I share your indignation over the non-sport that hockey has become (Week of Disgrace on the Ice, April 26). I am currently a second-year law student. At the time of the Forbes-Boucha affair, I was on hockey's side, seeing the judiciary as overstepping its bounds in attempting to subject hockey to legal scrutiny. I now view the courts as the last hope.
We do have a legitimate hero in hockey. His name is Bobby Hull and he has the courage to condemn the violence in the game.
ROBERT J. DORAN
Violence in hockey and the supposed public outrage do not depend on whether or not crimes have been committed, but rather on who does the violence. Does anyone honestly think that a hometown player would be arrested if he beat the daylights out of a visiting player? On the contrary, he would undoubtedly become an instant hero. Also, how many people who are revolted by such violence were cheering heartily when the Flyers "took on" the Russian Army team? An atomic bomb is heaven if your side has it, and hell if your enemy does.
If the Ontario attorney general is going to arrest Don Saleski, Mel Bridgman and Joe Watson, then what about the Toronto fan who just about started the whole thing? They say the Flyers are animals. You don't know the meaning of the word until you see the Toronto fans. I think that whatever happens in a sports arena should be handled by the sports officials, not some government official who singlehandedly tries to "clean up hockey."
Cornwells Heights, Pa.
?Following Game 6 in Toronto of the Flyers-Maple Leafs playoff, a Toronto fan was charged with common assault for elbowing Dave Schultz in the ribs as Schultz made his way to the dressing room from the penalty box.—ED.
Speaking of fans, a tribute should go to the Los Angeles Kings' fans. At the start of the third period in a game April 22 against Boston (in L.A.) a "fan" threw something that narrowly missed the referee and one of the Bruins. Instead of cheering the spectator or playing follow the leader, the crowd actually booed that person, and the people who were in the vicinity pointed him out to the ushers and the police, who escorted him from the Forum. That shows that the fans of Los Angeles want to see exciting, good clean hockey and will not tolerate fan abuse toward opposing teams or the referee. I hope fans of other hockey cities will take notice.
Many thanks for the fine article on lacrosse (Attack from Both Sides, April 26). The color photos were particularly good. Exception should be taken, however, to the contention that the attack units of Johns Hopkins and Cornell are probably the best ever to face each other. While Cornell's may well rank with the best, the Hopkins unit is not particularly superior when matched against some past units. That the current attack unit has had to carry the burden of the team scoring can be attributed to the fact that the Blue Jays do not have their traditionally strong midfields out front.
It also has been said that Virginia's attack unit from its 1972 NCAA champions—Jay Connor, Tom Duquette and Chip Barker—was the best, although a strong argument could be waged by the Hopkins unit led by Joe Cowan and Downy McCarty in the late 1960s.
CARLTON A. VAN LEAR
Joe Marshall said, "The clear-cut winner was Cornell, which not only displayed a high-scoring offense but also enough defense that it now must be considered the front-runner for the NCAA title." This statement totally discounts the University of Maryland team. The Terps are ACC champions and undefeated this year, as well as defending NCAA champions. There are some who feel that the Terps are No. 1.
Having refereed for nine years in the Midwest Lacrosse Association, I must clarify a statement made by Joe Marshall in his otherwise excellent article on the Cornell-Hopkins game. Referring to body checking, he states, "The rules of lacrosse allow a player to hit an opponent who is within five yards of a ball.... It also means that a bruising hit is perfectly legal when the man and ball have recently parted company."