Thanks for "steering" your readers in the right direction when it comes to the Texas Longhorn (You Can Get Hooked on Long-horns, June 18).
I have a stuffed Bevo in my bedroom, hanging right over my University of Texas diploma, and when Los Angeles gets me down, I take one look at that Longhorn and thank God I'm a Texan. Hook 'em, Horns!
North Hollywood, Calif.
Armadillos, rattlesnakes, the Dallas Cowboys, J.R., the Alamo, tumbleweeds, billionaire H. Ross Perot—nothing symbolizes Texas better than the Longhorn. My congratulations to Douglas S. Looney on a super article.
Douglas S. Looney wrote a fine article on a dull animal. The most exciting thing for a Longhorn to do is visit his rival, Big Red, the mascot of the University of Arkansas Razor-backs. And despite what the jealous H.C. Carter says, there is only one thing better than a hog, and that's a Razorback Hog!
Hot Springs Village, Ark.
Douglas S. Looney's story on Longhorns has insulted this sports-loving, cattle-raising farmer more than you can imagine. Now all my friends and neighbors are going to question my sanity, because among my cattle I have no Longhorns. Please allow me to present my defense.
Longhorns are superior to the average beef animal in hardiness, longevity and ease of calving. But what do you have after you have one born? You have a calf that takes an eternity to reach market weight and has about as much muscle as a hyena. When you finally get one slaughtered and receive the check from the packer, you'll wonder why you ever bought that damn Longhorn bull.
Did you notice that most of the cattlemen in your article did not make their fortunes raising Longhorns but instead are in the process of spending one on them? So, please, just stick to sports and leave ranching news to the agricultural magazines.
You've got to be kidding. Four sentences on the Belmont and six pages on Longhorn cattle? As a racehorse owner and an SMU student, I'm insulted.
DAVID L. BELFORD
MARTINA AND MAC
Some people may feel that Martina Navratilova's dominance on the court has negatively affected women's tennis, but I disagree. What we are witnessing, and what Curry Kirkpatrick brought out in his article on the French Open (Worthy of Really High Fives, June 18), is simply another sports great. Martina's Grand Slam is proof enough. She's reaping the rewards of her discipline, dedication and athletic prowess.
BETSY L. BILLARD
Upon reading Curry Kirkpatrick's article I was once again sickened by John McEnroe's loathsome behavior on the tennis court. McEnroe is not only a disgrace to the game of tennis, but, more important, he's also a disgrace to our country. His sportsmanship and temperament are thoroughly deplorable and should not be taken lightly. He should either grow up or be banned from the game. In the meantime, please stop giving him space in your magazine.
North Andover, Mass.
I'm sure it would come as a complete revelation to John McEnroe to be advised how tennis calls were made in a bygone day. When I was in high school in the late '30s, we played hard-nosed, competitive tennis matches against serious rivals without any officiating per se. Each player made the calls on his side of the net. Think of it, John, the opponent made the call!
We did, however, have two interested observers whom we deeply respected: Integrity and Sportsmanship. And, win or lose, we never once walked away feeling we had been unfairly treated.
Curry Kirkpatrick's coverage of the French Open was favorable toward Martina Navratilova and unfavorable toward John McEnroe. McEnroe was rude on the court, but Jimmy Connors and Ilie Nastase have been much more vulgar in their behavior. McEnroe takes his work seriously, and that's why he gets so upset with linesmen, photographers, etc. Stick to facts and leave opinions out.
MAGIC AND BIRD (CONT.)
In response to Bruce Newman's claim that Magic Johnson is the best all-around player in basketball today (Together at Center Stage, June 4), I quote SI's John Papanek [Gifts That God Didn't Give, Nov. 9, 1981): "When you thumb through basketball history to find the one player who could score, rebound, pass, play defense, lead a team and—this is Bird's greatest gift—see the court better than all others, your finger stops first at [Oscar] Robertson, the great guard for the Cincinnati Royals and later the Milwaukee Bucks. But then it continues past [John] Havlicek, past Rick Barry, past [Julius] Erving, past Jerry West, past Earvin (Magic) Johnson even, and comes to rest at Larry Bird."
Now that Bird has led the Boston Celtics to their 15th NBA championship, past the Lakers and a disappointing Magic Johnson, I ask Newman: What has changed?
WILLIAM A. NOYES
East Hartford, Conn.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
I want to thank Anthony Cotton because someone finally has given Dennis Johnson some credit (They Took It Down to the Wire, June 18 and Green and White and Red All Over, June 25). When DJ got untracked in Game 4 of the NBA finals, so did Boston. He is as much responsible for the Celtics' winning the title as anyone else on the team. His 20 or more points in each of the final four games and his tenacious defense on Magic played a vital role. And, by my count, DJ has just become the 11th man in NBA history to help win a title with two different franchises.
Portales, N. Mex.
The pictures accompanying your June 18 article gave us good views of just how physical the final series was. I'm not saying that James Worthy didn't level Cedric Maxwell, but shouldn't Kevin McHale be dubbed Boston Strangler II?
Pro basketball is going the way of pro hockey, turning into an uncontrolled battle. It's rare that a player leaving the ground for a rebound doesn't end up four feet from where he started because of a timely shove. And most of the shoves seem to go uncalled.
The events of Game 4 and Game 6 of the NBA finals show the shabby state of today's pro game. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson locking arms, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar flailing his elbows at unsuspecting heads, Kevin McHale clotheslining Kurt Rambis and James Worthy pushing Cedric Maxwell into the supports of the basket. Injuries are waiting to happen and end a career or two.
The penalties for obviously intentional fouls have to be increased. Perhaps Rambis and Maxwell should have been awarded two points for the layups they had in the bag and then been given two free throws on top of that. On the other hand, McHale and Worthy should have been ejected on the spot.
Whatever the course of action, however, the NBA is going to have to update its "no harm, no foul" policy. It's getting out of hand. So many times I hear people suggesting ways of improving the college game by making it more like the pro. Perhaps the inverse would be more correct, as the college game now offers the best in action at the least cost in injuries to the players. The college game is the way basketball was intended to be played.
CUBBIES AND RIBBIES
As a longtime Cub fan, I enjoyed your article (A Family Feud in Philadelphia, June 11) on the denizens of beautiful Wrigley Field. I must, however, take exception to the use on the cover of the cutesy term "Cubbies." You make them sound like a slow-pitch girls' soft-ball team. I suspect the name was coined by the same person who demeaned RBIs by calling them "ribbies."
Despite recent history, let me assure your younger readers that the Cubs have had their glory days, and if they were still around, the likes of Gabby Hartnett, Kiki Cuyler and Hack Wilson would break your writer's knees if he called them Cubbies.
THE REAL H.C. CARTER
Douglas S. Looney did a superb job on his story about the Texas Longhorn and Lane Stewart's pictures were great. The article presented the Longhorn in a manner that would have made ol' Charlie Goodnight or Jesse Chisholm proud.
However, there was one error. You had Chico Wright's name under my picture, and my name next to his. I wouldn't mind being mistaken for Bevo, but Chico Wright? I tried to call Chico to see how he felt about the error but couldn't reach him. I can only conclude that he was so depressed he wouldn't even come out of his bunkhouse to answer the phone.
•SI offers its apologies, and another look at Carter (shown above with his wife, Joan) and Wright (with Longhorn).—ED.
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