BLOOD AND THUNDER
Ah, here it was Friday, the day SI arrives. Home from work, I burst through the door, grabbed the March 5 issue, unfolded it and...what greeted my astounded eyes? The Police Gazette? True Detective? Grisly Tales? No, it was SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
"SPORT HITS BROADWAY" shouted your cover subhead, although it looked as if sport had collided with that one guy and missed Broadway entirely.
Really, fellows, your covers are attention-grabbers without using ersatz blood. Please spare us the gore: I, for one, would rather view Kareem Abdul-Jabbar"s grimace as he hooks one in or Red Holzman shrieking imprecations at a ref.
CRAIG W. ANDERSON
San Jose, Calif.
This is the first letter I have ever written to express contempt and disgust for a picture or an article that has appeared in what I generally consider a fine, responsible magazine. To select a cover photograph such as the one "illustrating" your article An Ethic of Work and Play marks a rather sick mentality. We all know that sport has its bloody, even savage, side, and I am not suggesting that we be Pollyannas and never focus the camera or our attention on anything but fluid motion and dynamic action. The pictures in last year's Feb. 7 issue covering the now-overexposed Ohio State-Minnesota basketball brawl were an integral part of a story that needed to be brought to public attention in condemnation of such out-of-hand action. But the gore you have chosen to splash across your "Bloody Game" issue on rugby seems inexcusable to me, particularly at a time when the violence of war, terrorist tactics and killers is constantly brought to our attention by the media.
HARRY L. ROSSER
Chapel Hill, N.C.
I thought the March 5 cover was one of the poorest you have ever presented. It was not a portrayal of true sport but, instead, an eyecatching display of pure sensationalism.
Being a sports fan and a subscriber, I have received a great deal of enjoyment from your excellent articles and photography, and I do not think you need to resort to a cover that bears a full-color photograph of a blood-smeared athlete, who, in this case, was only acting. The article better represented the theater than it did the sport of rugby.
JAMES A. OWEN
Your cover picture was thoroughly disgusting. Sports should be fun, not like a war. Why glamorize something so sickening as a sports injury?
Grosse Pointe, Mich.
It was a complete disgrace and a gory mess. Janet Lynn certainly should have been the one selected for the cover that week.
When I saw the cover of your March 5 issue I was elated. I thought finally rugby had received some coverage in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. But I was destined to be disappointed when, in the second paragraph of the story, I saw the dread words "Rugby-League." I continued reading nonetheless and enjoyed the look Martha Duffy gave us at David Storey, a fine playwright.
Then I read the script. Those of us who play rugby before huge crowds of 150 here in the Midwest would give our eyeteeth to have heaters in the locker room—or even to have a locker room at all. Changing to kit in the back seat of a Ford is not the most comfortable way to spend a brisk autumn afternoon.