Thank you for the article on Lyme disease by Robert H. Boyle (Beware the Bug's Bite, June 20). The week I read the piece my nephew was diagnosed as having the disease. My family is finding it difficult to get information from local hospitals because little research is being done here. I hope articles like yours will show the seriousness of the problem and get the medical community to do something more about Lyme disease.
THOMAS J. ST. AMAND
I saw my first case of Lyme disease on June 14, in a child who had acquired it during a visit to his grandparents' home in Westchester County, N.Y. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED arrived the following day with an excellent account of the malady. The piece now occupies a place of high honor, among New England Journal of Medicine articles, in my file on Lyme disease.
ALLAN R. LAREAU, M.D.
Thanks for the exceptional article (Just Pray For Me, Baby, June 20) by Gary Smith. Rarely do we get such a glimpse into the psyche of a top athlete. The character of Michael Spinks reflects his recognition of the importance of remembering one's roots, of respecting God and of dealing with life's abundant challenges in a courageous manner. What an inspiration!
When an article evokes tears, admiration for the writer's craft and an hour of thought about the common fight we all wage just to survive, the writer should be applauded. Gary Smith's Just Pray For Me, Baby is a masterpiece. The writing involved the same kind of risk taking and exuded the same kind of creativity Michael Spinks has shown in the ring.
East Hampton, N.Y.
Over the past few years you have written about the cost of television rights to the 1984 Olympics as well as to other Games. You have listed the cost of the rights to the '84 Summer Games as $225 million. The figure is correct—it's what ABC paid for the rights. The only difference in comparing the '84 rights figure with others is that in '84 ABC had to provide another service. As the TV representative of the host country, ABC had to film every event and make the film available to any country wishing to broadcast that footage. This cost ABC approximately $50 million in addition to the purchase of the rights, so actually ABC paid closer to $275 million.
In other countries, the host-broadcast service is provided by the government TV station or by the country itself. We have no government stations, so ABC had to provide the host-broadcaster service for all the foreign stations.
DAVID L. WOLPER
Games of the XXIIIrd Olympiad
In your article Some Say No Leica (June 20), Bob Knepper says, "I want to get on my horse and ride into tomorrow and see yesterday." I (and, I guess, thousands of other women) say, "Please do, Bob. Take your handguns, rifles and shotguns and your John Wayne ideas with you—and keep riding."
MRS. BILLIE HANSEN
(A proud member of NOW)
Thank you for Kenny Moore's POINT AFTER (June 20) on the cutting back of collegiate track and field programs. When in their infinite wisdom NCAA officials voted in the summer of 1976 to reduce track and field scholarships to 14, they believed they were increasing the competitive balance of the sport. Instead we have coast-to-coast mediocrity, with some programs deceased and others on the critical list.
When I was a high jumper for UCLA, from 1974 through 1977, before the limitation killed dual meets, our matches with USC, Oregon, Kansas, Tennessee, San Jose State and Arizona State were thrilling competitions attended by large paying crowds. Almost all events had at least one national and/or world-class performer. Now our colleges are producing fewer and fewer world-class athletes. Can it be true that after all these years America's best pole vaulters are still Mike Tully and Earl Bell? That the best U.S. miler is still Steve Scott?
Bill Dellinger's dual-meet incentive program deserves serious consideration. I'd love to see the U.S. Olympic Committee plow some of its windfall from the 1984 L.A. Games back into the nation's college track programs.
Santa Monica, Calif.
UMPS VS. MANAGERS
After reading the account of Billy Martin throwing dirt on umpire Dale Scott in your June 13 issue (SCORECARD), I wonder: Why are managers allowed on the field? A coach who steps onto the playing surface in basketball, hockey or football will usually be penalized immediately. The recent difficulties of Pete Rose and Martin might have been avoided if managers were not allowed on the field. Instead, why not have pitchers and catchers walk to the dugout for conferences during the game? These may seem like extreme measures, but it is time to focus the spotlight in baseball on the real action.
DANIEL R. GACCIONE, M.D.
OARSMEN VS. FOOTBALLERS
Oars and Old Ivy (June 6) evoked fond memories for me. As an undergraduate at Harvard, I coxed four boats that beat Yale between 1968 and 1971.
One statement, however, cries out for rebuttal: "A football factory could skim the sixth string off its varsity depth chart, stock a boathouse cooler with anabolic Gatorade, funnel football revenue into the crew program and become a rowing power virtually overnight." This fatuity would be laughable if it did not so casually belittle the athletes, coaches, administrators and alumni who know what it takes to build and sustain a successful collegiate rowing program. College varsity heavyweight crew athletes generally range from 5'11" to 6'6" and weigh an average of 180 to 195 pounds. The weight of eight football players would slow a racing shell as effectively as a sea anchor. What's more, rowing is an endurance sport that thrives on an abundance of slow-twitch muscle fiber. Footballers, with physiologies geared to quick bursts of violent activity, are antipodal to oarsmen in this respect.
Crew is the quintessential team sport, demanding precise coordination of the athletes' motions. In contrast, football action is an aggregate of individual performances and one-on-one games of king of the hill.
THOMAS D. TIFFANY
Director of Rowing, MIT
ALEX GROZA'S EXAMPLE
As assistant basketball coach at Bellarmine College from 1959 through 1966, I recall vividly head coach Alex Groza's annual and stern warnings to his players that they should avoid mistakes like the one that ended his playing career (The Valley Boys, May 23). After reading your story, I reflected on Alex's impact on Bellarmine's student-athletes during the 1960s. It was considerable—and positive.
The team of which he was most proud was the one we fielded in 1962-63. Only one Bellarmine team since then has equaled its 21 wins. Far more important than the team's on-court successes, however, have been the accomplishments of its members in the years since their graduation. Richard Schulten and Eugene Mosely both practice law here in Louisville. Anthony Hildenbrand is a local certified public accountant. Al Alvey became a vice-president of Paine Webber. Richard Carr held a similar post with the Chase Manhattan Bank. George Hill and Donald Calmay earned doctoral degrees. Thomas Hugenberg received an advanced degree in civil engineering, while our manager, Michael Pollio, is now the head basketball coach at Virginia Commonwealth University.
The article stressed that athletic prowess often provides educational opportunities for those who otherwise could not attend college. It was in that spirit that Alex reminded our charges that a college education could, and should, be the launching pad for successful careers.
For the impact he had on the lives of young people here at Bellarmine, Alex will long be remembered and appreciated. The second chance he received here proved to be a turning point for him—and for many others as well.
Director of Athletics
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas was unhappy that Woody Stephens ran Forty Niner in the Preakness with the intention of spoiling the chances for victory of Lukas's filly Winning Colors (SCORECARD, June 6), but Lukas must have a short memory. His horse Codex won the 1980 Preakness from the filly Genuine Risk by using similar tactics. I guess racing people simply don't like to give a filly a chance to win the Triple Crown.
•As the photo (below) from the May 26, 1980, issue of SI shows, on the turn coming into the homestretch of that year's Preakness, Codex (second from left) ridden by Angel Cordero Jr., bore out and seemed to brush Genuine Risk, the Kentucky Derby winner, with Jacinto Vasquez aboard. Codex went on to beat Genuine Risk by 4¾ lengths. In this year's race Forty Niner and Winning Colors brushed several times. Risen Star won the race, with Winning Colors and Forty Niner finishing third and seventh, respectively.—ED.
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.