One other thing. How can you justify having two teams with two losses, Miami and Florida, in your Top 20?
CAROL A. BREIGENZER
Any national sports magazine that doesn't feature a game of the magnitude of Penn State vs. Alabama is not No. 1. It's not even in the Top 20. Any poll that ranks Alabama as low as No. 6 after the Tide's victory over the Nittany Lions isn't even in the Top 100.
JAMES W. LONG
As the first television announcer for the Islanders—along with Jim Gordon—I enjoyed going through the first year again (Who Would've Thunk? Oct. 11). I assure you, stories of the events of that season could easily fill a book. A couple of quickie additions might be in order.
It's important to note that the Islanders acquired Jean Potvin from the Flyers a few weeks before the end of the season. This was done in an effort to have Jean report firsthand to his brother Denis just how badly the Islanders needed him so that Denis would ignore the WHA. It must have worked.
Atlanta also joined the Islanders as a new NHL entry that first year. On our first telecast from the Omni, one of the cameramen asked. "Hey, I never asked, but how many quarters do they play in hockey?" At that point I knew the video pickup was in trouble.
Finally, it certainly was quite a party after the final game in Atlanta. True, the flight crew joined us when we arrived during the early morning hours at the Coliseum. However, I counted only four stewardesses on the bus and at the party. Where did the guys stash the other four?
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HOCKEY
It's bad enough that I had to read about how the Los Angeles Kings "stole" the playoff series from Edmonton's Wayne Gretzky & Co. last year (Scouting Reports, Oct. 11), but then for E.M. Swift to go on to say that nobody in Southern California "really gives a damn about the sport," wasn't only poor language for a national publication but also totally untrue and unfair. The Kings had sellout crowds and were given standing ovations at all of their four home games in the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring. By contrast, except for Game 5, Edmonton fans sat on their hands waiting for the slaughter.
Is Southern California really a place where nobody gives a damn about the sport of hockey? E.M. Swift may think so, but just ask Wayne Gretzky and his teammates what a sold-out Forum sounded like after our Kings came back from a 5-0 deficit to win 6-5!
Willie Wilson (SCORECARD, Oct. 18), this year's AL batting champion, who sat out the last game of the season in order to keep his average intact, might do well to remember one of his predecessors. Going into the last day of the 1941 season, Ted Williams was assured of winning the AL batting crown, but his .400 batting average was at stake—Williams was actually batting .39955, but on the record books that counted as .400. Joe Cronin gave him the option of sitting out or playing in a doubleheader against the Philadelphia A's. Williams elected to play, thus risking his .400 average. He went 6 for 8 (four singles, one double, one home run) and finished the season at .406. He is, of course, the last man in the major leagues to bat over .400. When asked to comment on why he played, Williams responded, "If I couldn't hit .400 all the way, I didn't deserve it." Enough said?
MELANIE & CO.
I thought the article (A Jump Ahead of Everyone Else, Oct. 4) by Demmie Stathoplos on Melanie Smith was great. Having followed the sport of jumping horses for some 40 years, I appreciate Smith's expertise. Along with her teammates, she was thrilling over the beautiful courses at the Dublin Horse Show a couple of Augusts back.