The Chicago Bears on three straight covers (Jan. 20, Jan. 27 and Feb. 3)? Not even Paulina is that good.
KEVIN H. O'LEARY
Curry Kirkpatrick hit the nail right on the head (band) with his portrait of Jim McMahon, the true MVP of Super Bowl XX (The Bear In Mind, Feb. 3). McMahon's individualism and his ability to stand back and chuckle at the "bloated activity" of the Super Bowl provide a cool breeze of fresh air at a time when needles far worse than those made popular by the Bear quarterback and his acupuncturist friend, Hiroshi Shiriashi, are dominating the headlines and creating a pain in the rear for the league and the game.
JOHN C. KELLY
Old Greenwich, Conn.
John McEnroe is about to be dethroned by Jim McMahon as sport's No. 1 boor.
San Mateo, Calif.
The case of the University of Georgia's graduating perhaps only 30 of approximately 200 black athletes (SCORECARD, Jan. 27) is a disgrace to college athletics. Considering the number of gifted students denied a college education because of a lack of financial aid, it would seem that the school's scholarship money could be more wisely spent. Still, most of these athletes probably had the ability to learn, which makes the case even sadder.
So attorney Hale Almand thinks that all a University of Georgia athlete has to do in order to get a job in the Post Office is to be able to read and write. I doubt that. To become a mail carrier or clerk you have to take a tough Civil Service examination, and then your name is placed on a register according to your score. If you are fortunate enough to be called, you then have to learn complicated schemes involving thousands of street numbers and addresses. It sounds to me as though the Georgia athletes would be lucky to get jobs as garbage collectors.
U.S. Postal Service
This may come as something of a surprise to Hale Almand, but the employees of the New York City Department of Sanitation, some of the "garbagemen" he so condescendingly refers to, can read. In fact, many of our recently appointed sanitation workers have come to the agency with bachelor's and even master's degrees.
In the future, let's separate the garbage from the worker who handles it.
Department of Sanitation
New York City
When is the hypocrisy surrounding college and university athletics going to end? I'm talking about looking at reality in the 1980s, not some educator's or sports editor's view based upon a concept of American sports and culture that no longer exists. Let's look at some facts:
Salaries in the NBA and the NFL range from approximately $50,000 to somewhere around $1 million.
The colleges and universities have a virtual monopoly on those who enter the NBA or NFL draft and earn one of those salaries. They operate the farm clubs. They have the coaching staffs, the physical facilities, the promotional resources and the competitive schedules needed to sharpen the skills that are required for NBA or NFL entry.
Yet college and university admissions and graduation criteria for athletes are still based upon achievement in academic, not athletic pursuits.
Considering only these points—and there are many more that could be included—what in heaven's name do you expect but exactly what we are now seeing in college and university athletics?
PETER H. KAUFMAN
Santa Ana, Calif.
It was great for Cal basketball to be featured in SI after our big win over UCLA (Cal Rises To The Occasion, Feb. 3). However, a comment I made about Italian food in the Bay Area was misrepresented. I was quoted as saying that eating Italian food out here was like eating at a Pizza Hut. Nothing could be further from the truth.
What I said was that for a paisano like me, dining in the San Francisco area in some of the finest Italian restaurants in the world is close to being in heaven on earth. My previous "hometown," Harrisonburg, Va. (pop. 26,500), located in the middle of the picturesque but isolated Shenandoah Valley, has comparatively few restaurants, and our idea of eating Italian food there was heading down to the local Pizza Hut.
Please set the record straight before my Italian friends string me up. The 12 pounds I've gained since coming out here attest to my love for the great Italian food in The City.
University of California
Congratulations to Jack McCallum and Bruce Newman on their fine story (Journey Of Discovery, Feb. 3) on the Lakers and the Celtics. After glancing over the roster of the current Celtics, I have discovered that once again their chemistry and teamwork will add up to the title:
It looks like another Green year to me!
Pleasant Hill, Calif.
Letters should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and be addressed lo The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.