SOCCERED TO 'EM
Four soccer articles in one year! Soccer on the cover and three color photos inside (Big D Reduced to Atoms, Sept. 3)! Keep up the good work and maybe the rest of the news media will get the hint. There is only one thing SI has failed to mention: the U.S. national team's recent, incredible 1-0 victory over Poland.
D. W. FLINT
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Finally, a championship team in Philadelphia. It boggles the mind. We are very proud of our Atoms, a great bunch of guys dedicated to their sport and to each other.
Sportsman of the Year? Why not Al Miller? Considering the success he brought to Hartwick College and the fact that his Philadelphia team, which in February of this year had no name, no colors and not all of its players, now has several NASL records, an NASL championship and its Coach of the Year, I can think of no one else who has done so much or come so far in such a short time.
JOAN E. YARTER
I am glad the Dallas Tornado did not win the NASL championship. If it had, Kyle Rote Jr. would have become some kind of god American soccer fans would have to pay homage to. Instead, Philadelphia showed the true building blocks: conditioning, consistency and teamwork. The Atoms have no outstanding individual, just the best pro soccer team in North America.
Next time you publish an article on soccer to be read nationwide, I wish you would get your facts straight. You stated, " Philadelphia became the first expansion team to win a championship in its first year in any American professional sport." The Cincinnati Comets, in their first professional season in the oldest professional soccer league in the U.S. (the American Soccer League) captured the ASL title in 1972. As hard as I searched, I could not find a word about that game in your articles. Now I know how the AFL felt, and like its fans I will complain about unequal time. Only once have I seen anything about the ASL in SI, and that was when you included MVP Ringo Cantillo in FACES IN THE CROWD (NOV. 13).
The 1973 ASL championship game will be held Sept. 8 in either New York or Batimore, depending upon which team wins their semifinal game. The Cincinnati Comets, in only their second year, have already earned a ticket to the final by defeating Cleveland. How about equal time, SI?
?Alas, the Comets failed to make it two in a row. The New York Apollos, from whom they won their 1972 championship, beat them 1-0 in double overtime to regain the title.—ED.
Many thanks to Ron Reid for his Sept. 3 article on Bubba Smith (Setting 'em Up for the Kill). Being a devout Raider fan, I was cheered to read it and I can visualize myself yelling "Kill, Bubba, kill." But right now all I can see is Ray Chester, the best tight end in football, making that key third-down catch in a Baltimore uniform. Nevertheless, the Raiders will be right up there come playoff time, and maybe this year....
BILL ST. ANGELO
Valley Stream, N.Y.
Bubba Smith certainly makes the trade worthwhile for Oakland, but on the Colts' end it is hard to understand it. I question Joe Thomas' ability to control a pro team. Ray Chester is a fine tight end, but with Tom Mitchell (73 receptions in two years) the Colts already had that position well filled. Without Bubba, Baltimore's line is a unit of no-names, and Thomas' trades brought in few linemen. As a matter of fact, a lot of his trades were for draft choices.
GIFT FROM THE INDIANS
After reading your article Murder Ball in a Box (Sept. 3), we took time off from our studies at Syracuse University to journey to the Syracuse War Memorial Coliseum and see our first box lacrosse game. The action was so fast and exciting that one has to wonder why the game hasn't achieved a great deal more popularity. Thanks for introducing us to this stimulating sports experience.
STUART B. LEVINE