FROM THE HOME FRONT
Was that really necessary? Your cover and feature on the new Canc√∫n resort (Old Gods, Young Goddesses) in the Jan. 27 issue are most disappointing in a magazine of your caliber. Imagine my shock when I walked into my son's room and found him reading what appeared to be a girlie magazine.
Come on, now, what sport are you covering? Or should we even ask? If we wanted this type of material in our home, we would not be subscribing to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
Mrs. JAMES F. RIEDEL
The cover is disgusting. Your bathing suit ads are disgraceful in a sports magazine. I am not a prude, but there is a time and a place for everything. This magazine is not the place.
If you're going to get down to the bare facts, we will cancel our subscription.
PHYLLIS R. DEVINE
Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
We consider your Jan. 27 issue unsuitable for use in our elementary school library. We request cancellation of our subscription and a refund for the issues we no longer care to receive.
M. D. THOMAS
Edwin Markham School
I thought for a moment that our college son's girlie magazine had been delivered to his home instead of his dorm. Our high school son—Superjock we call him—never looked at the cover; ho, ho, ho! Dad did, though. Golly, are you going to get letters!
Mrs. C. A. ELDRIDGE
That issue was really nudes-worthy.
Glen Head, N.Y.
Re page 31, with apologies to Rudyard Kipling, the bathing suit she wore was nothing much before, and rather less than half of it behind.
E. H. BATCHELLER
Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.)
I have heard the argument that "this is no more than can be found on any beach." The point is that impressionable youngsters cannot, usually, take home what they find on the beach of this nature to browse over. Don't you think young people are exposed to enough sex without your having to resort to it, too?
STELLA F. McKEOWN
Please don't do me any favors. SI should concern itself with the latest sports events. Pin-ups I can get in a girlie magazine.
EMMETT F. JOSEPH
Now that you've given your male subscribers their jollies, how about equal consideration for your female subscribers?
Silver Spring, Md.
Kindly extend my subscription 10 years.
I remember Cheryl Tiegs from last year's bathing suit preview. You should make her an annual feature.
W. DAVID SNYDER
With the world facing inflation, recession and an oil shortage, and sportsmen confronted with the problems of unrealistic salaries, contract clashes and many more senseless arguments, it is always a relief to know that there is one magazine that can take a relaxed attitude toward all of this and present a very enjoyable issue. The young goddesses, along with the excellent article on Canc√∫n by Jerry Kirshenbaum, give SI another winning issue.
JOHN ORWIN, TOM CATES, TOM TAYLOR, DAVE DEKKER, ROBERT SILCIT
GROWING UP IN PORTLAND
I began your article Bill Walton, Won't You Please Play Ball (Jan. 27) with apprehension but, happily, Rick Telander brings a degree of perspective and intelligence to the coverage of the Walton story.
Acquisition of wealth has never brought with it psychological stability or security. Walton is sincerely attached to a counterculture whose arch tenet is a frugal, agrarian anticommercialism. Naturally, this impulse flies in the face of the corporate reality of professional sports and the conspicuous consumption of the athletes.
Walton is only 22, and when he is viewed outside the sports context, he is not so wildly different from other young men. What is unique abou his situation is that he must work out his crisis of values before the press and the public.
Fortunately, he has models for integrity and individuality in his own sport, men like Jack Twyman, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Trail Blazers' assistant coach, Tom Meschery, an accomplished poet. He should seek their counsel.
KARL L. LINDHOLM
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
I was greatly disappointed. Through six pages, Bill Walton was criticized for everything from the state of his personal cleanliness to wanting to play only as a member of a team, not for individual goals. Only Walton knows the extent of his pain and injuries, not the fans or his teammates. If the people who criticize will only have a little patience, Bill will become the great player we knew at UCLA.
Your article was quite compelling and demonstrated a genuine honesty and concern for the situation in Portland. Still, I can't help feeling that one man's individuality has been abused simply as the result of certain auxiliary circumstances stemming from the game of organized basketball.
Congratulations on a most appealing article on a unique cultural phenomenon, the Cresta (Every Man Has a Mad Streak, Jan. 20). The reason the sleds are called "skeletons" is not arcane but routinely historical, according to the 1936 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and a rather comprehensive book on the subject published around the turn of the century called Coasting on Artificial Runs, by Sir Harry Gibson, an early Cresta runner. In the mid-1880s a St. Moritz winter visitor from Chicago named W. C. Childs (the Britannica lists him as L. P. Child), who later invented the bobsled, developed a new coasting machine consisting of a flat wooden top with vertical wooden sides of oval shape pointed at the ends. Rounded steel rods were wrapped around the sides to form runners, sprung out slightly on the bottom for a shock-absorbing effect. Childs immortalized his homeland by calling his machine the "America" and it was superbly successful. The next step was to eliminate the wooden sides, leaving only the curved steel rods supporting the top, thereby creating the "skeleton-framed America," eventually just "skeleton." Later the sliding bed was added and the height of the frame lowered to produce the modern machine.
ANGUS G. GARBER Jr.
Your mention of the Barstow-to-Las Vegas race (SCORECARD, Jan. 13) was laced with the unfairest kind of innuendo. In a few paragraphs you tainted all recreational motorcyclists as defilers of nature or covert Hell's Angels who have intimidated the Bureau of Land Management into inaction. This is as inaccurate as it is ridiculous. In the case of the Barstow-to-Las Vegas race the sanctioning organizations worked closely with the BLM to ensure that the effect on the desert would be held to an absolute minimum.
Recreational motorcyclists feel that they have a right to use the environment just as other groups of citizens do, and, your editorial comment notwithstanding, the vast majority of us also want to protect that same environment.
I'm not going to debate the basic environmental problem, only your assumption that if the Barstow-to-Las Vegas race were banned, many frustrated racers would join the Hell's Angels. Why is it so difficult to understand that the guy next door is your common motorcyclist?
Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, TIME & LIFE Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.