Regarding the U.S. Open tennis championships (Round Two to the Kid, Sept. 15), we may never again witness such classic matches as McEnroe-Connors and McEnroe-Borg. The greatness of the play came through despite McEnroe's unforgivable behavior. If he ever learns the meaning of the words humble, class and sportsmanship, he could very well be the best player in history. However, as long as the sport allows the indignities he inflicted on the umpire, especially in the Connors match, then tennis will continue to breed his type. That's sad.
John McEnroe said, "I figure I'm about 10 Wimbledon finals exactly like the last one away from getting those people on my side," in response to the boos and jeers he heard even in his "home" tournament. Even if Junior keeps playing McNificently, as he did at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, the crowds will continue reacting negatively to him, as long as his conduct on the court remains McNoxious. What other sport would allow a player to refer to an official as "Mr. Incompetent" without penalty?
LAWRENCE C. RUFFNER
Whenever John McEnroe gets the least bit excited, the crowd turns on him. Acts similar to his wouldn't even turn a head if they were committed by some other player. I'm glad John was able to withstand the jeers long enough to earn a much-deserved victory over Borg.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
"Kindergarten journalism credentials"? Those words were a cheap shot at the CBS tennis announcers (TV/RADIO, Sept. 15). Frank Deford charges CBS with putting no heart or soul into its coverage of any sport, let alone tennis. Deford obviously doesn't watch the NBA on CBS. Brent Musburger gets so worked up you can barely detect that both teams are shooting 15% and all the starters have fouled out. If it weren't for his enthusiasm, we would surely be at the "mercy of the action." as Deford puts it, or the lack thereof.
Concerning Tony Trabert, Pat Summerall, John Newcombe, Virginia Wade and Co., I think they do "know the language and the game and attend to both." They are definitely not chatterers.
Park Rapids, Minn.
Frank Deford severely criticizes producer Frank Chirkinian for having "cameras hopping all around." suggesting that the continuity of the match being televised was somehow upset by switching off to other matches also in progress. While Deford is entitled to his opinion, I found the approach taken by Chirkinian to be refreshing and innovative. The viewer was able to see the best of various matches that were being played simultaneously. In essence. I felt that I was receiving twice the coverage that I would've gotten had CBS stuck unrelentingly to the stadium matches.
RICHARD E. SALKIN
I often suspect that print journalists who take potshots at televison journalists and commentators are mainly motivated by jealousy. But Frank Deford's column concerning the CBS telecast of the U.S. Open was right on target. If we could have had about a third of the personnel and about twice the intelligence that was brought to the presentation, it would have been wonderful.
WILLIAM C. PARKER
Wouldn't it be great if CBS executives read your article and did something about it! I am so glad somebody has recognized that the U.S. Open coverage was spoiled by a "platoon of competing voices" and "chain introductions." Heaven forfend that we should get to know-any of the players. I can't stand the endless chatter.
New York City
Walter Iooss Jr. took the best photographs I've ever seen (Between the Acts, Sept. 8). His version of "One for all, all for one" in particular should be made into a poster. That picture tells what sports and life are all about. Superb!
John Matuszak—the face, the beard, the shoulders—is a gladiator if ever there was one.