While I eagerly anticipated your 1985 swimsuit issue, I was shocked at the display of flesh it contained. What legs! What chests! Where did you find those sumo wrestlers (ON DECK)? They are disgusting!
The girls were great, but the highlight of the Feb. 11 edition for this ex-lifeguard was Gary Smith's article on our Australian counterparts ("I Want Guts, Meboys!").
However, I take exception to Smith's contention that "No, mate, we don't" row on the surf in America. I got to compete against the Australians during the '65 tour the article referred to, and I recall a day at the nationals, held at Montauk Point, Long Island, N.Y., when the waves were such that no boats made it out during the semifinal competition, including the Australians'. Later on in the day, two of our Atlantic City guards, Boomer Blair and Jim Burwell, not only made it out, but shot a sea to the beach from about a quarter of a mile offshore. Amid the cheering, one of the Aussies exclaimed, "You're not just rowers, you're boatmen!"
So don't put down American lifeguards for being paid. We can stay with the Aussies when it comes to lifeguarding, rowing, swimming and even beer drinking. Being paid just means we're smarter.
Sarah Ballard captured the feelings of a nation in her article Their Cup Runneth Over. The stage has been set for Australia to show off her beauty and charm to the world, and for the U.S. to try to get the America's Cup back as a visitor.
I have been to Australia twice and to Newport half a dozen times, and I know what a grand time will be had by all in Fremantle. I already have my reservation.
Mountain View, Calif.
THE HOOSIERS' GAME
Bruce Newman has pulled off the impossible with his story on Indiana high school basketball (Back Home In Indiana, Feb. 18). He has carried me back over 1,000 miles and seven years to a time when I was dribbling the ball off my foot along the baseline of Hoosier gyms. Since then, I have been to graduate school at Auburn and at Texas, where I have told my friends, "People in Indiana go nuts over high school basketball." Most have responded, "There ain't nothin' like football 'round here." Well, maybe that's true, but as astronaut Bob Crippen (a Texas alum) said of traveling in space, "I wish I could explain it to you.... Impossible.... You'll have to experience it for yourself." The same could have been said of Hoosier Hysteria until Newman took a shot at it and hit nothing but net.
As a former Indiana high school basketball coach, I feel that Bruce Newman really got to the heart of Hoosier Hysteria.
Newman also brought out the fact that positions on local boards of education are sometimes sought only in order to fire the coach, and that petitions are often used to seal the fate of the coach.
While Newman did not elaborate on how often a high school basketball coaching change takes place in Indiana, the following data that I have compiled might make an interesting follow-up. Of 392 high schools that competed during the years 1974-75 through 1983-84, 50 had one coach in that period, 103 had two coaches, 116 had three coaches, 80 had four coaches, 32 had five coaches and 11 had six coaches. The 392 schools averaged 2.94 coaches, with the average length of time served by a coach at any one school being 3.4 years. Sixty-one percent of the schools changed their head basketball coach an average of every 2.8 years. The 1984-85 figures were down a bit: Just 75 schools hired new coaches, with one of those taking on its seventh head coach in 11 years.