CON WHO WOULD BE PRO
Franz Lidz's story (This Is the Game of the Name, Sept. 19) on Arthur Lee Trotter, the man who would be Marv Fleming et al., was a real piece of work. One question, though. Does the imprisoned impostor, Trotter, really look that much like Fleming, Bill Russell and John Mackey, or are people just dumber than I think?
•Decide for yourself.—ED.
Finally, in Frank Deford's article on Martina the Magnificent's victory in the U.S. Open (She Put Herself into High Gear and Headed North, Sept. 19), we have a sports-writer acknowledging what fans have known all along—that Team Navratilova is no bigger than any other "team." It's just that Martina is so much better than everyone else, it only seems as though there's more than one player on her side of the net.
The Open is won. Now I hope everyone will just sit back, relax, enjoy Martina's play and stop carping.
New York City
October 2, 1983
I was really annoyed when you failed to put Martina Navratilova on your cover after her amazing performance at Wimbledon in July, but now I understand. You were reserving the honor for her long-awaited U.S. Open title. This was indeed a much more appropriate time, and it was well worth the wait. Bravo, Martina!
The last woman to be honored as your Sportswoman of the Year was Chris Evert Lloyd (1976); it seems only right that Martina be the next.
If Martina Navratilova makes a habit of flipping the bird, as Frank Deford put it, to hecklers, she'll always remain far behind Chris Evert Lloyd in one category: class.
GLENN T. MAJEWSKI
During the Open, Chris Evert Lloyd claimed that Martina has had only two great years. By my count it's at least four. Come on, Chris. Your place in tennis history is secure. You don't have to try to diminish someone else to make yourself look better.
Being a Jimmy Connors fan, I find sweet irony in the fact that Frank Deford was assigned to cover the '82 Wimbledon and the '83 U.S. Open tennis tournaments, both of which Connors won. It was Deford, after all, who prematurely proclaimed the end of Connors' career by referring to him in his article on the '81 Open as "the late, great Jimmy Connors" (Another Big Mac Attack, Sept. 21, 1981). Seems like Deford, along with a few other people, gave up on Jimbo a couple of years too soon.
I enjoyed Frank Deford's article on the '83 Open. I happen to be one of those "obsolete" fans who love watching an athlete give it everything he's got on every point, no matter what the score. Tennis will lose one of its most exciting and tenacious competitors when Jimmy Connors retires.
Frank Deford's article about Jimmy Connors' Open victory thoroughly shocked and angered me. Although I am accustomed to opinionated coverage of tennis by SI, I never expected such unprofessional garbage. How can you congratulate a boorish extrovert and ungracious winner like Connors and at the same time denigrate a quiet and talented player like Ivan Lendl?
DONNA A. WOLF
THE CHANGING TIDE
My brother called long-distance to tell me that if he ever got fired he would wish for the same publicity I've had—ABC Television and SI (The Dawning of a New Day, Sept. 19) in the same week, but still no resulting job offers.
John Underwood's article on Ray Perkins, Paul (Bear) Bryant's successor at Alabama, was first-class, as Underwood's stories usually are. I believe the first two weeks of the season clearly proved Perkins a worthy successor to The Man, and that 'Bama fans will not have to suffer any painful interregnum.
I grew up in Tuscaloosa—one of my early memories is watching a touchdown pass from Dixie Howell to Don Hutson—so my 30-year association with the Alabama broadcasts was a special treasure for me. However, as I told Ray, I agreed with many changes he made and objected, obviously, to a few. But he has the responsibility for the athletic program, and I firmly believe he has to do what he thinks best for every aspect of it.
Former Play-by-Play Announcer
Alabama Football Network
THE BEAR'S RECORD
The statement in your 1983 College & Pro Football Spectacular (The Top 20, Sept. 1) concerning Alabama Coach Bear Bryant's record of 11-12-2 against non-conference powers was correct but highly misleading.
If you break down that record you will see that Texas, against which the Bear's record was 0-3-1, and Notre Dame (0-4-0) were the only thorns in Bryant's side. The five remaining teams you listed were even at best, with Alabama matching Southern California 2-2-0 and outplaying Nebraska 3-2-0, Penn State 4-1-0, Ohio State 1-0-0 and Oklahoma 1-0-1.
True fans do remember.
Regarding Bear Bryant's Alabama record against quality non-conference opposition, if one includes Arkansas, Baylor, Clemson, Florida State, Houston, Illinois, Miami (Fla.), Missouri, N.C. State, Rutgers, SMU, Texas A&M, TCU, UCLA and Washington, the record becomes 51-15-3. It seems unfair to expect Ray Perkins or anyone else to improve on that performance.
ERNEST E. ALLEN JR.
Beautiful! Ron Fimrite's article ("I'm the Gehrig of My Time," Sept. 19) on Cecil Cooper made my day. In an era in which athletes are increasingly criticized and rejected as favorable role models, Cooper instills hope. His involvement in community affairs and his selfless attitude are to be lauded. He states in your article, "Always believe in yourself, because if you don't, you're defeated." Don't worry about it, Cecil. You're a winner in the game of life!
THE REV. DAVID D. BRAY
St. John's Lutheran Church
Britton, S. Dak.
Cecil Cooper the "Lou Gehrig of our time"? At the end of last week, the Orioles' Eddie Murray had 197 home runs at age 27 and Cooper had only 193 at age 33. We'll see who's the Gehrig of our time.
DRAWING THE LINE
Your article on Harvey Martin (A Shining Knight No More, Sept. 12) reveals that you're applying a double standard. You recently ran a two-part article on Darryl Stingley (Where Am I? It Has to Be a Bad Dream, Aug. 29 and Sept. 5) in which Stingley and Mark Mulvoy deplored the hit by Jack Tatum that permanently crippled Stingley. Now, in the Martin story, Gary Smith humorously relates how a blow of Martin's to the head of a rookie—in practice!—left the rookie unconscious for eight minutes.
In both cases, the intent would seem to be the same, the difference being the lack of permanent damage in one example. Was Tatum's hit worse than Martin's only because his caused irreparable injury? If Stingley had gotten up, and Tatum were still playing, is it possible you would be writing about the great Jack Tatum and what he once did to Stingley?
WILLIAM E. IBE
In the article The Power but No Glory (Sept. 19), Ricky Hunley of Arizona says, "I dream, I mean dream, of hitting a wide receiver in midair." Is what he is dreaming of the making of another Darryl Stingley?
GEORGE F. PLATTS
Ormond Beach, Fla.
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