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July 30, 2007
Slap Happy
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July 30, 2007

Letters

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Slap Happy

I have always felt that one of the greatest disservices ever wrought by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was its snobbish disregard of what should have been the best picture of 1977—Slap Shot. Thanks from many of us in the game for this Where Are They Now? cover story.
Pete Weber, Play-by-Play Announcer
Nashville Predators

Your Hanson brothers article (Goons Forever, July 2--9) brought back memories. I was at that Jets-Comets game in Utica, N.Y., at which the Hansons came into the stands to go after a fan. Seeing the players climbing over the glass was pretty scary. I had no idea those crazy players I was running from were the same ones I still enjoy watching in Slap Shot.
Angela Santopietro, San Diego

In March my wife and I were sitting alongside a harbor in the British Virgin Islands, enjoying a local libation, when a man disembarked from a sailboat. As he approached, I read on the front of his T-shirt the name CHARLESTOWN. I assumed that it was a British port somewhere in the islands. Then he passed us, and I saw the back of his shirt, which read, PUTTING ON THE FOIL. It made my day. Long live the Hanson Brothers.
Lee Johnson, Pittsford, N.Y.

At the University of Washington in the early '80s, my intramural softball team was called the Mendozas. When Mario Mendoza (What's in a Name, July 2--9) visited the Kingdome with the Rangers, we all went to the game, wearing our team shirts, and got seats near the first base rail. During infield practice he came over to talk with us, signed our shirts and posed for pictures, and after the game he signed the brim of his game-day cap and gave it to us. While the " Mendoza line"—and our team name—may have poked fun at Mario, his joie de vivre and dedication to baseball makes him a winner. Thanks for rekindling the memories.
Frank Trueba, Felton, Calif.

No. 1 Fans

Your article Unhappy Returns, on the value of NBA and NHL teams getting the No. 1 pick (PLAYERS, July 2--9), suggested that the picks don't help teams win titles. But in the NBA, eight of the last nine champions have featured a first overall pick—and one of those teams had two No. 1s. Also, six of the nine teams that lost in the finals had a No. 1 pick as well.
Jeff Feinstein, Oakland, N.J.

In your list of NHL top picks who didn't lift teams that chose them to a title, I would put an asterisk next to Eric Lindros's name. Though he didn't lead the Nordiques—soon to be Avalanche—to a Stanley Cup, the team traded him for a boatful of players (including Peter Forsberg) that powered Colorado's Cup wins.
Ward Mallon, Ottawa

Just Following Odors

I grew up a Phillies fan, and I was 12 when they blew the '64 pennant. Here's a story to add to your history of the team's 10,000 losses (The Beautiful Losers, July 2--9). According to legend, there was a billboard in the city that proclaimed, THE PHILLIES USE LIFEBUOY. Beneath it someone wrote, AND THEY STILL STINK!
Michael J. Hollander, Brookline, Mass.

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