THE BOZ (CONT.)
If any readers need proof that the conduct of "star" athletes affects young people, they have only to turn to page 29 of your Sept. 15 issue (No. 1—And Then Some) to the photos of Oklahoma's Brian Bosworth and the young man who has adopted his haircut.
Like it or not, our athletes are not just ordinary human beings. Their actions have a profound effect on our youth. They must learn to accept this role and act accordingly.
Foster City, Calif.
In his book Sports in America, James Michener says that sports do not develop character so much as they reveal it. Your articles in the 1986 College & Pro Football Spectacular (Sept. 3) on Brian Bosworth (The Boz) and Jim McMahon (Chicago's Easy Rider), and in the Sept. 15 issue on Oklahoma football under Barry Switzer, prove that statement.
The true character of sport is found today on the sandlot or in the open gym where there are no coaches, parents, sports reporters or spoiled athletes to blow it out of proportion.
October 5, 1986
Rick Reilly's article on the Boz in your special football issue was more than I could stand. I am 6'4", 285 pounds and a 1984 All Gulf South offensive lineman (for Delta State). I wish I had an opportunity to meet the Boz between the white lines. Who does this guy think he is? Where are my brothers on the offensive front? I'd like nothing better than to stick my face mask through his chest. This guy needs a serious attitude adjustment. A one-hour session on some Saturday afternoon should put him in line. Please—and I'm sure I speak for all offensive linemen who have left the college game—somebody needs to show the Boz that nobody intimidates any of our offensive players and gets away with it. What I wouldn't give for one year of eligibility in the Big Eight!
JIMMIE L. ADAMS III
I read the reactions to the Sept. 3 article on the Boz (19TH HOLE, Sept. 22). His status as a college student was questioned, and he was even called a clown.
The story described the football side of the Boz and mentioned his 3.3 grade point average, but it said little about another side of Bosworth that is rarely seen. He has spoken at elementary schools, sports banquets and graduations about the dangers of drugs and the futures of the students he was addressing. He has made public-service announcements about the hazards of using drugs. During a 1985 spring game he stood on the sideline with a young boy who was facing a major operation. After the game the boy was given a tour of the locker room and a BOZ 44 towel.
On the field he is the BOZ, but off it he is an individual who cares about and helps the people in the community around him.
Fort Wayne, Ind.
I got frustrated reading the letters about Brian Bosworth (19TH HOLE, Sept. 22). The people who wrote know nothing about football. I play football and our whole team thinks he is great. Most of us got Boz haircuts. He is cool, not to mention the best.
Thanks for Alexander Wolff's article "To Find Out Why I'm Out There" (Sept. 22). I hope it will counteract the many misconceptions concerning Ralph Sampson. As a fellow "Virginia gentleman" and native of Harrisonburg, and a faculty member at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, I certainly cannot condone actions such as the Jerry Sichting incident. However, after the articles in your special football issue about the exploits of Oklahoma's Brian Bosworth and the Bears' Jim McMahon, it is a breath of fresh air to read about Sampson. Wolff has educated the sports world to a fact that I have known for 13 years: Sampson is already a winner.
C. RONALD KERSH M.D.
Assistant Professor of Radiology
UVa School of Medicine
The story on Ralph Sampson was a much appreciated look at a very talented but much maligned young man. Sampson has been a winner at every level at which he has played. Each year only one team can claim a championship, and until the Rockets acquire a proven playmaking guard, they will be hard-pressed to win the NBA title. Why should Sampson carry the brunt of a "choker" label? What Wilt Chamberlain was to the '60s and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was to the '70s, Sampson is destined to be to the '80s—the dominant big man, but one who, alone, could not win championships. Bill Russell won many championships against Chamberlain because he was surrounded by great team players. When Chamberlain was teamed with Jerry West, Gail Goodrich & Co. in 1972, the Lakers ruled. The same thing happened with Kareem—first with Oscar Robertson and the Bucks in 1971, then later with Magic Johnson, James Worthy and the Lakers. I suggest we wait a few years to judge Sampson. Matched with Akeem Olajuwan and a guard to get them the ball, he and the Rockets could reign the rest of the decade—as a team.
In his story on the U.S. women's volleyball team (Get The Net, It's Time For Follyball! Sept. 22), Bruce Newman hits Terry Liskevych below the belt when he states that Liskevych prepared for his national coaching position by playing volleyball for the Ukrainian Boy Scouts of Chicago. Newman makes no mention of Liskevych's highly successful coaching experience at Pacific University and, prior to that, his coaching at Ohio State, where he brought the Buckeyes national recognition. As mentioned in the article, the 1984 Olympic team played together for seven years under Arie Selinger before winning the silver medal in Los Angeles. Liskevych has had to begin with a completely new group of women and has been the coach for only two years. The coaching tactics of Selinger were repugnant and dehumanizing and do not deserve any praise.
BRUCE L. BENNETT
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
U.S. women's volleyball coach Terry Liskevych has a bad case of Selingeritis, and the only cure is permanent retirement.
Hang in there, Paula Weishoff!
NANCY M. McCRORY
Thanks to E.M. Swift for writing what I have been thinking since Greg LeMond started his whining about Bernard Hinault during this summer's Tour de France (Stop The Worlds, He Wants To Get Off, Sept. 15). It's a shame to see someone with LeMond's talent act like such a wimp. I hope he will soon grow up and become the great champion he can be.
Let me offer a different side of Greg LeMond than was presented by the media covering the Tour de France and the Coors Classic and by your own E.M. Swift, to whom LeMond is a "world-class whiner." Within 24 hours after the Worlds. LeMond was in Seattle to participate in a race as a favor to a friend of his who is a paraplegic. Prior to the race LeMond talked easily with me and other riders while signing every conceivable object there is to autograph. Two miles into the race he went down in a crash of more than a dozen riders. His right hand was gashed, and he dropped out with a broken wheel. Nonetheless, more than 45 minutes after the race ended LeMond was still near the finish line talking to every fan who approached him. I was not in France this summer and I was not in Colorado for the Worlds. However, what I saw in Seattle was anything but a whiner.
In your article on "Texotics" (Where The Deer And The Greater Kudu Play, Sept. 8), the following sentence caught my attention: "...hunters from all over the world come to shoot trophy specimens—usually aging males past their prime as breeding stock." The description after the dash could be applied equally well to most of the hunters themselves. This may go a long way toward explaining why they kill animals they do not eat and display parts of the carcasses on their walls.
AS A PUBLIC SERVICE
Help! Along with Paul Zimmerman's article on Jim Kelly's debut with the Buffalo Bills (A New Namath, But With Knees, Sept. 15), you published a photo of a banner proclaiming KELLY is GOD. I was included in the picture, sitting behind the banner. Though I was flattered to be in the photo, it is causing me much controversy because I am the most avid New York Jets fan in the world today. Please understand that I did not put the banner up, nor do I agree with it by any means. I beg you, please help clear my name.
FOR WANT OF A SPOON
When I was 16 my father bought me a set of used golf clubs at a dollar a club. The set included a 7½ iron, and the woods weren't numbered, they were named: Driver (No. 1), Brassie (No. 2) and Spoon (No. 3). Now, 22 years later, I'm reading and enjoying Roy Blount Jr.'s article about my favorite place in the whole world, Callaway Gardens (The Game That Done Him Wrong, Sept. 8), and I see an illustration for the lyric "...a nine-iron, a driver and a spoon" that shows three mangled golf clubs on the 18th green. However, only one is a wood (probably the driver). Your illustrator, Ed Renfro, needs some history lessons on golf clubs; he obviously thinks that a spoon is some kind of iron.
Judging from my last name you might think I'm a helluva golfer, but if my folks could have renamed me after seeing me play, my first name would be Three.
In reading your SCORECARD item (Sept. 15) on Harvard athletics, I was struck by the absence of any reference (other than your brief mention of Mark Fusco) to Harvard's great hockey heritage.
The United States Hockey Hall of Fame has 66 enshrinees, and of this number, nine have Harvard backgrounds: players George Owen, John Chase, John Garrison, Fred Mosely, Francis (Austie) Harding, Bill Geary and Bob Cleary; coach Alfred (Ralph) Winsor; and administrator Robert Riddler. The Harvard nine account for almost 14% of our Hall's membership and far exceed the total of any other institution. Owen's record is particularly worth noting. So far as has been determined, he is the first American-developed player to score an NHL hat trick. Owen, a Boston Bruin, accomplished the feat on Feb. 11, 1932, against the Montreal Maroons.
ROGER A. GODIN
United States Hockey Hall of Fame
•WE MUFFED IT: We got our TV symbols crossed. That's Peter Lund of CBS (not NBC) on the left in the illustration accompanying William Taaffe's article The Other Game In New York in our Sept. 29 issue, and Arthur Watson of NBC (not CBS) on the right, with ABC's Dennis Swanson in between. A corrected version appears above, with our apologies to the two networks.—ED.
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