The University of Southern California is certainly a deserving champion, with its superior play under pressure. But with their slow, deliberate style, the Trojans are a distant second to ASU in fan appeal. USC has trouble drawing flies at home, while the Sun Devils, the crowd favorite at Omaha, attract as many as 8,000 fans for important home games.
As an avid Olympic-style weight lifter, I enjoyed tremendously your article on national champions Fred Lowe and Phil Grippaldi (Clean Wins for Determined Non-jerks, June 25). Dan Levin seems to have a genuine interest in weight lifting as a sport; there was not a hint of a patronizing tone in the entire report. Thanks.
Skimming through your contents page of June 25, I did a double take at the picture of Fred Lowe. It is not often one sees the image of an old college roommate in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. I immediately turned to page 56 and read the article. It was most rewarding to find that Fred is still Fred, for I had been able to follow him only through mutual friends and an occasional article buried deep in the sports pages of newspapers. It was also gratifying to see a fine athlete get the recognition he deserves. I have met others with his desire, but none with his determination. The look on his face in your photograph is the same look we saw in 1966 in the Central Michigan University weight room, where some of us would go to watch Fred work out. His concentration and total effort awed us.
Bay City, Mich.
How could you include such a genuinely amusing story as I'm the Type of Swimmer Lifeguards Hate in your June 18 issue and not indicate in some way that it was funny? I always read the humorous stories—there used to be about one an issue, easily recognizable by the accompanying drawings—but I happened on this one just by chance. What a catastrophe it would have been to have missed it. Take pity on the beleaguered reader who cannot read everything. Identify the funnies.
New York City
You have pictured lifeguard Jim Havender as pugnacious, obnoxious, vain and self-satisfied. Heaven help him if those are his true attributes.
Bravo to Roy Blount Jr. for his article on Jim Havender, whose warmth and kindness were an inspiration to all of us as campers and counselors at Monomoy.
Here's to a wonderful human being and a fabulous gentleman.
THE WOMEN (CONT.)
I have just finished reading your excellent and timely series Women in Sport (May 28 et seq.). The gals certainly are not getting a fair shake, and I hope your story helps their cause. But I was disappointed that you did not include anything on the status of women athletes in other countries, because I think you would have strengthened your case. Take Eastern Europe for example. I have lived in Rumania for the last two years and followed and participated in local sports. Here, as I assume is true throughout Eastern Europe, women athletes enjoy considerable publicity for their achievements, and in many, many sports they are treated as equals with the men. In basketball, volleyball, handball, track and field, gymnastics and swimming, just to name a few, the women have uniforms, coaching and the use of facilities on a par with men. Large numbers of spectators turn out for women's events, and it is not unusual for the daily sport newspaper, Sportul, to carry several stories and photos of female accomplishments. Women here certainly do not carry a stigma for success in sports.
I think American sports directors could take a lesson from the Rumanians in this regard. Maybe this is why the Eastern European countries are so strong in women's athletics. Certainly their women receive far more satisfaction from sports than do our own.
WILLIAM F. SCHRAGE
Bil Gilbert and Nancy Williamson have written a superior commentary on the status of women in sport. But I would like to tell you about the Canada West University Athletic Association, which is typical of most of the Canadian university athletic conferences in that it provides athletic opportunities for women that are comparable to those for men. Our philosophy has never been "separate and equal" but rather "separate and appropriate."