After USC Tailback Marcus Allen's magnificent performance against Oklahoma (Them's the Bounces, Oct. 5), it seems to me they may as well close the voting on this year's Heisman Trophy recipient. Rushing for 208 yards against the Sooner defense is a feat.
I have to believe now that the only thing that's worse than watching Marcus Allen run around, over, under and through the Oregon State defense in a 56-22 rout on Oct. 3 is coming home after the game, grabbing SI and seeing "Rolling Thunder" on the cover. Thanks loads!
In your two pictures of Marcus Allen, why does he have a different face mask in the photograph on page 28 than the one he's shown wearing on the cover?
•According to a USC spokesman, Allen's original helmet was cracked—and Allen "saw stars"—when he was hit by three Oklahoma defenders on a short-gain play in the second quarter. The helmet shown on page 28 is the replacement.—ED.
You stated that Oklahoma's Barry Switzer had never before coached in the L.A. Coliseum and thus lacked firsthand knowledge of the USC tradition. Switzer was in his first year as Oklahoma's head coach when the Sooners played USC in the Coliseum in 1973 and tied the then No. 1-ranked Trojans 7-7, thus ending a 14-game Trojan victory streak.
As a formerly intense fan of baseball, I support your editorial on the split season (SCORECARD, Oct. 5). It's ludicrous and a disgrace to the Grand Old Game to watch Cincinnati finish with baseball's best record—I refuse to use the word "overall"—and yet not have a shot at the World Series. What's more, I don't care if Bowie Kuhn wears Bermuda shorts and goes shirtless at the Series, I can't accept baseball in the same month as Thanksgiving, whether it be in Montreal or L.A.
The team with the best won-lost record in the National League West? Cincinnati. The playoff teams? Los Angeles and Houston.
The team with the best won-lost record in the National League East? St. Louis. The playoff teams? Philadelphia and Montreal.
Would you ask Bowie Kuhn to tell me again—this time a bit more slowly—about the integrity of the game?
FRANK J. GILLIGAN
I glanced at the contents page of my Oct. 5 issue just before dinner. The appealing title, Nasty Little Devil, caught my eye, then the Bil Gilbert byline. Hot damn! Although I'm normally an attentive family man, I became oblivious of my domestic surroundings as I shared Gilbert's exotic adventure.
Later that evening I endured a cold steak, a cold-shouldered wife and two annoyed ankle-biters—my own little devils. But there was also the great satisfaction that always follows the reading of a Bil Gilbert work. What made me do it? The devil, of course.
G. MICHAEL FEUTZ
As fellow Hamdenites and recent graduates of Hamden (Conn.) High School, we were naturally excited by your article extolling the multiple virtues of Yale's scholar-athlete. Rich Diana (In the Merriwell Mold, Oct. 5). However, while we share in all Hamden's pride in this extraordinary young man, there were a couple of inaccuracies in the article. For one, Diana's scholastic achievements at Hamden High were commendable, but he didn't rank third in his class. That position was held by one Edith Meeks, also a senior at Yale. Diana ranked fourth.
As for Diana being "perhaps Hamden's most prominent native son," he faces some competition from other Hamdenites. Will Diana, despite considerable local press coverage, ever rival the acclaim of the late playwright and Hamden resident Thornton Wilder? Or that of actor and Hamden native Ernest Borg-nine? Hamdenites hold their heads high and are proud to include Diana in Hamden's Hall of Fame, but he doesn't stand alone.
Good luck. Rich. Go get Harvard! And be proud of the great heritage you carry into all your endeavors.
WILLIAM F. MILFORD
JAMES D. PETERS
SAN DIEGO JACK MURPHY STADIUM
Our congratulations go to Don Coryell for his ongoing success as coach of the San Diego Chargers (The Chargers' Fancy Is Passing, Sept. 28).
We take vehement exception, however, to Paul Zimmerman's assertion that San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium was built as much for Coryell's San Diego State College teams as for the professional San Diego Chargers. It was Charger General Manager and Head Coach Sid Gillman who was ultimately responsible for the stadium, for he focused national attention on San Diego with his sophisticated and successful teams.
San Diego was basically a military retirement town in the early 1960s, with a 25,000-seat stadium for pro ball. Sid Gillman made the city grow up and catch up. Jack Murphy, the late San Diego Union sports editor [and longtime SI correspondent] for whom the stadium was named, documented Gillman's contributions in this and other areas.
(Two of Sid's kids)
South Hollywood, Calif.
BASEBALL AND BROWN
It was most gratifying to see Steve Wulf's piece on Bill Almon's fine comeback with the Chicago White Sox (Almon Is Now a Joy, Sept. 28). It's with reluctance, then, that I call attention to the fact that although Brown University, Almon's alma mater, doesn't have a strong major league tradition, it does have a long one. In Wulfs opinion, Pitcher Bump Hadley has, until now, been Brown's only "major-leaguer of note." Not so. In 1894 Fred Tenney, a first baseman, broke in as a left-handed catcher with the Boston team of the National League. In 17 seasons, some of them spent as a playing manager, he had a lifetime batting average of .295. Along the way he perfected the 3-6-3 (first-to-second-to-first) double play. Incidentally, Tenney was also known as a "soiled collegian" because at the time it was not socially acceptable for college graduates to become professional athletes.
Professor of English
Letters should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.