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Original Issue


As an owner of a bullterrier, the pit bull's "cousin" (The Pit Bull: Friend and Killer, July 27), I have felt the negative attitude of friends and neighbors toward my "buddy," who is as harmless as a baby, and I feel great sympathy for the loving and responsible handlers, breeders and owners of the pit bull terrier. Thank you for your heart-wrenching article on this beautiful dog gone bad because of man. Maybe we will learn something from this, though I fear the animal will pay the price, once again.
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Your story is the most comprehensive and thoughtful article yet published on the subject. In the face of the welter of media hysteria and opportunistic politicians calling for a ban on "pit bulls," it is refreshing to see such an outstanding example of responsible journalism.

The American Kennel Club has launched a nationwide campaign, enlisting the aid of purebred-dog owners, to encourage municipalities to enact strong, enforceable, nondiscriminatory vicious/dangerous-dog legislation.
President, American Kennel Club
New York City

When I was six months pregnant, I saw a pit bull tear apart my black lab. My dog, Jack, and I survived because we jumped into a neighbor's car, but I'll never forget the look of the pit bull as he went from window to window, snarling at us while Jack lay torn apart in my lap. I later learned from the vet that in the surrounding area these dogs are taught to fight and kill. The breed should be made extinct.
Lancaster, Pa.

We wanted Faldo, not Fido.
New York City

Congratulations to Dick Schaap for writing the touching, inspiring story of Tom Waddell (The Death of an Athlete, July 27). Our heroes are often stereotypical athletes whose playing exploits are the reason for their lives. This story portrays a man whose reason for living was the people in his life, be they competitors, loving friends, Middle Eastern potentates or the fans in the stands.
Anaheim Hills, Calif.

Waddell and I were teammates on the 1979 Over 40s softball team in San Francisco. I recall that late in 1978 a San Francisco softball team, Oilcan Harry's, was banned from participating in the Gay World Series in New York because it had too many straight players. Then, as now, there is a thin line between pride and prejudice, and far too often, too many people cannot tell the difference. Tom Waddell knew.

Are you trying to encourage homosexual behavior? This article does not belong in a sports magazine.
St. Louis

Reading about arenaball {Reader's Digest Football, July 27) reminded me of my own participation in what I believe to be the first nonexhibition NFL game ever played indoors. The first playoff game in NFL history, between the Chicago Bears and my team, the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans, was scheduled to take place at Wrigley Field on Dec. 18, 1932. But a blizzard forced it to be switched to Chicago Stadium, and a crowd of 11,198 showed up. I played all 60 minutes at left end. The field was 60 yards long with 10-yard end zones. It was 35 yards wide at midfield, narrowing to 25 at the goal lines. Balls that went out of bounds or were downed within 10 feet of the sideline had to be brought 10 yards inbounds for the next play (bringing about the creation of hash-marks in the NFL). On touchbacks, the ball went to the 15-yard line. The field was a combination of sawdust and dirt left over from a circus, so it was very dry and dusty, and breathing was difficult. As I recall, the Spartans used 15 players, the Bears 16. Chicago won 9-0.
Portsmouth Spartans 1921-32
Detroit Lions 1934-36
Corvallis, Ore.



Proving again there's nothing new under the sun (or roof), the NFL played indoors in 1932.

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