Thank you for giving credit to Edwin Moses for his continuing contribution to track and field, and to sports in general (He Gave Himself a Birthday Present, Sept. 12). He deserved recognition on your cover. His streak of 87 straight victories and four world records over a span of seven years separates him from almost all other athletes.
Saranac Lake, N.Y.
With all the drumbeating for Carl Lewis and Mary Decker (19TH HOLE, Sept. 5), I hope Edwin Moses won't be denied his rightful title of Sportsman of the Year, which he should have been given long before now. As a competitor, a coach and an official over the past 55 years, I've seen all the great track and field performers, and there is no doubt in my mind that Moses is the best of all time. He never loses, and no other competitor in his specialty even comes close to his times. It is just his misfortune that he always makes winning look so easy—bear in mind that the 400-meter hurdles is probably the toughest event in track. As good as Lewis and Decker are, neither they nor anyone else can compare with Moses the Magnificent.
JACKIE SHERRILL'S EXPERIMENT
Sincere thanks for Douglas S. Looney's excellent article The Twelfth Man (1983 College & Pro Football Spectacular, Sept. 1) on the Texas Aggie home kickoff team. Rarely do we A&M alumni come across an article that captures the essence of the Aggie spirit, which is just what Looney did.
There has been much debate concerning the appropriateness of employing such a non-athletic-scholarship student team, but regardless of the outcome of the experiment, I support Jackie Sherrill and the Aggies 100%. I can hear the Longhorns laughing in the distance, yet when A&M plays Texas on Thanksgiving weekend and the kickoff team is running down the field, it will not be just the Twelfth Man trying to tackle a ballcarrier. There will be more than 100 years of devotion to A&M going with those students. And there is no Longhorn student alive who can comprehend that spirit.
JAMES H. HAYES JR.
September 25, 1983
Initially, I considered it obscene when Texas A&M gave Jackie Sherrill a $1,602,000 contract to coach its football team. Actually, I still do. But if his experiment with the Twelfth Man succeeds and returns a little of college football action to the college student, maybe he'll have been worth it.
NORMAN E. COLTEN
THE PLAY (CONT.)
I had two good reasons for enjoying Ron Fimrite's excellent article Anatomy of a Miracle in your special football issue (1983 College & Pro Football Spectacular, Sept. 1): I'm a non-practicing journalism graduate (Kansas, '49) and frequent critic of the work of current sportswriters. and I was also the referee in last season's Cal-Stanford Big Game, memorialized by Fimrite in his description of The Play.
Fimrite conveyed the spirited atmosphere of all 85 Big Games, several of which I have officiated, and his description of The Play was accurate, artistic and certainly reflective of the reactions and emotions of the spectators, players, coaches, officials and—oh, yes—band members. His research was so thorough that the story enlightened me on some aspects that I was not aware of at the time and hadn't read about in any other account.
After 25 years of collegiate football officiating, I found The Play a climactic thrill. Now when I have trouble going to sleep, I don't count sheep, I count lateral passes.
Pac-10 Referee (ret.)
AKRON'S WORLD SERIES
Dan Jenkins' suggestions (The Price Was Right, Sept. 5) regarding the World Series of Golf were interesting. I agree that the tournament's purse should be the largest on the tour. This would be easier to accomplish if another of his ideas were accepted: Limit the World Series to winners only.
However, I don't agree that the name of the tournament should be changed. All that is needed in this regard is to change the date. Play the World Series when the other World Series is being played, i.e., in early October. That way, the tournament would be held much nearer the end of the golf season, and the oppressive Ohio August humidity would be traded for a beautiful Ohio autumn. Just think, there could be camera cuts to the Goodyear blimp—when it wasn't engaged in aerial combat with the Firestone water tower, of course—for shots of breathtaking fall foliage.
Also. I emphatically disagree with the suggestion that the World Series be relocated out of Akron. What Jenkins fails to understand is that Akron has a first-rate golf course. Firestone is not quite as exotic as Augusta National or Pebble Beach, but in my opinion it is more challenging than the former and at least equal to the latter. Another factor in Akron's and Firestone's favor is the care given to organizing this event. There probably isn't a golf tournament anywhere that is better run.
JOHN P. WUNDERLE JR.
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
I'll leave the format of the World Series of Golf to the experts. However, Dan Jenkins' reference to the opening ceremonies as "hilarious" was a cheap shot. The youngsters in the band played admirably, considering they were in full uniform and standing at attention for nearly an hour in blazing 90° weather. Several collapsed from heat exhaustion. And those flags that Jenkins so disrespectfully referred to as "strange" just happened to represent the countries of the contestants in this international field, including, of course, the Stars and Stripes. As for the water tower at Firestone Country Club, I suggest that Jenkins climb it and take a flying leap!
HARVEY MARTIN'S TROUBLES
I was touched by Gary Smith's story on Harvey Martin (A Shining Knight No More, Sept. 12). I admire Martin for his ability to come back after the bad press and the financial problems he has faced. I am one of millions who feel the Cowboys will always be America's Team. Martin does his job for Dallas; his record speaks for itself. As for the drug accusations, no formal charges were ever made. Considering all Martin has survived, he is bound to end up on top once again.
The feature on Harvey Martin was a well-written account of a person who has succeeded, thanks to talent and opportunity, to a degree achieved by few other men. Yet Martin has handled his success like a loser, or a fool. Are we supposed to feel sorry for him?
The behavioral-science journals are loaded with tearjerkers about overgrown babies who cannot properly manage their personal matters. I, for one, would rather read about true success when I pick up my SI.
PAUL A. ORT
PAN AM AFTERMATH
Judging by your coverage of the anabolic steroid issue, one is forced to conclude that the only point of view that is legitimate is that steroids are bad, on the ground that they have potentially harmful side effects and on moral grounds. I do not wish to be an evangelist for the value of anabolic steroid use in sports, but you must recognize that there is another side to the story. In fact, as a world-class power-lifter, as well as a trained sports psychologist, I can tell you flatly that the most prevalent view among steroid users is that the benefits far outweigh the risks.
Drugs are not inherently evil—misuse and abuse by people give them that connotation. I believe that drugs have been, are and will continue to be an important source of man's salvation. I also believe that there can be no nobler use for drugs than improving man's performance capabilities. Society demands bigger, faster and stronger athletes. The sacrosanctity of the sports arena, however, has been a hindrance to meeting this demand. Athletes are forced into the closet or toward ever more dangerous alternatives when it comes to doing things that society may frown on. I suggest that educating society at large, as well as steroid-using athletes, is the most prudent and efficient means of controlling drug abuse. Legislation and prohibition have never solved any of society's problems. Instead, they have exacerbated them.
FREDERICK C. HATFIELD, PH.D.
Muscle & Fitness
Woodland Hills, Calif.
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