Not again! The New York Islanders won the Stanley Cup and weren't on the cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (June 1). When they won it last year, Johnny Rutherford, the winner of the Indy 500, was on the cover. This year Joe and Marvis Frazier were featured. What did they do? Smokin' Joe is retired and Marvis had won a six-round bout on a TKO in the last round. In future years, how about being fair to the Islander "dynasty"?
New York City
Regarding your June 1 issue, I guess I don't mind a lead article on the Indy 500; the race was kind of exciting. And I don't mind the Fraziers; it will be interesting to see if Marvis can outsing his father. I don't know about Wilfred Benitez; just what is a super welterweight? And as for Jorge Velasquez, I always thought the horses were more important than the jockeys. But surfcasting! An article about surfcasting before one about the Stanley Cup finals? I always thought the only reason all those surfcasters got up so early was to get away from sunburned kids and beach balls. I never knew you could catch fish that way.
The Stanley Cup finals showed that hockey is exciting without fights. They showed that the players are articulate and talented and young. But SI's article (The Islanders Sew It Up) didn't show any of that. Surfcasting?
PAUL M. DEBLINGER
Bowling Green, Ohio
I dreaded receiving my June 1 issue of SI, fearing that it would be chock-full of gushing, slobbering, hero-worshiping articles praising the Islanders for their Stanley Cup victory. Needless to say, I was very pleased to see the meager coverage you gave them.
The truth is that the 1981 Stanley Cup finals were boring and did more to damage this once great sport than 100 bench-clearing brawls could ever have done. What once was a fast-paced, exciting game has now degenerated into nothing more than an ice folly. This pasteurized, homogenized version of hockey that anti-violence scribes like Mark Mulvoy and Larry Brooks seem to love will never sell.
THOMAS R. WRIGHT
The sidebar by Donia McMurray-Kirmsse that accompanied the A.J. Foyt story (Get Out of the Way, Here Comes A.J., May 25) reminded me all too much of a similar experience I had in Rome in 1970. Like the author, I had purchased a used Ferrari and was having an extremely difficult time learning to drive it. I, too, finally resorted to taking lessons from a professional, and he helped me master the car enough so that I had three years of enjoyment with it before moving back to the U.S. The twist to my story is that in the same condominium in which I lived in Rome was a boy who often asked to sit in the car and to ride with me from the gate of the condo to the garage when I came home from work. He was just into karting then. His name was Eddie Cheever, and today he's an up-and-coming Grand Prix driver.
I'll bet Ben Hogan was delighted with SI's May 25 cover photo of A.J. Foyt. Hogan's golfing logo, which can be seen on A.J.'s red leather gloves, fits right in with all those other product names decorating Foyt's Indy outfit. I wonder: Does A.J. wear golf gloves because the 500 is a long driving contest?
New York City
The invisible combustion caused by alcohol-fuel fires is frightening (A Fierce and Fiery 500, June 1). Until some color or chemical additive that would clearly indicate the presence of an alcohol fire is found, the use of this fuel should be banned at Indianapolis.
JOSEPH F.J. CURI, M.D.
THE ILLINOIS CASE
In his article The Big Ten's Big Mess (May 25) Douglas S. Looney says the Big Ten eligibility committee ruled that Dave Wilson "could play in the fall if he had 51 hours of academic credit, the Big Ten minimum for a student going into his [third] year. ( Wilson was allowed to transfer 36 hours from Fullerton.)" In the next paragraph he writes that the Big Ten faculty representatives reaffirmed that Wilson had only one year of eligibility left and that instead of using it up in 1980 he would have to acquire fourth-year status—a minimum of 78 credit hours—in order to play in 1981. From what Looney writes, even if Wilson had been ruled eligible to play in 1980 by the Big Ten, he still would have been 15 hours short of being academically eligible. He had only 36 hours after two years of college and needed 51. Please explain.
? Wilson earned the necessary 15 additional hours in a subsequent spring semester at Illinois and in a summer session at California State University, Fullerton. Also, because Wilson then transferred from Illinois' College of Agriculture to its College of Applied Life Sciences, he was allowed to count two more hours of credit—in addition to the 36 originally allowed—that he had earned while at Fullerton College, a junior college.—ED.