OKLAHOMA VS. THE PRESS (CONT.)
Concerning the article on Oklahoma (Fans to Press: Drop Dead, Dec. 13), your reporter, Frank Deford, changed the meaning of a quote he attributed to me. I said, "We're a young state, striving for excellence, and football has been one area in which we have achieved excellence"—not "the one place where we have achieved excellence."
Most Oklahomans don't expect sports reporters to be public-relations men for our teams, but they don't appreciate the twice-a-day-for-10-days smear campaign launched by Taylor, Boggs and the Oklahoman and Times, complete with frequent rewrites of the same allegations from unnamed sources, top-of-page-one position, slanted subheads and bold streamer type in the headlines.
CHARLES E. ENGLEMAN
Editor and Publisher
The Clinton Daily News
•Both Deford's notes and his memory of the conversation reflect that Mr. Engleman did say the one place....—ED.
The article on marlin fishing (Gimlets Are Good for Dreaming, Jan. 10) was great, particularly the paragraphs describing the battle between man and fish. I recall one such day when the pain far exceeded my first day of basic training or my initiation as a hod carrier when I got to carry all the 16-inch blocks while the other laborers watched my 32-inch arms stretch to 42 inches and took bets on whether I'd make it. The result of that day was the present 1,142-pound, all-tackle-record blue marlin. We had no Finnish beer so we drank good old Pittsburgh Iron City. We didn't chatter or babble about the catch—we were awed into silence.
Last summer I watched with great pride when my 15-year-old daughter Gay battled and beat her first marlin. I know she physically hurt in a way that will never again occur in her life. And I am sure she is a better person knowing she has the guts to see such a fight through to the end—and win.
JOHN D. HERRINGTON III
Allison Park, Pa.
NO PLACE LIKE IT
Curry Kirkpatrick's article (Home, Sweet Home Is Sweeter Than Ever, Jan. 10) gave some excellent excuses for the players who earn more dollars than the President. I tend to agree with Chicago's Tom Boerwinkle that the disadvantages of playing on the road are mostly psychological. Last year teams like Golden State and Boston just went out and played good basketball on the road, not worrying about why they might lose.
The article by Kirkpatrick was good, but he forgot that the Celtics won all the deciding games of last season's playoffs on the road.
Mason Smith's Without Elegance, After So Much Desiring (Jan. 10) excellently represents what hunting has become to many conservationists, especially for those like myself who pursue the whitetail deer with the bow and arrow. The loneliness, the beauty of the forest and the ability to harmonize oneself into nature's complicated structure of life and death is the reason I hunt.
Please leave articles like Mason Smith's to magazines for hunters. His description of taking an ax to the "still warm" flesh of the buck he had killed, then fixing himself a hot breakfast made me sick.
MARGARET D. CAMPOLO
St. Davids, Pa.
At 77 inches Harry Kabakoff (The Mad Russian Who's Got the Mexican Connection, Jan. 10) would be the tallest bantamweight (118 pounds), to say nothing of the skinniest, in the history of boxing.
ALAN J. BERNARDINA
•Kabakoff's correct height is 67".—ED.
WORLD CUP TRY
Paul Gardner's portrayal of a young U.S. team's last chance at the 1978 World Cup (End of a Dream in Haiti, Jan. 3) altered my view of soccer a bit. For the first time I was right in there pulling for soccer players I felt were "my team." And although in the end I was disappointed in our loss, I am proud of our effort and hopeful of future victories.
Chevy Chase, Md.
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