Bravo! The Feb. 16 issue was the best in memory. In particular, the article by Henry Hill with Douglas S. Looney on the alleged Boston College scandal (How I Put the Fix In) was fascinating as well as disturbing. Also, Curry Kirkpatrick's article on handslaps was excellent. A high five to SI on this one.
Starting with the first paragraph of Henry Hill's story, I got a strange, sickening feeling that grew stronger as I continued reading. My reaction stemmed from the knowledge that your publication actually sought out this lousy punk and gave him a national platform from which to dispense his absolutely disgusting philosophies.
If your aim in printing the article was to warn youngsters what can happen when they come in contact with characters like Hill, you missed the mark badly. It's much more likely that the tone of the story and the fact that SI saw fit to print it have made Hill a hero to hundreds of similar creeps who lurk on the outskirts of sports waiting for similar prey. Very bad editorial judgment, in my opinion.
WILLIAM C. CROWLEY
Vice President, Public Relations
Boston Red Sox
A man is innocent until proved guilty, and the men Hill names haven't even been formally accused of anything. They and their families have no obligation whatsoever to speak to your bloodhounds, and as far as I'm concerned their refusal to do so is proof of nothing. I suggest you apologize.
I commend you for publishing the story on Henry Hill's point-shaving scheme. As a high school athlete, I am glad you have brought this to my attention and to the attention of other readers. It is a sorry day for sports whenever amateur athletes put money above the game. Perhaps this vital information will influence young athletes of the future to use good moral judgment.
Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
I question Henry Hill's statement that he and the three alleged Boston College point shavers were not involved in "dumping" or "blowing" games. In those games BC entered as the underdog, the three BC fixers were reportedly concerned solely with losing by more than the betting line. If this is true, then obviously the three players made no effort to score an upset; on the contrary, they did everything to prevent it. I suggest that this constitutes dumping or blowing games.
Lake Ariel, Pa.
I greatly enjoyed Curry Kirkpatrick's informative article on the history and variety of the handshake (Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On, Feb. 16). There is another variation that he overlooked. Here, at the University of Richmond, the baseball team has devised the Spider handshake, Spider being the nickname of our athletic teams.
Players extend their right hands toward each other just as in a regular shake, but instead of clasping hands, they randomly wiggle their fingers with the hand remaining stationary.
Philadelphia Phillies' Pitcher Ron Reed was once observed performing a variation of the Spider handshake as he extended only two fingers and wiggled them. Nevertheless, it is almost certain that the Spider handshake originated at Richmond, and more than likely, it will remain here.
Dusty Baker's assertion that everything starts in the Bay Area is interesting in light of the San Francisco Giants' version of the high five: players congratulate one another with three medium-high fives, the last of which culminates in a modified soul shake. I have tried it with friends and co-workers and have found it very satisfying.