Jerry Kirshenbaum has outdone himself! His "state of the earth" article (Whither the Earth? May 5) was one of the best pieces to appear in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED in the 13 years that I've been reading it. And to think that I've always thought Kirshenbaum's forte was writing about swimming.
Legislative Assistant to Congresswoman Millicent Fenwick (N.J.) for Energy and the Environment
As a student of sociology and anthropology, I am aware of the suicidal course on which industrial man has set himself. Jerry Kirshenbaum is very perceptive in his analysis of our society's dependency on limited, non-renewable natural resources, and he was also right in noting the blind faith of some people that technological advances will bail us out.
Kirshenbaum's essay only begins to explore the course of action necessary if mankind is to survive. A total shift in our economic system may be in order.
Jerry Kirshenbaum's article on the environment was a succinct, excellent piece of reporting on a subject that will certainly become the most important long-term issue of our time. The only shortcoming of the article was that after stating that the global population explosion is, in the words of William Ruckelshaus, "the single most overriding cause of environmental stress in the world." Kirshenbaum did not expound further on that subject.
In my own view, all attempts to first stabilize and then improve the environment will ultimately fail unless the population problem is solved first. We must quickly take strict, mandatory birth-control measures on a worldwide basis or nature herself will do the job on a much more savage level.
You're absolutely right about the dangers of nuclear power. I propose we shut down every plant in the U.S. And because I hate to see people get hurt or killed, I also propose that we ban air travel, automobile travel and cigarettes.
I realize nobody was killed or even injured at Three Mile Island, but the fact that one or two of the thousands of people who live in the vicinity might develop cancer in 10 or 20 years is just too much for my conscience to bear. I'm also in favor of banning sports such as boxing, football, basketball and baseball because some young people are killed or injured while participating in them each year.
No doubt you'd argue that the benefits derived from sport more than 'compensate for the relatively few participants who are injured. I suggest that this point of view is nothing but propaganda, perpetuated by magazines such as yours for the sole purpose of financial gain.
JAMES P. MOONEY JR.
I was somewhat dismayed to read Michael Baughman's VIEWPOINT (April 14) on efforts to enhance the environment of Yosemite National Park by reducing automobile use and relocating some buildings. I concede that the current revised master plan for Yosemite is better than nothing. But I will not go so far as to say, as Baughman did. "I hope that Yosemite's effort will inspire similar plans elsewhere."
When the revised plan is compared to its original draft, or—especially—to other proposals for improving Yosemite, it appears somewhat less than innovative or environmentally sound. As for public input, the current plan seems to follow rather closely the input of the Yosemite Park and Curry Co.. the major park concessionaire.
Baughman says, "I've always wanted to return to Yahi country; now another trip to Yosemite has strong appeal, too." Alas, he may find that little has changed in Yosemite.
Thank you for the article on Kent Tekulve (Here It Comes, Special Delivery, May 5). I read the story about the side-armer while listening to a Pittsburgh-Montreal game in which Teke was on the mound, shutting down a 10th-inning rally by the Expos. T-riffic!
So Kent Tekulve thinks he has lost his identity with his No. 27 and TEKE-27 license plates? What about poor Mrs. 27?
Since reading Bob Ottum's article about Pittsburgh's ace reliever. Kent Tekulve, I have started eating two Mrs. Smith's frozen chicken pot pies every day for dinner. Please inform Ruly Carpenter and Dallas Green that I'm ready to join the Phillies' pitching staff.
BRUCE E. GUTTMAN
In his article about the many Cruzes in professional baseball, Steve Wulf mentions that Cirilo (Tommy) Cruz plays for the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan, and later he poses the question: What is a Ham Fighter? The answer is that Ham Fighters are neither two hands slugging it out, nor bullies who beat up on the butcher's best. Nippon Ham is a company that owns a team known as the Fighters. Luckily for us, the Japanese are too courteous to ask facetiously: What's a Bay Packer, somebody who packages the Chesapeake? What's a Diego Padre? What's a Forest Deacon? What's a Dame Irish? Wulf should eat crow, or at least a Rice Owl.
For years I have enjoyed the writing of SI's witty and perceptive Dan Jenkins. His article on the Legends of Golf (Where Life Begins at 50, May 5) exemplifies Jenkins' unique and humorous style, not to mention the single largest collection of adjectives ever found in a weekly sports magazine.
CARRIE L. PATE
Do you suppose that Dan Jenkins really knows how great a writer he is?
JERRY B. STRICKLING
Dan Jenkins, comma, is not, nor will he ever be, a king of sportswriters.
Dan Jenkins, comma, is not, nor will he ever be, a legend, period.
King and Legend Arnold Palmer, no comma, shot a blazing 64 the following week on the last day of the Houston Open!
Although I am a firm believer that winning is the key to filling the stands, I must commend Ray Kennedy on his outstanding piece on why people actually attend pro sporting events (More Wins, More Fans? Wrong, April 28). Outstanding to a point, that is. I am aghast at his statement, 'Curiously, the young adults who will continue to invade the stands in increasing numbers might just as well be watching a cricket match; they are perhaps the least knowledgeable fans ever." One of today's premier sportswriters should know better than to propound such a generalization.
Perhaps it is true that the media—especially television—have prompted many young adults to take a more nonchalant approach to sports than their parents did, but I for one have been an avid fan since the age of four. I have attended virtually every Buffalo Bills game since 1973. If that's not loyalty, I don't know what is.
East Aurora, N.Y.
I wonder what the people at Pacific Select Corp. would think of the attendance of the four major pro teams in the Detroit area over last season. How can teams with such horrendous records pack the fans in the way they do?
ALLAN F. KRYNICKI
I wish to inform Ray Kennedy and Matthew Levine that Miami did have a franchise in WTT—the 1974 Florida Flamingos. Despite Levine's contention that Miami is one of the three best tennis markets, having been general manager of the Flamingos, I must sadly report that the team lost $450,000 in its first and only year of operation.
ROBERT S. SHAPIRO
Miami Beach, Fla.
RIDING FOR A RETURN
Kenneth Rudeen pointed out in his article (VIEWPOINT, May 5) how helpful bicycle riding has been in improving his skiing. I'm with him, because my tennis game improved greatly when I began training—albeit not very aggressively—for the 1979 Stowe, Vt. bike race, a 43-mile hell-on-wheels event, passing through scenic Smugglers Notch and along the highways of north-central Vermont. I thought my biggest satisfaction from the race would be merely finishing. Only later did I realize my real reward came on the tennis court. My opponents quickly became demoralized when their attempts to "run" me out of matches, by hitting to the far corners of the court, were thwarted by my newfound stamina.
This year I look forward to the bike race with twofold anticipation. I hope, to improve upon my fourth-or fifth-place (from the bottom) finish and, more important, to enhance my record on the tennis court.
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