Roy Blount Jr.'s piece on Franco Harris (The Ascent of an Enigma, Aug. 23) was extraordinary. I thought such mastery might be lost forever with the passing of Red Smith. But I think even Red would be hard pressed to render a portrait as exquisite. We need to hear from Roy more often.
THOMAS HEALY ENNIS
Congratulations to Roy Blount Jr. for a wonderful article. As an avid Steeler and Harris fan, I'd rather see Franco step out of bounds than throw himself about the field the way Larry Brown used to do. We all know how long Larry lasted [1969-76]. I'm also counting the days until Harris catches the great Jim Brown in total rushing yardage.
DAVID E. BENZ
North Canton, Ohio
Franco Harris isn't the hardest-hitting back in football; he's the smartest. He's already outlasted Jim Brown, and he's sure to outgain him as well.
Overland Park, Kans.
Three summers ago, a Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurant opened on a fast-food-laden strip in Wildwood, N.J., with Franco Harris touted as co-owner. For weeks it was announced that Franco would be at the restaurant and in the area for promotional purposes. One evening around midnight I drove by Wendy's and recognized that unmistakable athlete outside by the drive-through window. Only at that late hour, Franco wasn't shaking hands or signing autographs—he was taking orders. Now I ask you, is that the mark of a lazy man?
JUSTIN J. CATANOSO
September 5, 1982
Your article on Franco truly described a super person. Franco's sister-in-law, Gail Harris, was our PTA president in 1981, and she arranged for Franco to speak at our school in April of that year. In fact, Franco not only spoke to the students in grades six, seven and eight, but also spent most of the day in our school. He impressed me as being someone who's willing to give that little bit extra—as his rushing statistics indicate.
J. Harold Duberson School
Mays Landing, N.J.
I save the issues of SI that I find particularly well done—I have a great many. Into the special collection goes the Aug. 23 issue on the strength of Richard Mackson's photo essay on beach volleyball (Having a Ball at the Beach). This country is gaining respect internationally for its Olympic volleyball teams, and more people need to know just what kind of sport volleyball is when played by excellent athletes. Most people have never seen top-notch power volleyball—and 100-mph spikes aren't the only excitement. A great dig or a block of a hard spike is pretty amazing, too! There's also a whole lot more to the game than just the beach scene.
U.S. Volleyball Association
I greatly enjoyed the photo essay on volleyball, but I have one minor complaint. You gave us a beautiful look at Theresa Lee Smith, runner-up in the 1981 Los Angeles Miss Cuervo contest. I thank you for that. However, in all fairness to the winner, Vicki Sue Benson, and to us readers, I believe a front-side glimpse of her is also in order. Please?
If I may make a casual observo,
Your cameraman just lost his nervo.
After snapping her stern
He should have yelled "Turn!"
At the fantastic first-place Miss Cuervo.
OLD JACK HOLTZ
•For a side view, see below left.—ED.
After seeing Theresa Lee Smith, Vicki Sue Benson and Carol Revello in your article on volleyball, I say who needs a swimsuit issue? But please still send me mine.
As a collegiate wrestler, I was impressed by the article Alone in the Eye of the Hurricane (Aug. 23) by Craig Neff. It gave real insight into the rigorous sport of wrestling.
Lee Kemp epitomizes the true wrestling champion. His statistics leave no doubt as to his ability, but ability alone doesn't make a champion. Kemp's greatest asset is his determination. May he have a long reign!
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
On behalf of all the Italian fans, estimated at more than 300,000, who celebrated in the true Little Italy—on St. Clair Avenue in Toronto—after the July 11 World Cup championship game, I'd like to express my sincere gratitude to Clive Gammon for his extraordinary article on Paolo Rossi (Coming Up Roses for Rossi, Aug. 16). Believe you me, we all know we deserve it.
To us soccer fans, the 1982 World Cup was the culmination of talent, will, patriotism and competitiveness. Paolo Rossi should be commended for his personal expression of these qualities within the framework of the Forza Azzurri and the game of soccer. He overcame the criticism leveled at him.
Rolling Hills, Calif.
DAILEY'S LAWYER'S OPINION
I was pleased to read the Quintin Dailey article by Robert H. Boyle and Roger Jackson (Bringing Down the Curtain, Aug. 9). Facts and impressions were brought together in a fair and disciplined manner. The high standard of writing reflected in your article is unfortunately becoming a rarity.
GEORGE G. WALKER
ONE JUROR'S OPINION
Having served as a federal juror on the 1981 antitrust mistrial—Los Angeles Coliseum-Raiders vs. the NFL (SCORECARD, Aug. 24, 1981 et seq.)—I'd like to express my opinion. The Raiders and the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission were denied the freedom of choice to move the Raiders' unencumbered business to Los Angeles because of NFL rules.
During the 55-day trial and after studying the evidence for 13 days, eight of our 10-member jury were convinced that Section 4.3 of the NFL Constitution and Bylaws did violate the Sherman Antitrust Act. The retrial that followed in 1982 resulted in a six-member jury voting unanimously in favor of the Los Angeles Coliseum and the Raiders.
In spite of the decision by the 1982 jury, and the fact that antitrust laws were designed to promote free enterprise and competition for the benefit of business, employees and consumers, the NFL continues to lobby in Congress in hopes of obtaining limited exemption from antitrust laws, retroactively, thereby forcing the Raiders to return to Oakland and blocking other teams from moving in the future. Considering the evidence, the decision of the jury and the existing antitrust laws, it seems that Congress should preserve the right of cities to compete for football teams. Competition is the American way.
LEANORA L. NUNN
AVOIDING RIGGED RACES
It's true that the incentive to rig horse races by bribing jockeys is greatest in the trifecta events, which develop long odds (SCORECARD, Aug. 23). And, of course, the New York Racing Association and others hate to do without multiple bets because of their popularity with the players. In doing research for the Charles Town (W. Va.) Turf Club, we found that multiple bets accounted for 18.4% of the total handle in 1980 (vs. 6.6% at the three New York major tracks).
There's a simple way to hinder if not prevent the rigging of the multiple-bet races: Don't show which races they are in the program; announce them on the P.A. system just before the race.
Cato-Lyst Research Company, Inc.
Charles Town, W. Va.
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.