Plaudits for senior writer Rick Telander's POINT AFTER (Feb. 23) on the absence of a black coach in the NFL. Twelve years ago I wrote an article for Sport magazine entitled, "Who'll Be the First Black Head Coach in Pro Football?" In a survey T conducted at the time, of NFL owners and executives, NFL assistant coaches and black college head coaches, five candidates were mentioned most often: Hall of Famers Emlen Tunnell and Willie Wood, All-Pro receiver Lionel Taylor, Grambling's legendary coach Eddie Robinson and Tennessee State coach John Merritt.
This is an article from the March 16, 1987 issue
At the time, Tunnell—the first black inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame—had the most NFL coaching experience, with 10 years as the New York Giants' defensive back coach. Tunnell, who also had front office experience, was dubious about seeing a black NFL head coach in his lifetime. Unfortunately he was right; he died in 1975 at the age of 50.
Taylor, then an assistant with the Steelers, said it would take "20 years" because he didn't "think pro football has advanced far enough for a black man to be a head coach."
And what were the NFL executives saying 12 years ago? The same thing they are saying today, almost word for word. Jim Finks, then the G.M. of the Bears and now G.M. of the Saints, said, "When a team feels there is a black who is qualified to be a head coach, they'll hire him. It'll come when a man's qualified and no sooner." So much for progress in the 1980s.
The team that breaks the head-coaching color barrier just might be the Steelers when Chuck Noll retires. The Rooney family hired the first black assistant, Lowell Perry, in 1957 and now employs perhaps the most qualified of all black assistants in defensive coordinator Tony Dungy.
Dètente on Ice (Feb. 23) made the NHL seem minor league. In fact, the NHL All-Stars did an excellent job, considering that they had never played together, unlike their Soviet counterparts, who are part of an international squad that regularly does so.
As an avid hockey fan (especially of these NHL versus Soviet confrontations), I would not consider Monsieur Marcel Aubut's "carnival" a success because he allotted people like myself, who don't have season-tickets, only 500 tickets per game at an arena that seats more than 15,000. Could it be that Aubut forgot that it's the fans who actually "pay" the game? I will wait until Alan Eagle-son's Canada Cup (Aug. 27-Sept. 14).
St. Laurent, Que.
Reading E.M. Swift's coverage of Rendezvous 87 was like reliving the event all over again. I want to thank Swift for commending Marcel Aubut's intelligent diplomacy and hard work. Swift virtually built him a pedestal higher than Le Chateau Frontenac.
I hope this event spurs greater commitment to removing political interference from international competition. With the Calgary and Seoul Olympics barely a year away, maybe Aubut and Rendez-Vous have finally convinced the world that international athletes should compete against each other often.
I thought that I had seen the greatest comeback ever when Jack Nicklaus won the 1986 Masters. But when Dennis Conner regained the America's Cup (Victory at Sea, Feb. 16) after defeating 13 rivals from seven countries, including five American syndicates, dominating the previously dominant Kiwis and defeating a determined crew of Australians in four straight, I'm convinced that this victory will stand as the most stunning comeback of all.
The gracious behavior of Conner and the Stars & Stripes crew during the various celebrations added to the luster of their triumph. When destiny rewards the deserving, what a privilege it is to witness! Congratulations to Dennis and the Stars & Stripes team.
MARYANN F. WARUSZEWSKI
Big, bad Dennis Conner redeemed himself, and he did it in stunning fashion, sweeping the Aussies 4-0 and bringing yachting to the forefront of American sport. Unbelievable! My hat's off to him.
Texas City, Texas
In your story Mission Accomplished (Feb. 9) you neglected one thing. You described the selection process for the "starting" 12 members of that important crew, but you did not fully identify them.
BRIAN D. EMCH
New City, N.Y.
•They are: skipper and helmsman Dennis Conner, tactician Tom Whidden, navigator Peter Isler, mainsheet trimmer Jon Wright, jib trimmers Bill Trenkle and Adam Ostenfeld, pitman Jay Brown, mastman John Barnitt, grinders Kyle Smith, Henry Childers and Jim Kavle, and bowman Scott Vogel.—ED.
I thoroughly enjoyed Franz Lidz's article about college basketball's most exciting player, 5'3" Tyrone (Muggsy) Bogues (Biggest Little Man, Feb. 16). The diminutive Bogues, like his school, Wake Forest (undergraduate enrollment: 3,200), plays in the land of the giants and does so with skill and class. In a game on Feb. 14 against UNC-Charlotte, Muggsy played all 40 minutes, scored 23 points, handed out 14 assists, had four steals and six rebounds.
JAMES E. CROSS JR.
Being a student at Wake Forest, I realize how much Bogues means to both Wake Forest basketball and people fighting seemingly insurmountable odds. There is little doubt that "The Human Assist" will be successful in the NBA.
Forked River, N.J.
My congratulations to Jaime Diaz on a fine article about the continuing rivalry between the LPGA's two finest golfers, my sister, Pat Bradley, and Nancy Lopez (Time for the Pat and Nancy Show, Feb. 9). However, in response to the ridiculous comment by Lopez's husband and "biggest supporter," Ray Knight, that "obviously if Nancy had been out there, Pat wouldn't have had as great a year as she had," I would like to ask Knight if he ever thinks before he speaks.
Thanks to a good friend, your Feb. 9 issue arrived here in Beijing on Valentine's Day. As students so far from home, we have learned to appreciate those of life's pleasures that are not readily available in the People's Republie of China. Many of these were featured in this year's swimsuit issue, for which we remain most grateful.
I'm convinced that I have discovered a medical benefit for the swimsuit issue. Every year, about a week or two after the issue arrives, I have the same dream. It begins on a white sandy beach with a beautiful sunrise. Gorgeous women in swimsuits are walking this beach. Then it happens. I see myself parading on the beach, too.
Eech! Auush! I awaken screaming and sweating. Seeing myself on the beach carrying the extra 10 to 15 pounds I've put on since Thanksgiving is a frightening sight. So I go on my Swimsuit Issue Diet, which helps me get down to my desired weight and keeps me there through the spring, summer and fall, until I bulk up again for the winter.
My wife thanks you, my tailor thanks you, I thank you, but most of all my cholesterol level thanks you!
West Hartford, Conn.
The article Bosworth Faces the Music (Jan. 5) contained statements regarding Deca-Durabolin, which is manufactured and marketed by Organon, Inc. The Physicians' Desk Reference quoted was the 1983 edition. Since 1984, the only indication for the use of Deca-Durabolin has been the treatment of anemia, secondary to end-stage kidney disease. This has been stated clearly in our package insert for this product. We have not promoted Deca-Durabolin for use in building athletic ability.
EDWARD MILLER, M.D.
Director of Medical Services
West Orange, N.J.
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.