Paul Zimmerman's article (He Can Run, but He Can't Hide, Aug. 16) on Walter Payton was a well deserved tribute to one of the NFL's most talented and exciting players. It's a shame other professional athletes aren't as team-oriented as Payton has been throughout his career with Chicago. Regardless of their record, the Bears have a winner in Payton.
River Forest, Ill.
Last year Walter Payton had his worst season as a pro, yet he gained 1,222 yards rushing. He takes a beating every game. If the Bears had an all-around team, with blocking and passing as well as running, I think Payton would rush for more than 2,000 yards.
Payton has always given credit to everyone else, and to his blockers especially, but I've seen him rush for first downs when his linemen completely missed their blocks. Payton uses what's there better than any back ever has, and he should take full credit.
Paul Zimmerman's account of Walter Payton's grueling conditioning program just proves what the combination of talent and hard work can produce. In the case of "Sweetness," it has produced one of the greatest players ever. Now if only the Bears could find more players like him....
August 29, 1982
It's wonderful to see so much spirit and determination in a player as great as Payton.
It has been my custom for 25 years not to allow my name to be used in media stories of patients I have treated. However, your article on Bill Walton (Will You Come Home, Bill Walton? Aug. 9) contains enough inaccuracies that I must answer.
The diagnosis of the condition bothering Walton was made by me on the first consultation, in 1980. Bill did not wish surgery done at that time. Attempts to return to full activity finally convinced him that something should be done. I designed the surgery and performed it with Dr. Tony Daly. I am a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, not a podiatrist as you said.
The foot condition Walton suffers from was first recognized by me in other patients about eight years ago. It is a combination of a congenital defect—a partial calcaneonavicular coalition—and a resulting incomplete motion laterally of the heel bone. This is just the reverse of the condition usually seen, i.e., a flat foot. Removal of the coalition alone does not relieve the problem. It is necessary to take out abutting bone from the lateral side of the foot just underneath the ankle (sinus tarsi). I have named the latter condition Sinus Tarsi Abutment Syndrome. The corrective surgery has now been performed in more than 20 cases, with the patients ranging in age from nine to 55 years. Among them are professional athletes, college athletes, weekend athletes and patients with other injuries. Most are back to pre-injury activity. A report is now being written for the medical literature.
F. WILLIAM WAGNER JR., M.D.
Clinical Professor, Orthopedic Surgery
USC School of Medicine
CBS vs. ABC
William Taaffe is absolutely right (TV/RADIO, Aug. 16). There is nobody I know who would choose to watch a lot of shots in a golf tournament rather than a Jack Nicklaus-Tom Watson showdown. CBS golf coverage lacks the interest and excitement that ABC creates for its viewers.
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Can William Taaffe seriously believe that ABC does a better job with its golf coverage than CBS does? Only by focusing on the tournament as a whole can television capture for its viewers the full flavor of a golf tournament. While I love to watch Jack Nicklaus on a roll, I am also interested in what is happening to the other 10 or so contenders who may be within five shots of the lead. CBS provides this kind of coverage much better than ABC.
SCOTT R. REIF
My thanks to E.M. Swift for his excellent article on Relief Pitcher Bill Caudill of the Seattle Mariners (Need Help? Call the Inspector, Aug. 16). Being a metropolitan New York resident who is constantly confronted by stories about the desecration of America's game, Steinbrenner style, I am thrilled to read how Caudill has been able to excite a team and a city. He is a long-awaited bit of relief for baseball. Inspector, I take my cap off to you.
HUGH R. ROVIT
I wish to inform you that the Mariners' Bill Caudill and Larry Andersen didn't "invent" Rally Caps. Rally hats—baseball caps turned inside out for good luck—were first used by the Worthington (Ohio) American Legion baseball team on July 21, 1981. Worthington was trailing Westland by five runs in the district championship game. With the aid of their rally hats, Worthington scored seven times in the last two innings to win by two.
DAVID C. MUMAW
Herm Weiskopf's summary of the week's major league baseball activity (BASEBALL'S WEEK, Aug. 16) aroused my curiosity when I read that Doug Flynn and Joel Youngblood were traded from the Reds to the Mets in separate deals on the same day five years ago. So I donned my houndstooth-check hat and, puffing intently on a calabash pipe, set forth on an extensive investigation.
Flynn and Youngblood were traded to the Mets on June 15, 1977, but from different teams. Flynn was dealt with three other Reds players for pitcher Tom Seaver while Youngblood came over from the Cardinals for Shortstop Mike Phillips. Youngblood had been traded to the Cardinals from the Reds on March 28, 1977.
And whom, you may ask, did the Reds receive from the Cardinals in exchange for Youngblood? Elementary, my dear Weiskopf. It was that famous Seattle snoop and relief pitcher, Inspector Bill Caudill, who was featured in that same issue.
Your article on the Atlanta Braves (Not Home Free Yet, Aug. 9) contained a sidebar on the effect of Atlanta Braves baseball in the Midwest in which you noted that Early, Iowa claims "probably erroneously" to be the geographical center of the contiguous 48 states. I hate to steal the thunder from the folks in Early, but the true geographical center is located in Kansas, about 20 miles west of here. The marker can be found on the outskirts of Lebanon, Kans. (pop. 517).
WILLIAM Q. MARTIN
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