CHARLES WHITE & CO.
I thoroughly enjoyed John Underwood's article on USC's long line of star tailbacks (It's Not Just a Run of Luck, Nov. 20). It was interesting, informative and almost flawless. Almost. Underwood states that should USC's Charles White not win this year's Heisman Trophy, "then surely [he will win] next season, when he will be a senior." Although White's average of 146.2 yards per game is impressive, Oklahoma's Billy Sims, also a junior, averaged 160.2. Sims is the nation's leading rusher. He and Penn State's Chuck Fusina are top candidates for the 1978 Heisman award. Should Sims beat out Fusina for this year's Heisman, next year he might even join former Ohio State great Archie Griffin as a two-time winner.
Ted Brown has rewritten a few record books in his four years at North Carolina State. He is fourth on the NCAA alltime career-yards rushing list with a total of 4,602, behind Tony Dorsett (6,082), Archie Griffin (5,177) and Ed Marinaro (4,715). No matter how you look at it, Brown is keeping good company. Let's wait and see where USC's Charles White is after another year.
You have written about every leading Heisman Trophy candidate but Rick Leach of Michigan.
Lathrup Village, Mich.
•See page 26.—ED.
Let's give the Heisman to someone who deserves it—Georgia Tech Running Back Eddie Lee Ivery.
SIMS AND PERSELL
In your article Nebraska Was on the Loose (Nov. 20), you asked the question "Who else [besides Oklahoma's Billy Sims] has tied an NCAA record by stringing together three 200-yard games in a row this season?" If you check your Oct. 9 issue, you'll find that Jerome Persell of Western Michigan University, your Offensive Player of the Week, accomplished this feat by gaining 205 yards against Northern Illinois, 226 yards against Miami of Ohio and 209 yards against Bowling Green. Persell rushed for a total of 1,346 yards this season and is currently seventh on the NCAA alltime career-yards rushing list with a total of 4,190 gained in three years.
In SCORECARD (Nov. 20), your recital of the Air Force Academy's kidnapping of the Colorado State ram is essentially correct, but you failed to tell the whole story. After the animal had demolished two stalls and therefore had been returned to Colorado State, CSU honored its mascot with a special citation for gaining more yardage in one weekend than the entire CSU football team had gained all year.
NEW YORK'S SHERO
As a diehard Ranger fan who has endured the ulcer-producing lean years, I was delighted with Jerry Kirshenbaum's article A Revival Is a Smash Off Broadway (Nov. 20). One cannot begin to imagine the abuse Ranger fans have taken in recent years. Fred Shero is the best thing to happen to New York sports since George Steinbrenner.
"Gonk" is not the exclusive property of the NHL (SCORECARD, Nov. 20). When I was in my 40s, I belonged to a skating club and played hockey one or two hours a week during the-winter for five years. Every year I had a mild rash at four points where my shin pads apparently irritated my skin. I never had the rash before I started playing; and when I retired, it went away for good. The only other thing I can add is that ammonia wasn't the cause; our rink used Freon.
The achievements of Park Barner Jr. (On and On and On and On, Nov. 20) have long gone unnoticed by the public because for years no one was interested in the outer fringe of runners who competed in ultradistance races. Yet his accomplishments almost defy imagination. Twentieth-century man isn't designed to run such extraordinary distances. In fact, during the 1960s, the average human collapse point was thought to be about a one-block walk from home—or up one flight of stairs—hence, the need to take the car to the corner drugstore and the enormous popularity of ranch-style homes. Four trips to the kitchen from the television room were considered "heavy training" for one evening. Barner has at least made us aware that we can extend the human body well beyond what many of us felt was possible. He should be an inspiration to all who enjoy the sport of running.
ANDREW G. MCLANAHAN IV
Camp Hill, Pa.
And I thought running the Boston Marathon was hard. To have the stamina to run as much as Park Barner does is remarkable. To run two ultramarathons in a 24-hour span and win, or even come close to winning, is beyond my imagination. All I can say is, keep on running, Park!
KEENAN R. JONES
Park Barner wasn't the only ultradistance runner establishing new records on Oct. 28. While Barner was setting an American record of 152 miles 1,599 yards for 24 hours at New Jersey's Glassboro State College, 34-year-old Don Ritchie of Scotland was circling the track at London's Crystal Palace at a six-minute-per-mile pace for 100 kilometers (62.1 miles). Ritchie bettered the world mark by 15½ minutes with a time of 6:10:20. On the way, he also had a world best of 4:53:28 for 50 miles.
Mountain View, Calif.
Being a yacht-racing addict, I read with interest the article on Bill Lee (Going With the Wind, Nov. 20). I have met Bill, and he is one of the most talented sailors around. Having been a "heavy-boat" owner for a number of years, I was curious to try the ultralight experience, and my good friend Mike Gayner and I chartered the ultralight Drifter for the Nov. 4 race from Los Angeles to Mazatlàn. We were fortunate to beat Bill's Merlin, boat for boat, and to save time on her in the race. I highly recommend the experience of sailing an ultralight but am not convinced that it is the place for full-time residence.
ANTHONY S. DELFINO
The upwind performance of the ultralights is frequently questioned. San Francisco Bay is known for heavy weather (upwind) legs, and Fair's designs do exceptionally well. On the ocean, with the exception of three or four races a year, San Francisco sailors encounter heavy upwind work—out to the Farallons, up to Point Reyes or up from Half Moon Bay. Lee's Santa Cruz 27s and the Farr quarter-tons, as well as a host of similar one-design boats, have proved their worth for several seasons in the ocean off the Northern California coast.
The sad thing about the International Offshore Rule and the rule changers is that when they talk safety, they really mean the safety of their own traditional designs. Lee, Farr and their generation of designers are building safe yachts that more people can afford and that are fun to sail.
Their pursuit of excellence and the satisfaction it brings to those of us who sail their boats are precisely the reasons why their designs will survive and be raced either within the IOR or under systems like that described by Dave Garibotti, in which new designs square off against each other in their own class.
THORPE'S RESTING PLACE
Your Nov. 20 SCORECARD item is a gross misrepresentation of Jim Thorpe, Pa., its citizens and their feelings.
In 1954 the good people of Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk, Pa. opened their arms to a fallen athlete, Jim Thorpe, when no one else wanted him. The two towns united and were dedicated to his memory. He was laid to rest in peaceful surroundings, under a stately mausoleum depicting his tremendous athletic triumphs.
Thorpe serves as a lasting inspiration to the citizens of the town of Jim Thorpe and to the many tens of thousands who have gone there to pay homage to the world's greatest athlete. Thorpe's footsteps may never have fallen there, but his heart would be glad.
RITA BOYLE HUGGLER
Perhaps what we have is a "dead Indian," but we also have a dignified memorial and tourists who come to pay Jim Thorpe honor. Our town is fighting back from years of coal-related economic problems. We have much to offer, and the growing streams of visitors prove it. Snide comments like yours do no credit to your generally positive magazine.
Carbon County Tourist
Jim Thorpe, Pa.
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