Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as 1985 Sportsman of the Year was an excellent selection (Now, More Than Ever, A Winner, Dec. 23-30). It's time he was recognized as one of the great athletes. He has always been my sports hero, and I hope he can continue to enjoy playing much longer. Would you please show us all of the SI covers on which he has been featured?
DANZIE DICKER JR.
North Chicago, Ill.
•Here you are.
Dec. 5, 1966
April 3, 1967
Jan. 29, 1968
March 31, 1969
Oct. 27, 1969
March 9, 1970
April 27, 1970
Feb. 8, 1971
April 24, 1972
Feb. 19, 1973
May 20, 1974
Oct. 14, 1974
Feb. 14, 1977
May 23, 1977
May 5, 1980
Dec. 15, 1980
May 9, 1983
Feb. 8, 1984
June 10, 1985
June 17, 1985
Dec. 23-30, 1985
NOT STANDING PAT
It was great to see New England running back Craig James on the cover of your Jan. 13 issue. The Patriots are definitely coming of age, and your articles on their victories over the Jets and the Raiders (Up And Over, Down And Out, Jan. 6 and A Corker At The Coliseum, Jan. 13) were super.
Being a longtime fan, I have watched and waited for the day when the Patriots would explode and win the way I always knew they could. It is nice to see that they are now getting a positive press and that most of the talk that they can't win the big game has stopped.
The Patriots are in the Super Bowl this year, and I, for one, think there are many more-great years ahead for them.
I have a red Patriots shirt that I have worn only five times this season. Alas, every time I wore it, the Patriots lost. My friend, aware of this Pats-shirt jinx, advised me not to wear it for the AFC championship game. At first I obliged, but then, thinking twice, I figured this would be the best time for the Pats to overcome all their jinxes: the Orange Bowl jinx, the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED cover jinx and the red Pats-shirt jinx. I am happy to report that the jinxes are now dead and that the Patriots are alive and well.
JOSEPH R. GANLEY
THE OLD ARGUMENT
Sooner fans all over the country can take pride in Oklahoma's final No. 1 ranking (No Doubt About It: Oklahoma's No. 1, Jan. 13). The Sooners beat a very good Penn State team head to head in the Orange Bowl, while getting unexpected help from Tennessee, which thrashed the Miami Hurricanes in the Sugar Bowl.
Still, supporters of Michigan, Tennessee, Air Force and other schools whose teams were highly successful this season must be frustrated that they don't have a shot at the Sooners via a postbowl NCAA-sanctioned championship. College football among the big boys has become extremely balanced. On any given day a Michigan or Tennessee might have an excellent chance to defeat the Sooners.
Let the ultimate Division I champion be determined on the field, head to head—not by a panel of pollsters. Pick the four best teams from the postseason bowls and allow them to play for a real No. 1.
The Heisman Trophy for Joe Dudek of New Hampshire's Plymouth State College (What The Heck, Why Not Dudek? Dec. 2)? Absolutely! But did he get it? Absolutely not!
I, and many others in New Hampshire, New England and across the nation, appreciate the wisdom of Rick Reilly's story pointing to the rightness—the justice—of selecting an athlete whose performance demanded his being chosen by the trophy selectors. Reilly had the courage and boldness to suggest that the Heisman go to one who was deserving. For that he has our thanks. To those Heisman voters who cannot see beyond Division I, I say hang your heads.
JOHN H. SUNUNU
State of New Hampshire
Bil Gilbert should have visited Spokane Community College to obtain proof positive that a Bigfoot exists (Bigfoot, Jan. 6). Our Sasquatch, perhaps the only college mascot of its kind in the U.S., has served the campus well for more than 20 years.
Standing 10 feet tall, this squatch makes his home in the student center—called the Lair—and his footprints are found all across the campus. He may look gentle, but he can get real ornery when someone doubts his existence. You owe the big fella an apology, Bil!
Director of Student Activities
Spokane Community College
Hearty applause for the accurate report on the Arabian horse craze (Beauty And The Beastly, Jan. 13). After 30-odd years of owning and enjoying Arabian horses, I can vouch for their versatility, desire to please and loving disposition. And when it comes to honesty and intelligence, they are miles above some of their owners. Thank you for printing the truth—that the biggest problem our animal friends have is the shallow, greedy people who control their destiny.
MRS. BOB COOPER
Paw Paw, Mich.
As a longtime Arabian enthusiast, I was gratified to see the article by E.M. Swift and J.E. Vader. There's nothing I enjoy more than spending time with one of my best friends, my 3-year-old purebred gelding. He's already a halter champion, shown without ginger or a whip. He didn't come from a glitzy sale, and he's no tax shelter, just a good friend. It makes no difference that we don't fit the Lasma mold because we're just having fun.
There is an important point that was omitted from the article. The breed's governing body, the International Arabian Horse Association, has instituted a crackdown on whip abuse and the use of illegal substances such as ginger, mascara and drugs. So far the results have been encouraging.
THE NEW GLOBIES
I disagree with Franz Lidz's contention (Is This Georgia Brown? Jan. 6) that the great show put on by the Harlem Globetrotters can be dull or "tired vaudeville." Their antics and skill never cease to amaze me. I also resent the fact that the latest ploy of the team's owners is to give us wiggle and jiggle to raise audience interest, instead of promoting the true magic artistry that has served the Globetrotters well for decades.
New Salisbury, Ind.
THE SMITHSONIAN COLLECTION
Brian Lanker's evocative photos of the sports-related items at the Smithsonian Institution (Your Uncle Sam's Attic, Dec. 23-30) made me wonder whether many of your readers might have memorabilia that would be valuable additions to the Smithsonian collection. How can they learn if their items would be of any interest to the Smithsonian?
RICHARD H. BEAHRS
•Anyone who has such items should send a description of them to Carl Scheele, Curator, Division of Community Life, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560.
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.