E.M. Swift's story on the Special Olympics (They Came Up Roses, Aug. 17) certainly captured the feeling of the event and, more important, the cause. I attended the opening ceremonies, and I regret not having made the time to attend later on in the week. One can work any day, but the chance to witness a victory of the human spirit arises all too rarely and should never be squandered.
One additional point: Special Olympics is a year-round program. This was a once-every-four-years culmination of hard work and determination. The real heroism of these athletes, coaches and volunteers is revealed in their efforts and dedication every day, when thousands are not present to cheer them on.
Oak Park, Ill.
There is something out of balance with the world when we devote so many games a year to the philosophy "you must win at any cost" and only one set of games every four years to the thought "everyone is a winner."
PETER J. MITCHELL
New York City
Bravo! Your Aug. 17 issue was a gem. Your heartwarming coverage of the Special Olympics prompted me to inquire as to how I can become involved in such activities. The story on Rueben Mayes (The Saint from Shiloh) was equally inspiring. Sports heroes of such wonderful character don't get nearly the exposure they deserve.
September 6, 1987
Jill Lieber's story on Rueben Mayes was a great piece on a fine young man and an unstoppable running back. Although I live in Bear country, I feel this is the year the Saints will come marching in—in the Super Bowl, that is.
Mike Tyson may be the most exciting young boxer to come along in the heavyweight division in recent years, but despite his victory over Tony Tucker (Only One No. I, Aug. 10), he has no legitimate claim to the world championship. Michael Spinks twice defeated former undisputed champ Larry Holmes and has successfully defended his title. Until Tyson gets in the ring with Spinks (and isn't it strange how reluctant he appears to be?), Iron Mike is nothing more than the No. 1 contender for Spinks's crown.
I have a message for Don King and anyone else who envisions Tyson enjoying a long reign as king of the heavyweights: If the pressures of trying to keep people satisfied and the glare of the spotlight don't get him first, current cruiserweight Evander Holyfield will.
You said, "Tucker went the distance by running and clinching, and you can't take a title that way." Maybe Tucker can't, but Ray Leonard did (Comeback for the Ages, April 13).
Why aren't Leo Durocher and Roger Maris in the Hall of Fame? Let's hope that Steve Wulf's excellent essay (POINT AFTER, Aug. 10) will enlighten enough of the so-called experts so that these two great athletes receive their just due.
Port Charlotte, Fla.
The bat and ball from home run No. 61 are in the Hall, so why not Maris?
Harwood, N. Dak.
Jack McCallum cries for athletes who sign letters of intent to go to colleges such as Providence and then are left high and dry when the coach quits to go someplace else (POINT AFTER, Aug. 3). Tough. Those kids are going to college.
In SCORECARD you continually bemoan overemphasis on athletics at the expense of scholarship, and here you publish an essay that assumes college jocks go to college only to play ball for particular coaches, not to attend a particular university. Talk about misplaced values. A person is supposed to choose a college because of the education he'll get there, not because of the basketball coach. McCallum should have his typewriter washed out with soap.
JON K. EVANS
Like our cross town friends at USC (LETTERS, Aug. 3), we here at UCLA are proud of the accomplishments of our athletes and proud that your magazine has seen fit to highlight so many of their achievements on your cover. When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar last appeared (June 22), it marked the 67th time a current or former Bruin player or coach had been featured on your cover (compared with 46 covers for the Trojans). It was also the 25th appearance for Kareem, who first appeared (as Lew Alcindor) in December 1966. We have also been fortunate to have two of our alums, Kareem and Bill Walton, twice share a cover as members of their respective NBA teams. Here is our list:
Rafer Johnson (Jan. 5, 1959)
Gary Cunningham (March 19, 1962)
C.K. Yang (Dec. 23, 1963)
Walt Hazzard (March 30, 1964)
Gail Goodrich (March 29, 1965)
Arthur Ashe (Aug. 29, 1966)
Gary Beban (Sept. 19, 1966)
Lew Alcindor (Dec. 5, 1966)
Lew Alcindor (April 3, 1967)
Gary Beban (Nov. 20, 1967)
Lew Alcindor (Jan. 29, 1968)
Lew Alcindor (April 1, 1968)
Lew Alcindor (March 31, 1969)
Lew Alcindor (Oct. 27, 1969)
Lew Alcindor (March 9, 1970)
John Vallely (March 16, 1970)
Sidney Wicks (March 30, 1970)
Lew Alcindor (April 27, 1970)
Sidney Wicks (Nov. 30, 1970)
Lew Alcindor (Feb. 8, 1971)
Steve Patterson (April 5, 1971)
Lew Alcindor (April 19, 1971)
James McAlister (May 17, 1971)
Gail Goodrich (Dec. 13, 1971)
Bill Walton (March 6, 1972)
Bill Walton (April 3, 1972)
Lew Alcindor (April 24, 1972)
Tommy Prothro (July 24, 1972)
John Wooden (Dec. 25, 1972)
Bill Walton (Feb. 5, 1973)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Feb. 19, 1973)
Bill Walton (March 26, 1973)
Bill Walton (Dec. 10, 1973)
Bill Walton (Feb. 25, 1974)
Jimmy Connors (March 4, 1974)
Bill Walton (March 25, 1974)
Bill Walton (April 1, 1974)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (May 20, 1974)
Jimmy Connors (July 15, 1974)
Abdul-Jabbar and Walton (Oct. 14, 1974)
David Meyers (Feb. 17, 1975)
Jimmy Connors (May 5, 1975)
Arthur Ashe (July 14, 1975)
Dwight Stones (June 14, 1976)
Jimmy Connors (Sept. 20, 1976)
Bill Walton (Dec. 13, 1976)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Feb. 14, 1977)
Sidney Wicks (April 25, 1977)
Walton and Abdul-Jabbar (May 23, 1977)
Bill Walton (June 13, 1977)
Bill Walton (Aug. 21, 1978)
Bill Walton (Oct. 15, 1979)
Darren Daye (March 31, 1980)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (May 5, 1980)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Dec. 15, 1980)
Wendell Tyler (Aug. 24, 1981)
Jimmy Connors (July 12, 1982)
Jimmy Connors (Sept. 20, 1982)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (May 9, 1983)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Feb. 8, 1984)
Dwight Stones (July 2, 1984)
Rafer Johnson (Aug. 6, 1984)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (June 10, 1985)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (June 17, 1985)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Dec. 23-30, 1985)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (May 26, 1986)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (June 22, 1987)
UCLA Sports Information Director
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.