As a student at C. W. Post, I can say that William Reed's quips about the campus environment are extremely accurate. In addition his analysis of Post football and Gary Wichard's prospects of becoming a pro was very aptly handled. All in all, a very perceptive and entertaining article.
THE SAPPORO SCENE
Thanks to SI and William Johnson for the great preview of the Winter Olympics at Sapporo (Go East, Young Olympian, Nov. 15). It is undoubtedly the most hilarious and entertaining article I've read in ages. Television and other entertainment ratings surely suffer at midweek when SI appears on the newsstands and in the mailbox.
CHARLES D. HEWITT
William Johnson's delightful description of Hokkaido, together with the facts regarding the 1972 Winter Games, was excellent. I was surprised to note that the island and its people have changed little since I was a visitor in Sapporo in late 1945. I can attest to the deep snows and cold, but I hardly expected the unpainted frame houses to remain unchanged. Our recreation consisted of shopping for carved bears and a visit to the communal steam baths in a resort hotel near Muroran.
FRANK H. BOOTH
THE RANGERS' PARK
Mark Mulvoy has done it again (Loitering in This Park Is Forbidden, Nov. 8)! Thanks so much for capturing the Bobby Orr of New York in action. The "new" New York Rangers, with the most potent line in the NHL—Vic Hadfield, Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert—have lifted themselves right to the top of the Eastern Division, ahead of those men from Montreal and those bad guys from Beantown.
Brad Park, the second greatest defenseman, is a hockey player and not a place in which to get mugged. The Rangers and Mr. Park will go all the way this year although it has been 30 years since a Stanley Cup has reached the Big City. The Montreal Canadiens have had it long enough.
Thanks for your article on Brad Park. I'm glad to see that he is finally getting the recognition he deserves. New Yorkers are beginning to realize that there is someone else in the city besides Willis Reed and Joe Namath.
Regarding your fine story, A Jump Ahead of Extinction (Nov. 8); if steeplechasing dies in America it will be because it has too much snob appeal here for the average sports fan. For it to survive there must be some strong efforts made to attract the interest of the $2 bettors. It isn't their fear of inconsistent performances by jumpers. They just don't associate themselves with a sport they feel belongs in society columns rather than on sports pages.
Maybe we can learn from the English and the Irish. There is great interest and participation in the sport by the common man in those countries.
Those of us who have been concerned with the rise of soccer in North America since 1966 are most grateful for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S report on the North American Soccer League. (Are We Finally Starting To Dig The World's Game? Oct. 4). William Grieve's subsequent letter in 19TH HOLE on the State of Washington's youth program and its 700-team exchange program with British Columbia points out the direction in which soccer is going. Youth programs such as these lead the way to more and more participation in high school, college and, eventually, NASL soccer. And there are many other programs in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Boston and Philadelphia, where more than 11,000 fans attended the recent Penn-Harvard game at Franklin Field.
Just one point of correction. Mr. Grieve took me to task for overstating the number of teams in the exchange program. In fact the figures quoted came from a colleague of Mr. Grieve's. Soccer doesn't exaggerate its growth figures; it doesn't need to.
North American Soccer League
New York City