The Death of an Athlete (Feb. 20) is another sad story about a young man who thought anabolic steroids were going to lead him to the promised land. When are teenage athletes going to learn? It's a shame that it took the death of Benji Ramirez to show them that steroids aren't the answer.
MICHAEL A. GRANIERI
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and there is no better proof of that than the photograph of Benji Ramirez in his coffin. It sends a shocking but clear message to anyone considering using steroids.
Swimmer, University of Kansas
What disturbed me the most in your article about Benji Ramirez was the notion that women prefer men with excessively—and obsessively—muscled bodies. If it will save one male from doing steroids. I would like to say that many, perhaps even most, females do not like that look. In my opinion, that deeply muscled look is not only unattractive but also hideous in some cases.
What a pleasant surprise to see LSU's Chris Jackson on your Feb. 20 cover. He has escalated my love for basketball with his dazzling ability and obvious knowledge of the game. I was particularly interested to learn from the article (Can't Hold This Tiger) that he has Tourette syndrome. Ten years ago, at the age of 12, I was diagnosed as having Tourette's. I, too, have been on medication for the disorder. I am amazed to see that Jackson can accomplish what he has, because I know firsthand the struggles involved. Chris, you're an inspiration to me. Don't let anything stop you.
Douglas S. Looney's article on Texas football recruiting (On the Road Again, Feb. 20) is a sad commentary on the priorities of the University of Texas and of the Southwest Conference. Not once did Bobby Jack Wright talk about recruiting student-athletes. Not once did he talk about recruiting athletes with strong character. It is obvious that the University of Texas has not learned from its recent NCAA probation and is still of the football-first mentality.
Wright says that players lie and break their commitments to schools. He also says they need someone they can trust. He later describes how Texas feigned interest in a player to keep him on the hook in case it needed to sign him. So much for coaches they can trust.
Whooee! Sure enjoyed the article on ol' Bobby Jack. His new little Longhorns are gonna play some tough Texas football soon and bring some respect back to the Southwest Conference.
I was astonished by the article by Jaime Diaz about the LPGA (Find the Golf Here? Feb. 13). Sara Lee became a sponsor of the tour in 1988. From the first day, our company has had nothing but positive experiences with the LPGA players and administrators. At our inaugural Sara Lee Classic in Nashville, the tremendous personalities of the LPGA players shone through during the pro-am play and delighted the spectators, who totaled more than 50,000. What's more, the caliber of the play is much higher than the "modest crack of a 215-yard drive." If that is all women golfers are capable of, then hurricane Camille must have been behind most of the drives I watched.
LPGA veteran Patty Sheehan said in your article, "We are waiting for the time when being the greatest women players in the world will be enough." It is already enough for Sara Lee and for the fans of Nashville. We think they are great. Come see for yourself at this year's tournament, April 28-30.
GEORGE W. BRYAN
Sara Lee Corporation
Permit me, as the director of the Safeco Classic, an LPGA event, to disagree with the view that the middle-aged amateurs playing in pro-ams favor Seniors over LPGA pros as partners. Our experience in Seattle is exactly the opposite. Our pro-am players, who also play in the Seniors event, enjoy them both but consistently give the edge to the women pros. Most of these midde-aged men are mid-to high-handicappers, and they tell us that they relate better to the LPGA swing and that the LPGA player is generally more fun to play with because she is friendly and appreciative and is much more enthusiastic about the pro-am. They also tell us that Seniors ride in carts and are seldom in close association with the amateurs during a round.
I was delighted by Frank Deford's sports supplement to The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy by E.D. Hirsch Jr. et al. (POINT AFTER, Feb. 6). Here is my supplement to his supplement:
Bases loaded. Howard Cosell. On your mark, get set, go! Willie Shoemaker. Press box. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. World champion. George Halas. Under the lights. Cooperstown. Homestretch. Richard Petty. The big leagues. Sudden death. The sports page. Bull's-eye. No runs, no hits, no errors.
Tinker to Evers to Chance. Amos Alonzo Stagg. Gentlemen, start your engines! They're off! The Gashouse Gang. Win, place and show. Abner Doubleday. Good field, no hit. Hit 'em where they ain't. Homer in the gloamin'.
This is more than trivia; it's growing up in America in the 20th century.
JON M. NICHOLSON
The Boys of Summer—Dem Bums.
PETER K. CUTLER
John Wooden. Fourth and inches. Alley-oop. Hat trick. Fast break.
ROBERT A. JASPER
West Lafayette, Ind.
RICHARD H. WOODS
Say Hey, Frank, you forgot Willie Mays.
JAY W. HANNAY
Tom Harmon. Fielding Yost. Point-a-minute. Little Brown Jug. Buster Crabbe. Dizzy Dean. Grantland Rice. He came to play.
The Four Horsemen.
NANCY V. WALLACE
Make the cut. Hook, line and sinker. Twenty-six miles, 385 yards. Down to the wire.
PAUL D. McCARTHY
Le Mans. Daytona. The checkered flag. Pit stop.
Triple threat. Full count. Full-court press. Pop Warner. Free agent. Red-shirt. Jack Nicklaus. Runner's high. Three-hundred game. Pole position. The swimsuit issue.
New York City
Phenom. DH. Four-hundred hitter. Pinch hitter. Beanball. Armchair quarterback. Casey Stengel. Whizzer White. Rocket Richard. Three yards and a cloud of dust.
The shot heard round the world. Spring training. Artificial turf. Television timeout. 61*.
MICHAEL L. RALPH
I would like to point out that the photo of Florence Griffith Joyner in Seoul, holding her hands up in prayer, in your year-end issue (Pictures '88, Dec. 26-Jan. 2) was taken not by Bob Martin of Allsport, but by me.
FOR KATHY'S FANS
I know that Kathy Ireland finally made the swimsuit cover this year, but why, oh, why was there only one additional picture of her inside this 284-page 25th anniversary edition? You owe Ireland fans nationwide at least one more picture.
ROBERT D. SHEIFFER
•Here she is, bearing a trophy from the Hacienda Hotel in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in a neoprene and nylon bikini ($65) by Robin Piccone.—ED.
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.