Living in the Northwest, I was fortunate to see Prefontaine compete on several occasions. My respect for his dedication and sacrifice, as well as for his obvious athletic talent, has been considerable. Moore's article has heightened and broadened my respect for Prefontaine the man.
Pre's honest and straightforward pursuit of excellence in himself and in the caliber of competition in general is something we can all emulate and be the richer for it.
EDWARD L. DOUGLAS JR.
Kenny Moore's article on Pie's final race and all of our last moments with him is the most poignant, perceptive and memorable sports chronicle I have ever read. We can never completely accept the tragedy of a young champion denied the full accolades of the international running world he might have dominated. Moore's work of art gives Pre the next-best thing: a memorial that will outlast all the awards and publicity already attained.
LAURENCE G. BROWN
Marina Del Rey, Calif.
Steve Prefontaine's tragic death is a loss not only to America's Olympic hopes, but to all American amateur athletes. I am sure other American runners will eventually eclipse Pre's track records, but they probably will not be nearly as outspoken against the absurdities and inequities of America's amateur system as Pre was. It would be a fitting tribute to Pre if the system were changed so that the athletes and their needs came first.
DWIGHT S. WOLF
I can't thank you enough for Roy Blount's article The Reds Are Coming (June 9). Just one small correction. The Reds are no longer coming. They have arrived, and the Dodgers know it.
Your article on the Stanley Cup champion Philadelphia Flyers (A Bunch with Character, June 9) was a beautiful piece of writing, but reading it on page 72 was a lot like eating a birthday cake with no icing. Will a hat trick in '76 rate a cover story? We Flyer fans sure are hungry for one.
How in the world could you neglect the Flyers two years in a row? The last U.S. team to win two consecutive Stanley Cups was the Detroit Red Wings 20 years ago, yet all the Flyers get for their achievement is one little black-and-white picture.
There was no mention of Rick MacLeish winning back-to-back playoff scoring titles. That feat was previously accomplished only by Phil Esposito and Gordie Howe. Also, you did not mention Bernie Parent's two consecutive Conn Smythe trophies. He is the only player ever to do that. Furthermore, you made no note of the record the Flyers set by shutting out their opponents five times.
Last year when the Flyers won the cup all they got was a two-page write-up and another small picture (at least that one was in color). The Flyers are the best; you can't overlook them anymore.
Mark Mulvoy's article on Freddie (The Phantom) Shero (Hockey's Eclectic Wizard, May 26) was as masterful as the "wizard" himself. But the author neglected to expound on one interesting item. Shero's first team in Philadelphia, which missed the playoffs in the final four seconds of the regular season, as Mulvoy reported, did so in a game against the same Buffalo Sabre club it defeated for the cup this time. Ah, revenge!
ANTHONY M. LONGO