REASON TO PAUSE
That Jet running back Freeman McNeil would feel deep remorse after pulverizing an opposing player's knee, thereby ending that player's season and perhaps his career, is laudable (POINT AFTER, Oct. 16). That New York's coach Joe Walton should castigate McNeil and that McNeil should feel compelled to apologize for being unfocused and letting the team down is shameful. This incident is indicative of the triumph in our society of the philosophy attributed to Vince Lombardi ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing") over that of Grantland Rice ("...not that you won or lost—but how you played the game"). How sad.
GERALD S. NASH
Three cheers to Bruce Newman, not only for his lambasting of the people who heaped scorn upon McNeil for—good grief—showing compassion for the severely injured Colt linebacker O'Brien Alston, but also for his pointed attack on artificial turf, which contributed to the injury. When are the rest of the NFL teams going to wake up and follow the lead of the Dolphins, the 49ers and the Bears, who all had the good sense to rip the stuff out? Unfortunately, not soon enough.
DANIEL D. OTTER
Yorba Linda, Calif.
Ralph Wiley's article in the Sept. 25 issue about Raghib (Rocket Man) Ismail (The Light and the Lightning) revealed to the rest of the country what we already knew about Raghib. Rocket's humility and concern for others might be hard to believe in view of his renown here at Notre Dame, but after living next door to Rocket in Grace Hall during his freshman season, we realized that he's as outstanding a person as he is a football player. Here's an example: When one of us, Tony Iovine, was hospitalized with a sprained knee, a result of playing lacrosse, Raghib not only came to visit him, but he also helped get Tony back to the dorm, where he continued to help Tony out around the dorm and the campus. We don't think we will ever meet a finer person.
Notre Dame, Ind.
How sad that Raghib Ismail's father felt he had to create a facade to find acceptance in our society. Yet how wonderful that the facade he created helped his son flourish in academics and athletics in a world that so often offers only the latter to black children. What lesson can those schools that participate in big-time sports learn from this story? Maybe that by developing the spirit and mind of college athletes as well as their athletic abilities, we can someday overcome the need for such facades.
JOHN S. GAINES
November 13, 1989
I read with interest your hockey preview article on the Soviet players who have joined the NHL (The Honeymooners, Oct. 9). Viacheslav Fetisov, Sergei Starikov and the rest of the New Jersey Devils came to Orlando, Fla., for a preseason game against the Minnesota North Stars on Sept. 24. The Sunday-night crowd of 12,183 (1,600 or so short of capacity) who witnessed the 6-4 win by the Devils was treated to a game that had a little of everything—scoring, a couple of scuffles and the ultimate crowd pleaser, the referee's being knocked off his skates. This was the second. NHL game ever played in Florida and the first professional sports event at the Orlando Arena. The highlight of the night came five minutes before the final buzzer, when the crowd began to chant: We want a team! We want a team! John Ziegler, can you hear us? We want a team!
Port St. Lucie, Fla.
As an alumnus of Lehigh, I was heartened to see William F. Reed include my alma mater in his COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT (Sept. 25), even if only to mention that Lehigh had played 1,000 games. You neglected, however, to note the remarkable consistency of the Engineers. Their record through 1,000 games was 478-478-44.
New York City
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