Congratulations on your 35th anniversary. To my mind SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is the repository of the best contemporary writing to be found anywhere.
As I read the special anniversary issue (Nov. 15), I realized with some surprise that the sporting events of those 35 years carry equal emotional weight in my mind with the world events of that period. Most of my childhood heroes were sports heroes. Some of my adult heroes have been sports figures—Brooks Robinson, Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Bjorn Borg, Arnold Palmer.
In 1954 I purchased a prepublication charter subscription to SI. When my marriage ended, my ex-husband got custody of my subscription. I ask you, is that fair?
Snow Camp, N.C.
I just relived my life!
The jewel of the issue was Gary Smith's A Celebration of Muhammad Ali. Ali's exploits in the ring compelled so many of us to fantasize about somehow possessing the same array of physical gifts he demonstrated, and his ongoing battle with Parkinson's syndrome now elicits our deepest sympathy. As Smith so eloquently stated, Ali's greatness is perhaps best exemplified by the wide range of emotions he incited. Ali reached out and embraced the whole world, and in return the world embraced him.
RICHARD V. UVA
I'm going to read Smith's article to my sixth-graders. They might not understand all of it, but they're intelligent enough to get the main idea. We are lucky to have Ali. He has shown us greatness. More important, he has shown us how a human being should face adversity.
Dana Point, Calif.
The photograph of the exuberant 1980 U.S. hockey team stirred strong memories for me. I was present that night and will never forget the tremendous emotion and excitement shown by everyone there. Following the game, people lined the streets and rooftops of Lake Placid, singing the national anthem and chanting, "U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!" Nobody wanted to go home.
GEOFF P. GAGNIER
New London, Conn.
How could you possibly leave out the great U.S. Olympic hockey victory of 1960? This was equal to or even better than the '80 version. I should know; I was there. Also, 31 covers of Muhammad Ali are 31 too many.
PAUL C. SNOW
Almost as incredible as your 35-year history is your exclusion of a picture of Mickey Mantle in your anniversary issue. I realize that Triple Crown winners are a dime a dozen in baseball, but you could have squeezed in a picture of the Mick above the one of Princess Grace in the 1956 review.
It is unfortunate that you had to desecrate your anniversary issue with so many pictures of and references to George Steinbrenner.
Salt Lake City