Just how wrong Paul Zimmerman was about the Cowboys getting nothing from recent drafts (Paul Zimmerman's Scouting Reports, Sept. 8) was illustrated by Dallas' 17-3 defeat of Washington on Sept. 8. It was 1979 draft pick Ron Springs, formerly of Ohio State, who scored the second touchdown. If you still think the Dallas dynasty has become history, think again!
Let's hear it for Paul Zimmerman's scouting reports. Being an avid Redskin fan recently transferred to Cowboy Country, I was especially pleased with his Washington report. I only hope you continue to give the Redskins the recognition they deserve.
Last season (19TH HOLE, Jan. 7), I criticized Paul Zimmerman for not naming Eagle Middle Guard Charlie Johnson to his All-Pro team. Zimmerman has redeemed himself by acknowledging in his preview of the 1980 Eagles that Johnson is one of the NFL's best and most underrated players. There's only one problem: the Eagles at only 10-6?
Tampa Bay was no fluke last year, and barring injuries galore, the Bucs will be even better this year. John McKay is the most underrated coach in the NFL, and Tampa Bay the most underrated team.
Paul Zimmerman's report on the New York Jets was painfully accurate.
Your article on the prevent defense (Tick...Tick...Tick..., Sept. 8) hit on one of my pet peeves. I've long been opposed to the prevent because of the many times I've seen losing teams score against it in the final two minutes and either tie the game or win it. I'm especially annoyed when the offense is allowed to get close enough for a field goal—and these days that doesn't have to be very close. You go with your best defense at all times, not one that is practiced once a week.
It seems to me the prevent defense is like the pulled-in infield in baseball and the intentional foul in basketball—it's been done for years, everyone does it, but it usually doesn't work.
You quote coaches as being willing to accept a success rate of "only" 50% for the two-minute offense. This makes me wonder how successful regular offenses are; surely they don't score half the time they have the ball.
JON MATTHEW FARBER, M.D.
•The Redskins' Jack Pardee, one of the coaches who keep such statistics, says a good offense will score on 33% to 40% of its drives of more than 50 yards.—ED.
I have always found the work of Frank Deford excellent, and his article "Hey, Greek, Who Do You Like?" (Sept. 8) is perhaps the most thorough, well-written and emotional work ever to appear in SI. Jimmy The Greek's personal triumphs are inspirational.
Jimmy The Greek's "fall line" seemed pretty logical until I got to the team he listed as the favorite in the AFC East. It must have been a typographical error. Jimmy, tell us you didn't really say the New York Jets!
Paul Zimmerman forecast a third-place finish for the Jets, which is more like it.
Steve Wulf's article on Cleveland rookie Joe Charboneau (Super Joe: A Legend in His Own Time, Sept. 8) was terrific. Joe has helped rekindle fan interest in the Indians, and the Tribe is only a few good pitchers away from being a pennant contender. Go, Joe Charboneau!
STEVEN C. MILLER
When it comes to the leading candidate for American League Rookie of the Year one need look no further than Minnesota Twins Relief Pitcher Doug Corbett. If his 8-5 record and 19 saves with a team that is 17 games below .500 doesn't tell you all you need to know, then look at his ERA of 2.00, which is second-best among American League relievers, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is 2 to 1. He has pitched more relief innings than any other American League pitcher. When statistics—not flashy names, songs or posters—are considered, Corbett gets my vote.
BARRY I. MEYER
As a harness racing devotee and a spectator at the first and, alas, also the last Hambletonian at DuQuoin, Ill., I think it's an insult to the sport to take the premier race from its county-fair "roots" to the big-city surroundings of the Meadowlands, where it is destined to become just another race (They'll Miss the Corn, Sept. 8). Chalk up one more victory for dollars over tradition.
DONALD J. FABIAN
Enough cheap shots. Referring to DuQuoin as "a dusty little town of some 7,000 residents whose tomorrows may all be behind it" is nothing but urban journalism run amok. It's time to drop the trite adjectives and look at rural life with the blinders off. The tragedy of the Hambletonian's move to New Jersey is not that it is a loss to DuQuoin. The loss is to rural America and to those of us who know that the big city ain't where it's at.
JOHN F. RECORD
JACK VS. TOM
Your article on Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus (The Great Tom vs. Jack Debate, Sept. 1) was enjoyable, but I don't understand why there's a controversy over which one should be PGA Player of the Year. The title implies 52 weeks of steady, solid play, not just two weeks. I admit that Nicklaus' winning the U.S. Open and PGA titles was great for the game and stirring for the fans, but this year's top golfer is Watson, hands down. He played in more tournaments and won more money, and his average round was better than Jack's.
DONALD STURTZ JR.
I regard golf's major championships as I do football's Super Bowl or baseball's World Series. You play all season, but it's the big ones that count; they separate the men from the boys. Winning your division title or more than $500,000 on the tour is not the same as winning the Super Bowl or two major championships. I vote for Jack.
Now your readers know what those of us who are serious about motor sports have known for some time: Paul (a.k.a. P.L.) Newman (The Perils of Paul, Aug. 25) is no lightweight in motor racing; he is good at it, and he is a professional. My thanks to you and to Sam Posey, who is no Sunday driver himself.
JAMES H. HEINE
My compliments to William Nack on a very fine article about the tragedy of J.R. Richard (Now Everyone Believes Him, Aug. 18). However, as I looked closely at the diagrams displayed by Dr. Charles McCollum in one of the photographs, I noticed that the aortic arch shown is clearly not that of a human. It looks like that of a cat!
The human aortic arch has three branches arising from it, not two as shown in the charts. The proximal branch is the brachiocephalic, or innominate, artery. This branches into the right common carotid and the right subclavian. This part of the diagrams is correct, and is where J.R. had the blockage. However, the diagrams display only one more branch coming directly off the arch, when there should be two more: the left common carotid and the left subclavian. Instead, the diagrams show one connecting trunk, with the left common carotid and left subclavian branching off it, which is the way it is in cats. No excuses, now, because the arch is outlined with a human form.
TED NAMM, PH.D.
Associate Professor of Anatomy and Physiology
University of Lowell
Were it not for the gravity of the circumstances surrounding J.R. Richard's illness, I would find the sketches of his aorta and branches very amusing. They are not of any human, or cat, dog or other animal I have dissected in 20 years of teaching human anatomy and embryology.
GORDON L. NOVINGER
Associate Professor of Anatomy
San Bernardino Valley College
San Bernardino, Calif.
•Dr. McCollum assures us that J.R.'s aortic arch has the right number of branches. The drawings, he says, were done hastily by a new, young illustrator in the medical illustrations department of Baylor College of Medicine. McCollum looked only at the parts he was concerned about—the areas showing the clot—which, as reader Namm points out, are correct.—ED.
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