I nominate UCLA's Bill Walton, who has dominated college basketball as no other person has ever dominated a major sport—amateur or professional—in the U.S.
I trust SI is not so bound by precedent that it will be unable to honor one who made all of our hearts beat faster. Who else but Secretariat?
WILLIAM T. BENHAM
Falls Church, Va.
The night before my copy of SI arrived with Mark Mulvoy's story on Boston's two-man team (Double Jeopardy for the Bruins
, Nov. 19) Boston beat Montreal 4-3, with four different players scoring. The next night Boston beat the Rangers 10-2, with everyone scoring. Write me another two-man-team story, Mulvoy—but try another team.
New Haven, Conn.
Mark Mulvoy had better have his eyes checked. In his usual effort to minimize the Bruins' talent, he has overlooked the support given Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr. Demonstrating a Stanley Cup style of play, Cashman, Hodge, Smith, Sheppard, Marcotte, Gilbert, Savard, Vadnais, Doak, et al. blew by the hapless Rangers as if they were reading SI. I think Mr. Mulvoy's ability to objectively evaluate the Bruins is "null and void."
MICHAEL J. BRENNAN JR.
How can Mark Mulvoy state that the Bruins are a two-man team? As of Nov. 19 the top three scorers in the NHL were Bruins. Granted, Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr were I and 2, but Ken Hodge was third and Wayne Cashman was fifth. Even Mulvoy has to admit that four out of five isn't bad.
Many Bruin fans are going to berate Mark Mulvoy for calling their fair-weather team a "two-man" show. Having watched the Bruins closely for years, I for one agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Mulvoy. In fact, I'll go a step further. The Boston Bruins without Bobby Orr are a lot like the California Golden Whatevers. He is the greatest in the game, but the Bruins are not.
Although Phil Esposito freely admitted that Bobby Orr was the best player in hockey today, I thoroughly disagree with him. All you have to do is look at the record to see who really revolutionized the game. It was Espo who first scored 100 points; it is Espo who holds the records for most goals and most points scored in a season (76 and 152, respectively). Sure, Orr may be the best skater and defenseman in the league—maybe even the most colorful—but the man who scores the goals and shakes off checks to score them is Espo. Certainly a man who has led the league in scoring for three straight years and is well on his way to a fourth consecutive title deserves to be recognized as the best player—and the most valuable.
New Rochelle, N.Y.
FOOT IN THE DOOR
Thanks for Gwilym S. Brown's article on soccer (
Blues in the Night for the Cougars
, Nov. 19). I am an ex-baseball, football and basketball player who has discovered that soccer is the game for me. Here in the Bay Area the sport is big and getting bigger. Most high schools, junior colleges and universities are playing. Also, there are numerous Sunday teams. Please continue to cover the college games, and don't forget the University of San Francisco, which is ranked No. 3 in the nation.
RICK D. LEE
South San Francisco, Calif.
Bravo! Your article on St. Louis soccer was timely and accurate. But I hope you will also give a nod in the direction of three of those 20 colleges employing the talents of St. Louis youngsters. Rockhurst College ( Kansas City), Quincy (Ill.) College and Benedictine College (Atchison, Kans.). Quincy beat Rockhurst 3-0 in the NAIA finals last week. They can play with the best.
Your soccer IQ is fairly low. Calling Cleveland State a "nonentity" is really gauche. This country is full of "nonentity" soccer teams that can put big-name colleges in their hip pocket, and do it every week. The youngsters of America are switching to soccer for many obvious reasons. Watch out, SI, the ball is rolling right by you!