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The Army-Navy game is one of the last pure contests left in
sports. There's one problem. It was played in a place called
PSINet Stadium.

Back to the Game's Roots

I applaud the long overdue decision by the NCAA to enforce core
basketball rules (Crying Foul, Dec. 11). It may be possible now
to view a game based on skills instead of watching a blend of
basketball, football and wrestling. Should I cross my fingers
hoping that the NCAA will enforce rules on dribbling, too?
L.A. ELLIS, Fridley, Minn.

No one told the refs who worked the St. John's-George Washington
game in the BB&T Classic about the changes. It was played under
the old Brooklyn schoolyard rule of no autopsy, no foul.

Tell Roy Williams to worry more about his underachieving Kansas
squads' failure to win in the postseason than about what Michigan
State and Wisconsin do in the Final Four.
DAVE LUBACH, Sheboygan, Wis.

Thank God. That was my reaction when I saw your article. It came
one week after I'd gone to a high school game in which the
announcer told the crowd that the schools had decided to return
the game to one based on speed and finesse. He asked fans for
patience if the refs called more fouls than the crowd had seen in
recent years. Let's hope the Neanderthal Basketball Association
follows this trend.
PAUL NICHOLAS, Oak Harbor, Wash.

It's ridiculous that the NCAA is placing more emphasis on strict
enforcement of rules during basketball games. As a fan I want to
see action on the court. When referees get too involved, it comes
down to which team can make its free throws, and that takes the
thrill out of watching.
DANNY OLSON, Minneapolis

Odd Sentence

I'm appalled that pitcher Bobby Chouinard will be allowed to
serve his sentence for aggravated assault outside the baseball
season (SCORECARD, Dec. 11). Since I'm a student, I wonder if I
would get to serve time for a felony conviction during summer
vacation. So tell me, is the judge a Colorado Rockies fan?
CHRIS CREIGHTON, North Dighton, Mass.

The Cadets and Middies

The article on the Army-Navy game brought tears to my eyes
(SCORECARD, Dec. 11). One cannot doubt the caliber of these few,
proud athletes who are willing to pay a steep price to uphold
America's values.
TONY RODRIGUEZ, Seymour, Tenn.

Two Sides of the Coin

Money won't change new Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina (Winning
Pitch, Dec. 11). He's a regular guy who won't forget his
Montoursville, Pa., roots and faithful Orioles fans.
MATT ENGEL, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Mussina states he's not expected to win every start. It's good to
know that an $88.5 million contract doesn't require that. If he
can let me know which game he doesn't expect to win, then I can
make money off that attitude too.


Michael Bamberger's article on Larry Kelley was interesting (The
Invisible Man, Dec. 11). However, if I interpret it correctly,
the message is that Kelley was an enigma to his friends and
relatives. Here was a man who was married four times and
disregarded the only child he had. Why would it be so confounding
to people that he would perform another selfish act--the taking of
his own life.
JIM HILL, Asheville, N.C.

I entered the Peddie School in the fall of 1974. While the
Heisman Trophy displayed in his office was certainly impressive,
what I remember about Kelley was the moral support he provided to
this freshman when I needed it. He certainly was not invisible to
HERB BAGEL, Landenberg, Pa.

Radio Days

SI let the cat out of the bag (SI VIEW, Dec. 11). Monday Night
Football on radio is where it's at. Turn down the volume on your
television set while tuning to Westwood One-CBS Radio Sports for
the best NFL play-by-play and commentary. This is how sports
analysis should be: informative, insightful and hilarious. The
commentary is so vivid I can taste the rib sauce dripping from
Matt Millen's fingers.

Free Swingers

Gary Van Sickle is off base with his criticism of Arnold Palmer
(TEEING OFF, Nov. 13). Guess what, Gary? You're not an average
golfer. I am. I play a lot of golf. I have a decent swing, and I
expect to make a birdie a round (along with an eight from time to
time). However, I don't know most of the rules of golf. Neither
do the people with whom I play. I don't give myself penalty
strokes, and I don't care about out-of-bounds. Do I love golf?
Definitely. Would I enjoy 15 extra yards off the tee? You bet.
Why should it bother you that the game I play is not the one you
play? There are thousands of me for every one of you.
RICH LINDSAY, Pensacola, Fla.

I take offense at your assumption that Palmer's reign as the King
has ended. You seem to forget that the Royal & Ancient, golf's
ruling body for the world except for North America, has declared
that the new nonconforming drivers are legal. Maybe it's time
someone challenged the autocratic USGA's rush to judgment. Palmer
earned the title of King, and it can't be removed by you. You
claim Palmer can't make you cheat or play with cheaters. After
this hatchet job you probably won't be able to find a game at
GREG GUINN, Clarksville, Tenn

Maybe Van Sickle should limit his golf to rounds with the
self-anointed guardians of golf at the USGA. Maybe he should not
take that mulligan or gimme putt or play winter rules. One more
thing: Maybe he shouldn't engage in any more mean-spirited
attacks on Palmer.

It's a shame to degrade a gentleman who has done so much for
golf. In friendly rounds, mulligans, improved lies or more than
14 clubs in a bag are at the discretion of the players. Why get
CLIFFORD T. MAGIN, La Conner, Wash.

When disabled pro golfer Casey Martin petitioned the PGA Tour for
permission to use a cart in tournament play, Palmer took umbrage.
Now he has the brass to endorse an illegal club for his employers
at Callaway. His hypocrisy is beyond embarrassing.
JIM AUSTIN, Putney, Vt.

Palmer should resign his position as volunteer membership
chairman of the USGA. As a lifetime member I'll resign if he
doesn't or if the USGA doesn't remove his title. Most frequent
golfers don't play for recreation, but to better their score, hit
that memorable shot and win a bet fair and square. Illegal
drivers that hit the ball 10 yards farther have nothing to do
with the essence and spirit of the game. What will Arnold pitch
next, a sand wedge with rakelike teeth?

Bad Taste

As the mother of an eight-year-old boy who is interested in
reading your magazine, I'm appalled at the article about Jim
Furyk's caddie (Looper Blooper, Nov. 20). I don't think that the
subject matter was appropriate. I've always considered your
magazine one that I could let my children look at without
worrying about what they were reading. That isn't the case now.


I noticed a mistake in the GOLF PLUS NOTEBOOK of Oct. 16. You
said Jared Van Snellenberg was the caddie in Happy Gilmore.
Everyone knows that the caddie was played by Allen Covert.
MIKE TOTO, Los Angeles

Where's Tom?

There were only three sentences about Tom Watson's victory at the
Senior Tour Championship (THE WEEK, Nov. 13). I subscribe to SI
with GOLF PLUS so I can read about the tournaments I don't see on
TV. Instead I got to read an article about driving ranges.
DEBBIE TYSON, Pleasant Prairie, Wis.

Enough Coddling

John Garrity's article made me sick (TEEING OFF, Oct. 30). The
recent fiascos in international golf have been the direct result
of American players' lack of respect for their opponents. Somehow
Garrity writes off these indiscretions as free-spirited American
exuberance and has the gall to expect the Europeans to accept the

Small Is Better

Tim Finchem may destroy the sanctity of golf if he achieves his
goal of having a fan base bigger than the NFL's (TEEING OFF, Dec.
4). Courses at pro events are already reaching attendance limits.
If Finchem gets his way, we'll soon have a bunch of idiots
flooding courses and disrupting play.

Like Clockwork

Let's see--the beginning of December--it must be time for someone
at SI to take another shot at the Silly Season. Sure enough, Alan
Shipnuck announces the demise of the Season, again (Fading Fast,
Dec. 4). As long as charities continue to benefit from off-season
tournaments, golf fans will enjoy them.
JOHN NAFIE, Spangle, Wash.


COLOR PHOTO: ANDY LYONS Although golf purists decried Palmer's endorsement of the ERC II driver, loyal soldiers rose to his defense.

Tough Price to Pay

Here's a rules change that would clean up foul-plagued basketball
games: The team shooting a free throw will in-bound the ball
after the foul shot is taken. This would reduce the number of
late-game fouls committed against an offensive player who has a
clear path to the basket (as Duke's Carlos Boozer, above, in
white, had against Temple in the preseason NIT last November).
GREG CAMPBELL, Liberty Township, Ohio