I was interested to read the article about the victory of Syracuse over Johns Hopkins, but I was a little disappointed not to see a mention of the fact that Hobart, of Geneva, N.Y., won its fourth straight Division III title by beating Roanoke 13-9.
Of Hobart's 38 players, all but four are from New York, with 21 from the central part of the state. For the time being, New York lacrosse reigns supreme.
South Colton, N.Y.
Though I was happy to see SI's coverage of indoor soccer, I was disappointed in Jack Falla's article about the MISL championship game (Sockers Socko, the Blast Bombs, June 6). I thoroughly disagree with his assessment, "It is perhaps to the good of the game that, in the end, skill prevailed, with San Diego winning...."
As for skill, the Sockers' regular-season record surpassed that of the Baltimore Blast by only two games, and the four regular-season games between the two teams were evenly split, as were the playoffs until the fifth and deciding game.
Regarding Baltimore's "crowd-hyping" introductions, Falla failed to recognize that sporting events are meant to entertain. The Blast organization shines in this respect. More than 96% of the Baltimore Civic Center seats were occupied during Blast games this season, for an average of nearly 11,000 thoroughly entertained fans. I'm sure some NBA teams would love to have such figures.
Baltimore is caught up in soccer fanaticism. More than 10,000 fans demonstrated their affection for the Blast at a rally that followed the team's loss to San Diego. Only 1,000 or so San Diegans gathered to celebrate the Sockers' championship.
Owings Mills, Md.
What Jack Falla fails to realize about those "glittery, crowd-hyping monuments to high tack," which have meant sellouts in cities like Baltimore, is that they are merely manifestations of the Americanization of soccer, which must occur for the MISL to survive. The elaborate pregame ceremonies in Baltimore did not stem from the whims of tacky ownership, but were intended to bring fans to the game. Praise the Blast's shrewdness in achieving that goal; after all, isn't the purpose of the league to make money?
Ocean City, Md.
BROTHERS AND OTHERS
After reading your article Brother, Are They Armed! (May 30) about the remarkable Crouser family, I feel that I should inform you about the Barnett brothers, Doug and Mike, of Azusa Pacific University.
Actually, the Barnetts, not the Crousers, may be track and field's first first family of throwers. As of May 29, the Barnett brothers had collected 19 NAIA All-America awards in track and field. By the time he graduated from Azusa Pacific in 1982, Doug had accounted for 12 of those All-America awards. He was a two-time NAIA national champion in both the 35-pound weight throw (65'2�") and in the hammer throw (225'10"). He was also the 1982 NAIA champion in the indoor shotput.
Mike is a four-time NAIA champion in the javelin. He is only the third NAIA track and field athlete to win the national title in an event four times. He had the best javelin throw by a collegian in 1983, a 296'5". In 1982 he placed second to brother Doug in the hammer at the NAIA national meet. It was the first time in an NAIA track and field championship meet that brothers finished one-two in one event.