BOURBON STREET BLUES
Several years ago I wrote you regarding the very brief bikinis pictured on the cover and inside pages of an issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. In retrospect, those were nothing compared to the picture of the stripper in the Dec. 23 issue (Sugar Week in New Orleans), which I consider to be the utmost in vulgarity. If people want to go to Bourbon Street and see things like that, it's fine and their business, but I certainly object strongly to pictures of this caliber in a magazine such as SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
We've taken the magazine for a number of years, having three teen-aged boys, but I'm about ready to cancel. How about attempting to rise above this type of thing and just stick to sports, which are far more interesting? The article on New Orleans would have been just as effective had that horrible picture been deleted.
What kind of "sport" is this?
The attire of the young ladies pictured in your Dec. 16 and 23 issues leaves little to the imagination and much to be desired.
MRS. CHARLES C. WORSTELL
To say we were shocked by the picture of "Rita, a star stripper" would be putting it mildly. While this kind of picture appeals to my husband (he loved it), I don't think it is very suitable for a 10-year-old boy.
Is this type of picture going to be a weekly addition to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED? I would hate to cancel my son's subscription, because he devours every issue that comes and saves each one.
MRS. GLENN T. WAGGONER
SHARKS AND OSTRICHES
Congratulations on your fine article The Sharks Are Moving In (Dec. 9). You have presented the situation at Palm Beach clearly and forcefully. It is a great pity that nothing has been done since the timely meeting was called by Paul Rogers. As you pointed out, all of us agreed that the most effective way to reduce the shark hazard in the Palm Beach area was to fish for sharks, and our AIBS Shark Research Panel members (Baldridge, Springer and myself) pointed out that this procedure has been followed with great effectiveness in Australia and at Durban, South Africa. In these two localities gill nets are employed off bathing beaches to capture sharks. This is a costly operation, for the nets must be visited every other day and dead sharks removed. We proposed a far less costly operation; namely, that of utilizing the services of capable commercial shark fishermen to reduce the shark population, and it seemed almost providential when one man, Les Rayen, came forward eager and willing to undertake this task. I am sure that, with a modest financial subsidy, his fishing activity would have substantially reduced the shark hazard in the Palm Beach area. What a pity local apathy and politics so discouraged Rayen that, after nearly two months of waiting, he was forced to go elsewhere to fish for sharks.
It would indeed seem that the local politicians at Palm Beach prefer to ignore the whole problem and give it as little publicity as possible. One is reminded of the quip of an old submariner: "To continue to assume the posture of an ostrich is only to expose a delicate part of one's anatomy to attack."
PERRY W. GILBERT
Mote Marine Laboratory
It seems that the baseball hierarchy has finally realized that the game is rapidly losing its public appeal. The two major reasons for this pitfall seem to be lack of hitting and slow, lifeless play. We of the Student Leaders Of Base Shortening (SLOBS) have been advocating a measure which has been continually ignored by the owners for the past 10 years.
Our plan calls for the shortening of the distance to first base by five feet. This simple measure would help raise batting averages while concurrently shortening the time of a game. Careful scientific study has shown that our plan would decrease by 0.9362 of a second the time consumed by every base on balls. It would also chop 0.7211 of a second from each home run. Our calculations show that if our plan had been adopted 10 years ago, baseball would since have been shortened by a total of almost seven days! I sincerely hope that your readers will join in our dedicated cause before baseball suffers the same fate as chariot racing, alligator wrestling and water polo.