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Original Issue


Bravo to Robert H. Boyle for his fine editorial regarding James Watt, the Reagan Administration and Westerners (SCORECARD, Aug. 10)! Yes, Watt is diluting Western support of Reagan. During the past election, Ronald Reagan received tons of support from the millions of outdoor-minded Westerners who believe strongly in sound fiscal policy. After all, both Colorado and Wyoming have a constitution that prohibits deficit spending by the state government, and the climate for business out here is sunny. But now, many of us are viewing support for the current Administration with mixed feelings.

Let's not forget that the rest of the country comes here to hunt, fish, ski, hike, camp, bicycle tour, raft rivers, kayak, etc. One or two false moves concerning water (precious little out here) or energy development or automobile pollution, and the fragile Western environment will hold little enjoyment. Already the air pollution in Denver makes a trip to Mile High Stadium to watch our beloved Broncos a choking experience.

Perhaps we should move to the family farm in Vermont. What is acid rain anyway?

The crescendo of criticism exposing Interior Secretary James Watt is growing deafening. Your editorial, "James Watt and Other Environmental Hazards," was one of the most insightful.

Anne Gorsuch + John Crowell + James McAvoy = James Watt = President Reagan = the worst threat to this earthly turf since geometric population growth.

Let's hope (pray) your stand helps redirect the thinking of our misguided leaders. Keep calling 'em as you see 'em.
Augusta, Maine

James Watt, John Crowell, Anne Gorsuch and President Reagan himself were not given a mandate to destroy our environment last November. In a 1980 survey, the Council on Environmental Quality found that only 20% of the respondents favored relaxing environmental standards to achieve economic growth, while 39% believed that environmental protection and economic growth could be achieved at the same time, 27% favored a slower rate of economic growth in order to protect the environment and some 13% had no opinion. If the Administration continues its strange and backward policies toward the environment, it will run into serious public-opinion troubles. The test might come this fall when the Administration tries to gut the Clean Air Act.
Greensboro, N.C.

Thank you for Robert H. Boyle's fine editorial regarding the ridiculous environmental policies of James Watt. Being a Californian, I am particularly disgusted with Watt's inane ways. I can only hope that Boyle's outburst will help this country realize that it takes only one Watt in power to ruin our environment.
Merced, Calif.

I congratulate you on your editorial concerning Secretary of the Interior James Watt. I'm sure many armchair athletes would prefer that you stick to reporting on football, baseball and basketball, but I'd like to think that there are many other subscribers who are not quite so narrow-minded. I'm delighted with the broad range of sports reporting that you engage in. That we have a President and a Secretary of the Interior who seem to have little regard for the preservation of untouched land, when there are those of us—hunters, backpackers, fishermen, birders—who delight in it, is well worth your attention. It seems ironic that this land will be desecrated so that we all may share in our nonrenewable energy sources, while federal funding for renewable-energy development (solar energy, etc.) has been drastically cut.

I'd also like to thank you for devoting some of your magazine to those of us who prefer to participate in sports activities rather than spend our lives as watchers.
Knoxville, Tenn.

I cannot let Robert H. Boyle's attack upon James Watt and others, most notably my father, John B. Crowell Jr., pass without comment: There is not an American alive who does not recognize the need for protecting our environment so that future generations may reap the same bounty we enjoy. Yet when we as a people lead a life that depends upon the consumption of a great deal of, energy and natural resources, the question is: How do we maintain that desired life-style and yet ensure that our children will also be able to enjoy the benefits of nature?

Broad-scale attacks such as Boyle's do not even begin to answer the question, much less face it. As an Oregonian, a respected lawyer, a longtime active member of the Audubon Society, a gentleman farmer and an avid fisherman for the noble steelhead, my father is uniquely qualified to give the U.S. Forest Service the change in direction it so clearly needs.
Lake Oswego, Ore.

Enclosed please find page 9 of my Aug. 10 issue entitled "James Watt and Other Environmental Hazards," which was apparently included in SI by mistake. Just what does this have to do with sports—or has attacking Watt been elevated to the new national pastime by some publications?

Besides, Watt is just Watt is needed after the excesses of his predecessors.
Sioux City, Iowa

I wish to express my objection to the inclusion of political editorials—regardless of viewpoint—in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. What next? SI's official position on the air controllers' strike?

Hail to SI for the most innovative coverage of baseball during this strike-ridden season. You immediately took a stand on the strike with your June 22 cover caption, "The Walkout the Owners Provoked." Later on, you brought us Frank Deford's perceptive portrayal of Tom Seaver (Behind the Fence, July 27). However, your Aug. 10 cover was the best. It's hard to take this baseball season seriously, and the reprint of the cover from your original 1981 Baseball Issue (April 13) says it all. This baseball season is a farce!
Plantation, Fla.

The next time you decide to replay a cover photo, I, for one, would like to see Christie Brinkley (Feb. 9) again. She beats an overweight George Brett any day.

In your 27 years of fine publications, is this the first time you've ever repeated a cover photograph?
Los Angeles

•Several SI covers have made multiple appearances. Our very first cover photograph—of Eddie Mathews batting, Wes Westrum catching and Augie Donatelli behind the plate (Aug. 16, 1954)—was twice reproduced, in smaller scale, to commemorate the magazine's first and second anniversaries (Aug. 15, 1955 and Aug. 20, 1956). In a similar fashion, the March 3, 1980 cover shot of our victorious U.S. Olympic hockey team was used once more as part of our Dec. 22-29, 1980 Sportsmen of the Year cover. And a full-size cover photo of star-crossed Pitcher Denny McLain (July 29, 1968) appeared again on our Feb. 23, 1970 issue. In addition, early (1956-58) SI Special Baseball, College Football and College Basketball issues bore striking resemblances to their respective counterparts because they followed set formats, each featuring a picture of a baseball, football or basketball against a plain background.—ED.

Hooray for John Hannah! And Paul Zimmerman, of course. His article John Hannah Doesn't Fiddle Around (Aug. 3) was one of the best sports stories I've ever read. It dealt not only with a great sports star, but also a great man.

I'm grateful to Zimmerman for writing an article about a top offensive lineman. Not that the usual "super running back" articles are boring; it's just that it's time a little credit was given to the hardest-working players on any football team. Oftentimes, being an offensive lineman means existing in total obscurity—unless you're a contract holdout—while brutalizing yourself every play.

In my mind, Hannah is indisputably "the best offensive lineman of all time," and just think, he probably hasn't even reached his prime. I thank him for giving us younger guys someone to look up to in a positive way.
Offensive Tackle
John F. Kennedy Memorial High School

Please tell Ronald MacDonald of the Mets' Triple A Tidewater Tides to take heart (SCORECARD, July 27). There are others with names that spark a riotous response from teammates and fans. If I'm not dogging it on the sandlots, I'm a hot dog. And lots of times I can't cut the mustard.

But the bottom line is that all this banter creates publicity, and any publicity is better than none.

Incidentally, I used to be a vendor at Three Rivers Stadium. Three guesses as to what I sold.

Letters should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.