The article on Tracy Caulkins (Search For Still Water, Aug. 3) is only the latest example of Moore's gifts. The next time I imagine swimming to be a sport of drudges, I will think instead of Moby-Dick and Ishmael and that wonderful squeezing of hands.
ROBERT C. NEWMAN
Kenny Moore's article did more than describe the true nature of the sport of competitive swimming. It captured the essence of a wonderful female athlete and the environment that makes her special. SI continues to prove that there is more to sports than the comparatively minuscule amount of time spent in the arena.
Kenny Moore's music analogy is partly fluffed: Football may be Wagner and swimming Brahms, but, rather than Gershwin, basketball is pure Charlie Parker.
GOODMAN ON BASEBALL
I take exception to your citing Boston Globe syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman's remarks regarding the now-concluded baseball strike to the effect that having baseball, rather than drawn-out baseball labor negotiators, is the lesser of two evils (SCORECARD, Aug. 3). I object to her insinuating that baseball is boring. On the contrary, baseball is so stimulating that it has inspired more great writing by our most talented sportswriters, novelists and poets than any other sport.
What is galling, however, is the fact that I was subjected to Goodman's opinion in your magazine. Don't you realize whom you quoted? Permit me to point out that Goodman once wrote an essay, "Knitting Up the Raveled Sleep of Care," for the Globe that celebrated sleeping as one of life's great pastimes. In that essay Goodman wrote: "I am, you might have guessed, one of the world's happy sleepers. I look forward to falling into that state with the sense of abandon that others reserve for a plunge into the communal baths of Plato's Retreat."
Goodman is one of the world's self-proclaimed greatest sleepers, and you find her shallow comments on baseball of interest? Please be more discriminating in the future. Try to find somebody to quote who can stay awake long enough to appreciate baseball and give it its due.
Spitball poetry magazine
THE SPRINGBOK TOUR
I'd like to clear up some misconceptions created by your SCORECARD item (Aug. 3) on the tour of the U.S. by the Springboks, a South African rugby team.
First, although the Springboks are composed of the best players in South Africa and could thus be called a "national" team, neither the Springboks nor any other South African rugby team has any connection with the South African government. Rugby in South Africa, as in most other rugby-playing countries (with exceptions such as the U.S.S.R. and Romania), is controlled by independent, amateur, non-government sports bodies. South African teams do not receive government aid. They play in stadiums and on fields owned by the individual clubs or provincial rugby unions and finance their tours abroad with gate receipts and other fund-raising endeavors.
What's the difference between independent South African sportsmen like golf's Gary Player, tennis' Johan Kriek, boxing's Gerrie Coetzee or track's Sydney Maree, the U.S. 1,500-meter champion, competing in the U.S and a team of independent, non-government-controlled sportsmen playing here under the Springbok banner? In fact, this current Springbok team has a "colored" [the South African term for a person of mixed race] player and a "colored" administrator, in direct opposition to the apartheid policy of South Africa's present government.
What right do political activists have to deprive U.S. players and fans of the all too infrequent opportunity to compete against the world's best rugby team? Isn't this a violation of our civil rights? Because we are a relatively young rugby country—our national union, the USARFU, was only formed in 1975—and receive no government support, we are not yet able to generate the funds to go on once-or-twice-yearly tours as the more established countries do. The Springbok tour is extremely important to the growth and development of U.S. rugby. The honor of being selected a member of the U.S. national team and playing against the world's best is the only incentive we can offer our top players. Eliminating this opportunity to compete against the best, as was done to U.S. Olympians in 1980, can cause irreparable harm.