WRIGHT OR WRONG?
Steve Wright's article about his two seasons with the Giants (Wright Was All Wrong, Right? Nov. 25) was a true-to-life example of the behind-the-scenes operations described in Pete Gent's North Dallas Forty. For many years (10, to be exact) I have wondered why standout players with other clubs who have been traded to the Giants never equaled their past performances. Wright has given me a little insight into what some of the problems may be. His article was terrific reading.
Little Neck, N.Y.
I prefer to view Wright not as a victim of mismanagement but as a battler against oppression by the arrogant. I hope that every person in a position of power will read his story. My congratulations to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED on another article that goes beyond sports.
WILLIAM P. MOORE
One of the treasured rewards of my lifelong association with professional football players has been the mutual sharing of friendship and respect with many hundreds of Giant players. Apparently, Steve Wright does not count himself in this number. If so, I am sorry, but I would not trade their friendship for his even if I could.
Every man wants to be proud of his family. I am particularly proud of the maturity with which my sons have conducted themselves in their contact with football games and football players. This is an attribute which few, if any, of Steve Wright's many former coaches ever found in him.
WELLINGTON T. MARA
New York Football Giants Inc.
New York City
It is always hard to stand by and try to figure out why a team you love, a team you grew up with, has turned from great to mediocre to just plain uninspired lousy. Accordingly, I read the excerpt from Steve Wright's book with interest. While I fully realize that Wright tells only one side of the story and that he does little to hide his personal bias, I have followed the Giants long enough to know that the only solution left to them is not to replace a coach or the players, but somehow to replace the owner.
GARY C. HUESTED
As a former player of Little League baseball I was very proud of my association with the sport. Now I am sickened by the decision to oust foreign competitors from the Little League World Series (SCORECARD, Nov. 25). This cop-out by the U.S. in world competition is a trend very unbecoming the "home of the brave." In the future I suggest the Little League people in Williamsport, Pa. oust the term "World" from their "World Series."
ALIVE AND KICKING
In the Eastern regional edition of your Nov. 11 issue there is a story When Football Went To War by Charles Einstein. In it he calls me the late Hooks Mylin. I don't know when I was resurrected, but on Saturday, Nov. 2 I was inducted into the National Football Foundation's Hall of Fame. I am getting plenty of phone calls and letters from people wanting to know when I returned to life and why I didn't stay where I was. Will you please remedy this?
E.E. (HOOKS) MYLIN
•For a look at Hooks as he materialized during Hall of Fame induction ceremonies last month, see below.—ED.
I couldn't believe Dan Jenkins' one-sided article on Green Bay's so-called upset of Minnesota (Just a Job for the Vikes, Nov. 25). Jenkins wrote about everything from Bud Grant going duck hunting to how casual Fran Tarkenton looked dressed in a turtleneck and drinking a black-cherry soda in the locker room. I think Jenkins forgot that the yawn, ho-hum Packers beat one of the best teams in football, 19-7, and were inside the Vikings' 10-yard line four times.
There's as much chance of the Vikings becoming nonchalant about losing to the Packers as there is of the black-and-blue division turning pink and white.
Congratulations to Dan Jenkins for his standout article on the Vikes. He depicted the attitude of most professional athletes today. Except for a rare few, they arc more concerned with their paychecks than the sport in which they are competing. Jenkins' article points out the apathy of the Vikings, although most teams are guilty of it. All professional sports would benefit if the competitors would stop thinking that being an athlete is a nine-to-five job.
Pound Ridge, N.Y.
Dan Jenkins has a talent for transmitting the news and at the same time imparting a very gratifying sense of humor.
C. ROBERT SWANBECK, M.D.
Speaking for ourselves and fellow equestrians, we must commend you on your bringing to the spotlight the one and only Dennis Murphy (A Country Boy Has Them Jumping, Nov. 25). He is, without the slightest doubt, the best in the business, sporting a natural ability that has to be seen to be believed. His competitiveness, whether in winning or in losing, is in accordance with that of the true sportsman. Knowing the quality of his performances and the graciousness of his character, we feel confident in saying that there will be many more "Poosance" victories to come.
CLAIRE and MEREDITH BASS
The article Ken Dryden on Trial (Nov. 25) is just another indication of your bias toward the old, established clubs in the NHL. The only way Dryden "lit up the ice" during the three games described was when the red light flashed after each of the 11 goals he allowed. The Flyers and the Kings have far superior goaltenders in Bernie Parent and Rogie Vachon, but Dryden gets all the copy.
Dryden is going to have to go a lot heavier on yogurt, fruit shakes, honey, apples and fruit salad if he is to approach the high performance level of Parent. Only God saves more than Bernie!
Perhaps a more fitting picture beneath your Nov. 25 cover headline THE COMEBACK GOALIE would have been that of Buffalo's Roger Crozier.
Mark Mulvoy's superb article was one more plus for SI. I am from Boston and love my Bruins, and from that standpoint I am anti-Ken Dryden. But from a hockey standpoint, I respect and admire his opinions, his class and, most of all, his skills. "Octopus," as Dryden is unaffectionately known by Boston fans, has more than once stopped the Boston scoring machine. And he has not lost his touch, as was proved Thursday, Nov. 14 when he practically singlehandedly thwarted Boston, 4-1. Boston has a lot of ground to make up, with Buffalo rolling along in first place, but it will probably be to no avail if we have to face Dryden.
A rookie from the University of Florida named Nat Moore, who has been playing for the Miami Dolphins this season, was not included in Ron Reid's article Bumper Year for a Robust Crop (Nov. 18). If you are still unsure who Moore is, please check the balloting for Rookie of the Year; he'll be the one with Moore votes than 50% of the players mentioned.
Delray Beach, Fla.
John Underwood's article Now Everybody Has the Bug (Nov. 11), which quite appropriately focused attention on this nation's fastest-rising sport, may nevertheless have misled some into believing that tennis requires its participants to expend vast sums to equip and attire themselves for the game. Underwood writes: "When he slips into his $26 Head double-knit shorts and $28 Adidas shoes, and she into her $75 Ginori ballerina knit with matching sweater (lace panties optional), and they pack their $50 Gucci tennis bag to go swat a few fuchsia-colored $4-a-can Penn tennis balls with their $145 Chemold graphite rackets, the tennis couple will have made a staggering contribution to style as well as commerce."
Maybe so, but when my wife and I head for the courts, it's more like this: I slip into my $7.95 Sears double-knit shorts and my $8.95 Converse tennis shoes (bought at a discount store), and she into her $16 J.C Penney knit tennis dress (lace panties included), and we pack our tennis bag (2¾ books of trading stamps) to go swat a few yellow-colored $2.14 Penn tennis balls (also bought at a discount store) with our $19.95 Wilson Autograph rackets (more discount store stuff). We, too, have made a contribution, though not staggering, to style as well as commerce. Moreover, we can enjoy the game without any fear whatsoever of our bank's foreclosing on us, which may not be the case in the instance of the fictionalized couple depicted by Mr. Underwood.
KEITH W. MITCHELL
I nominate Gordie Howe for Sportsman of the Year. At 46, Howe is in the second season of his hockey comeback, which thus far has been nothing short of brilliant, especially his magnificent performance against the U.S.S.R. I wonder where Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr, Rick MacLeish and Bobby Clarke will be when they reach that age.
West Vancouver, British Columbia
JOHN MICHAEL SCOTT
What better qualification than to be the best in the world in a sport that is played in more than 120 countries. Johan Cruyff.
I nominate a soccer player who has broken many of the immortal Pelé's records in World Cup action and who scored the deciding goal in more than 20 of his country's World Cup games, including this year's 2-1 final against Holland—Mr. Clutch, Der Bomber, Gerd M√ºller of West Germany.
Your item "Gut Check" in SCORECARD of the Sept. 23 issue was of special interest to me. From 1930 through 1934 I was in the Maine woods nearly every day, winter and summer, working, hunting or fishing. During those years I was in many of the wilderness places from the Penobscot River east to New Brunswick.
To a woodsman the word "flies" can include blackflies, deerflies, moose flies, mosquitoes and midges, the punkie, no-see-ums or little hot feet of the Northern Indians. Stewart Edward White devoted an entire chapter to flies in his book The Forest (1904). And he had much firsthand experience as he explored and fished the wilderness of northern Ontario all the way to Hudson Bay.
While using both hands to land a fighting fish, I have had blackflies bite where the hat brim touched my forehead until blood ran down my face. But the blackfly holds still to be killed. He works the daylight shift; the mosquito operates around the clock. My experience with flies agrees with Dr. Ivan Mc-Daniel's findings: every man must experiment until he finds the repellent that works best for him, from the thickest paste to the oils and modern sprays.
The early woodsman, timber cruiser or lumberjack made his own fly repellent from pine tar and lard, for a very good reason. The lard was readily available from the cook at the lumber camp, and the pine tar came from the blacksmith's, where it was used to heal the cuts and scrapes on the horses. Each man could make the repellent to his individual taste—too little tar would not ward off the flies, too much burned the skin. It is a nasty mess and has been called many vile names by those who use it or eschew it. But it has a redeeming feature. Pine tar reduces much of the poison sting of the inevitable bites.
Pine tar and lard will provide the same kind of impenetrable glaze as the deer blood of Alaska, but you won't like it. Anyway, deer should not be shot in Maine during fly season.
CALVIN S. BORTHWICK
Glen Ridge, N.J.
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