Ralph Wiley captured the essence of Golden State's Chris Washburn when he said (FROM THE PUBLISHER, Feb. 2), "Chris has transcendent ability, but he knows nothing of relentlessness." As a recent alumnus of Duke, I have followed Washburn's career from the moment he arrived at North Carolina State to his entrance into a drug rehabilitation program right after your article appeared. His off-court miscues and on-court laziness were well known, yet his talent and potential were clearly tremendous.
Let's forget Chris Washburn, the basketball player, for a while and just hope that Chris Washburn, the person, can achieve a level of maturity and control commensurate with his size and potential. Otherwise, he may fail at life.
MICHAEL W. YEN
Agoura Hills, Calif.
It was with great interest that I read Jack McCallum's POINT AFTER (Getting Fooled By Drugs, Jan. 26). I commend you. The theme of the piece focuses on denial, a central stumbling block facing those of us who labor daily in the war against alcohol and drug abuse.
It reminds us all that even as we battle this serious health problem, we are beset by individual and community denial. In a poll that I recall seeing recently, some 70% of the respondents agreed that alcohol and drug abuse was the country's No. 1 problem. Yet only 30% or so believed it was a problem in their community. We still hear too often "not in our town, not in our school, not in our family." We need to remember it is not "them" but "us."
CHAUNCEY L. VEATCH III
Director, Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs
State of California
ISIAH THE LEADER
The presence of Isiah Thomas ("I Have Got To Do Right,"Jan. 19) on the court has given the once sad-sack Pistons the ability to challenge for the Central Division title. But just as important is his contribution to his adopted hometown, Detroit. His organization of "No Crime Day" last fall was a massive undertaking, but Isiah gave it his all. He even went into the toughest parts of Detroit and personally asked gun-toting drug dealers and gang members to give crime a day off on Sept. 27. Just walking in those areas can be extremely dangerous, but it didn't faze Isiah, because his heart said it was something he should do.
Hooray for William Taaffe's article on the popularity of bowling (TELEVISION, Jan. 26). He described bowling's lack of good press coverage with style and humor. In our city ( Kettering is a suburb of Dayton) we are starved for good coverage of bowling. I am sending a copy of Taaffe's piece to our sports editor. Perhaps it will make a difference.
Taaffe has correctly identified the ugly duckling of television sports and noted ABC's satisfying long-term relationship with it. Among the factors that endear bowling to ABC are minimal rights fees, bare-bones production requirements, year-round scheduling and the refreshingly cooperative—almost grateful—attitude of PBA executives and touring pros.
Bowling's mystical hold on the populace is not limited to Middle America. Here in Boston, "the Athens of America," as many as three local candlepin bowling programs frequently rate among the five most-watched TV sports shows. Even the mighty Celtics sometimes take a backseat to kegling.
DAVID A. KLATELL
Institute in Broadcast Sports
Thank you for the much-appreciated coverage of women's basketball (COLLEGE BASKETBALL, Feb. 2). Rutgers's Sue Wicks ("Heiress Apparent"), surely the top player in the women's game now, was the last Lady Knight to leave the court following a recent win against archrival Penn State. After scoring 33 points, pulling down 21 rebounds and blocking a couple of shots. Wicks carried off her teammates' warmups and picked up the towels from the bench!
As a Stanford alumnus, I enjoy reading about Denver quarterback John Elway (Tough Guy In The Clutch, Jan. 26). Your readers might like to know that John's wife, Janet Buchan Elway, not only is "athletic-looking" but also had a celebrated career as a swimmer (SCORECARD, June 27, 1983). She set an American record for a 25-meter pool in the 400-meter individual medley (4:52.95) as a Tacoma (Wash.) Swim Clubber in 1978, she was national collegiate (AIAW) champion in the 400-yard IM in 1980 as a Stanford freshman and she still holds the Stanford pool record for the 400- and 200-yard IM.