REALLY GREAT GREATEST
I would like to congratulate you on your excellent article concerning the Clay-Williams fight (The Massacre, Nov. 21). Cassius Clay (or Muhammad Ali) is without doubt the greatest fighter in the history of boxing.
All I hear is how Rocky Marciano would have killed Clay, but I cannot see how. Slowly but surely the American people will realize that Muhammad Ali is the greatest boxer ever to put on gloves.
With all due respect for Cleveland Williams, he has learned that it takes more than talk to defeat Muhammad Ali.
TERRY E. CHISSUS
Congratulations to Robert Cantwell for a fine article on the Canoe River (Riding Down a Dying River, Nov. 21). As an avid white-water canoeist, I am well aware of the fact that many of America's fine streams are being destroyed; but only through articles such as this can the true extent of the crime be shown. Few people realize the enjoyment that can be found by paddling down an unspoiled stream. I hope this article has created a few more supporters for the rapidly growing sport of white-water canoeing.
State College, Pa.
I, too, spent last summer paddling down a magnificent Canadian river which may someday be "damned" by a hydroelectric project. This was the Rupert River in Quebec. Unlike the Canoe River, the Rupert has been an historic route of trappers and traders from way back. At its mouth on the eastern shore of James Bay still stands Rupert House, the oldest Hudson's Bay Company post, established in 1668. The Rupert's course from Lake Mistassini is 300 handsome, wilderness miles of canoeable rapids and spectacular chutes and falls. Along its valley the beaver, once near extinction, were nursed back to healthy numbers by the Cree Indians, many of whom still trap there for a living. I have been taking canoe trips for 25 years and have never found one to match the Rupert.
I write because what is happening to the Canoe and the Rupert needs to be publicized. I have been told that within the next decade or two atomic production of electricity will be as economical as hydroelectric power. If this is true, some of our most picturesque and historic rivers are perhaps being needlessly destroyed.
ABBOTT T. FENN
The other day here in Geneva I picked up a newsstand copy of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and the first article that caught my eye was one entitled "Down with Mary Poppins" (SCORECARD, Oct. 24). My first thought was why should an article of this nature appear in a sports magazine? After I read it, I was convinced that it did not belong there, because it tried to compare Mary Poppins with a couple of professional ballplayers. Using your own sports terminology—Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays do not belong in the same league with Mary.
We have taken our little granddaughter to see the Poppins movie on two different occasions, and I can tell you that she and all the other children who attended left the theater with a happy feeling in their hearts and a memory of Mary Poppins that would not soon be forgotten. I hate to think of the impression these same children would gain by attending a game at the ball park in which Mantle or Mays or any other ballplayer of fame, for that matter, was a participant. The Mantles and Mayses come and go. They build up quite a fortune and reputation for themselves, but I hardly think they will ever influence the lives of children. The Poppins legend, on the other hand, and many others like it are cherished by children during their tender years and exert an influence as they grow up. If you cannot understand this then you must not have any children.
You refer to the Mary Poppins statue as "junk art." I would say that term could be better applied to most of the sports junk you regularly publish in your magazine
WILLIAM A. Bucci
My congratulations on your fine article on Sherrill Headrick (A Stoic's Guide to Pro Football, Nov. 7). He is truly one of the top linebackers in the AFL, and his desire to stay in the ball game even though he is in pain is a good example of the spirit of pro football.
Kansas City, Mo.