Mark Mulvoy's suggestions for ridding hockey of fighting are ridiculous, as is his assertion that those who cheer fights aren't hockey fans. I am a hockey fanatic and I enjoy seeing a good fight. Besides, the fisticuffs just can't be eliminated. The argument that no other sport allows fighting is a poor one. In no other sport do the players move as fast as in hockey. In addition, the playing surface is slick and enclosed by boards, and the players have sticks. If you enclosed, say, the Houston Oilers' field and gave all pro football players sticks, Earl Campbell and the linebackers would crash into the boards on every sweep and would be tempted to use their sticks on each other. I think you have to agree that this would lead to fights.
THE RIGHT SPIRIT
I'd like to thank Bob Ottum for his piece on road racer Herb Lindsay (Herb Lindsay Comes On Strong, Sept. 29) and also compliment him for his incisive look at a runner's relationship to his body. When he speaks of a runner "getting out and walking all around [his body] to check on things," he's touching on a rather fundamental truth: a person is not merely a body, but rather a distinct spiritual being with a body to pilot around. As a runner myself, I know that part of the reason I run is that I feel better right afterward. Why? Because I get out there and push the old body a little further and a little harder than it likes to get pushed. As a being, I let it know who's boss, and I feel better for having done so. I am sure that Lindsay's body is a fine-tuned machine, but I tip my hat to its pilot!
THE REV. BRADBURY D. PEARSON
Let's hear it for seeds (The Seeds of Content, Oct. 6). After playing high school baseball I know the value of a good pack of sunflower seeds in fighting the monotony. However, you have left out an important step in the correct way to chew. After you've gone through a couple of bags of seeds, a nice juicy piece of bubble gum is just right. The contrast between salt and sweet is divine.
Roy Blount Jr. has raised the sunflower seed to its rightful place in the world of sport. I've chewed seeds for a dozen years, and at last you've made honorable what my wife and former college softball teammates considered my "aberration." Now if I can only get the shells off the carpeting of my car.
Here are a few more tips for chewers:
1) Keep uneaten seeds inside one cheek, chew the meat in the center of your mouth and save the shells in the other cheek. When you have finished eating the meat, suck on the empty shells to get added salt.
2) If your tongue gets sore, shell the seeds by hand and then chew them on either side of the mouth.
3) Watch the number of seeds you eat. The salt has already begun to wear down my front teeth, and I have switched to shelling by hand and side-chewing when possible.
STEVEN J. LEBRUN
St. Mary's High School
Dell Rapids, S. Dak.
As one who has been cracking those delicious sunflower seeds for a number of years, I offer the following to those seed chewers who worry about the amount of salt they are consuming. After you have popped 60 or so shells in your mouth, take a drink of water, swish it through the seed wad and then spit out the salty fluid. Now you can enjoy low-sodium seeds.
Roy Blount Jr.'s story brought back many memories of our past "spitting" experiences. We come from North Dakota, the Sunflower Capital of the World, where nearly every Little Leaguer has attained Reggie Jackson's expert seed-chewing status by the age of eight. Could it be that the art caught on in the majors after a big-leaguer visited a Midwestern Little League game?
Jamestown, N. Dak.