GUARDIAN OF THE INTERIOR
Congratulations and thank you for the objective insights provided by Special Contributor Bil Gilbert and Writer-Reporter Robert Sullivan in the first part of your special report on Secretary of the Interior James Watt and his administration of our natural resources since 1981 (Inside Interior: An Abrupt Turn, Sept. 26). If in the past that department has promoted "blind preservationist" policies, then for the last two years it has adhered to a philosophy of conspicuous conservative consumption as articulated by a foot-in-the-mouth elitist.
I submit that Watt is a political and environmental oil spill looking for a place to happen. It seems unfortunate that such an individual should have the responsibility for our greatest natural resources.
The article clearly reveals the insensitivity of the present administration toward the land and all of its inhabitants. James Watt is what I would call the grinning skull that sits on top of a Reagan machine that would like to gobble up all the minerals, oil, timber and other natural resources, thus allowing the privileged few to reap the profits.
I applaud the research and writing of Bil Gilbert and Robert Sullivan, and I thank SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for publishing their efforts.
JOHN KAHIONHES FADDEN
Six Nations Indian Museum
Congratulations on a job well done! Without a doubt, James Watt poses the most significant threat to wildlife and natural resources in this country. What remains to be seen is whether we as a nation can survive the threat. Without staunch and unyielding protection of our irreplaceable natural heritage, one shudders at the prospect of what the future may bring.
DOUGLAS W. TULIN
New York City
If James Watt continues on his crash course of destruction, we won't have to worry about his managing the interior because there won't be any interior left to manage! Sign me disgusted.
I am in my late 60s and a Republican who leans very far right. All I've got to say is that Will Rogers would not have liked James Watt.
FRANK W. CARTER SR.
I resent your special report attacking Secretary Watt. I am one of those senior citizens who voted for Ronald Reagan, and I think the massive federal holdings shown on your map should be reduced, not increased.
The author scores points via evasive phrases such as, "Most Americans think that," etc. Where is his scientific data on what most Americans think?
As a right-winger pictured as wearing horns, I object to the left-wingers' being presented as always wearing halos. Just because we silently receive your slings and arrows doesn't mean we can't read or feel. That's why we voted for Reagan and will do so again.
EDWARD R. PEIRSON
Bil Gilbert makes a conscious effort to show that he is being objective in his analysis. However, his phraseology belies this effort. Gilbert explains that Joseph Coors is a member of the "far right," while Morris Udall is simply a "15-term Arizona Congressman." The Mountain States Legal Foundation is "ultraconservative," but the Sierra Club is merely a "private organization."
Whatever happened to the word "liberal"? Gilbert's thinking is clear: My opponents can be neatly stereotyped, but my allies are above such labeling.
The cover said SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, but inside I found a biased political tract about the evils of the Department of the Interior.
I am a native of Oregon, and I have lived many years in Washington, California and Arizona. I love every square mile of our beautiful West and want to protect its beauty.
We have federal land (BLM) inside our Lake Havasu City limits. The Federal Government controls the flow of our river, the level of our lake, the Indian reservation across the river and the use of the mountains and deserts that surround us for more than 100 miles in all directions. How much more control over our part of the U.S. do you Eastern people want?
Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
With so many opinions of Bil Gilbert and so few quotes from James Watt, I thought perhaps the Sierra Club had paid SI for 15 pages of ad space and hired Gilbert to do the dirty deed. Perhaps a more sporty title would have been Gilbert Boasts He Can Whup Watt.
If you must delve into this sort of thing, let's hear from Watt himself. So far, this is SI at its worst.
Your article was so far left it should have been printed on crimson paper.
JEFF J. HOLLOMAN, M.D.
Thank you for Ron Fimrite's informative piece about 1983's most outstanding baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles (It's No Longer Up in the Air, Sept. 26). This may sound strange coming from a confirmed Milwaukee Brewer fan, but putting aside my loyalties, I must concede that Baltimore has shown all year the type of baseball needed to win a world championship. I say good luck to the Birds, and see ya in '84.
Eagle River, Wis.
Having been a lifelong fan of the Birds, I especially enjoyed Ron Fimrite's article. My only criticism is that he failed to mention that, along with two candidates for American League MVP, the O's have strong candidates for Rookie of the Year (Mike Boddicker), Rookie Pitcher of the Year (Boddicker), the Cy Young Award (Scott McGregor) and Manager of the Year (Joe Altobelli). Beyond that, however, I wish to thank Fimrite for clearly presenting the fact that it was not Earl Weaver alone who made the Orioles great, it was the whole organization.
Bethany, W. Va.
Thank you for the excellent cover picture and Douglas S. Looney's fine article on Doug Flutie (A Little Man on Campus, Sept. 26). Boston College finally has gotten the recognition it deserves as one of the top football teams in the nation. It's worth noting that in addition to having the most exciting quarterback in the country, BC also has the most exciting basketball player, Point Guard Michael Adams. Funny, BC was the only Division I-A college to recruit either player. I guess that's the advantage of being a Jesuit school: We get scouting reports from higher authorities.
Boston College '86
Chestnut Hill, Mass.
That Boston College lost to West Virginia 27-17 immediately after Doug Flutie graced your cover is merely a coincidence. No sensible sports fan would give any credibility to the alleged SI cover jinx, although the list of coincidences is suspiciously long. If you're smart, you'll stick to your guns and put anyone on your cover you feel worthy of the honor. Might I suggest that your photographers spend a lot of time with the 76ers and the Lakers once the NBA season tips off? I never said I was sensible.
To be sure, Doug Flutie is a fine quarterback. But the most exciting player in New England since Albie Booth? Former Look sports editor Tim Cohane needs to be reminded of the late Harry Agganis. In the early '50s the Golden Greek led Boston University to victories over such powers as Miami, West Virginia and Syracuse. He was a genuine quadruple threat: passer, runner, punter and placekicker, and he called defensive signals from his safety position.
Agganis was the MVP in the 1953 Senior Bowl, a No. 1 draft choice of the Cleveland Browns and also a star in baseball, a sport he played professionally with the Red Sox until his death—from pneumonia—at age 25. Until Flutie matches that record, there can be no comparison.
A few years ago Douglas S. Looney's offhand remark regarding Harvard football—"While they can spell football in Cambridge, they can't play it very well"—might have been considered charming and witty. But today too many athletes who cannot spell football may be playing major college sports. College football was meant to make room for academics and fun. One can only wish the best to those who combine these ingredients as Doug Flutie and Boston College seem to be doing. As for Harvard, disregarding the Crimson's proud football tradition, I can attest to the presence of academics and fun.
New York City
The license plate reading COOOOP, shown in your article "I'm the Gehrig of My Time" (Sept. 19), reflects the true feeling of the people of Wisconsin concerning their unsung hero. Brewer slugger Cecil Cooper.
The plate in the enclosed photograph (above) exemplifies the true feeling of the people on the South Side of Chicago—and of one person in Montana—who are preparing themselves for what we hope will be the White Sox' first World Series appearance in more than 20 years.
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.