ADDITIONS TO THE LEGEND
While reading the account of Muhammad Ali's upset victory over George Foreman (Breaking a Date for the Dance, Nov. 11), I felt that here was something more than a sports article. George Plimpton's superb literary offering created a vivid scenario of the prefight ministrations, the fight itself and its aftermath.
When finally I get to see the fight on TV, I'm sure I'll feel as if I've "seen" it all before, thanks to the excellence that has always been an inherent quality of Plimpton's reporting.
George Plimpton did his typical spectacular job. That was indeed a great day for Ali, a great day for boxing, a great day for sport and a great day for humanity. It does my heart good, in this time of random experience and uncertainty, to know that a Romantic Classicist like Ali can achieve greatness. He is truly the people's champ, whether Archie Moore thinks so or not.
Your well-written article on Muhammad Ali discusses thoroughly the fight itself and all the related activities in Zaire before and after it. Nonetheless, it seems to me you have missed the significance of Ali's tremendous victory. While briefly alluding to the fact that Ali's crown was unjustly stolen more than seven years ago, your article fails to cover extensively the uphill struggle that Ali has gone through. The boxing establishment and a vast majority of the power-wielding public made it as difficult as possible for Ali to regain the title that was rightfully his. And yet Ali was able to overcome adversity in order to obtain his goal. Ali is undoubtedly the most interesting, clever and unpredictable sports figure in the world.
November 25, 1974
Isn't it funny how some things work out? When Joe Frazier beat Ali in their first fight, your cover headline read "End of the Ali Legend." Now it looks as if that fight was only the beginning.
Huntington Beach, Calif.
GETTING IT ACROSS
I appreciate your fine view of cross-country (In France It's Le Cross-Country, Nov. 11). I have never before seen an article that told what this often overlooked sport is really like. Those five drawings by Sempé summed up the loneliness, humor and pain characteristic of cross-country running.
East Point, Ga.
I noticed that on the first pages of the article, No. 9 has just jumped the waterhole and seems to be in fairly good position. On the next two pages, No. 9 is fighting for last place (with a dog that does not even look tired), and in the final illustration, at the bottom, No. 9 is rejoicing as if he has won the race. Strong finish, I presume.
I have lived in the Buffalo area all my life and never considered going swimming or fishing in Lake Erie (Rebirth of a "Dead" Lake, Nov. 4). A short stroll on the lake would have been more appropriate. Stanley Spisiak is to be commended for his efforts in restoring these waters. No tribute is too great for a man who, through his personal efforts, has done what Spisiak has.
AT THE HEAD
Congratulations to Dan Levin and Eric Schweikardt on a superb job of capturing in words and pictures the color and spirit of the Head of the Charles regatta (Revel of Oars and Shells, Nov. 11). The "Head" is a great rowing spectacle.
The pictures and article bring on chills. It was my first "Head" and Dan Levin caught the mood of it perfectly.
What Levin failed to mention is that not only is the Head a test of an oarsman's endurance, it is also the test of a coxswain's skill. The winding turns, narrow bridges and crowded river brought on more collisions than a traffic circle.
I hope this article will help promote the growth of crew here in D.C., and maybe next year I'll be at the Head again.
I enjoyed your article. However, I would like to point out that the lightweight fours was not the only mixed event. Dallas Abbott (MIT '74) and I (MIT '76) rowed in the pairs race against all-men's boats. Our purpose was not to compete for a winning position, as I weigh 110 pounds and Dallas 130. Instead, we hoped to set a precedent so that next year the Head of the Charles would include a separate pairs event for women.
IN PURSUIT OF GROUSE
As a hunter who is tired of reading about the evils of hunting, I thank you for the fine article by Jim Harrison (Marching to a Different Drummer, Nov. 4). He did a marvelous job of capturing the feeling one gets when pursuing grouse.
PETER K. LAWTON
Having lived only a few miles from the Manistee River all my life, I especially enjoyed Jim Harrison's story. He clearly depicted the beauty and pageantry of grouse hunting in the northern Michigan woods. I know well the thrill and excitement of shooting a grouse on the fly, and the frustration of coming home with an empty bag.
A PECK OF PICKLES
As usual, I enjoyed Kenny Moore's writing style in his recent article concerning the Aerobics Center and Dr. Kenneth Cooper (A Run for Their Money, Nov. 4). However, one statement attributed to me was somewhat misinterpreted. In the paragraph where I say that three out of five patients I see have hypertension, I did not exactly make the statement that all the salt "a man needs in a year" is contained in one dill pickle. What I had intended to say, and evidently this was misheard, was that if you ate a dill pickle every day, that would be all the salt you would need for one year. One dill pickle of medium size contains about 1.4 grams of sodium, and the average amount that a person consumes is in the neighborhood of one to three grams per day. It is a well-known fact that the average American consumes 15 pounds of salt per year. This excessive salt intake is felt by many to be one of the prime reasons we lead the world in the number of cases of hypertension.
RANDOLPH P. MARTIN, M.D.
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