It is unfortunate that a so-called "national" sport magazine is not capable of impartial sports coverage.
I refer to your April 21 issue where the magnificent victory of the St. Louis Hawks was dismissed in 14 lines and where the trials and tribulations of Bill Russell rated a column and a half.
If St. Louisans were so inhospitable to a fine player and man, we deeply apologize. But spare us the implied alibis. The Celtics have always been more of a sports-writer's imagination than the "wonder team" they were supposed to be. Midwestern fans are sick and tired of anything and everything from the East being touted as the world's greatest and crammed down our throats.
The Hawks are the better team with the better attack.
Search your souls and please try in the future to be a truly national magazine, you yokels.
Mrs. JOHN E. DOWE
?Sectionalism? Not at all. In his pro basketball PREVIEW at the beginning of the season (SI, Nov. 4, '57) Jeremiah Tax wrote of Mrs. Dowe's beloved team: "The Hawks' greatest personal asset is superstar Bob Pettit. If Pettit had not broken a wristbone late last season, there is little doubt that he would have been first, not second, in scoring.... This year [Coach] Hannum is going to wear a business suit on the bench; he says his playing days are over. A fine coach, a fine man, he should once again prove that nice guys can finish first." Reviewing the NBA playoffs last week Tax wrote: "...the greatest, of course, was Pettit. This shy young man, whose blue-eyed mildness off the court would charm and disarm Nikita Khrushchev, is a one-track-minded bundle of aggression with a basketball in his hands. His performance in the final playoff game against Boston, in which he scored a record 50 points and blocked a dozen Celtic shots, will never be forgotten by the capacity Keil Auditorium crowd that saw it. So much of nerve and muscle went into it that 15 minutes after the final buzzer sounded, in the champagne-popping uproar in the Hawks' dressing room, Pettit was unable to raise his head for photographers." This tribute too took up just 14 lines, which we hope helps make the point that in sportswriting as in basketball it is quality and not quantity that counts.—ED.
I hope that your scathing condemnation of St. Louis restaurants' refusal to serve colored will not be imputed to the citizenry in general. We St. Louisans deprecate the fact that Bill Russell, a basket-ball player second only to Bob Pettit and a gentleman second to none, was subjected to such ignominious treatment. Please accept the apology of one avid basketball fan.
TENNIS: SPRINGTIME AT OJAI
Your two articles and numerous photographs of the Ojai Valley and its tennis tournament ( Ojai's Annual Explosion, SI, April 21) are to be complimented; however, there are several points I would like to question and express my views on.
In the first place, Ojai has been out of the so-called "redskin age" for some time longer than the article implies.