The sport is having enough trouble handling violence without the "hooks and haymakers" of Kermit Washington and others being put up for idolization. It hasn't happened yet, but I would hate to see basketball suffer the same fate as hockey by resorting to intimidation and scare tactics to compensate for lack of talent.
What kind of reflection is this on our society? Are we heading into a future in which sport will be legalized combat? I hope not.
BOB CUSHMAN JR.
THAT PORTLAND FEELING
Will Curry Kirkpatrick stop at nothing? His article on Blazermania (A Fever Called Blazermania, Oct. 31) was wonderful. I am a dedicated 76er fan, but the people in Portland have the right idea. Perhaps Philadelphia fans can get the feeling. Who knows, maybe we could win the championship that way.
Curry Kirkpatrick certainly was on target in his assessment of what Blazermania has meant to the city of Portland and all of Oregon. It was a real happening that proved the value of teamwork in any walk of life, not just in the field of sports. But please ask him to point out that while Portland is a city of 400,000, it also has a metropolitan area population of 1,100,000. Otherwise, enforcer Maurice Lucas will be happy to see that Kirkpatrick personally counts each one of us on his next trip to Blazerland.
Reading your article on Ted Lindsay (Welcome Back, Scarface, Oct. 31) brought to mind a recent New York Ranger game in which their rookie center, Ron Duguay, scored his first NHL goal. The entire Ranger bench cleared to congratulate him. So much warmth and emotion was evident, the TV viewer could feel it. At the end of the game the Ranger bench emptied again, this time to congratulate Goaltender Wayne Thomas, who had just shut out the Cleveland Barons.
Aggressive hockey, yes; violent hockey, no. If benches emptied more often for moments like these and less often for ugly, senseless brawls, well, I think I could even get my mom to watch a game.
OUT OF THE LABORATORY
In his article Pricking Up Their Ears (Oct. 31), Jerry Kirshenbaum quoted several swimming coaches who expressed concern that they would be forced to abandon their intuitive judgments and their anaerobic workouts if they used the East German earlobe blood tests. They need not feel such apprehension, because this test is simply intended to monitor the balance of aerobic vs. anaerobic training in order to avoid overexertion, and possible breakdown, in an athlete. Instead of relying solely on the outward appearance of the athlete (does his hand "turn green" when he's really tired?), the coach can add this objective information about the state of acidosis of the athlete to his intuitive feelings, and then make judgments accordingly.
As for those who worry about science turning athletes into automatons, this test can no more make a robot of an athlete than can a treadmill test. In fact, the coach who lacks the means to objectively monitor the state of fatigue of his athlete and who unwittingly gives him too much anaerobic work is the one who is likely to create a robot whose enthusiasm for sport has been dimmed or extinguished by misguided overwork.
THOMAS F. ROBINSON, PH. D.
Lecturer in Physiology
University of Pennsylvania
MORE FATHERS AND SONS
I enjoyed the item on football's coaching fathers and playing sons (SCORECARD, Oct. 24). Here are some others who should be noted: John David Crow of Northeast Louisiana and son Johnny, a running back at Alabama; Bob Tyler of Mississippi State and son Breck. a wide receiver at the same school; Bob Frederick and Quarterback-Punter Chris Frederick of Lamar University; and Coach Bill Davidson and Safety Billy Davidson of Arkansas State.
Bruce Allen, son of Washington Redskin Coach George Allen, is the punter for the University of Richmond Spiders. Bruce has a strong leg and has been an asset to the Spiders all season.
Virginia Beach, Va.