SI Vault
Edited by Gay Flood
April 17, 1978
WINNERSSir:I commend your restraint in not writing a story headlined THE JINX SINX now that the feared SI whammy, which is supposed to make an instant loser of any team you celebrate, can officially be laid to rest. As far as I can figure, you—and you alone—boldly predicted the national championship triumphs of both Notre Dame (football) and Kentucky (basketball) during the current school year. In fact, only one of the other major national prognosticators—UPI, which selected the Irish and split its basketball votes between North Carolina and Kentucky—was even close. SI tabbed the Tar Heels 10th, which is exactly where they ended up in the final UPI poll. Congratulations, and, jinx, R.I.P.DOUGLAS J. MELLO Fall River, Mass.
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April 17, 1978

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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The beauty of your magazine lies in its endless investigations into the infinite facets of sport. Michael Baughman's article on his deer chase captures the essence of sport.
Gainesville, Fla.

I nominate Michael Baughman for Sportsman of the Year and move that the nominations be closed. He didn't kill, maim or otherwise harm another creature, nor did he have any motive other than sport and the telling of a remarkable story.
Harrisonburg, Va.

Creating terror in the mind of an animal just for fun is never justified. Michael Baughman's account of running a deer to exhaustion glossed over the fact that the deer, assuming it would be killed if caught, was consumed with fear. Such a chase may be a challenge but it seems to lack compassion.
Mattawan, Mich.

I feel compelled to respond to Dr. Glenn Dawson's comments that professional race car drivers are not athletes (SCORECARD, March 27). Dr. Dawson conducted tests on a random sampling of 10 NASCAR Grand National drivers and compared them to a cross section of the general public. We have conducted tests at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in conjunction with the United States Auto Club, on 67 drivers who attempted to qualify for last year's 500-mile race and uncovered the following data.

The average driver in the 500 has a reaction time approximately one-third quicker than that of the man on the street. He has a serum cholesterol level of 190, which is less than the national average. His average blood pressure is 100/60, also less than the national average. His resting pulse rate is 62 beats per minute, 18 beats lower than the average. And his depth perception is 105% of normal.

In lieu of other statistics, which I have available on request, I direct your attention to Tom Sneva's recent performance in ABC's Superstars contest. He made the finals as a wild card while competing against "athletes" from all categories of sport.
Medical Director
United States Auto Club

In your April 3 SCORECARD item about Leon Spinks you referred to an AP photograph of Spinks handcuffed in a St. Louis police station. Spinks was arrested for driving without a license and driving the wrong way on a one-way street. You stated, "It is scandalous that police would handcuff someone arrested for a driving violation."

According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports for the years 1972-1976, 74 police officers were killed during traffic pursuits and stops, and another 25 were killed while handling and transporting persons arrested.

In our department, as in many departments across the country, it is standard procedure to handcuff all persons arrested.
Maple Heights Police Department
Maple Heights, Ohio

A Jan. 30 SCORECARD item and a recent letter (March 13) related long-distance travels by high school basketball teams. In 1974, while stationed with the U.S. Coast Guard in the Republic of Singapore, I was commissioner of the American community youth basketball program. That spring I took a 12-player team of 12-to-14-year-olds on a two-week trip from Singapore to Phoenix—a distance of 22,794 miles round trip—to compete in the Basketball Congress International boys' tournament. The trip cost under $12,000 and was financed by contributions from business firms in Singapore. I'll bet this was the longest and perhaps most expensive journey for the purpose of playing in a basketball tournament in the history of the game. Incidently, we lost both of our tournament games.
Chief Warrant Officer, USCG
Huntingon Beach, Calif.

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