CHEERS AND BOOS
Your article about team mascots, cheerleaders or whatever (Some Wild and Krazy Guys, Sept. 17) was a masterpiece. Or should I say an unfinished masterpiece? The Chicken and the others are great, but you left out the loudest and best cheerleader of them all. I'm talking about Wild Bill Hagy, who operates out of Section 34 of Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. When Hagy takes off his big white cowboy hat and waves it around in a circle, the entire crowd comes to its feet. Then, forming the letters with his body, he yells "O-R-I-O-L-E-S—Orioles!" Often the players will join in. I believe that no one leads a crowd better than Wild Bill.
The article certainly gives San Diego's Chicken enough ink! We are sure there are many people who think he is neat, cute, etc., but we're tired of seeing and hearing about him. The guy with the best personality—and costume—of all is Philadelphia's Phanatic. At least you gave him some mention, but otherwise your article was Chicken, Chicken, Chicken. And no picture of the Phanatic! What a disgrace! In our eyes, at least, the Chicken is strictly vulgar.
JOHN AND PAT FEICHTHALER
It was interesting to see the magazine that usually opposes extreme behavior in sports turn around and print an article about "wild and krazy guys." You deplore Bobby Knight's conduct in Puerto Rico, but it's a big joke when the Chicken makes a suggestive advance to a ball girl in a stadium full of people. Back in 1972, you seemed to attribute the cause of the infamous Minnesota-Ohio State basketball brawl to the fact that the crowd had been whipped into a frenzy by the pregame warm-ups. Now you tell us that some idiot running around with a drum, screaming and threatening the fans, is O.K. And it was really nice to see you make a hero out of a rainbow head who doesn't care if he ruins a game for some people as long as he gets on TV.
SI always makes a big deal about keeping the proper perspective in something like sports and not getting so wrapped up in winning or losing. Then you do a complete about-face and promote someone like Krazy George. I don't need some donkey telling me when to yell at a hockey game. And if you don't think people like George Henderson go a little far, look again at the expression on his face in the picture on page 64.
West St. Paul, Minn.
Because of her outstanding performance at Wimbledon and her victory at the U.S. Open, I nominate Tracy Austin for 1979 Sportswoman of the Year. She is an inspiration to the youth of America.
Woodland Hills, Calif.
For proving that superstardom and selfishness need not go hand in hand, and for bringing some of the joy back into big-time college sports, I nominate Earvin (Magic) Johnson for Sportsman of the Year.
JOSEPH J. HOWLEY
East Lansing, Mich.
Lenny Wilkens, coach of the NBA champion Seattle SuperSonics and an all-round great person.
In your Sept. 17 issue, one reader gave Webster's definition of a sportsman: "A person who is fair and generous and a good loser and a graceful winner." I think that Mario Andretti fits that description perfectly.
Willie Stargell. In team leadership, he ranks as the best.