Pat Putnam's article Eight Minutes Of Fury (April 22) was nearly as marvelous as the long-awaited Marvelous Marvin Hagler-Thomas Hearns bout itself. Despite its inherent dangers and the recent outcry to ban the sport, boxing will never die if we are given a treat like this every so often.
The fine photography by Manny Millan that was displayed with the fight story further strengthens my belief that fighters of the caliber of Hagler and Hearns are the most superbly conditioned athletes in the world. And Pat Putnam has written another great account of a title fight.
BRYAN JAY MELVIN
How about that Hagler? If there were any doubts about his boxing ability, they should be dispelled now. The way Marvelous Marvin made Hearns appear to be unprepared and awkward should convince everyone of his superiority over the rest of the middleweight division.
Will Hagler now receive the recognition and acclamation he has deserved for so long? After predicting he would knock out Thomas (Can't-Take-A-Hit Man) Hearns in three rounds and then proceeding to do just that, Hagler has proved he is one of the greatest champions of all time.
In his preview of the fight (Better Than A Barroom Brawl, April 8), Pat Putnam wrote that if either fighter were to win by a knockout in three rounds, as both fighters predicted they would, it would be Hearns. In the same article Hagler predicted that Hearns wouldn't try to outbox him, but would get caught up in the emotion of the crowd and try to knock Hagler out, which is what Hagler wanted and exactly what happened. Putnam and all boxing fans should begin taking the Marvelous One at his word. He is a man of action, and when he speaks, we should all listen.
How can you glorify boxing—a vicious, senseless "sport," the object of which is to beat your opponent until he's unconscious—while constantly denouncing hockey for its incidental fighting? Pat Putnam's lusty description of the brawl, with phrases like "nonstop savagery" and "the smell of raw violence," was especially offensive.
Floral Park, N.Y.
I'll bet Doug Flutie enjoyed your April 22 issue. The 5'9½" Marvin Hagler TKOs Thomas Hearns, and Bernhard Langer, 5'9", wins the Masters (Der Meisterswinger).
MARQUES HAYNES & CO.
William Nack has written an informative and nostalgic story on Marques Haynes and the barnstorming days of basketball (On The Road Again And Again And..., April 22). Way to go, SI! Whenever I get comfortable in my seat, you always find a way of putting me back on the edge.
New York City
I certainly was glad to see the article on Marques Haynes, a man who has devoted his entire life to making people happy. We have had the opportunity to bring Haynes and his Magicians to our community, and each time the fans enjoy him more. He is one of the finest men in all of sport.
Nicholas County High School
Summersville, W. Va.
William Nack's story on Marques Haynes was a brilliant portrait of a man who will go down in history as one of the alltime greats. You can bet I'll be in Sand Springs, Okla. for Haynes's 1991 grand finale.
Fort Sill, Okla.
Come on, SI. Didn't you have any other road pictures of the Magicians besides the one showing three players straining to look at Penthouse magazine?
NEALE X. TRANGUCCI
Perhaps Peter Finch, in the movie Network, had the best expression for my reaction to Douglas S. Looney's article ("All I Want Is To Be Happy," April 22) about the Tulane University basketball scandal: "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" As a lifelong sports fan and a career educator, I can only hope that the powers that be in college athletics will recognize that mine is not a singular sentiment and will take the necessary steps to bring about the many changes needed to clean up big-time college athletics.
SCOTT E. FAHEY
The Hill School
The story of John Williams is one of the saddest I have ever read. Where was Tulane's academic coordinator? Where were the tutors? I see nothing wrong in Tulane's recruiting a John Williams to play basketball if the school gives him an education in return. Leaving this young man to fend for himself was a plain case of Tulane's using him while accepting none of the responsibility for bringing a poor, undereducated boy to the big time. Give me Georgetown's John Thompson and his rigid discipline anytime.
Lewisburg, W. Va.
The point-shaving scandal at Tulane has yet again demonstrated the messy state of affairs in college athletics. Many of these problems could be solved if colleges would establish degrees in specific professional sports. Schools now do not adequately train athletes to handle the pressures of the sports world. A student majoring in professional sports could take courses in public speaking, selecting an agent, selling oneself, negotiating endorsements, reading and signing contracts, preventing drug and alcohol abuse and improving fundamental sports skills. Practice and game time would also count toward a degree. Moreover, the professional sports leagues should underwrite such programs.
It's time that college athletes were educated to be future professionals. They should not be viewed as kids who happen to play sports on weekends.
Every time a scandal in college athletics occurs, SI and other publications come out with finger-shaking articles decrying the evils of big-time college sports. However, you never point the finger at two of the main villains: the so-called educators who condone big-time college athletics, and the media, which build up the big-time universities and their so-called scholar-athletes.
There is enough blame to go around.
SHERMAN R. SLAVIN
IN SARAZEN'S FOOTSTEPS
On April 19, W. Duff McCrady of Pittsburgh shot a double-eagle 2 on the 15th hole of Augusta National. The feat was last accomplished by Gene Sarazen in 1935, when he won the Masters (The Golden Double Eagle, April 8).
Will McCrady, Mr. McCrady's son, attends Shady Side Academy, where I teach English. Will told me of his father's achievement, which was attested to by three fellow players and their caddies.
RICHARD F. GREGORY
•For a look at McCrady in action on the par-5, 476-yard 2nd hole of Pittsburgh's Fox Chapel Golf Club, see above. McCrady is using the same seven-wood he used at Augusta.—ED.
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