I can't hold back any longer (It's Sockey, the Way They Play It Here, May 6). When are you guys going to face the fact that the Philadelphia Flyers are an excellent hockey team? You have been down on them all year. Fighting is part of the game. The Hammer tells it as it is: this is the National Hockey League, not the Ice Capades. Maybe someday SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and Clarence Campbell will realize this.
Bobby Clarke is justified in feeling weary of hearing so much about the Flyers' boxing talents and so little about the other skills the club has at its disposal (These Nice Guys Finish First, May 13). However, as long as the Flyers persist in the kind of antics they displayed in Game Three against the Rangers (19 minutes of penalties in the first three minutes of play) they will continue to be regarded as villains. The word "stupid" may also begin to crop up in press reports.
TIMOTHY J. STORY
Your criticism of hockey officiating (SCORECARD, May 6) was arrogant and unfounded. If both Philadelphia and New York had complaints during their semifinal, then I am inclined to think that the refereeing was fair.
With regard to the rule changes in the NFL (The Pro Football Revolution, May 6), in essence what the league has done is go back to basics. Last year the NFL worked mainly off a rushing offense. With wide receivers being mugged by defensive backs at the snap of the ball, teams had no alternative but to come out running or throw short.
Of all the altered rules the restricted bump and run may turn out to be the most surprising and effective. Perhaps an entirely new breed of receiver may spring up. There is no doubt that the already established receiver can only get better.
The NFL's 15-minute sudden-death period certainly is a most welcome addition, but each team should be entitled to have possession of the ball at least once during that time. The toss of the coin should determine only who gets possession first. After all, why should one team gain possession, score a cheap field goal and be declared the winner? In baseball, basketball and hockey each team gets a reasonable chance to score.
I sincerely hope Mr. Maule enjoys himself covering this new sport. We real football fans are going to turn away from the gimmickry of the pros and get our kicks from the college game this fall.
I was glad to see your interesting story about a very exciting sport (King of the Road on Two Wheels, May 6). Unfortunately, many people put down motorcycles and their riders. Your story on Kenny Roberts shows that clean-cut, intelligent young men also ride. He is a wonderful example for aspiring racers.
Motorcycle racing comes in a variety of types, from road racing to moto-cross, and there are many fine young men who have earned recognition for their achievements in this demanding sport. I am sure I am not alone in hoping that you will continue to write more stories about them.
Sam Moses' article surely put motor cyclist Kenny Roberts in his proper place—in the limelight. Kenny deserves to be there.