We knew Arnold Palmer would come back (Win or Lose, Arnie Draws, July 20), and how sweet it is! The long dry spell is over, and the familiar sight of Arnie hitching up his trousers and making that big charge is just what we needed during this year of silence at the old ball parks. Arnie gives new hope to us former long hitters who have agonized as our game has deteriorated. Keep charging, Arnie. It keeps us going!
Myra Gelband should be congratulated on her fine article about the U.S. Senior Open in general and about Arnold Palmer in particular. Those of us who have been following Arnie since he came on the scene in the late '50s have felt the same things for the past quarter century that Gelband pinpoints so accurately in her story. In her concluding paragraph she says, "There's no word or phrase that quite describes what it is that Palmer transmits to the galleries." Having followed Arnie through a practice round at Merion in June, two days before the start of the U.S. Open, I can only say that he is easily the most charismatic and electrifying sports personality that his followers are ever going to see, and they know it.
Forest Hills, N.Y.
Arnold Palmer's victory in the U.S. Senior Open was a breath of fresh air. It was an escape from all the talk of money in sports. Yet Myra Gelband found a way to taint even this occasion by devoting so much of her article to a discussion of money lists, draws, advance ticket sales, etc.
Arnie's charisma is no mystery to this fan. It's apparent from the first moments of play that Palmer is an athlete apart from mere money. He plays for himself and for us, but not always in that order. Somehow, I doubt that many Canadian Football League fans wept as Vince Ferragamo walked to the shower (Giving His All for the Als, July 20), but when Arnie strode up the 18th at Oakland Hills, I know of 10,000 witnesses who did.
BRIAN L. CONKLIN
Rapid City, Mich.
As I skimmed the July 20 issue of SI, I noticed articles on the Davis Cup, the CFL and James (Quick) Tillis, all subjects that we at ESPN [Entertainment and Sports Programming Network] have covered on the air. I was amazed. Then, when I got to the article (Lady with a Past) on my father's yacht Santana, I almost fell on the floor. After all these years I had lost track of "the boat." You have brought back memories that are only the best. You are the "wide world of sports."
After reading your fine article on Santana, I came to the 19TH HOLE and read a letter from a man in Connecticut who apparently canceled his subscription because you had run a story on bullfighting. This, of course, is his privilege. However, this "cancel my subscription" response, which I see at least once a year, usually after your swimsuit issue, is a curious phenomenon. I am reasonably sure this gentleman would not cancel his newspaper subscription if the same bullfighting story appeared in his evening paper. He would probably not quit watching the news if it were reported on TV. Why does he react to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED this way?
For the 20 years or more that I have been reading it, I have been generally pleased and well entertained by your publication. I have read stories on sports I knew nothing about but for which, thereafter, I frequently developed an understanding. I, for one, appreciate your approach to journalism. Please continue my subscription.
TY M. SPARKS
In a letter concerning your coverage of bullfighting, reader Mark Newman writes that the article "should not have appeared in your otherwise fine magazine." I couldn't agree more. What I do object to is his logic. Saying he is an avid hunter, Newman claims, "Hunting promotes a clean and sporting kill." Somehow, gunning down defenseless wildlife seems no more sporting to me than torturing bulls. At least, from time to time the bull gets his revenge.
Salem, W. Va.
We subscribed to SI for sports coverage. For the most part, we've gotten what we expected—until your July 20 issue. What in the world does Mount St. Helens (Season of Hope) have to do with sports? Please spare us sports fans and put this kind of article in some sort of nature magazine.
North Canton, Ohio
I was pleasantly surprised to see an article on Mount St. Helens in your magazine. I'm sure you'll receive many letters asking what an article like that was doing in a sports publication. I'd like to point out one side effect of the volcano's eruption that is still affecting sports in Spokane.