As a die-hard Flyers fan, I congratulate you on your fine April 29 coverage of the Stanley Cup playoffs (Housebreaker On The Loose). However, I confess that, upon seeing that magnificent cover, I first turned to the pro wrestling piece (Who's Kidding Whom?). This scares me. I think I have Hulkamania!
DANIEL S. HUTCHINSON
Way to go, SI. It's about time you had a real athlete—Hulk Hogan—on the cover of your magazine.
Thank you for opening the door and shining a light on pro wrestling. With low ticket prices, no overtimes, no off-season, no trades, no contract disputes, no draft picks, no television interruptions in the middle of the action and, best of all, no strikes—and with some of the best athletes in the world—pro wrestling is true sports entertainment!
JEFFREY A. TABER
Bruce Newman is one of the few writers ever to treat pro wrestling fairly. It is a spectacle, but it's fun. One can go to a baseball or football game and be bored to death for three hours. In wrestling one is guaranteed excitement. The various personalities in the "sport" make it like a soap opera: good vs. evil. Thanks for not mocking it, but presenting it for what it is, a great show.
PATRICK L. BIVONA, D.D.S.
America's fascination with professional wrestling only serves to prove H.L. Mencken's adage: "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." Pro wrestling cannot be considered a sport. The competition is not real, and the outcome is almost always fixed, as your sidebar, "What You See Is Not Always What They Get," by N. Brooks Clark, pointed out. Moreover, pro wrestling cannot survive on its own merits. It is dependent upon gimmicks and deception.
I buy SI to read about sports, not about the sorry spectacle of pro wrestling.
CONOR KEANE BOHAN
The half-naked girls were great, the April Fools' joke was hilarious, but pro wrestlers in a sports magazine? Cancel my subscription!
How can Hulk Hogan be on the cover of the same magazine that has celebrated the likes of Larry Bird, Marvin Hagler, Wayne Gretzky et al.? I want to read about athletes, not actors.
East McKeesport, Pa.
If the "first 10 rows of a wrestling crowd has 14 teeth and an 1Q of 50," as the wrestlers' joke goes, where does that put the editors of SI who decided to devote 18 pages and 21 pictures to this garbage called pro wrestling?
Head Wrestling Coach
Helias Interparish High School
Jefferson City, Mo.
Eighteen pages? You should be Camel Clutched.
BRENT M. OTTAWAY
Why don't you put a real wrestler on the cover, someone like Olympic star Jeff Blat-nick, who earned his glory? We can do without the Hollywood Hulkster, whose mouth is his only strength.
For you to even think of pro wrestlers as athletes is ridiculous, let alone put one of those marshmallows on the cover. Come on!
ERIK L. ODLE
Though pro wrestling may be more of a freak show than a sport. I won't question your coverage of it or even your decision to let it grace your hallowed cover. But what an ugly cover! The color is almost as bad as Hulk Hogan's face. I usually keep the most recent issue on my desk, but not this one.
How ironic that your editorial criticizing NHL refereeing (SCORECARD, April 29) coincided with your story about professional wrestling. The warning is clear for the NHL: Develop more high-level referees quickly or become a parody of the sport in which the baby faces always defeat the heels and the home crowd always goes home satisfied.
We like the Hulkster's chances against any of hockey's goons, even on skates.
Thank you for the article on wrestling. I especially liked the picture of the Battle Royale at the end of the piece. However, of the 18 wrestlers shown, I could identify only seven of them—Jimmy (Superfly) Snuka, the Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Brutus Beefcake, the Magnificent Muraco, Moondog Rex and Johnny Rodz. Would you tell us who the other wrestlers are?
•For a key to the picture, see above. The wrestlers are: 1) George Wells, 2) Moondog Spot, 3) Muraco, 4) Jerry Brisco, 5) the Sheik, 6) Special Delivery Jones, 7) Rodz, 8) Volkoff, 9) Jose Luis Rivera, 10) Jack Brisco, 11) Tony Atlas, 12) Johnny Valiant, 13) Beefcake, 14) Sal Bellomo, 15) Snuka, 16) Barry Windham, 17) Mike Rotundo and 18) Rex.—ED.
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.