If you want high scores, stick to bowling or pinball.
JOE DUDMAN, PORTLAND
New Soccer League
I was disappointed in your article about the Major League Soccer debut game (Goal-Poor, April 15). You complained that a 1-0 game was not very exciting, but the beauty of soccer is in watching the opposing teams try to beat the defense with strategy and creative plays. Defense is part of the game. Maybe some NBA and NFL teams should take this into consideration. Before Major League Soccer can catch on in America, the public first will need to understand the game. For this to happen, reporters must cover soccer from a soccer perspective instead of an NBA or NFL perspective.
JEFF WANER, Edmond, Okla.
It saddens me to see your story on Major League Soccer's inaugural game focus on the apparent lack of excitement based on the absence of numbers on the scoreboard. The American soccer fan is going to continue to embrace the league and the sport in a positive light despite bad press. After all, many of the newest soccer fans were won over by a brilliantly played World Cup final that was decided by penalty kicks after 120 minutes of shutout soccer.
TOM DANIELSON, Providence
Perhaps it wasn't the prettiest of games, but for every negative you harped upon, there was also at least one positive—an enthusiastic, multiethnic crowd, many exciting near-miss goals and the excellent play of several American players, to name a few.
ROBERT L. GLUCK, Herndon, Va.
The Most Improved Player for the 1995-96 season is Elden Campbell of the Los Angeles Lakers, not, as your Jackie MacMullen contends, Chris Childs of the New Jersey Nets (INSIDE THE NBA, April 22). Campbell has been consistent throughout the year in improving his production at both ends of the court. The MIP award should be given to a player who has contributed throughout the year, not just half a season.
AKLILU ABEBE, Los Angeles
I was disappointed that Washington Bullets forward Juwan Howard failed to land on any of your three All-NBA teams, but it was your Coach of the Year selection that earned Snub of the Year honors. No one deserved the coaching award more than Bullets coach Jim Lynam. Starters Robert Pack, Mark Price and Chris Webber were out for most of the season. Lynam made do with reserves when other clubs would have wilted under such adversity. Washington won more games than it had in nearly a decade, and a seven-game winning streak kept the Bullets in the playoff hunt until the next-to-last weekend of the season.
ROBERT S. SLONE, Greenbelt, Md.
Congratulations on your article on female boxer Christy Martin (Gritty Woman, April 15). It was refreshing to read about a woman involved in an unusual profession. She realizes the limitations of the sport and does not go out of her way to champion women's involvement in it.
JESSE CAMPIGOTTO, Niagara Falls, Ont.
Two women slugging it out—is that worth a feature article? In my opinion it is just a step above pit bull or cockfighting.
JOHN CRAMER, Nampa, Idaho
I believe you used the wrong word for Christy Martin when you called her Champ. The C is correct, but it should stand for Chicken. My first cousin Mary Ann Almager has held the WIBF super welterweight title since April 1995. She has been trying to fight Christy, but Christy Martin does not want to fight her. I just want to say to Martin: If you really are the Champ, then show me by fighting Almager.
PATSY PAGE, Ruidoso Downs, N.Mex.
? Martin says she'd be interested in fighting Almager if their weight gap could be lessened. Martin weighs 135 pounds, while Almager weighs 150. Martin adds that she was unaware that Almager wanted to fight until sometime last fall.—ED.