I can't think of a richer accolade for any piece of writing than to say it resonates with an intimacy, a literacy and a sense of scene-painting evocative of Frank Deford at his steady best.
Please send my heartfelt thanks to Gary Smith for his article on jockey Julie Krone (She Who Laughs Last..., May 22) and for keeping the flame bright.
DONALD S. ALTSCHUL
Congratulations on a great cover story. When Julie Krone visited the White House with other champion female athletes in celebration of National Girls & Women in Sports Day, she stole the show. Her intense energy and spirit are remarkable.
While Krone is unique, I disagree with Linda McBurney's claim that Krone's success has not helped other women jockeys. With Karen Rogers and Diane Nelson riding with some success at Aqueduct and Belmont racetracks, it seems that the reluctance to use female jockeys has begun to break down. Rogers's successful comeback after nearly five years away from the track may have been aided by this shift in attitudes.
DEBORAH SLANER ANDERSON
Women's Sports Foundation
New York City
June 11, 1989
I'm sure the clothing engineers who created aerodynamic racing silks winced at your picture of Julie Krone on page 86 of the May 22 issue. All their good work has been negated by somebody's inability to tailor a beltline that fits her and that doesn't act like an air scoop for a hot rod. Maybe the folks who define waistlines so well in your swimsuit issue could recommend a designer with the right pattern, It should be a cinch.
DENIS R. HARRIS
GEIBERGER AND JACKSON
Thanks to Sarah Ballard for her fine article on Al Geiberger (Building a New Life, May 15). I suffered from the same kind of colon disease as Geiberger and also had to undergo ileostomy surgery. It was only after I heard about people like Geiberger and Rolf Benirschke, and organizations like the United Ostomy Association, that I realized I could return to a normal, active life.
Accepting the fact that one must wear an external pouch is difficult, and going public with the fact is even more difficult. Geiberger has a lot of courage. He has helped more people than he will ever know.
Recently a 10-year-old boy came to my office for an examination for Tourette syndrome because he had read Curry Kirkpatrick's article (Can't Hold This Tiger, Feb. 20) about LSU basketball player Chris Jackson, who suffers from Tourette's. The boy had diagnosed himself from the description of Jackson's symptoms. I had little to add, but I was impressed by the way this young man had been encouraged by the article. He has been started on medication and is improving control of his tic movements—and he's playing baseball and basketball.
Your story on Jackson was more important than any medication, because it clearly defined the problem for the boy and helped him to accept and cope with Tourette syndrome. It has given him hope for a normal life.
ANDREW W. ZIMMERMAN, M.D.
In reply to SCORECARD (May 8):
An SI sportswriter named Nack Picked a horse—Sunday Silence—to back;
He went out on a limb,
Drape the roses on him;
Give me Nack with his knack for the track.
Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Answer: One of the most out-of-place yet most interesting articles ever to appear in SI.
Question: What is What Is Jeopardy! (May 1)?
Katonah, N. Y.
Fantastic! A whole story on Jeopardy! and some recognition for those of us who use our mental skills at least as well as we use our physical attributes—the point regarding reflexes and their importance to contestants in the game was well made. Last September I appeared on four of the shows, winning three for a total of $33,200, and I would like to thank SI and Franz Lidz for making my "sport" legitimate.
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
How does a game show qualify as a sport or as a subject for SI? Is it because of the word game? If so, can we now expect features on restaurants that serve venison or on anyone who is plucky?
New York City
I've made it through wildlife, conservation and environmental stories. I've weathered chess articles. I've even put up with stories in advertising sections. But Jeopardy!?
DANIEL D. SCHELL
Answer: My subscription renewal.
Question: What is in jeopardy?
DAVID M. JONES
Citrus Heights, Calif.
What's going on here? Are you running a contest to see which subscribers can protest most belligerently? I would not be surprised to find a question about SPORTS ILLUSTRATED on Jeopardy! But I am aghast to find an article about Jeopardy! in SI.
JAMES B. COLLIER JR.
I get it. Some people say that Jeopardy! is about the pursuit of knowledge. Others insist that it is about the pursuit of trivia. Whatever, the key word is pursuit. To pursue is to chase after. This was an article about track.
After enjoying Rick Reilly's "Heavenly Hundred" (POINT AFTER, May 22), I envisioned this reply from Above:
We got your numbers Stop An error noted at 83 Stop Nehemiah helped the 49ers over a few hurdles but nothing compared to the electrifying accomplishments of John Jefferson of the Chargers Stop Don't you remember all that lightning Stop JJ gets 83 Stop You get 100 for a great job otherwise Stop
Sorry Stop Big mistake Stop Number 21 belongs to the Great One Stop Roberto Clemente Period
With all due respect to Jack Nicklaus and his caddie, I can't imagine your choosing a caddie over the greatest basketball player ever to wear number 1, Oscar Robertson.
Not even honorable mention for Stan Musial at number 6? Reilly needs divine intervention here. For heaven's sake, where is Mean Joe Greene, number 75? Reilly left out the heart and soul of a Steeler team from which he selected Bradshaw, Blount, Webster, Lambert. Ham, Greenwood and Swann.
If there are going to be that many Steelers in Heaven, I don't want to go.
Reilly chose to honor Terry Bradshaw with number 12, citing his four Super Bowl rings, but I'll take Joe Namath with his one ring. Namath's then unheard-of $428,000 rookie contract in 1965 changed the entire salary structure of two professional leagues. By guaranteeing a victory and then defeating the supposedly invincible Baltimore Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl, he gave the NFL-AFL merger instant credibility, thus leading to the NFL as we know it today. Besides, Namath with two bum knees was far more electrifying and dangerous than Bradshaw.
Albertson, N. Y.
With all due respect to Ernie Banks (Mr. Cub), number 14 belongs to Pete Rose, if he is cleared of gambling charges, or to four-time Indianapolis 500 champion A.J. Foyt.
Number 30 should go to golfing great Bobby Jones, who won the Grand Slam in 1930.
North Olmsted, Ohio
There is only one number 14—Robert J. Cousy.
JOAN G. FRECHETTE
Miami Shores, Fla.
Number 22 belongs to Bobby Layne.
Carmel, N. Y.
BLACK ON TRACK
That was a very interesting article on the psychological effects of the color black (Dark Forces, April 17). When it comes to intimidation—one of the effects noted—stock car racing ranks right up there with the NHL and NFL. There is no question among NASCAR competitors that the last car they want to see in their rearview mirror is Dale (Ironhead) Earnhardt's black Chevy (below, at Charlotte last year). The bad thing about black race cars is that they tend to disappear against the high, black asphalt banks of our track. In fact, we considered not allowing black cars to run in our $800,000 all-star race on May 21, but after reading your article we decided to let things be. We did ask Earnhardt to put a Day-Glo red stripe around his car so that people could at least see him, but he declined.
H.A. (HUMPY) WHEELER
President and General Manager, Charlotte Motor Speedway
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.