HEROES AND HEROINES
Kudos! The choice of "America's Golden Girls," Florence Griffith Joyner and Jackie Joyner-Kersee, for your Oct. 10 cover is perhaps your best ever. All America is proud, not simply because they won, but also because of the grace, style and joy they expressed in winning. How about Flo-Jo and Jackie as joint Sportswomen of the Year?
Janet Evans, the cutie-pie winner of the 1988 Olympics, said in Bruce Anderson's story (Of Gold and Glee, Oct. 3): "I'm smiling because I'm having fun. That's what this is all about, to have fun." What a great attitude!
No Olympic hero stood taller than light middleweight boxer Roy Jones (Travesty, Oct. 10). He showed us grace, class and, most of all, good sportsmanship. As he said, he knew, despite the judges' decision that deprived him of the Olympic title, that he had won the gold and that the American people knew he had won the gold. That was what was important.
JUDITH A. ROBERTS
Amen to Matt Biondi's comments (Diary of a Champion, Oct. 3) in regard to NBC's portrayal of the athletes as having to "settle" for a silver or bronze medal if they didn't win a gold. As much as I enjoyed NBC's coverage of the Games, I was upset with almost every interview after an event. Rarely did the winner receive a word of congratulations, and when an athlete earned a silver or bronze, he or she was interviewed as if we had all been let down. Biondi did earn each of the medals he came home with. Congratulations to him and to all of the U.S. athletes who gave it their best and represented our country well.
THE JOHNSON STORY
I don't know how you do it. I get my magazine in the mail Thursday noon, and you say you got the information on Ben Johnson's steroid use on Tuesday (Loser, Oct. 3). I noticed that my Thursday newspaper cited your article as a source for its story on Johnson. Congratulations on another reporting coup—a job well done.
JOHN A. MENNINGA
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Ever since George Carlin introduced us to oxymorons with his "jumbo shrimp" and "military intelligence," we've been amused by these "words that don't go together." A few that I've come across are "postal service," "sanitary landfill," "sweet sorrow" and "native Californian." After watching a good deal of the 1988 Olympic Games, I'm convinced we should coin another: "amateur athlete."
PETER S. HUSBAND
Thanks for your objective critique of NBC's coverage of the Games (POINT AFTER, Oct. 3). I was shocked at all of the barbs directed at NBC. If the network's coverage was so bad, why was I having so much fun (and losing so much sleep)? Comparing ABC's Olympic reporting with NBC's is like comparing the folksiness of Good Morning America with the crispness of the Today show. Both are good. I watch Today.
New Canaan, Conn.
NBC covered the Olympic Games as a news event rather than as a sports event. Unfortunately, it made a big difference.
My frustration with NBC's coverage of the Seoul Games reached the level of anger on the evening of the men's platform diving championships. The Games have known few greater moments than Greg Louganis's final event. Yet the Peacock Network kept jerking my attention to a runaway women's basketball game and a cycling event that had little drama. NBC's inability to cover the Games with spontaneity was a consistent problem. It reminded me of the adage about trying to please all of the people all of the time. In trying to cover a tad of everything, NBC botched everything.
I wondered what was missing from NBC's Summer Olympics coverage. The programs were well produced, but until I read William Taaffe's analysis, I didn't realize that what had been bothering me was NBC's nonnationalistic approach. What's wrong with cheering on America's athletes, particularly when the coverage is coming back to the U.S.?
President. Mizlou TV Sports
New York City
I couldn't help but notice in the photograph that led off your Sept. 12 issue (left) the variety of teams represented on the shirts, hats and jackets of the fans at Oakland Coliseum. I count:
16 Oakland Athletics hats
3 California Angels hats
1 California Angels shirt
2 Oakland Athletics shirts
1 Boston Celtics jacket
1 New York Mets shirt
1 St. Louis Cardinals hat
1 San Diego Padres hat
1 San Francisco Giants hat
1 Stanford hat
1 UCLA basketball shirt
1 U. of North Carolina shirt
And that's not including one L.A. Bulldogs (a semipro football team) sweatshirt and one Cheers (a Boston sports bar) shirt.
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