Re This Could Be Their Last Grasp, Nov. 10: Ridiculous, ridiculous, ridiculous.
Don't ever count the Steelers out. Super Bowl XV belongs to Pittsburgh. I'd bet my life on it.
I find it unbelievable that you could print an article giving up on the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers when both of their starting wide receivers were out, together with their best running back and their regular quarterback. How could you expect them to play at their normal level of excellence?
Keep an eye on those Steelers and watch them get "one for the thumb."
Mercer Island, Wash.
Most Steeler fans (and SI, too) make more noise when the Steelers go awry than when they win consistently. Fans in Pittsburgh don't appreciate Steeler wins, they expect them. The days go by, the fans wake up, eat, work, go back to sleep, day in, day out. And when Sunday comes, they wake up, eat, the Steelers win and they go back to sleep. It's a routine, and when this routine is broken with a Steeler loss—look out. "Bums!" "They've had it!" And so forth.
THE MARQUE OF GREATNESS
Thank you for being among the first to recognize Marques Johnson as one of the premier forwards in the NBA (At the Top of His Profession, Nov. 10). Johnson is overshadowed by other players because he doesn't receive as much ink or get a lot of exposure through endorsements.
I'm glad, too, that John Papanek mentioned Johnson's excellent education. Many people think all college athletes take nothing but easy classes to graduate. Perhaps this will lead people to reconsider.
Photographer Lane Stewart did a superb job in showing the grace of a professional basketball player.
John Papanek as much as said that Marques Johnson was the best forward in basketball. I agree. He also said Magic Johnson had "no equal at guard." I disagree. Granted, Magic is good and getting better, but he's certainly not the best. The best all-round guard in basketball is Dennis Johnson. David Thompson and Paul Westphal are both better than Magic. And Michael Ray Richardson, Ray Williams and George Gervin are certainly his equal.
NEW OLD SAN ANTONE
The article on the San Antonio Spurs (Spurs That Jingle Jangle Mangle, Nov. 10) was great for only a two-page story. The Spurs, though, should be on your cover. San Antonio's recent road victories over Los Angeles and Seattle, the NBA champs the last two seasons, should tell you something about Coach Stan Albeck's "new" team. One more thing: Hey, Iceman, with the Lumberjacks and the rest of the gang shooting well, you don't have to find your jump shot. Just make sure the man you're guarding doesn't find his.
The Spurs are going places even Columbus couldn't find. But let's not forget their coach, Stan Albeck. What he's done with that team is nothing short of incredible. With the greatest fans in the NBA in the immortal Baseline Bums behind them in San Antone and me cheering them on in Los Angeles, the Spurs aren't going to stop until they get that championship ring.
•Julie is the youngest of Stan and Phyllis Albeck's five children.—ED.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
As I began reading Bob Ottum's article on Bruce Jenner (Hey, Mister Fantasy Man, Nov. 3), I found his use of a movie script writing style disconcerting. However, as I went on, the technique proved superb, blending fantasy and storybook success with the reality of Bruce Jenner, athlete and mortal.
I hope SI readers will continue to be treated to creative approaches by your writing staff.
THOMAS J. SEARSON
Fade in to Valerie's ear-to-ear smile as she first spots the long-awaited article on her favorite athlete, Bruce Jenner. The cameraman holds this shot while the voice-over is heard for the first time.
Today is the big day in Val's life. After four long years, a nine-page article on Bruce Jenner is placed before her. What an opportunity to get to know more about Bruce and become even a bigger fan of his. But wait! (Camera zooms in for a close-up of her face.) Valerie doesn't look happy or excited. What's wrong?
How could such an abnormal article have been written about such a great, normal guy? I completely missed the good things said about Bruce because they were overwhelmed by voice-overs, cameramen, fade ins, music, etc. A terrific guy like Jenner deserves a terrifically written article.
Up music and fade out as the camera closes in on the tear running down Valerie's disappointed face.
For Mr. Jenner's peace of mind: The "That man is a success..." quote was written by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Please tell Jenner that the author of his favorite saying was Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The words (slightly garbled in Jenner's version) were written by Bessie Anderson Stanley (1879-1953) in 1904. I knew her well; she was my wife's grandmother and, to use Jenner's words in another context, "a great, great lady."
•Sentiments quite similar to Jenner's quote can be found in all three places.—ED.
NOT SO TENDER TRAP
Could you please tell me if Measure 5 passed in Oregon (VIEWPOINT, Nov. 3). I pray that it did, because I was horrified by the number of people who allow innocent animals to die painful and cruel deaths. Michael Baughman's excellent article touched me strongly.
•Measure 5 was soundly defeated.—ED.
I would like to suggest that Michael Baughman and Sara Polenick get together and buy a small spread out here in coyote country.
Baughman says that it is the same old story of ranchers promoting their own interests ahead of broader concerns. If that means protecting your domestic animals or chickens or range-born calves or foals, you'd better believe that I am one of those people. Baughman, and the rest of the bleeding hearts, may know that rodents make up the bulk of the coyote's diet. Only problem is that nobody ever took time to explain that to the coyotes. Hunters kill only adult buck deer and antelope for meat. Coyotes kill twice as many deer and antelope fawn.
Contrary to Baughman's statement, most stockmen do know that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will handle trapping free of charge. However, does Baughman have any idea of the amount of red tape, documentary evidence and time required to obtain this service? A calf-killing coyote could die of old age first!
I say, "Thank God for commercial trappers." The coyote may or may not be endangered as a species, but every one that I get in the sights of my rifle sure is. I would damned sight rather see a fawn or a newborn calf or foal on this range than a stinking, mangy, sneaking coyote.
Peach Springs, Ariz.
It's Happy Days at Appy! (Nov. 10) presented an excellent portrayal of soccer Coach Hank Steinbrecher. Having played for and coached with Hank for five years, I found myself agreeing with J.D. Reed's impression of the man.
However, Reed failed to make clear one thing that all of Steinbrecher's players, past and present, would agree upon—not only does he teach his athletes a lot about soccer, but he also teaches them a lot about life. That kind of ability and insight is increasingly hard to find in top-level sports.
Instead of writing about a team largely made up of foreigners, why not write of the schools with American talent—the University of Connecticut, for instance? Not only is it an all-American team but the majority of the players come from in-state. Joseph P. Morrone is one of the most respected coaches in college soccer, and his Huskies, as of this writing in mid-November, are ranked third in the nation with a record of 19-1 and a 17-game winning streak. The two schools ranked above them, the University of San Francisco and Alabama A&M, are both totally dependent on foreigners.
You ought to show your readers—and young soccer players—that good, exciting college soccer need not rely on a multinational scheme.
WILLIAM Z. CULLEN
THE NAME OF THE GAME
The LPGA did not change the Colgate-Dinah Shore Winners Circle to the Colgate-Dinah Shore (VIEWPOINT, Nov. 10). This Association does not have the power to do that. However, the sponsor, the Colgate-Palmolive Company, made a corporate decision to shorten the name to Colgate-Dinah Shore to follow the Associated Press' new guidelines that stipulate clean and precise titles.
JOHN A. HEWIG
Director, Communications, LPGA
New York City
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, New York, 10020.