After reading your article on Evel Knievel (High Jumping to a Conclusion, Nov. 19), I have come to three possible conclusions about this man: 1) he is the greatest fool in the world; 2) he is the most courageous man I have ever seen; or 3) he is just so blinded by the prospects of financial gain that he doesn't fully realize that he is playing with death. Whatever makes him do the things he does, I'm sure glad I haven't caught it.
EDWIN K. HUDSON
As an avid fan of Evel Knievel, I must say that when you finally get around to writing about him, you do a bang-up job, pictures and all. I only wish that I could see articles on Evel more often. Thank you for recognizing the last of the daredevils.
Why is it that your reportage is so consistently excellent and your editorializing so infuriatingly smug? How I reeled with every cheap shot at the Mets (yet they still almost made it); with each prediction I don't know whether to shudder or just giggle. Now your reviewer (BOOKTALK, NOV. 5) plays the "let's get Howard" game with characteristic lack of imagination. My consolation is the fact that despite SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and Jonathan Yardley, Cosell has finished its first month on The New York Times Best Seller List and has climbed. In this era of sport-as-business, Howard sells it like it is.
HAWG HUNTERS (CONT.)
Mr. W. E. Hintz' criticisms (Nov. 19) of the BASS Masters Classic seem to suffer from the usual myopia of the uninformed purist. True, the high-powered boats used in tournaments bear little resemblance to the average fisherman's rig—but that is irrelevant. Boats don't catch fish; they just get you around big water quicker to permit more fishing time. The professional levels of most sports produce useful information for the amateurs. The techniques of the pros and the knowledge gained greatly contribute to the weekend fisherman's enjoyment of the sport. These techniques, as disseminated in publications such as Bassmaster and Fishing Facts, have tripled my catching fun in two years. For instance, last year I caught—and released—more than 400 bass, keeping a few others for the table. My boat cost only $130, but I used knowledge gained from the pros.
As for "raping" and "plundering" a lake, almost all tournament fish are returned alive to the lake. In addition, BASS 1) cooperates with fishery biologists at each tournament in gathering critical data on bass; 2) is raising $200,000 for bass research; and 3) fights bureaucratic regulations detrimental to the public interest (pollution, habitat destruction, public use fees, etc.). Few organizations are as dedicated to preserving recreational sportsfishing as BASS. As a lay fisherman, I consider my $10 annual dues a very fine investment. I urge Mr. Hintz to join.
JAMES H. MOORE
Thank you for your thorough and enjoyable article on the Masters for fishermen (Hawg Hunt for the Bass Masters, Nov. 5). The BASS Masters Classic deserves annual coverage, since bass fishing is the nation's biggest participant sport. Ray Scott and BASS deserve an accolade, too, for they not only promote bass fishing, they have made great strides in the conservation of our nation's waterways. Thanks for realizing that there is more to the world of sport than football, baseball, basketball and golf.
JOHN M. EVANS
White Castle, La.