MOST POWERFUL MAN
Ray Kennedy's piece on Mark McCormack (On His Mark, May 12) convinced me of one thing: there is someone in sports who may be worse than Charlie O. Finley. Like Finley, McCormack constantly brags of his accomplishments and is critical of anyone who has an opinion different from his own.
"Fans do tend to be children," he says. "They try to pretend that the athlete of their fancy is out there doing what he excels at for some greater good or glory than a buck." He calls this a "naive view." Then later in the article he is talking about his company and states, "We want to do what is best for our clients and the game." No mention of the buck. Naive, indeed! He would have made a heckuva politician.
If ever there was someone out to kill the golden goose it is Mark H. McCormack. The faster he runs, the more we fans pay.
JOHN S. RITCHIE
Mark McCormack certainly has been a boon to pro sport. Rising ticket prices and failing tournaments and franchises are monuments to his greed in the name of clients. Someday soon, perhaps, Mr. McCormack will replace the Super Bowl with Superstars. Or possibly just eliminate the World Series as "ill-conceived." After all, Mr. McCormack is the most powerful man in pro sport. Ain't it wonderful.
T. N. WOOLFOLK
I was taken aback by the assertion that Atlanta is a sports oddity (TV/RADIO, May 5). I believe I know the exact reason Atlanta does not support its professional sports more avidly. Atlanta's teams are all pathetic, bungling, mismanaged losers. Over the few short years Atlantans have had professional sports they have lost their patience looking for winners among the ashes of the South's "sports empire." Any team that wins and whose first name is " Atlanta" will be rewarded with adoration and a healthy box office.
ROBERT A. NANCE
Having seen Jimmy Connors, "The Million-Dollar Kid," on your cover (May 5) and then having discovered cursory mention of Will Rodgers, Boston Marathon record setter, in FOR THE RECORD, I must protest. I object to your glorifying only those events that involve absurd amounts of money. I protest your ignoring an amateur event that is unique and wonderful and which this year produced a thrilling upset in one of the fastest marathons of all time. If Will Rodgers and the 2,000 runners chasing him were also chasing oodles of prize money, would you then consider the event significant? Of course you would.
It's not exactly a secret that sport in America has become a gluttonous, overstuffed beast. Schedules are far too long; athletes labor for months to get to a series of interminable playoffs that may soon stretch to the beginning of the next season, like a dragon swallowing its own tail. Instead of encouraging this insatiably greedy state of affairs by featuring a Million-Dollar Twerp, why not seek out the real stories?
I'll have to give you credit for the excellent article on young Houston McTear in the same issue. But his moment of truth has yet to arrive. The Marathon has come and gone, and where was SPORTS ILLUSTRATED? At Caesars Palace!
Kittery Point, Maine
Jack Nicklaus stated that a high-stakes head-to-head match between him and Johnny Miller would be bad for golf in the long run, but I feel that if the proceeds, which certainly would be substantial, were donated to the Olympic fund, such a match would be a great and almost painless way to get essential contributions.
Hats off to Ron Reid for his article on Houston McTear (Tearing His Way Up From Nowhere, May 5). As you know, McTear has since run the 100-yard dash in 9.0, tying the world record. I am glad you saw fit to give him some recognition before he tied the record.