HOCKEY'S HIT MEN
I felt compelled to drop you a line and commend you on your well-documented article on hockey in the Feb. 17 issue (Hockey? Call It Sockey). I have many of the same feelings, but I feel strongly that measures will be taken to curb the high incidence of premeditated fighting. I can see that a lot of effort went into your article, and I felt I should drop you a line, as I fully endorse your feelings.
Director of Hockey Operations, Coach
Buffalo Sabres Hockey Club
Why does the NHL "continue to cater to the dimmest bulb in the stand"? The answer is evident on the faces of the fans shown in the photographs accompanying the article. Most of them are shining with enjoyment over the Rambo mentality out on the ice. This must be the same look Roman spectators had as they cheered a power play by the lions against the Christians. The Caesars of the NHL are giving this kind of entertainment a thumbs-up.
Corpus Christi, Texas
It can easily be argued that for every fan who comes to hockey games because of the brawls, there are two who stay away for the same reason.
MARK G. THOMAS
New York City
There is only one thing worse than somebody stepping on my cowboy boots and that is someone putting down the most exciting element of hockey—fighting. I want "goon hockey" and the designated hit men to stay.
Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Elgin Baylor are legends who, over the years, have magnificently blessed basketball fans with spine-tingling heroics. And you have the audacity to say that Larry Bird may be the best NBA player ever ("As Nearly Perfect As You Can Get," March 3). I agree.
An important consideration in comparing alltime NBA greats is their team's record before and after they came aboard.
Wasn't Boston 29-53 the season before Larry Bird? Haven't the Celtics won 75% of their games over the seven regular seasons since?
JOHN A. MONTGOMERY
?They are 417-127, 76.7%.—ED.
I'm not going to argue with you and say Larry Bird is not a great player. He is. But a legend? Not yet.
West Nyack, N.Y.
THE TV GAME
Hooray for Cap Cities! Finally, someone has had the guts to say "Enough!" to the overfed, pampered sports magnates of the networks and pro teams (TV To Sports: The Bucks Stop Here, Feb. 24). Poor Keith Jackson, having to get by on a mere half-mil a year. Poor Chet Forte, forced to trade in his leisure suit for a Brooks Brothers three-piecer and shorten his lunch to an hour. Poor, exploited pro ballplayer; he may have a few thousand less to spend on matched Jaguars or cocaine. Breaks your heart, doesn't it?