There is one last thing the Celtics have going for them. I know you can't measure it, but make sure you don't take it too lightly. It's called Celtic pride.
It won't be long before sports arenas throughout the country will be equipped with negotiating tables along the sidelines so that a player can renegotiate his contract before every crucial play. I can see it now: a player signals a "negotiating time-out" by rubbing his fingertips with his thumb. He then heads for the table with his agent (always in waiting) and sits down with the general manager and an arbitrator to talk money before making the play. When he gets what he wants, he returns to the game and slaps his hip pocket three times, signaling for play to resume.
I can't blame the players, though. They have been conditioned by society to get all the money possible, regardless of what it takes or what it means. They are victims of an attitude that says money is all that matters.
What does get me is the number of sports commentators, mostly the ex-athletes, who ridicule players for making such demands when they themselves would eat their blazers just for the chance to do the same. That's why the most valuable part of any TV set is the volume control.
There is no doubt in my mind that Julius Erving is worth $3 million. However, I feel there is something wrong with this sale. In June, Charlie Finley decided to sell some of his players for needed cash, but this deal was negated because it was not "in the best interests of baseball." Why wasn't the sale of Julius Erving nullified? Philadelphia gets a championship team (on paper) just as the Yankees or the Red Sox would have if the Finley deals had gone through. To me this is not in the best interests of basketball.
I was shocked to read Curry Kirkpatrick's comments about 76er fans (The Dr. Doubled His Fee, Nov. 1). As a Flyer season ticket-holder and a 76er and Eagles fan, I know that Philadelphia sports fans are loyal and legitimate. We do not boo the Easter Bunny.
I'm getting sick and tired of the treatment of Philadelphia and its fans. Your article was another in a series of potshots. The Philly fans you claim boo the Easter Bunny will fill the arena for the 76ers, the Flyers, the Eagles and the Phillies almost every time, with nary a boo. This is a city of winners. New York is the city of losers.
Furthermore, nobody expected Dr. J to start his magic with no preseason games or practice behind him. It will take time for the 76ers to learn to work together.
WILLIAM T. FORD
In Douglas S. Looney's article on record times for the mile by harness horses (Now the Pace Quickens, Oct. 18) it is stated that Jade Prince's time of 1:54[1/5] is bettered only by Steady Star's time-trial mark of 1:52 set at Lexington in 1971. I think Frank Ervin would probably take exception to that, since Bret Hanover paced a mile in 1:53[3/5] as a 4-year-old in a time trial on the same track in 1966. The previous year Bret Hanover raced in 1:55 flat at Indianapolis.
CHARLES CURRAN JR.
Has Douglas Looney ever heard of Bret Hanover? Also inform him that Windshield Wiper has since raced against the clock in 1:53[2/5] at the recently concluded Lexington meet.
MICHAEL J. SANTORO