THE ISLES' FOURTH
I can't believe it! The Islanders finally made your cover (May 23). No Indy 500. No Magic Johnson. Just Billy Smith doing what he does best—making a clutch save. Thank you. Thank you. This almost makes up for the last three years when you failed to put New York's Stanley Cup champions on the cover.
I would also like to congratulate E.M. Swift on his ability to see through Edmonton Coach and General Manager Glen Sather's rhetoric about Smitty's "maniac" behavior. Sadly, Sather's "yapping" did tarnish this fine sporting event. Edmonton lost for only one reason: The Islanders are a better team.
However, I take exception to Swift's summation, "The Islanders clearly are nearing the end of their reign." If a four-game sweep of the Oilers is "nearing the end." then the end might not come for two or more years. Just think of it. The Islanders could win six straight Stanley Cups. Not bad!
I agree that Billy Smith made the difference in this year's Stanley Cup playoffs, but I also think he is the dirtiest goalie in the business. I see about half of the Islanders games in a season, and I view Smith as a very dangerous person with that stick. In fact, I think the referees give the Islanders breaks in all their games because they are the champions. On the other hand, this year's Flyers were still paying the penalty for earlier Philadelphia teams that were better known as the Broad Street Bullies.
After many years of participating in and watching hockey, I am outraged and disgusted by Billy Smith's conduct in the Stanley Cup finals. His blatant use of his goalie stick as a weapon and taking a "dive" in Game 4 in order to secure a penalty against the Oilers have earned him my first annual Con Swipe Award. His unsportsmanlike attitude and play do not belong in the game.
JAMES T. WELSH
SOUTH AFRICAN SPORT
Your article on South Africa (Swirling Shades of Gray, May 16) by Clive Gammon was a thoughtful and complete analysis of the superficial integration of sports in that country. Rather than allowing us to be fooled by the illusion of progress, your article gives us hope that the battle is continuing against the evils of apartheid. The "politics" of the various sporting organizations around the world are not what have ruined the chances or frustrated the hopes of white and black athletes in South Africa; their own country's racist policies have, and those policies will continue to do so until they are eliminated from all aspects of life in South Africa.
EDMOND F. NOEL JR.
Clive Gammon captured very well and quite fairly the tragic effects of apartheid on South Africans, black and white. I was born there and lived most of my life in Cape Town, and I can confirm that the article is well balanced, accurate and representative.
PETER R. MAGGS, M.D.
Twelve pages concerning race discrimination by the government of South Africa is preposterous. Your priorities seem to be out of order. When you extol the feats of Soviet athletes, why do you omit criticism of the Communist government in Moscow? Why not reveal the murderous activities of the Soviet government around the world? You might even take a similar stance in your articles on Cuban athletes and Eastern Bloc athletes. In these countries the freedom of all people is curtailed.
Why not print an article dealing with the absurdity of the International Olympic Committee's allowing the participation of such countries as the U.S.S.R. and Cuba in Olympic events, yet failing to permit South Africa's entry into these same events?
MICHAEL E. PILSITZ
Newport Beach, Calif.
THE NEW LEAGUE
Only 12 weeks into the inaugural USFL season, and already there are those who are writing its epitaph (Football: A Rite or Wrong of Spring, May 23). Comparisons between the USFL and the NFL are inevitable, but not fair. The NFL had a 60-year head start. If the USFL could field teams of NFL caliber in its first year, then that wouldn't be saying much for Pete Rozelle's league, would it?