My thanks to SI and Barbara LaFontaine for taking much of the national mystery from our popular sport of curling (A Stone's Throw to a Playdown, March 15). Now, when I tell my seat companion on the plane out of Atlanta or Dallas that I am hurrying home to Wisconsin to get my broom and go out and play with the stones on a sheet of ice he may not whisper to the stewardess about moving away from this nut in the seat beside him.
Stevens Point, Wis.
Curling being strictly a fun game (amateurs only, not a pro or money prize anywhere in the world), it seems to me that your writer caught only the earnestness of the recent tournament and none of the gaiety that goes with the game. This is reflected in the colorful costumes curlers sometimes wear—such headgear as Glengarries, berets and Balmorals, and the headbands or sleeves of veteran players festooned with badges of clubs where they have played. SI, usually so style-conscious, mentions none of this, and, from the pictures of the Wisconsin team members—dressed with no more distinction than a local bowling league—I wonder if they left their sense of fun at home?
ANNE W. SMITH
?The costumes may not have been distinctive, but the Wisconsin earnestness was sufficient to win a world championship (page 28).—ED.
The downgrading of greyhound racing by M. R. Werner (Racing Beneath the Peaks, March 8) is due, no doubt, to his admitted inability to handicap greyhounds. Despite complaints from disgruntled amateurs that greyhound racing is a "numbers game," greyhounds can be handicapped even more easily than horses. During a one-week period at Hollywood Kennel Club recently, favorites paid off at the rate of 50%; and the current figure for 3 nights is 39.09%. On the other hand, the percentage for the just-closed Santa Anita Thoroughbred meeting was 31%, according to The Morning Telegraph. The racing greyhound has just as fine a lineage as the Thoroughbred horse—and has the papers to prove it.
Kudos to William Leggett for his In New York, Hockey's House Is Not a Home (March 8). The frustration of a New York fan is unique, for nowhere in sport is such minute press and radio coverage afforded to a hockey team than here in New York.
True, there are many dedicated hockey fans in this area that fill up the old Garden, game after game, but they, too, in time shall pass unless the sport is given its due publicity.
GERALD N. RODELLI
New York City
Mr. Leggett has summarized the Ranger plight accurately. I disagree, however, with the criticism of the Bathgate and Henry trades. The Rangers weren't winning with these two players. While their trade value was high their only choice was to get younger players with future potential.
My only regret is that Mr. Leggett did not write this well-deserved criticism of the Madison Square Garden management years ago.
Jackson Heights, N.Y.
You try to make a big joke in your March 8 issue of the trades we have made the past several years. You say it is like the Yankees trading Mantle one year and Maris the next. Well, if the Yankees had finished in the second division for five straight years with Mickey and Roger, I don't think they would think twice about trading two aging players for six or seven strong young ones.
I first came to New York as assistant general manager in the summer of 1962. Since then we have basically traded three players: Dean Prentice, Andy Bathgate, and Camille Henry. All three are topflight players, but in the five years before the series of trades started the Rangers had finished fifth, fourth, fifth, sixth and fifth. Further, next fall Bathgate and Prentice will be 33 and Henry 32.