That is an incredible cover shot (Jan. 28) of an incredible player (John Stallworth) by an incredible photographer (Walter Iooss Jr.).
Art Center College of Design
Walter Iooss Jr.'s cover photograph of John Stallworth's great catch and Rod Perry's equally fantastic attempt to deflect that Bradshaw bomb more than lives up to your magazine's name, as it clearly illustrates just how close the grossly underrated Rams came to pulling a Namath-type miracle in Super Bowl XIV. Great game! Equally great coverage!
Redondo Beach, Calif.
Until now, I had thought that Manny Milan's picture of Arkansas' Sidney Moncrief on your Feb. 13, 1978 cover was incredible. However, the photograph of John Stall-worth's touchdown reception is a classic.
TERENCE S. MOORE
The only other cover shot that could possibly equal this one is Heinz Kluetmeier's Jan. 26, 1976 photo of Lynn Swann making one of his patented catches against Dallas in Super Bowl X.
February 11, 1980
Football's detractors who see the game only as a sadistic expression of our violent society should study your Jan. 28 cover photo. The beauty and grace captured by that fantastic shot are worth ten thousand words.
It's interesting that Willie Stargell was assigned by SI to shoot the Super Bowl (LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER, Jan. 28). But I'd rather read about how your regular staff photographers do it. Walter Iooss Jr.'s cover shot captured the climactic millisecond of the 1980 Super Bowl. It also shows clearly why Stall-worth should have been the MVP. SI's marvelous photojournalists deserve nothing less than a feature story.
ROBERT S. SAXON
You blew the coverage. Can't we see just one of Willie Stargell's photos?
PAUL J. CASSIDY
Radio Station KWST
•Sure, see below.—ED.
THE MOSCOW GAMES (CONT.)
I must compliment you on your special report The Olympic Ultimatum (Jan. 28). The U.S. has real problems with the Soviets in Afghanistan, and to go ahead with the Olympics as if nothing had ever happened would be inexcusable. It is inexcusable for the International Olympic Committee to bury its head in the sand and try not to notice the great wave of sentiment that is sweeping the world in favor of either boycotting the Olympics or moving them out of Moscow.
Thanks for an excellent editorial. It's obvious your priorities are where they belong.
As one who has seen many American standards compromised, I should be callous enough to accept our threatened boycott of the Olympics. On this issue, however, I must protest! America has made it a point of honor that the Olympics—or, more properly, the spirit of amateur sport unfettered by nationalism—transcends ordinary dealings between nations.
An analogy has been drawn between the Soviet Union of 1980 and Germany of 1936. We are told the Olympics will be a stage for Soviet propaganda. Hitler tried a similar ploy, but magnificent efforts by the athletes—remember Jesse Owens?—reduced the goose-stepping antics on the sidelines to a farce.
In the conduct of human affairs, sport has been said to be an alternative to the mindless terror of war. Can we afford, in the age of the ICBM, to allow any people-to-people event—particularly the Olympics—to fail?
An Olympic boycott might be politically acceptable because there are few athlete-voters. But it goes against our strong belief in the Olympic ideals. It also goes against our national character—we love a good sporting challenge.
Moscow doesn't own the Olympic Games. It is just hosting them. The spectacle of thousands of athletes wearing black armbands to protest Soviet aggression against Afghanistan and against the human rights of their own people should disturb the Soviet leaders more than a boycott.
This type of simple but eloquent protest conducted in the Kremlin's shadow would most likely be supported by even more nations and could also encourage dissent within the Soviet sphere. The only reason to keep our athletes at home is if we are concerned about their safety.
The day the U.S. subsidizes American athletes by giving them funds to live on while they train for the Olympic Games is the day this country will have the right to hand out Olympic ultimatums.
MRS. HANS KAYEM
In 1936, Hitler's Germany was preparing for war and at the same time trying to wipe out a sizable number of its own population. The International Olympic Committee went on with the Games as though everything was normal.
Now the Soviet Union has brazenly invaded and crushed a peaceful neighbor. Perhaps the International Olympic Committee should try something different this time. Pulling the Games out of Moscow and holding them elsewhere could unite the rest of the world and maybe make the Russians rethink their aggressive policies.
The ultimate answer to any question concerning the boycott of the Summer Olympics is that there are times when personal goals must become secondary to the goals and needs of one's country.
While I fully understand the feelings of athletes who have trained for years to compete in the Games, their sacrifice seems minimal when compared to the potential sacrifice of Americans who may be called upon to put down their books or leave their jobs to defend their country.
I enjoyed Bruce Newman's article on U.S. pro basketball players who have gone to Europe in an attempt to prolong their playing careers, Basketball Italian Style (Jan. 28). I was especially interested in the paragraphs devoted to Bob Morse, because I recall his impressive performance in a Holiday Festival tournament at Madison Square Garden in 1969. It was the same tournament in which St. Bonaventure's Bob Lanier scored a record-tying 50 points in the final against a Rick Mount-led Purdue team. Morse's Penn team failed to reach the finals, but his outstanding play did not go unnoticed.
Lake Ariel, Pa.
Back in the early 1950s, when the Duquesne Dukes were among the Top 10 teams in the nation, a good young basketball player named Fletcher Johnson felt that going to Europe might be an excellent way to achieve his objectives. Unlike those ballplayers who look upon the European leagues as a place to play before reentering the NBA, Johnson saw Europe as a chance to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a physician.
Johnson spent close to a decade in Italy and Switzerland and was a star performer on the basketball court during that time. But he also found time to learn Italian and French so that he could attend the University of Geneva medical school and graduate near the top of his class. "Dr. J" returned to the States and is now one of the most highly regarded heart surgeons in the country.
New York City
HOWE & CO.
E.M. Swift's otherwise excellent piece on Gordie Howe (He Just Skates On and On and On, Jan. 21) contains one rather noticeable error. He mentions among other events that were concurrent with Howe's first game in the NHL on Oct. 16, 1946 that "Doc Blanchard led Army to a rout of the University of Michigan."
The game, played Oct. 12, 1946 before 85,938 fans in Michigan Stadium, including this Old Blue, was anything but a rout. Facing the undefeated Black Knights, the Wolverines scored first on a Bob Chappuis pass. Army stormed back to take a 13-7 half-time lead on a 57-yard Glenn Davis run and a miraculous Davis pass to Bob Folsom for a 31-yard touchdown. In the second half, Michigan tied the score on a Paul White reverse, but Blanchard retaliated on a short plunge to make it 20-13. Michigan's hopes for a tie ended on Army's 10 in the final seconds of the game on a "questionable" offensive-pass-interference call.
A barnburner? Yes. Losing by seven points to one of the greatest collegiate teams of all times a rout? Never!
Incidentally, three weeks later Michigan embarked on a 25-game winning streak that brought a national championship in 1948 and ended the next year at the hands of—who else?—Army.
SEYMOUR (HAP) EATON
Class of '48
Gordie Howe is fantastic but he is a newcomer to the sport compared to Ohio State Professor of Economics Richard U. Sherman Jr., who has just begun his seventh decade of competitive hockey. A former member of the Jamaica (N.Y.) Hawks, he now plays two to three times a week in Columbus (Ohio)-area leagues, often against players young enough to be his grandsons.
Injuries? Don't worry. Medicare will take care of them. Dr. Sherman is 65 years old.
New York City
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, New York, 10020.