Clearing the Air
I hadn't known about the Oakland Coliseum's restrictions on smoking until I read Ron Fimrite's POINT AFTER criticizing them in your June 3 issue. Sorry, Ron, your argument misses the point. At many other stadiums, if you buy a reserved seat and someone near you elects to light up and puff away, you have the choice of giving up your seat or staying put and inhaling the smoke. On more than one occasion, this situation has spoiled my day.
WILLIAM J. YOUNG III
Canandaigua, N. Y.
Fimrite says that because the Oakland Coliseum is a breezy ballpark, secondhand smoke should not be a problem. Since the majority of people do not smoke, where will the breeze blow the smoke? Right at the nonsmokers. I salute the A's for their decision and hope teams in all sports will follow suit.
Fort Collins, Colo.
Sounding every bit as sanctimonious as the worst "health nut" or "health fascist" he ridicules, Fimrite smugly advises the A's that many people grew up going to ballparks amid cigar smoke and survived. I am one of those survivors.
I have wonderful memories of going to Wrigley Field and Milwaukee County Stadium with my chain-smoking father. No, sir, there were no whiny health nuts back in the 1950s spoiling our fun by asking my father to stop smoking. But perhaps if there had been, I would have more than a granite grave marker and memories to remind me of my father and those games.
JOHN R. HANSEN
I find Oakland's policy to be a good one in that it causes inconvenience for the person doing the offending, not for the person being offended.
The fact that you put Michael Jordan on your June 3 cover instead of Mario Lemieux shows just how far hockey has fallen as a major spectator sport. Sure, Jordan and the Chicago Bulls deserve recognition for qualifying for the NBA Finals, but Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins won the NHL finals, and nobody noticed. Is it that the major TV networks don't cover either pro or college hockey, that the current hockey playoff system is a joke, that there is too much fighting in hockey that obscures the skills of the players or that two unknown teams played in the finals?
JOHN W. METTLER III
New York City
Your cover headline, FINALLY, was correct, but the picture was wrong. The Penguins, after 24 years of hockey mediocrity, finally won the Stanley Cup. They deserved to be on the cover. Besides, I wanted to hang it on my wall.
White Oak, Pa.
Great article on Lemieux (On Top at Last, June 3), but don't you think the Stanley Cup winners deserved to be on the cover? When the Pirates win the World Series in October, who will be on the cover—the Bears, for winning their first game of the season?
ELAINE L. MILLER
I was quoted in a They Said It (SCORECARD, May 20) as saying, when asked if I had earned my degree from Clemson, "No, but they gave me one anyway." That reflects poorly on Clemson and on me. I honestly do not remember making this statement.... Since I have yet to earn my degree, it wouldn't make any sense for me to have said that. I do plan to earn my degree and will be attending summer school at Clemson to work toward fulfilling my remaining requirements.
I have special feelings about Clemson and my experiences there as a student-athlete, and it bothers me to think that this incident may have caused embarrassment to the university.
Chutes and Tires
I laughed when I saw the $80 parachute now being touted as a training device to help athletes increase their running speed (SCORECARD, May 27). I recall reading that as a teenager, Herschel Walker ran around a field dragging an old tire on a rope. His method seems cheaper than the speed chutes.
In your May 27 story about filmmaker Spike Lee (He's Gotta Pitch It), Mars Blackmon, the character played by Lee in Nike's Mike and Spike ads, says about the haircut sported by Milwaukee Bucks forward Fred Roberts, "Yo, that haircut is radioactive!" This is the second reference to Roberts's 'do that I have noticed in SI. In Jack McCallum's match game of player injuries and maladies (INSIDE THE NBA, April 29), Roberts's name was matched with the choice "bad haircut." Roberts is my favorite player, and I would appreciate your running a photo of him so everyone can see what the fuss is about.
JASON A. LAHTI
Niagara Falls, N. Y.
DALE TAIT/NBA PHOTOS
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