CHRIS AND MARTINA
Your May 26 cover inset caption, "An Enduring Rivalry," might also have read "An Endearing Rivalry." Just when I thought that nothing new could be said about Chris Evert Lloyd and Martina Navratilova, Frank Deford provided fresh dimensions in his absorbing story (A Pair Beyond Compare). How about creating a special Sportswomen of the Year co-award for these champions who, together for so long, have exemplified the best in competitive spirit?
New York City
That Martina and Chris can be such firm friends is wonderful in and of itself. That they can be that way in a world of head-to-head competition, where each is just about the only threat to the other's absolute supremacy...well, you simply can't say enough about them. Can you imagine John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl or Al Davis and Pete Rozelle behaving in the same manner?
Every day sportswriters tell us what magnificent athletes Martina and Chris are. But it remains for a Frank Deford to let us know what magnificent human beings they are as well.
The first thing I do each week when I receive my copy of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is check the table of contents to see if Frank Deford has a story in it. His most recent article, on Chris and Martina, is the finest I have read. My thanks to Frank for sharing his wonderful abilities with us.
LESLIE H. STUPP
June 8, 1986
I am thrilled that Alexander Wolff has recognized Dennis Johnson as a superb ballplayer (DJ Spins A Happy Tune, May 26). In my opinion he is one of the greatest ball handlers ever to play the game. Though his statistics may not prove it, he steers the Celtics in the right direction. His record of game-winning shots is amazing, and he isn't a "get-the-ball-and-shoot" man. DJ is a fine passer, and on several occasions I have seen him beat much bigger players (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to name one) to the rebound. I am delighted that DJ is getting the credit he deserves. Where would Boston be without him?
If memory serves, DJ once drove a stake through the hearts of the Celts during a regular-season game by hitting a three-pointer with seconds to go to win the game. Ouch! At the time, he was wearing the uniform of the Seattle SuperSonics. On behalf of all Celtics fans I say that I'm happy he's happy—and I'm even happier that he's ours.
I object to Jack McCallum's treatment of Paul Pressey in his article on the Bucks-76ers series (Getting A Monkey Off Their Bucks, May 19). McCallum's agreeing with Charles Barkley that the Bucks have only two true stars (Terry Cummings and Sidney Moncrief) indicates he must have been watching only Barkley during the fourth quarter of the fifth game when Pressey scored 13 of his 23 points. Pressey also had 10 rebounds and 16 assists for the game. With Ricky Pierce, Cummings and Moncrief on the team, Pressey doesn't need to score 30 points a game, but he can if necessary. Pressey's selection to the first team NBA All-Defensive squad would seem to indicate that he is a budding superstar.
If anyone else says that Milwaukee has only two stars, I'm going to punch him in the nose.
WILLIAM ANDREWS' RETURN
Thank you for the article (Stopped In Mid-stride, May 19) on running back William Andrews. I was one of the Falcon fans lucky enough to see this great back run with the ball and block without it. As Rick Telander says, the problem is that Andrews wasn't the kind of back who ran for 80 yards, so he didn't get the press he deserved.
I look forward to Andrews' return to the Falcons this fall. We all have missed him the past two seasons and wish him the best of luck in his comeback from his injury.
NEAL A. SCHOTT
TOPPING THE SHOCKERS
With all due respect to the Wichita State sports information director, Casey Scott (19TH HOLE, May 12), the Shocker baseball team's 236 wins over the past four years (from 1982 through '85) are not tops in the nation. He overlooked college baseball's dominant team of the 1980s: the University of Texas, coached by Cliff Gustafson. The Longhorns achieved a four-year record of 249-49, for a winning percentage of .836. The Longhorns won 59 games in 1982, 66 in their 1983 national championship drive, 60 in '84 and 64 in '85. Going back seven years, as Scott did, Coach Gustafson's teams have amassed 425 wins, 15 more than Wichita State.
FLO HYMAN'S LEGACY (CONT.)
I'm writing to express my sincere appreciation to SI for being instrumental in saving the life of my husband, Bobby J. Credille. Richard Demak's special report, Marfan Syndrome: A Silent Killer (Feb. 17), alerted us to the possibility that Bobby might be a prime candidate for the disease that killed volleyball star Flo Hyman.
Bobby had been tested for this syndrome 18 years ago while in the military, but because he lacked the two major symptoms (heart murmur and nearsightedness), he was given a clean bill of health and the matter had been all but forgotten. Demak's article, however, described other symptoms, which along with the photographs seemed to fit Bobby exactly.
We decided that what we had read and seen was enough to warrant a call to our family doctor, who in turn gave us the name of a specialist. An echocardiogram confirmed that Bobby did indeed have Marfan's, with at least a 40% leakage of the aortic valve and an aneurysm of the aorta. Further testing by a cardiologist, including a cardiac catheterization, revealed that Bobby had a "mammoth" aneurysm of the aorta and a 40% to 50% leakage of the valve. When he learned what the odds were against survival with an aneurysm of this magnitude, Bobby agreed to undergo surgery, which was performed on May 9. Bobby is recovering nicely.
Throughout his life, Bobby had had no pain or other indications that would have warned us of this time bomb he had been carrying around inside his chest. He's 6'9" tall, weighs 252 pounds and had always been regarded as a superstrong human being. But according to our doctors, he was fortunate to have survived this long. Suffice it to say that had it not been for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, we would never even have thought about Marfan syndrome.
After studying the photographs accompanying your article on the Boston Garden (And They All Say, "This Is It? " May 19), I would like to know to whom the numbers on the banners overhead belong.
•In the order in which they appear on the two banners at top right, the retired Celtics numbers (or nickname) honor: founder Walter Brown (No. 1), Tom Sanders (16), Jim Loscutoff (LOSCY, whose number, 18, remained in use), Don Nelson (19), Dave Cowens (18), John Havlicek (17), Jo Jo White (10), former Celtics coach and now president Red Auerbach (2); and Ed Macauley (22), Bob Cousy (14), Frank Ramsey (23), Tom Heinsohn (15), Bill Sharman (21), K.C. Jones (25), Sam Jones (24) and Bill Russell (6). The Bruin numbers, encircled in yellow and white, belong to Eddie Shore (2), Lionel Hitchman (3), Bobby Orr (4), Dit Clapper (5), John Bucyk (9) and Milt Schmidt (15). Other banners celebrate the two teams' many league, conference and division championships.—ED.
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