For example, I can remember a two-mile, 30-minute tie-up of traffic caused by an overcrowded intersection in Ortisei. The long line of parallel-parked tour buses would only permit one lane of traffic through the town. To me this did not appear to have "that undiscovered look," nor was it "monumentally isolated." In fact, the scene reminded me of my instructor days back in Wilmington, Vt. during Christmas vacation.
Val Gardena is not "the only ski area in the world where the communities all have two names." In fact, northern Italy (because of its geographic location) has a German name and an Italian name for everything. Of course, "they speak a different language from their countrymen down in Milan and Rome"—northern Italians speak mainly German. If they didn't, they would lose a lot of tourists.
The point books for about $7.25 "will last the average skier two or three days" provided that he doesn't plan on riding too many lifts. I am a senior member of the National Ski Patrol (European Division), and I've seen a lot of average skiers. I have even seen two average skiers ski up one of those point books in four hours. It takes a little luck to find areas that only require two or three points per lift, but if you are fortunate enough to find one you can enjoy yourself for several days with one book.
Just a question regarding your photography of the fashion models. The beautiful girls in their colorful outfits cast a real contrast with the gloomy weather in which they were photographed. Why did you choose such poor weather to reflect the "Italian mood"? People, at least in Europe, like to think of Italy as being sunny and mild, and it is. My 30 days in Italy, so far, have all been sunny ones. I realize, of course, that it would never snow if it didn't cloud up sometime. But don't get me wrong, it's a great place and a cheap place to ski, and it has an atmosphere all of its own.
JON K. FITZGERALD
Obviously the author of Beware of Fierce Breeders (Nov. 10) has never had the joy of becoming acquainted with a bull mastiff! Yes, as she states, I live, breathe and dream bull mastiffs. But I would hasten to assure the writer that I would trust any dog of mine with any young child, without fear of the dog harming the child. Since this breed was founded to guard livestock and wildlife, and to guard and defend without mauling, I find some of the statements a bit farfetched. I resent the implication that guard dogs are bloodthirsty beasts. May we have a rematch?
LINDA H. KIGHT
SELL AND TELL
Having just finished reading Hot Pitchmen in the Selling Game (Nov. 17), I thought it might be interesting to look back at the last six or seven issues and see how many athletes endorsed products advertised in SI. Some of the athletes include Jerry Kramer, Jean-Claude Killy, John Havlicek, Bobby Hull, Pee Wee Reese, Frank Ryan and, last but not least, Rocky Graziano. Of course, we can't forget the 45 pro football stars who are listed in your own advertisement for posters.
Obviously, advertisers in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED go along with the trend.
I was most pleased with the article about sports personalities in advertising. I think Wilt Chamberlain climbing into a Volkswagen is pretty silly, but I would not say it to him face to face—even if I could stand with him face to face. The same applies to Tom Seaver crying on a Maypo commercial. Joe Namath's case, however, is different. For 10 grand even I would be serious about shaving off a Fu Manchu mustache.
PHILIP BRUCE SAIFER
Howard Beach, N.Y.
Although I enjoyed your article on athletes turning admen, I do disagree with one of your statements. You said that Joe Frazier has never endorsed a product, but I saw him the other night explaining how to shave an extra tough beard on a Personna blade commercial with Clint Walker. If that's not endorsing a product, I'd like to know what is.
Why don't they put Wilt in a VW and O.J. in a Chevy and send them to Smaks for a bowl of Maypo, a glass of Gatorade and some pancakes, while they listen to Denny McLain and Phil Linz do a duet? Then we can all take only one of La Capsule Bayer instead of two every time we see one of those commercials.