I am disgusted with Jerry Kirshenbaum's editorial entitled "Back to the Dark Ages" in the SCORECARD section of your July 11 issue.
As a Dodger fan, I believe Steve Howe should be banned from baseball for life. There has to be an end to drug abuse so an example can be set for the youth of our country.
The point of view in "Back to the Dark Ages" really made me mad. I don't really care what the AMA says about chemical dependency (alcohol and drugs) being an illness. It isn't an illness. It's a weakness—a weakness of the will. Every human being, average person or professional athlete, has to determine what he or she will or will not do. That's life, Please, no more cop-outs for Steve Howe or anyone else! I never had given Bowie Kuhn or the L.A. Dodgers much thought, but I respect them for this. I have some expertise in the area of human psychology, being a coach of 11 years with a master's degree.
Rio Frio, Texas
Labeling Steve Howe's cocaine usage as "disease" and the Dodgers' $53,867 assessment as ill-advised "punishment" was pure cop-out. What about Howe's responsibility for getting involved in the first place? And what are the Dodgers supposed to do? Reward the man for a month of doing nothing?
It's about time someone stood up and said, "Drug use is wrong, and we are going to deal harshly with people who use drugs." When that is understood, you will not have to worry about athletes coming out of the closet to put themselves in clinics.
If Steve Howe had a real job in the real world, his drug use would probably have resulted in a loss of employment, at least, and perhaps a term in jail.
KEVIN D. SPEAKS
•For further discussion of the Howe matter, see page 9.—ED.
Thanks very much for your story on Wimbledon '83 (A Giant Stride Ahead of the Field, July 11). John McEnroe demonstrated what a class tennis player he is by destroying his opponents throughout the fortnight. No matter what the other players think of Mac, he's about to move to the top of the computer rankings again. If the last part of 1983 is like the first, McEnroe should be an overwhelming choice for your Sportsman of the Year.
JAY R. THOMAS JR.
Strawberries and cream to Curry Kirkpatrick for his article on Wimbledon. Despite having so many matches and odd turns of events to discuss, Kirkpatrick wove his biting satire throughout his piece, leaving me with a vivid, patchwork quilt of a report on tennis' main event. Adding to my enjoyment was the decisive victory by McEnroe. You're right, SI, Super Mac was never better. Connors was great, but that was in the past.
This year McEnroe proved to me, and himself, that he could play terrific tennis and keep his temper in the locker room. Nice going, John—keep it up!
BRUCE A. TRINCA
As an avid reader of your magazine, I must say how disappointed I was not to see Martina Navratilova on the cover. By winning her fourth Wimbledon singles championship she proved what a great athlete she is, and also that she deserved far better photo coverage than that shot of her skirt falling off.
I find it sad that you feel women rarely rate your cover other than when they are in bathing suits.
I awaited the arrival of the July 11 issue, knowing that a Wimbledon champion would be on the cover. Well, it came, and I wasn't surprised to find the men's winner there, as he has been for the past four years. Also, the last three U.S. Open champions featured on the cover were men. Don't get me wrong, the picture of John McEnroe was great, but I think the women champs deserve equal coverage for doing an equal job.
Herschel Walker may have been the only outstanding player on the New Jersey Generals (Generally, It Was a One-Man Show, July 11), but he clearly wasn't the only star in the USFL. The Associated Press named Philadelphia's Kelvin Bryant as the league's Player of the Year. We in Chapel Hill knew all along that Bryant, a former University of North Carolina star, would shine in the USFL. We're just glad someone acknowledged that it was true!
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Describing O.J. Simpson's rookie season with the Buffalo Bills, one sportswriter reported that Simpson made some of the greatest runs in the history of the NFL "...just to get back to the line of scrimmage."
Although I don't question the abilities of Herschel Walker, I have to wonder if after his rookie year Simpson could have said, as Walker did, "Physically this season was no tougher than college football." Walker's productivity must be taken with a grain of salt. Until he plays in the big league, his statistics are meaningless.
The chart "Quiz vs. the Competition" that accompanied your article on Dan Quisenberry (Special Delivery from Down Under, July 11) graphically illustrated how effective Quiz has been the past few years, but are you sure Gossage appeared in 278 games and pitched 278 innings? And if Gossage had appeared in 278 games, why was Tekulve's total of 242 games printed in bold type?
New Cumberland, Pa.
•SI erred. Gossage was in 178 games.—ED.
Doug Rader's quote that Rod Carew is only one-tenth the player that Eddie Murray is (INSIDE PITCH, July 11) was in bad taste and totally uncalled for.
Carew's greatness is well documented, and nothing Rader can say will change that. I don't belittle Murray's talents by maintaining that it will take 10 more years before he can even hope to be compared with Carew.
As for Rader, he obviously doesn't have one-tenth the class of Carew.
Rader must have been using one-tenth of his brain when he made that comment.
Honea Path, S.C.
What the quote should have said is this: "Doug Rader is not one-tenth the person, nor was he one-tenth the player Rod Carew is."
HOWARD SUTTON'S SON (CONT.)
Having been a witness to those midnight debates between Howard Sutton and his dad, and also a witness to some of those midnight debates between Howard Sutton and his son, I can speak with authority concerning your article It's a Father-Son Game (June 20).
As I was growing up, I thought Howard and my dad were "crazy"—mostly because they kept me awake—but now that I'm a mother and a teacher two things stand out in my mind. Commitment and follow-through are two qualities that you don't see too much of in today's family. But you see one heck of a lot of it in Hal's family. At a time when other dads and moms are into "doing their own thing," Howard and Mary Sutton are, and always have been, into committing their efforts and energies toward their children.
Every day of his life Hal has had a dad and mom who were totally committed to his growth and development into all that he could be. How could he be anything but a champion?
MARTHA SUTTON COX
Hal's aunt and Howard's sister
With the shocking increase in alcoholism and alcohol-related deaths on our nation's streets and highways in recent years, I was especially disappointed to read Bruce Newman's article on weightlifting (They've Got High Hopes, July 11), which seemed to glamorize the partying and heavy drinking of weightlifter Curt White. Drinking 15 whiskey and sevens will not put White in any record books, and not remembering how he got home that evening is certainly nothing to be proud of.
It's a shame that some people must equate staying loose and relaxing with drinking. Maybe mothers kept their children away from weightlifting because of Alexeyev's belly; they should keep them away from White, even if he is, as Newman suggests, a kid "that people can identify with." I can think of many other athletes people could imitate instead.
And White may not find this all so amusing when the Soviets, Bulgarians and others leave him standing in L.A. like a dumbbell.
MICHAEL W. YEN
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.