ALI VS. THE LION
As usual, your coverage of the greatest boxer ever was perfect (One-Nighter in San Juan, March 1). My room is filled with SI covers of Muhammad Ali, especially those showing him against Frazier, Foreman and, now, Jean-Pierre Coopman.
I have never been able to understand why, when George Foreman fought five boxers in Toronto (winning all five), it was called a circus act, or when he fought King Roman and knocked him out in the first round, he was said to be fighting someone below his class, or when he got up after being knocked down twice by Ron Lyle and knocked him out, it was described as a slugfest.
Why isn't Muhammad Ali said to be fighting below his class or putting on a clown act? Ali wants to give Jimmy Young a chance at the title. Who's Young? Young fought King Roman. Ali is making a joke of what a boxing match ought to be.
MRS. ROBERT BOREM
I must commend Muhammad Ali for bringing heavyweight boxing back to home TV, even if it was only a "stay in shape" fight. I find it interesting that the champion has fought twice as many bouts during his reign as any of the top three challengers. As for Ali losing to Norton or Foreman, the only things that can defeat Muhammad are himself and age. Here's to the greatest fighter of all time.
Rolling Meadows, Ill.
The major-leaguers' softball game (At the Big League Picnic It Was Clinkers to Errors to Not a Chance, March 1) was all in fun and for a good cause, but Luis Tiant must have written the base-running rules if Rick Manning's home run knocked in Brooks Robinson, who is pictured trailing Manning across the plate.
North Providence, R.I.
I give up. How could Rick Manning hit a home run, knocking in Brooks Robinson, and then have Robinson follow him across home plate? I knew Brooks was slow and Rick was fast, but this is ridiculous.
?The only thing Robinson followed was tradition by awaiting Manning at the plate, congratulating him on his homer and then allowing him to lead the way to the bench for more handshakes.—ED.
I have two comments: 1) The way things are now, the entire major league season may go much as that afternoon in Boca Raton did; and 2) You should receive the prize for the longest title for the shortest article.
AGE OF AQUARISTS
I was dismayed and upset to find the article on saltwater aquariums (Providing Local Color, March 1) by Rick Telander in your magazine. The fact that the ocean is polluted does not make it all right to capture tropical fish for pleasure and profit. Two wrongs still do not make a right.
And how astute to say, "Captured fish go where they are wanted." Of course they do. But losses are incalculable, although in this case SI can report that 50% of the tropical fish die during long-distance transport. The idea of using an aquarium of tropical fish as an "icebreaker" in a singles bar or as a room divider in a clever bachelor's apartment really needs no comment. It is, however, a shameful reflection on man and his disregard for his natural surroundings.