingham's proposed seedings. And I am sure Billie Jean King would be the last to suggest that Mrs. Gunter won the Maureen Connolly Brinker tournament by default.
Perhaps the crowd would have preferred to see Evonne against Chris, but the better match was in fact Nancy against Billie Jean.
JANET F. AND WILLIAM CATALONA
O.K., Chris Evert, I think you are sexy (They Said It, SCORECARD, March 6). Now, please help me with my game.
I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations to Debbie Heald for her spectacular victory in the mile run during the U.S. vs. U.S.S.R. track meet (They're Sweet 16 and Deserve a Kiss, March 27). I was, however, a bit unhappy with the remarks about Richmond. If Debbie can find her way back to Richmond, I will personally locate a bottle of Coke for her and do it after 10 p.m.
Congratulations for the article on Paula Sperber (She Never Played with Dolls, March 20). Pat Putnam mentions in this story that Paula would like to become a teacher. I am sure students in the high school I attend would go half crazy if Paula taught a class. But I think I would take the chance, just to have her as a teacher.
"You couldn't get me within a mile of drugs. I don't need drugs to turn on. Love turns me on. People turn me on. Sports turn me on. Just being alive turns me on."
A great message from Paula Sperber!
Tell Coach Mike Praznovsky that Paula Sperber could never make people forget Marion Ladewig.
In your article Where the Chase Is a Song of Hound and Horn (March 20) Jim Harrison refers to the history of the stag hunt as "a glorious history, a history with 'class' rather than the casual .30-30 bushwhacking of deer moving along their feeding runways back home."
Bushwhacking? Is it more humane to chase down a deer with dogs and horses than to sit in a blind and end it all with one shot? Why is running deer with hounds outlawed in most, if not all, states in the U.S.? Because it is humane? I don't think so. Some so-called hunters blast away at anything and everything, but does this mean that all woodsmen are thoughtless jerks?
Furthermore, letting 20 dogs weighing between 60 and 100 pounds apiece attack a carcass isn't my idea of sport. A few more articles like Mr. Harrison's and you can hang up my faith in SI.
The best word I can think of for your article is trash! It amazes me that you always talk about ecology and the killing of America and then come back with the most pointless "sport" of all flashing across your pages as the "noble and ancient pursuit of the stag."
This sport has no purpose but to entertain rich people who have nothing better to do than kill animals. SI should be nominated for Hypocrite of the Year.
My hat is off to Robert Byrne for defining what really will be at stake this summer in the world chess championship (The Big Burden Boris Bears, March 13). Chess is a growing sport, but it is neglected in the U.S. more than in other countries. Now that our Bobby Fischer has proved himself a challenger for the world title against Boris Spassky, it is essential for us to back Bobby all the way. Fischer's winning streak of 20 in a row will be noted in the record books for decades to come.
Chess is not a game of luck. Chess masters like Fischer and Spassky are unique perfectionists of the game. Each employs distinctive offenses and defenses which command respect from opponents. For Fischer, a victory would bring prestige to himself and to the U.S., since the U.S. has never produced an official world titlist. For Spassky, there is the reminder of Russia's winning streak since 1937. The Soviet Union's honor is on the line.
To add to the interest regarding the bidding for the Fischer-Spassky chess match (SCORECARD, Feb. 28), one might realize that the original bid of $125,000 from Iceland, a country with a population of less than 250,000, was the equivalent of at least 50¢ per person. A 50¢-per-person kitty from the U.S. would produce a purse of $100 million. Quite a haul.
Santa Rosa, Calif.
I read your article Trivia (Feb. 28) with much interest. For several years I have been trying to remember something I guess could be considered trivia. In the late '40s the Temple University Owls had a basketball player who was known even more for his name than for his playing ability. Because of the unusual spelling of his last name, he was called "The Owl without a Vowel." Would you please tell me his name?
State College, Pa.
•Bill Mlkvy. But his performances were hardly trivial. He led the nation in scoring in 1951 with a 29.2 average.—ED.
LOOK WEST, ABC
John Carol's TV TALK column (March 13) concerning the NBA's relative TV decline has provided a factual basis for what many NBA fans outside of New York have felt for some time. Many of us here in the Midwest have long called ABC's Sunday offerings "the NBA East Coast Game of the Week."
Through the last half of the '60s it was Boston vs. whomever, but usually Philly, New York or Baltimore. The last three seasons it has been the Knicks! Even the color added by Bill Russell cannot help. He has told us everything about the Knicks except the names of their mothers-in-law.
Two of the few games away from the East Coast had to be the Knicks vs. Houston and Seattle (with the ridiculous starting time of 11 a.m. in Seattle).
Since the arrival of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar our local heroes have gotten some big-game coverage, but teams like Chicago and San Francisco are only seen when they play New York.
I am sure that if the survey had been conducted excluding the New York area the figures would have been far more unpleasant. Perhaps it is time Czar Kennedy and ABC realized that there are 17 teams in the NBA.
J. L. BORDEAU
As an avid basketball fan, I used to look forward to watching the weekly NBA game on ABC. Not anymore. If ABC and the NBA are getting worried about a decline in viewers, it is no wonder. I, for one, am sick and tired of watching the New York Knicks. It is just like a summer rerun show.
Why not show other games? It is time that the NBA, ABC and the sponsors realized there are other parts of the country besides New York.
I was interested in John Carol's piece on the relative unpopularity of pro basketball on television. If pro basketball is unpopular, perhaps it is because in essence it is a game played by remarkably agile giants in a confined space. Its impact depends on the viewer having an accurate sense of its proportions. Wilt Chamberlain is impressive because he is enormous (as well as good), not because, on television, he is a 4½-inch midget surrounded by 4-inch ones. The game, unlike football, does not miniaturize easily. Football, more than basketball, tends to become a diagram acted out. To keep the viewer comfortable, football's violence needs to be diminished and distanced. That of basketball needs to be emphasized.
Earnshaw Cook's fascinating findings on baseball percentages (It Ain't Necessarily So, and Never Was, March 6) unfortunately have the same flaw that plagues baseball traditionalists—overgeneralization.
To flatly theorize that pitchers should go, at most, five innings because "it removes a pitcher before he is likely to get into trouble, not afterward," is ridiculous. One obvious example is my favorite team, the Chicago Cubs. With a team that does not have any effective relief pitchers and includes among its starters the fabulous Fergie Jenkins, who gets stronger the longer he pitches, the five-inning theory fails to apply.
Although some of Mr. Cook's findings are interesting, he himself is guilty of the sin he accuses baseball of: using broad formulas which "ain't necessarily so."
It was nice reading about Earnshaw Cook, a fellow fanatic who thinks the sacrifice bunt is a waste of time. I am sure glad to find out I am not the only one who is fascinated by statistics.
I think the possibilities of a baseball team using a computer for a season are quite encouraging. The San Diego Padres might be able to use one. Can he play third base? Or how about the Baltimore Orioles? They'll need one to add up their payroll.
Old Bridge, N.J.
I enjoyed the article Come Back Real Soon (Feb. 28) about A. J. Foyt's victory at Daytona, except for the last sentence, in which Robert F. Jones called A. J. a hot dog. Are the boys in NASCAR starting to cry about an outsider, Foyt, winning? I don't recall the Indy drivers crying when Jim Clark and Graham Hill, not to mention other Formula I drivers, made the field and won at Indianapolis in 1965 and 1966.
After watching A. J. breeze to victory at Ontario March 5, I am sure the NASCAR group was happy A. J. did not compete the next weekend in North Carolina. It might have been three in a row for A. J. the Great.
ROBERT H. TURNER
BOBBY'S LAMENT (CONT.)
Bobby Hull's frustration over the incessant harassment he has had to endure in recent years is understandable (His Majesty Gets Mugged Again, March 6). The most unfortunate aspect of Bobby's predicament is that hockey fans in the expansion cities have been deprived of seeing hockey of the caliber formerly played in the league and the freewheeling, electrifying style of a great player. The excitement generated among Montreal fans by Rocket Richard, the superb talents of Bobby Orr and the sheer greatness of Gordie Howe notwithstanding, Bobby Hull, when given enough room to move, is the most magnetic and exciting player ever to perform in the NHL.
G. R. MacKENZIE
MORE ON BO
Pat Jordan's article on Bo Belinsky (Once He Was an Angel, March 6) is probably the best article I have read. Unlike Jim Bouton, Belinsky gives us an in-depth look at the ills of pro sports without mentioning names or hurting other people's pride. Although Belinsky did not show much interest in the game after his rookie year, he still was a crowd-pleaser in one sense. He may not have been heard of for his athletic feats, but his sharp, piercing remarks about how he felt about the game were welcomed by the fans. Belinsky is to baseball what Earl Monroe is to the average Baltimore Bullet basketball fan: an egotistical, ungratefull ballplayer who tells it like nobody ever hears it Reading about what makes Bo tick was rewarding.
PRODUCT OF MICHIGAN
Your article featuring Iowa State's Chris Taylor (Very Big Man on Campus, March 6) was of deep interest to the residents of Muskegon, Mich. All the good things said about him are well deserved. But nowhere do I find reference to Muskegon County Community College, where Chris spent two years studying and wrestling. Chris came to us from Dowagiac, Mich. as a strong prospect but needing to learn the fine points of the sport. Under the coaching of Sidney Huitema he progressed rapidly and led his Community College team to second-and first-place finishes in the 1969 and '70 state championships and first place in the 1970 junior college national championships. No wonder we are proud of Chris!
Congratulations, Coach Harold Nichols, but move over and share the glory with Muskegon and Coach Huitema!
VICTOR J. YURICK
I enjoyed your article on Chris Taylor. It is a real pleasure to see a national magazine honor a great gentleman and athlete. All the people in Dowagiac, Mich. are proud of our ambassador.
A couple of honors your writer did not include: Chris was state high school champion and national junior college champion.
We are all looking forward to seeing Chris in Munich this fall.
RICHARD V. BOLES
Union High School
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