Thank you for George Plimpton's article on the New York Ranger fans who occupy Madison Square Garden's blue seats (The Wild Blue Yonder, April 3). As a die-hard Ranger fan, I read it with a grin a mile wide. Nothing he said about the obscenities emanating from that section shocked me. The only thing that did was learning that after spending all of those nights among the blue-seaters, Plimpton is still not a Ranger fan.
STEPHEN F. YOSH III
The Ranger blue section may lead the league in vulgarities, but it is made up of the most knowledgeable hockey fans—with the possible exception of Montreal's—in North America. There is not a team in the NHL that fans in the blues are unfamiliar with. They know the players' statistics and reputations, and, yes, they never forget a late hit or a high stick against their beloved underachievers. I have never felt comfortable joining in with the rousing and obscene chants, but the real obscenity is the thuggery and dirty stick work the NHL allows on the ice in every arena.
New York City
Many people who sit in the blue seats do so because they want to. The high-achieving professionals with whom I sit on my occasional visits to Madison Square Garden can certainly afford seats closer to the ice, but they continually renew their season tickets in nosebleed territory. At my first game my host, a mild-mannered accountant, was transformed into a different being, obviously enjoying the emotional release allowed by "blue behavior." As we left the Garden, he smiled and said, "It's cheaper than a psychiatrist." Maybe more effective, too.
RABBI JAMES R. MICHAELS
I can recall spending many evenings in the blue section rooting for the Rangers. Alas, my business has taken me to Florida, where, thanks to NHL president John Ziegler and his asinine TV contract, I cannot, even with cable, watch any playoff games. The 4,200 occupants of the blue seats may be boisterous, obscene and obnoxious, but they are a more positive influence on the sport—and certainly care more for it—than Ziegler.
I gave up my season tickets in the blues because I could no longer tolerate the minority of fans who were responsible for most of the vile actions in the section. The only things I enjoyed more than a fight-free Ranger win were my discussions with a very knowledgeable fan who sat across the aisle from me. Sometimes I miss the friends I made in the blues, but then I recall the fights, chants and spilled beer—and the seeming indifference shown by the Garden management—and I'm glad I stay home.
SCOTT EDWARD REID
The thugs and bums who occupy the blue seats at the Garden are a disgrace to the team they purport to represent.
I just finished the wonderful article on Rick Mahorn (A Master of Intimidation, April 10). I used to work at a branch store of a sporting-goods chain that supplies gift certificates to Detroit players who are named Player of the Game. Mahorn used his certificates to buy Piston jackets, which he then gave to the Salvation Army for distribution to children in need. I've seen other Pistons spend their certificates on themselves, buying water skis, etc. Mahorn is truly a hero when it comes to generosity.
Rick Mahorn is a teddy bear. Just ask the kids at my daughter's elementary school, where he spoke during Drug Awareness Week. It's nice to see him get some well-deserved praise for his off-court contributions.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
What are fines totaling $11,000 to someone with Mahorn's salary? Until the NBA starts handing out long suspensions, dirty play will continue. After all, it cost Mahorn only $5,000 to sideline Cleveland's Mark Price. Who cares if Mahorn and Bill Laimbeer are basically nice people? What should matter is their unsportsmanlike conduct during the game. The day the Bad Boys win the NBA championship will be a sad day for basketball.
Berlin Heights, Ohio
THE MULLEN BROTHERS
Congratulations to Stephen Kiesling for his article on the Mullen brothers ( Hell's Angels, March 27), one of the most inspirational American sports stories since the fictional saga of Rocky Balboa. Who would have believed that the greatest U.S.-born hockey player, Calgary's Joey Mullen, and his brother Brian of the Rangers, would emerge from Hell's Kitchen in New York City?