I am a proud New York Islander fan of eight long, frustrating, beautiful years' standing. Tears of joy came to my eyes when I watched Denis Potvin and Clark Gillies hoist the Stanley Cup (Putting the Hammer to the Old Bugaboo, June 2). But then tears of disappointment came to my eyes when Johnny Rutherford's picture appeared on the cover of your magazine.
HAL B. PARTON
Massapequa Park, N.Y.
I was shocked to see that the Stanley Cup champions, the New York Islanders, weren't on your June 2 cover. Instead, Johnny Rutherford was featured for having won a truly boring (and one of the slowest) Indy 500s in years. Shame on you!
Congratulations, SI! Before this year's hockey season, you predicted that the Islanders would win the Stanley Cup. Needless to say, you were right. So for this great effort go out and have a beer on Bill Torrey.
New York City
Philadelphia Flyer fans are sure to be angry over the controversial "missed" offsides call by the linesman in the final Stanley Cup game against the Islanders. Rarely does an error by an official have such an immediate and devastating result (the Islanders scored a goal).
Both Stanley Cup contenders benefited from some "missed" calls during the playoffs. I never heard them complain when it was in their favor.
The perennial call by fans for electronic officiating can only serve to slow up the momentum of probably the fastest-paced game in all of sports.
If SI finally wrote something good about the Mets, the magic must be bake. As a loyal fan, I thoroughly enjoyed the article by Steve Wulf in your June 2 issue. Everyone takes cheap shots at the Mets. But us loyal fans, who have stuck it out for three long years in the cellar, will have the last laugh.
Reading Wulf's article on the hapless Mets did everything but bring tears to the eyes of my Saint Bernard. I live in sight of Shea Stadium, but when it comes to spending a night out at a ball park, I may travel across town to a place less safe than Iran but more exciting than being held hostage by the unmagic Mets.
We have reached the following conclusion: Lee Mazzilli is a perfect 10, and Bucky Dent is a 9.999. How come New York gets them both?
Mingo Junction, Ohio
Weirton, W. Va.
The Mets really blew it when they hired Jerry Della Femina to do their promotional work. They should have hired that master catcher and public relations man John Stearns, who longs for the day when "50,000 idiots" are in Shea Stadium again rooting for the Mets.
With an attitude like that, is it any wonder that the Mets are a very distant second to the Yankees in New York's baseball popularity struggle?
In Steve Wulf's article (Strangers in the Limelight, May 26) he mentions the push by some Toronto fans to allow beer to be sold in the stadium. Personally, I would like to salute the Toronto baseball organization for keeping their ball park dry. I believe it is high time for Christians and nondrinkers in general to protest the sale of beer at all sporting events. For too long we have been subjected to verbal (and sometimes physical) abuse by the drinkers.
DALE J. SILVERTOOTH
John Papanek's article on the NBA championship series (Arms and the Man, May 26) made Earvin (Magic) Johnson sound like the greatest thing since sliced bread. Granted, Johnson did have an absolutely incredible playoff series against the Sixers. But Papanek's claim that Larry Bird's imminent victory over Magic in the Rookie of the Year balloting "will forever seem ridiculous" is off-base on two accounts.
First of all, the Rookie of the Year is strictly a regular-season award, based on the same 82-game season upon which Bird and New York's Bill Cartwright (whose team didn't even make the playoffs) were judged. Secondly, despite Johnson's superhuman effort in that final playoff series, Bird proved to the entire league that he was a fundamentally sounder player and a better all-round performer. Many observers have called him the greatest passer who ever lived, a department that is supposedly Magic's strong suit. And Bird showed how varied his talents are by spending most of the season as the second-ranked three-point field-goal shooter in the league and the 10th best rebounder. Oh yeah, he also averaged just under 22 points per game.
In 1978-79 Magic led Michigan State to the NCAA championship, but Bird was rightfully named the College Player of the Year. In 1979-80 Magic again won his championship, but Bird was again rightfully named the better player.
Many thanks for Douglas S. Looney's article on Stefan Humphries (The Can't Miss Kid, May 26). It is inspiring to those of us who are starving to fulfill our potentials to know that there are people who require excellence, and who don't stop when their goals are achieved but work for even bigger and better accomplishments. The story of the Humphries family gives me confidence in the human race.
The Can't Miss Kid was a beautiful follow-up to your May 19 article on student-athletes. I wish there were more Stefan Humphries at the university I attend.
Looney credits St. Thomas Aquinas High School Kicking Coach Ed (Doc) Storey with the quote, "There is something in good men that really yearns for...needs...discipline and the harsh reality of head-to-head combat.... I believe that any man's finest hour is the moment when he worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle, victorious." Let's give credit where credit is due—that quote was made famous by Vince Lombardi.
DAVID A. MARKS
Blue Bell, Pa.
SHOE ON THE RIGHT FOOT
Congratulations to William Nack for his expertly written article on the great jockey Bill Shoemaker (The Shoe, June 2). The introductory portion about Shoe's birth was a classic. Shoe deserves all the compliments, for he is truly a gentleman on or off a horse.
Obviously Bill Shoemaker knows more about guiding a horse than he does about guiding an automobile. If he drives home from Santa Anita to San Marino by way of Laurel Canyon Blvd. and Moorpark St., he's going at least 25 miles out of his way. At that rate he never would have won race No. 1.
•On the evening Shoemaker stopped to buy flowers for his wife, they were still living in Beverly Hills—and the florist was hardly a furlong out of his way.—ED.
In the three years our son Matt has been rowing for Yale, we've read accounts of lots of races in dozens of publications here and in England. I've never before read a piece that so beautifully captured the essence of the sport, its pain, vagaries and rewards, as well as the rather unique spirit of oarsmen, as Dan Levin's splendid story on this year's Eastern Sprints (The Whole Truth Is..., May 26). As a Yale mother, I expected a somewhat painful read; I was rewarded with a celebration and affirmation of the sport our son pursues, and I thank you for that.
New York City
I commend William F. Reed for his article on John W. Galbreath (He's Still Filling His Horn of Plenty, May 19). For this Ohio State fan, it was interesting to learn how the top recruiters got top athletes and heartening to know that honesty prevailed. I am proud Galbreath plays such a part in OSU athletics.
I was struck by the contrast between John Underwood's article on the student-athlete hoax and Reed's story about Galbreath, Surely the dazzle of power and privilege with which millionaire Galbreath influences prospective Ohio State athletic recruits is another face of the problem.
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