The USFL doesn't have to pay me to jump leagues. I already have!
The difference between the NFL and the USFL is that the NFL has a fat TV contract that, in effect, guarantees each team a profit. Therein lies the problem: An NFL owner has no motivation to produce a better product (team) because it won't bring him significant extra income; it will just cost him more for expensive new talent. He'll get his [1/28th] cut of the TV contract win, lose or draw.
The USFL, on the other hand, knows that it must create excitement and credibility through its teams. And that's exactly what fellows like Donald Trump, owner of the New Jersey Generals, are trying to do. As for me, I think they've succeeded. I can hardly wait to see the Generals' Herschel Walker take on the Pittsburgh Maulers' Mike Rozier this spring.
Eat your heart out. Pete Rozelle. Your game is no longer the only one in town. In fact, your game may not even be the most exciting.
ROBERT L. JOCHASIAN
As a pro-football addict since 1949, I can tell you this about the USFL: It stinks. I saw all the Los Angeles Express home games in person last year, and a lot of other games on television. I do not plan to see any more of the USFL, because there is no hard hitting and there are more passes thrown in USFL games than in flag football. Too many of those throws, it seems to me, fall incomplete. When USFL teams begin to play like the Redskins and the Raiders, then, and only then, will I be interested.
CHICAGO'S PARROTS (CONT.)
I congratulate Bil Gilbert on his interesting and descriptive story on Chicago's monk parakeets (Look What's Holed Up in Chicago, Jan. 9). Also. Carl Iwasaki deserves praise for the excellent photographs accompanying the article. But in light of Gilbert's and Iwasaki's work, I was a little concerned for the safety of these birds. Therefore I was much relieved, upon reading the last page of the story, to learn that Ronald Faulkner, the front-desk man for the apartment house across the street from the nest, says, "Nobody better mess around with them parrots." Sounds like he means it.
I thoroughly enjoyed the masterful writing and wonderful story by Bil Gilbert. Beautiful change-of-pace reading. The article should be preserved for posterity and become prescribed reading in all our high schools and universities. A real classic!
I really didn't subscribe to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED to read articles on parrots. I live in California's San Joaquin Valley, an agricultural area that specializes in growing grapes, peaches, citrus fruit, etc. A few years ago a couple of escaped monk parakeets began to nest in a palm tree not far from my home. Because these parakeets live on fruit and seeds and therefore are not welcome in our valley, they were quickly dispatched to bird heaven. Chicago may wish it didn't have them when summer rolls around.
Bravo! Bil Gilbert's article on parrots sure proves that jockstrap and shoulder-pad sports aren't the only interesting subject matter for your magazine.
ROGER D. WHITTEMORE JR.
A couple of thoughts on Boston College being voted the Lambert Trophy (FOR THE RECORD, Jan. 16):