Magnificent! Never in my years of subscribing to SI have I read a more touching article than the one by E.M. Swift on the Minnesota high school hockey tournament. I was fortunate enough to attend this spectacular event last year and can honestly say that nothing can compare to the excitement of watching a group of teen-agers giving everything they've got. One thing that Swift failed to mention was that there wasn't one fight during the 11-game tournament. Now that's real hockey and true sportsmanship.
BROAD STREET BOUTS
Immediately after I read Jack Falla's article (They're the Lords of Discipline, March 7) about the Philadelphia Flyers and their "new" style of play—less fighting, fewer penalty minutes, etc.—I picked up a local newspaper and learned that Flyer Defenseman Behn Wilson had been suspended for six games by the NHL as a result of a high-sticking incident involving Ranger Goalie Glen Hanlon in a game on Feb. 19. An executive of the NHL offered the following statement: "It is apparent that Wilson went out of his way to strike Hanlon.... It is noted that this is the third time that Wilson has been subject to league discipline for an incident involving the swinging of his stick at an opponent."
Tsk, tsk. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Staten Island, N.Y.
In reference to your Feb. 28 SCORECARD item concerning Indiana basketball Coach Bobby Knight and his recurring problems stemming from the so-called Puerto Rico incident, Knight is considered by many to be the best college basketball coach in the nation. Why then should he not coach the best amateur players in the nation in the Olympic Games?
You describe the ideal Olympic coach as being "somewhat of a diplomat." If so, let's send George Shultz as the head man. Knight, it's alleged, committed a diplomatic foul by not backing down when he and his team were shabbily treated at the 1979 Pan Am Games and then daring to tell the truth about what happened. Obviously, honesty and politics don't mix any better in amateur athletics than they do in Washington.
I'm sure most Americans would rather win the gold medal and ask questions later, so I say send our top coach.
Bobby Knight is one of the top five or six coaches in the country, but there's no way he should be our Olympic basketball coach. Another Puerto Rico-type incident could occur, and that would just embarrass the United States. The group of people who selected Knight should reconsider. I'm sure coaches like Dean Smith, Ray Meyer, Lou Carnesecca, Digger Phelps, Joe B. Hall and Denny Crum could do just as well, if not better.
Knight proved to be the prototype of the ugly American. He may be a great coach, but he's not the man to foster good sportsmanship between countries.
RICK A. BLUE
Bobby Knight expresses his disdain for Hispanics overtly. SI is more covert. In the SCORECARD item on Knight's latest tirade, SI identifies Anglo sportswriters who comment on the issue (George Vecsey of The New York Times and SI's Jack McCallum), but buries the author of the column that reported the racist remarks Knight made in Gary, Ind. in anonymity. You referred to him only as "a Puerto Rican journalist."
That "Puerto Rican journalist" is a Chicagoan of Puerto Rican descent, Carmelo Meléndez, producer/host of WFLD-TV's weekly half-hour program Our People, Los Hispanos. He's also a contributing columnist to Hispanic Link News Service, which syndicates three columns weekly to 175 newspapers nationally.