In his article (A Tie That Felt Like A Triumph, Oct. 22). Douglas S. Looney makes much of the Texas Longhorns' determination, their big hearts and their total dedication. Frankly, I'm more impressed with their luck and their gifts from the officials.
To my mind, the game had very few highlights, with one exception: the Oklahoma defense, which Looney all but ignored. Holding Texas's exalted offense to a mere 96 yards rushing failed to earn the Sooners more than a couple of paragraphs in Looney's glorification of the Longhorns.
All this aside, I can accept the fact that the game ended in a tie, but please don't expect us Sooner fans to accept the injustice and humiliation of being ranked behind the Longhorns in your Top 20 poll (FOOTBALL'S WEEK, Oct. 22).
The deciding factor in the game was not the Longhorns' determination. It was the incredibly poor officiating. Coach Barry Switzer had every right to complain that Oklahoma was robbed.
November 5, 1984
Texas, not Oklahoma, is the team that needs to look elsewhere for inspiration. The Longhorns showed a complete lack of intestinal fortitude by not going for the win.
Burns Flat, Okla.
ONLY ONCE TIED
In FOOTBALL'S WEEK (Oct. 15), N. Brooks Clark quoted Florida State coach Bobby Bowden after the 17-17 tie with Memphis State as never having been "so happy with a tie game" in his life. I find that quite interesting, because in more than 24 years of college coaching Bowden had never before been involved in a tie.
THE ROAR OF '84
As a Tiger fanatic and one who was at the ol' ball park for Game 5, I want to thank Steve Wulf for his magnificent account of the Tigers' World Series victory (Detroit Jumped All Over 'Em, Oct. 22). Most of all, I want to thank Wulf for his lead. It gave me a chill up my spine and perfectly described the feeling I had watching that little white ball rocket out to rightfield. This issue of SI will become part of my memory box of programs, buttons, ticket stubs and newspaper clippings about The Roar of '84.
How about Sparky Anderson and his gang for Sportsmen of the Year? I realize that Mary Lou Retton, Bill Johnson and the other Olympians were great, but the Tigers' going wire to wire with such dominance was remarkable.
F. PATRICK DEVINE
I enjoyed John Underwood's story (He'll Tackle Anything, Oct. 22) on Randy White. His dedication to football and his team is something not found in many players. After attending games at Texas Stadium and seeing him in action, I have to agree with a sign I saw posted at the stadium during the preseason: RANDY, WHY ASK FOR $800,000 WHEN YOU'RE WORTH A MILLION?
John Underwood says it was "interceptions and offensive misplays that opened the door for the Redskins" in their game against the Cowboys on Oct. 14. It wasn't the Dallas offense that John Riggins ran through for 165 yards, mostly up the middle where the league's greatest fisherman hangs his hook. Next time you do a feature article on the best defensive tackle in the NFL, do it on Washington's Dave Butz, a major reason for offensive misplays.
CHRISTOPHER A. MCCARTHY
Falls Church, Va.
After watching the Bears-Cowboys game a few weeks ago, I can honestly say that I saw a tremendously talented defensive football player: Dan Hampton of the Bears. He was all over the field. Too bad Charlie Waters didn't see him play, because he would have to retract his "White is the best player, period" statement.
LAMAR GANT'S EXAMPLE
You're doing it! You're making an SI reader of me. Ever since I became involved in running and doing my own marathons 15 years ago, I've turned off my television and stopped reading about professional sports. My heroes became triathletes Sally Edwards and Dave Scott and 100-mile runner Jim King. But I've found your recent articles on cyclist Greg LeMond (Climbing Clear Up To The Heights, Sept. 3) and powerlifter Lamar Gant (He Bends But He Doesn't Break, Oct. 22) to be some of the best sports journalism I've come across. Going beyond the scores, the stats and the team competition to the inner makeup of an individual athlete—that's the strength of your magazine. I look forward to more.
JOEL K. UHER
Lamar Gant for Sportsman of the Year! In an era in which too many pampered athletes first whine about how poorly they're treated because their multimillion-dollar contracts aren't enough and then put out less than their best. I am truly impressed by Gant. Here's a man who has built himself into the best in the world by what would seem to be outdated ethics: extremely hard work, total dedication and a real love for his sport. And Gant gets nothing more out of it than the deep satisfaction of knowing that he has done the best he possibly could. For that, for approaching sport fairly and honestly—that is, without drugs—for helping to dispel the Ugly American image so many of our athletes and coaches foster overseas and, even more important, for being a shining, smiling example of a truly joyous and wonderful human being (a nearly extinct species), he most assuredly deserves accolades from all of us. He certainly has my respect.
RODNEY K. GREGSON
Sims Valley, Calif.
I have never been as interested in a story as I was in Terry Todd's piece about Lamar Gant. The fact that Gant continues to do what he does despite suffering from scoliosis is both thrilling and scary to me. I'm 33 and am currently recovering from two operations for scoliosis and from a five-week stay in a Louisville hospital. I was informed that I had idiopathic scoliosis when I was 16. I lived without pain until three years ago, when I went on a diet, lost 40 pounds and jogged until I could run six miles a day after working on a farm for 10 to 12 hours a day. When I started to have the pain, my doctor told me either to live in pain or have surgery. I elected to have surgery.
The point I'm trying to make is that I'm glad Gant has been so lucky and successful—lucky that he hasn't hurt himself while becoming a success as a powerlifter. Any young person with scoliosis should consult a doctor before undertaking anything like what Lamar has. The danger to such a person's spine is very great.
LOU LAMORIELLO'S LEAGUE
I read with interest Jack Falla's article So Now The Twain Shall Meet (Oct. 22). As a longtime college hockey fan, I, too, am excited by the prospect of East meeting West.
The outlook for Hockey East is strong. As Falla pointed out, Lou Lamoriello served capably at Providence College as a player, coach and administrator. I recall that the Penguin was also an accomplished baseball player as an undergraduate.
Stick it to 'em, Lou.
CHRIS C. FIELD
In regard to Jack Falla's article on Hockey East, I don't share Lou Lamoriello's optimistic view of his new venture.
Internal rumblings are sure to begin after 1) the Penguin's TV package fails in Boston, as I predict it will, and 2) league members begin wondering why they are extending their credit cards to go to Wisconsin, North Dakota and other Western Collegiate Hockey Association states when their real rivalries are right in their own backyard, with Eastern College Athletic Conference schools.
North Dakota at Northeastern is hardly the caviar that Harvard at Northeastern was. Leave the West to itself until the NCAAs. If the Penguin was nervous on his honeymoon, wait till he sees how he is in a year or two when his offspring becomes Lou Lamoriello's Lament.
What a joy to read the REMINISCENCE (Oct. 15) by Timothy F. Comstock about his friendship as a young boy with Max Baer! As one who has spent the major part of the last 48 years as a boxing publicist, I'd like to chime in with some of my recollections of this warmhearted, decent, tender onetime heavyweight champion.
In 1933 I was a reporter for the Thomas Jefferson High School (Brooklyn) newspaper. Baer was doing a vaudeville turn at the Loew's Metropolitan in Brooklyn in conjunction with a film he'd made. The Prizefighter and the Lady, co-starring Myrna Loy. I went backstage for an interview, and Baer and I hit it off. He was scheduled to spend a week in Baltimore after his Brooklyn appearance, and he invited me to tag along. So a callow kid from the streets, whose greatest adventure up to then had been sneaking into Ebbets Field or going to the fights at Golden City Park in Canarsie, was living it up at the Lord Baltimore Hotel, serving as a gofer for the great Max Baer! In 1934, when Max trained in Asbury Park, N.J. for his title fight with Primo Camera, I was invited to spend a couple of weekends with him at a palatial oceanfront home in the then very exclusive town of Deal, N.J. While there I hobnobbed with his trainer, Mike Cantwell, and with his sparring partners, Seal Harris, Dynamite Jackson and Tiger Roy Williams.
I'd have to say that Baer was largely responsible for my getting into boxing. We met again after he retired and I was working for Nat Fleischer at Ring magazine, so, fortunately, I got a chance to thank him and let him see how the street kid from Brownsville was making it in the fight game.
Director of Publicity
Top Rank, Inc.
New York City
RIPE FOR A RIBBING
Regarding SCORECARD (Oct. 8), I suppose that when Santa Clara University's Killer Tomatoes are getting pasted on the football field, the offense bails them out with its Ketchup Offense.
St. Catharines, Ont.
While in England recently, I came across this sign at a service area along one of the major express highways.
At first I thought that the British counterparts of Don Shula and Tom Landry were held in real contempt, but it turned out that the service station operators just didn't want their parking lot choked with buses on the way to soccer matches!
GEORGE S. COHAN
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.