Bridge a sport? Really? My reaction to your lead article (Bidding with a Kick, Feb. 10) could perhaps aptly be summed up by the expression shown on the face of "foot soldier Zucchelli" on page 11. Although you occasionally rise to the heights of artistic sensitivity with articles like the Jan. 27 one on Bill Walton, my one complaint is that you carry versatility to an extreme.
Re the excellent story by Walter Bingham on the Bermuda Bowl bridge tournament, you really came through—the lead article! We in this family are keenly interested in all sports, but I must admit I first look to see if you have a bridge article, and you have one all too seldom.
After bridge officials had devised what all hoped would be a cheatproof game, it gives one a sorry feeling to realize that what we thought was the best team—Italy—was playing footsie. Morally, I think the U.S. won.
MRS. KENNETH KREIDER
I found Walter Bingham's article incredibly one-sided. While I will not say the Italians did not cheat, there are some points to ponder.
I don't agree that if someone hit my foot in a high-level bridge game I would automatically move it, as Bruce Keidan suggests. I would certainly do so in a restaurant, but concentration is too intense in a game like that to assume normal reactions. After all, didn't Billy Eisenberg try to light his chewing gum?
North American teams have been beaten badly by the Blue Team for quite a few years, and the Americans' prima donna attitude won't allow them to admit that the Italians bid better, play better and have more spirit. Instead, when things go the wrong way, they cry "cheat."
GREGORY J. LAMOTHE
It seems that American sportsmen participating in international competition have an automatic disadvantage. They don't cheat.
South Bound Brook, N.J.
Fantastic! Jerry Kirshenbaum's story about Walt (Clyde) Frazier (And Still a Classic of Cool, Feb. 10) is by far the best that this Frazier fanatic has ever read. It showed not only his supremacy on NBA backcourts but his warmth as a human being. Thank you for what I feel was a perfect tribute to a perfect man.
Staten Island, N.Y.
After having seen a few seconds of the Immaculata-Maryland game on TV (On and Up with the Mighty Macs, Feb. 3), I still feel that there are three things that should be done in private: prayer, lovemaking and women's basketball.
Woodland Hills, Calif.
Congratulations on the excellent mountaineering article First You Have To Find K2 (Feb. 10) by Robert F. Jones. It gives an extraordinary insight into that adventuresome activity the author aptly describes as something simpler than sport or romantic masochism. Thanks.
United States Mountaineers
As the mountain measures the man, so has your K2 article illuminated the nature of mountaineering. There remains no better test of personal fortitude and resolve. Congratulations on an excellent piece of journalism.
GREGORY A. LONG
In the article, Jim Whittaker notes the team's need for funds for oxygen equipment. I would appreciate an address to which I could mail a contribution.
Bar Harbor, Maine
•Contributions to the 1975 American K2 Expedition, which are tax deductible, should be mailed to the American Alpine Club, 113 East 90 St., New York, N.Y. 10028.—ED.
HOBIE AND HIS HAWK
Congratulations to you and Philip Singerman for a fine article on the sport of radio-controlled sailplane flying (Out of the Surf and into the Skies, Feb. 10). Unless you have experienced it, it's difficult to describe the dry-mouthed fear of those early erratic flights, the exhilaration of catching your first booming thermal, the feeling of accomplishment of silently greasing in to within a meter of the landing spot, or the hotdogging thrill of flying a bird with a 10-foot wingspan right into your hand to the ahs and ahs of the spectators.
As urban areas expand, many previously isolated model-plane flying sites are being surrounded by habitation, with the consequent problem of noise pollution from powered planes. Hence the great boom in RC sailplane flying. Unless you happened to look high in the sky, you wouldn't know we (or the hawks) were there.
ROBERT E. CAIN
As a dedicated aeromodeler and avid sports fan, I was pleasantly surprised to read the article on Hobie Alter and his Hawk. Most modelers feel that our hobby/sport has long suffered from the "toy airplane" image. Phil Singerman's excellent article should help show that there is valid relaxation, enjoyment and competition in modeling for people over 13.
ALLAN E. COLES
Why didn't you mention that Phil Singerman's dog, which you refer to as "squirrel chaser," is a Bouvier des Flandres (LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER, Feb. 10)? She is a daughter of the great Ch. Marc de la Thudinie, described in your article on Robert Abady (Nobody Touches Me with Impunity, March 15, 1971). The Bouvier is a wonderful breed and, like Mr. Singerman's friend, a truly beloved dog.
MARY ELLEN FOSTICH
Concerning your article on Sanibel Island (Eden Fights Back, Feb. 3) this past summer my son and I had the joyful and memorable experience of staying there for two weeks. It is a beautiful place, ideal for relaxing and getting away from whatever you want to get away from. If I were a native of the island, I surely would oppose construction of any new buildings that would profit greedy developers who care nothing about wildlife or land conservation. I sympathize with the local people and hope they win their battle against commercialism. I am also looking forward to a return trip this coming summer.
ROBERT M. JOHNSON
All Sanibel applauds the article. Well, almost all; some developers may be irked. We are petitioning the new city council to make Ray Kennedy an honorary citizen.
GEORGE C. TENNEY
I enjoyed your article No More Ma√±anas (Jan. 27) tremendously. It brought back many never-to-be-forgotten memories of my first visit to Cancun with a friend in April 1967. It truly was a paradise. We called it "our" island when we first stepped onto its powder-white sand, and from then on we were careful never to mention its name for fear its unspoiled magnificence would then be spoiled. We visited Cancun twice a year from 1967 to 1973. We swam in its crystal clear water, walked and sunned on the white sands, boiled our lobster catch, then dipped it in the sea to salt it lightly before eating it, washing it down with a Yucatecan ale.
Canc√∫n's sun, sea, sand and solitude could not be equaled anywhere else in the world, and I'm thankful we found it when we did. Obviously I was heartbroken to learn in October 1969 that the Mexican government had decided to develop it as a newer and better Acapulco. I can no longer consider it "my" island, and perhaps it is better that its unbelievably beautiful attractions are now being made available to other visitors.
JOAN F. SMITH
Lake Oswego, Ore.
Congratulations to Jeannette Bruce on her fantastic article (The Fun of Freezing, Feb. 3). Everything she said about the "pipe-busting, house-cracking, blue-eared" cold they enjoy in Minnesota is absolutely true. I know; I spent 10 wonderful childhood years in that fabulous state. I'm going back someday.
I enjoyed the article. It points out that Minnesota is not a barren wasteland but a northern paradise, except for a few feet of snow and a couple of blizzards.
Congratulations on a very complete story of Cleveland's Nick Mileti (He Has the Last Word from Sicily, Jan. 27). It is hard to comprehend the marvels of Nick's Coliseum. C. Carlisle Tippit, who put his faith and money in Nick's sports enterprises, says it all: "I've made money in Cleveland and I wanted to put some back. Nick Mileti is the man who made things happen."
Nick's Indians, with a no-hitter against the world champion Oakland A's in 1974, his WHA Crusaders, now in second place in the East Division, and his Cavaliers, who have been in second place in the NBA Central Division, help prove what is said about Cleveland, "The best things in life are here." Or soon will be. Along with thousands of others in northeast Ohio—"Coliseum Country"—I would like to say, "Thanks for everything, Nick."
You say in BASKETBALL'S WEEK (Feb. 3) that Notre Dame became only the ninth college team to win a total of 1,000 games. This raises a natural question: What are the other eight?
•They are Kentucky, with the most victories (1,132) of any major-college team, Kansas (1,103), Oregon State (1,080), St. John's (1,073), Perm (1,072), North Carolina (1,067), Duke (1,012) and Temple (1,009).—ED.
As far as the mind of the calculator goes ("Sine of the Times," SCORECARD, Jan. 27), you forgot to compute the interests of the citizen and of the oil company executive.
Take the price of gasoline two years ago (use 35¢ in this example), multiply it by the $1,000 rebate that President Ford promises, subtract the three years of car payments that must be met and add the last two digits of the year (1974) that the rebate is to be applied to. Then by rotating the calculator you will have the saying that most consumers use.
To find the state of mind of oil company executives, take the average price of a large car ($7,000) and multiply it by the unlucky number 13. Then multiply by the number of spaces in your two-car garage and divide by the rebate from President Ford's economic plan. Subtract the four members in the average family and add to this the 55,000 barrels that are pumped out every minute in the Arab desert and you will see the state that the executives are in.
So next time you feel like writing about the sine of the times, we hope you won't go off on some tangent and leave it to your readers to fill in the rest of the story and cosine it at the bottom. The parabola of this story is to remember the golden rule: He who has the gold, rules!
"Sine of the Times"? How trite. Cosines are in now. How about this?
Take 92,145,000 loyal football fans glued to the tube, add 142,292 screaming fans packed into a Bethlehem, Pa. stadium, then add 120 players, coaches and referees. Do you know what more than half the people are yelling? That's right, divide by two. Now turn your pocket calculator around. Teacher dismissed.
Try this on your calculator:
Enter 4, push +, enter 57734 and turn the calculator upside down for the first part of what I think of your Jan. 27 cover story. Hit the add key while the calculator is still upside down for the second part of the answer.
A previous letter to the editor (Jan. 27) expressed the thought that Muhammad Ali did not deserve your Sportsman of the Year award because he "did not defeat [George] Foreman's strengths, he exploited his weaknesses." I must point out that this is how fights—or any contests between opposing factions—are won. You don't run the ball up the middle if your opponent's strength lies in his front four; you pick him apart with short passes and outside plays. The champ properly measured his opponent's weaknesses and utilized that knowledge to his best advantage. Muhammad Ali may be old, but he's smart.
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