I am a Bobby Orr fan. However, I have to hand it to the Boston Bruins for not paying an astronomical price for him (Bye-Bye Boston, Chicago Buys, June 21). If more teams had the attitude of Boston, maybe there wouldn't be all these problems concerning salaries in pro sports.
And I thought baseball owners were crazy!
Pompano Beach, Fla.
Professional sports will never recover until the self-seekers like Marvin Miller, Alan Eagleson and Jerry Kapstein are put out of business.
EUGENE H. CLAPP
Wellesley Hills, Mass.
Winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy (Outstanding Rookie), eight-time winner or the James Norris Memorial Trophy (Out-standing Defenseman), three-time winner of the Hart Trophy (Most Valuable Player), two-time winner of the Art Ross Trophy (leading scorer in the regular season—the first defenseman ever to win it) and two-time winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy (Out-standing Playoff Player). After watching Bobby Orr these past years, I have only one thing to say to the Chicago Black Hawks and their fans: you got him dirt cheap.
Hockey currently is the only major professional team sport in which an effective system of compensating teams for the loss of free agents remains in operation. Thus, the Chicago Black Hawks were, and are, faced with the prospect of giving the Boston Bruins players, draft choices and/or cash approximately equaling the value of Bobby Orr. Yet Alan Eagleson was still able to wangle an unconditional $3 million five-year deal for his client—a livable wage even by the standards of Catfish Hunter and John Riggins, to name two one-time free agents who shopped around without the cloud of "compensation" hanging over their heads. Further, we are told by J. D. Reed, even teams such as the Kansas City Scouts and Detroit Red Wings joined in the bidding for Orr. What say you now, Ed Garvey?
On the occasion of the 200th birthday of this still best of all possible nations, it is quite fitting that we American sports lovers make a Bicentennial wish regarding the future of sports in our land.
Let us hope that it will not be too long before politics, appellate court decisions, reserve clauses, Rozelle rules, free agents, option years, annuities, multimillion-dollar contracts, spoiled athletes, greedy owners, deferred payments, Charlie Finleys, Walter O'Malleys and Bowie Kuhns will have gone the way of King George III and the Stamp Act. And then maybe we will again be able to view the world of sports the way it should be viewed.
WILLIAM E. CARSLEY
FOR LOVE, NOT MONEY
A few weeks ago you wrote about the financial woes of the San Diego Mariners of the World Hockey Association (SCORECARD, April 26). After playing in the NFL for seven years, I had the great honor in 1974 to be the quarterback for the Florida Blazers of the World Football League. The Blazers stopped receiving paychecks on Sept. 13 of that year. But they went on to win their division before losing the first and only World Bowl championship to the Birmingham Americans, 22-21, in December.
You state that one of the Mariner players had to cut out buying cashews and potato chips and fill snack bowls with popcorn instead, and that another player was forced to substitute draft beer for the more expensive bottled variety during payless weeks.
I kept a diary for the entire season and, without going into great detail, I can tell you that the Florida Blazers went many times without a meal, some were evicted from their apartments, others were threatened with having their electricity and phones shut off, and at the end of the season many did not have enough money to get back to their hometowns. The situation was so pathetic that Coach Jack Pardee's wife was publicly embarrassed when a grocery store manager refused to cash her check.