HOOPS AND CORKS
Your report on the NBA playoffs (Call Them Champs Again, June 14) is unfair to the Celtics and Coach Tom Heinsohn. The Celtics proved once again they are the best team in basketball by winning their 13th championship in 20 years. Not only did their starters come through in the clutch, but also their much-maligned bench.
You say that Heinsohn is always looking over his shoulder at Red Auerbach. That is ridiculous. Tommy Heinsohn is his own man and probably the best coach in the league today.
Celtic fans may think Tommy Heinsohn is a winner—but Tommy Heinsohn is not a champion to those of us concerned with the obligation to exemplify sportsmanship in the face of intense competition. Boston fans may defend his antics on national television; I find them inexcusable.
Barry McDermott says "...by then Boston had a 10-point lead and the corkscrews in the champagne." Please, Barry, use careful thumb and finger pressure—but no corkscrew—to open your next bottle of champagne.
After an already elongated regular schedule this year's playoffs lasted two months! That's not a playoff—it's a season. Enough already!
What a playoff! What games, superteams, super coaches! Fantastic! Basketball in June! Let 'em play til Labor Day.
JIM IANNONE JR.
Are we to believe (Converting Carolina Blue to Gold, June 14) that seven of the 15 best available amateur basketball players are from North Carolina Coach Dean Smith's conference, with four of those seven from his team? Then North Carolina should have won this year's NCAA tournament. But wait, I seem to remember the Tarheels being handled neatly in an opening round game by Alabama (nobody on the U.S. Olympic team from there, of course).
JAMES H. BERGLAND
The North Carolina coach had every right to load up the U.S. Olympic team with four of his own players, plus three more from the Atlantic Coast conference on a 15-man squad. And I, as an angry American, have every right to cheer for Canada, Mexico or Yugoslavia, instead of North Carolina, in the 1976 Olympics.
I am glad to see players like Dave Cash and Larry Bowa get some well-deserved recognition (Shh, the Phillies Are At Work, June 14), but I regret that there was no mention of two important and overlooked Phils, Bob Boone and Garry Maddox. Boone, who wasn't even a starter on opening day, is batting .330, yet in the power-packed Phillies' lineup he has to bat eighth. Maddox, although hampered by injuries, has hit solidly all year, and has covered center field in a manner "reminiscent of a...celebrated Giant centerfielder of other years." But thank you for the line story.
John Montefusco's unique ego, his baseball professionalism and his keen sense of humor make him a man to watch. An outstanding athlete, he is bringing some showbiz razzmatazz to the baseball held (The Lip Who is Split, June 7). We need more Montefuscos.
New York City
At this moment my adrenaline is flowing and my head pounding. I have never been as disgusted as I was when I read of Dorothy Gooch and her love of trapping (Trappin' Kind of Stands Alone, June 14). The mentality of a person who loves the thrill of causing an animal a violent, agonizing death frightens me.
When will our government pass a law to ban the steel leg-hold trap? Several of the animals Gooch traps are on the endangered species list.
It galls me that she thinks she has the right to those animals just because they share the same land. The animals are mine as much as hers, and I want them alive and free.
You have a moral responsibility to now publish us an anti-trapping article.
P.S. I would never buy or wear a fur!
SUSAN M. NIEDERRITER
It would be interesting to see what kind of thrill Dorothy Gooch got out of trapping if the roles were reversed, and she got her hand caught, with no means of escape other than chewing the limb off.
I learned about the barbaric steel-jaw trap the hard way. Last December our pet cat went across the road and into the yard of a neighbor (whose property borders on our local wildlife sanctuary) where he was caught in such a trap for approximately 17 hours before the teen-ager who set the trap found him and released him. When he came home his leg was badly mangled. The vet did what he could but finally had to remove the leg at the shoulder.
After speaking to others in the community I discovered that trapping in our township was quite common and that our pet was not the first to get caught in such a trap—even children had been injured. Together we were able to get a local ordinance passed which prohibits the use of the trap. We hope more people will become aware of the cruelty of these devices and ban them altogether.
MARY LOU ROSE
Grosse Ile, Mich.
Dwight Stones is a superb athlete and his flying demonstrations are awesome and inspiring (The Right Height for Dwight's Flight, June 14). Track isn't quite as popular yet as basketball and baseball, where athletes are paid a mint for their skills. But the true athletes are those like Dwight Stones who work just as hard as professionals, often with inferior equipment and without receiving a nickel, doing it out of love for their sport.
Two world records were broken in track: Earl Bell broke the pole vault record, and you just put him in FOR THE RECORD. A few days later the high jump record was broken, and it gets a cover story. Please can't we have a little bit more fairness?
Kenny Moore's story on Filbert Bayi and John Walker (Appointment at a Starting Line, June 14) not only showed the contrasting life-styles of the two runners, but also the strenuous physical training and mental stress that go into Olympic preparation. Much attention is focused on the 1,500 meters. Let's hope the Bayi-Walker race is more exciting than the Kip Keino-Jim Ryun contest in 1968. It may be long before we see such milers in the Olympic Games again.
HENRI C.I. SALAUN
In my opinion, what Filbert Bayi and John Walker will be fighting for in Montreal is the silver medal. The gold will go to Villanova's Eamonn Coghlan, who will be running for Ireland.
Garrett Hill, Pa.
HARES AND HOUNDS
I was horrified to discover when my magazine arrived that coursing hounds is still a "sport," but the treatment of coursing in Clive Gammon's article ('Gerraway, Li'l Daisy!', June 7) was even more horrifying. It seems to me that Gammon underplayed the inhumane aspect of coursing and even chose to glamorize it. He claims not many hares were killed, but possibly he should have described what a kill comprises. The animal does not die instantly or painlessly.
To find out that coursing is a betting sport in the modern world makes me wonder how civilized the world really is. Gammon states that only one in 10 hares is killed, but he neglects to mention that the other nine are subjected to the torture of running for their lives. Coursing is in the same class as bullfighting, dogfighting and cockfighting, "sports" that should be outlawed.
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