How sad it is to see the best player in Bronco history subjected to negativism and rumors ("I'm About to Suffocate," Nov. 6). How maddening to see the Denver fans, the NFL's most loyal, demean themselves by criticizing such a unique athlete.
I remember the AFL days, when the Broncos were lovable laughingstocks. The 1970s brought Denver its first winning seasons, but it was John Elway who took the Broncos to a level of success and respect few of us ever imagined. Unfortunately, success has brought with it some unreasonable expectations. Denver fans should lighten up. The "greatest street-ball quarterback in history" is in our backfield. Lay off him.
Shell Beach, Calif.
Douglas S. Looney's article about Notre Dame's win over Southern Cal (The Luck of the Irish, Oct. 30) really hit hard. The tradition of fielding winning football teams while maintaining high academic standards and operating a clean program is one of the things that make Notre Dame great. The pregame tunnel skirmish hurt the school's reputation in a way that losing never could. I love seeing the Irish win, but this new image of "intimidation and hooliganism" is too high a price to pay.
JOSEPH R. SCACCIA
Notre Dame '79
Let's be fair. Lou Holtz regretted the tunnel incident and threatened to quit if it happens again. But it wasn't entirely Notre Dame's fault. The failing Holtz complained about is that his team didn't look the other way.
December 4, 1989
By the way, did Looney see the same game I saw? He talks about how Southern Cal outplayed Notre Dame and how lucky Notre Dame was to win. Did he notice that all three USC touchdowns came after Notre Dame fumbles? Southern Cal had the lion's share of the luck of the Irish that day.
Notre Dame '67
Don't you ever, ever criticize the ethics and morality of Notre Dame! The incidents that Looney speaks of were not the sole responsibility of Notre Dame football players. Lou Holtz runs a clean program, and you don't see the Irish running up the score on helpless opponents. If Looney feels he must attack, he should pick on something other than the most respected school in the nation.
MICHAEL DEE DOWIS
We at the Air Force Academy have known all along what a great athlete, quarterback and individual Dee Dowis is (On Top of the World, Oct. 16). It is gratifying to see him achieve the national recognition he deserves. Civilians do not realize the full extent of the demands made on cadet athletes. We have as many as seven classes a day as well as military duties. Dowis's achievements are remarkable.
ANDREA C. MCELVAIN
Cadet Third Class
U.S. Air Force Academy
The article on Dee Dowis was excellent. However, I feel compelled to correct Dee's name and class standing: It is Michael Dee Dowis, not "Steven Michael Dowis, who's known as Dee," and he is a senior, not a junior.
Sports Information Director
U.S. Air Force Academy
Concerning the article Beast from Down East (Oct. 30) on the University of Maine football team: Did you ever consider that people move to Maine for a reason? Many want to get away from the hassle and competition of city life and big concrete campuses with their fancy sports forums. As for having nothing to do but drive around and watch the "dying foliage," at least we have foliage to look at.
I can take into perspective the type of people you are writing for and what they want to read. Many do have these stereotypical scenes of Maine in their heads, but do you have to add insult to injury?
Blue Hill, Maine
I asked my high school English students to bring in articles and photographs of the Bay Area earthquake that they found moving. One selected your Oct. 30 cover photo, but we were left with questions. Who is the ballplayer on the cover? And who is the child he's carrying?
SYDNEY S. HELFAND
Upper Saddle River, N.J.
•That was San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Kelly Downs comforting his shaken but unhurt 11-year-old nephew, Billy Kehl. They wore happier expressions when we photographed them recently near their homes in Utah (left). Downs lives in Centerville, Billy in Riverton.—ED.
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