Thank you for adding the final touch to Dr. J's tremendous career (Last Rounds for the Doctor, May 4). Not only did your writers pay tribute to Erving the player, but they also honored Erving the man. Though Erving may not be the NBA's Most Valuable Player this year, he is without doubt the league's alltime Most Valuable Person.
John Papanek's "A Series for the Ages" brought back memories for me. I was growing up in Denver at the time of the final ABA championship series, and I watched the Doctor single-handedly dismantle the Nuggets, arguably the best team in basketball that season. It was a once-in-a-lifetime performance. My feelings about Erving have only been affirmed by his NBA career. I'm glad I saw one of the greatest athletes and gentlemen ever to play the game.
MICHAEL W. YEN
Every once in a while a true athlete and a true gentleman appear as the same person in pro sports. Hats off to Dr. J as a role model for all young athletes. He epitomizes what athletics should be all about: competitiveness, courage and an unselfish desire to play the game.
As a wheelchair user and a rehabilitation professional, I was pleased to see Craig Neff's nonpatronizing essay That Wheeling Feeling (POINT AFTER, May 4). Able-bodied people tend to feel that the disabled are all "brave and courageous," or they shun us because we remind them that they, too, are vulnerable to disease or disability. Whether participating in athletics or striving for the same kind of jobs and achievements nondisabled people seek, disabled people need the continued opportunity to compete. Thanks for your support.
May 24, 1987
Craig Neff's tribute to George Murray, two-time Boston Marathon wheelchair division winner, is a tribute to all disabled persons, many of whom have inspired us nondisabled folks. People who get up and run again are the winners of the world.
DONALD J. STEDMAN
Chapel Hill, N.C.
During former Dodger vice-president Al Campanis's now infamous interview on Nightline (SCORECARD, April 20), he stated that blacks do not make good swimmers because they are not buoyant. On April 22, Tim Jackson, 18, of Milwaukee, and Hilton Woods, also 18, of Rochester, Mich., placed first and second, respectively, in the 50-yard freestyle at the YMCA national swimming championships in Orlando, Fla. Both broke the YMCA national record, and both are black.
The New Canaan (Conn.) Advertiser
I thoroughly enjoyed Kenny Moore's article (Ties That Bind, April 27) on Jackie and Al Joyner, superb athletes and also conscientious and loving people.
I was particularly amused to read that Al was once a lifeguard. This recalls Al Campanis's ridiculous remark about black swimmers' supposed lack of buoyancy. Well, Campanis, with that theory out the window, what's next—blue eyes seeing more clearly than brown?
I believe the caption to your picture of the Perry brothers in INSIDE BASEBALL (May 4) is wrong. The gentleman with the receding hairline is Gaylord. Jim is the other one.
•Our caption was incorrect.—ED.
I am amazed by the all-around athleticism of Christian Okoye, the 25-year-old, multitalented pro football prospect out of Enugu, Nigeria, and Azusa Pacific University (A Bruiser from Azusa, April 27). As a Kansas City fan, I had high hopes that the Chiefs would get a good running back to help out last season's pitiful group of non-runners. I was very happy when they drafted not only Okoye but also Temple's Paul Palmer. My team's only weakness has been corrected.
STEVE A. CALLOWAY
Blue Ridge, Va.
For two years we had a young man from Nigeria living with us. He taught us how to make fufu, Okoye's special dish. I would like to tell Okoye that you should not use regular flour to make the dough for the mopping-up process in eating fufu. You should use Farina. Okoye is rather big to be eating baby food, but tell him to try it. It really does work better.
THE REVEREND ROBERT F. HASKEL
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.