Thanks for a very nice article by Franz (Flipped His) Lidz on ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman (Yabba-dabba-doo! March 26). Berman appears to be having more fun on the job than Brent Musburger (and Fries) or Bob Costas (a Lot of Money) ever dreamed of. I rank him at the top, along with Pat Summerall (the Same) and John Madden (Heaven).
This is an article from the April 30, 1990 issue
When the U.S. Open golf championship was held here last year, our station worked with Berman while he was in town to cover the event. On the air, he comes across as someone you would like to sit around and shoot the breeze with about sports. Off the air, we got the same guy, maybe better. I have the feeling that if he went to NBC, he would change the network before it changed him.
By the way, his nicknames extend to golf. He even gave us one for our local PGA Tour player, Jeff (Seattle) Sluman.
Sports Director WOKR-TV
I offer two nicknames for Berman's consideration: Greg Gagne (with a Spoon) of the Twins and Rob (Veg) Dibble of the Reds.
JOHN S. LONGO
Dwight Gooden (Plenty), Doug (Eenie, Meenie, Meinie) Moe of the Nuggets, Ruben Sierra (Nevada) and Tony Gwynn (and Bear It).
Jamie (Nestle) Quirk and Bob (Intentional) Walk.
RYAN C. SLATTERY
From this year's NCAA basketball tournament: Tyrone (Blueberry) Hill of Xavier, Joey (Dudley Do) Wright, Lance (Fill in the) Blanks and Locksley Collie (Oley in Free!) of Texas and Toraino (My Parade) Walker of Connecticut.
MATTHEW K. MEYERS
I enjoyed Rick Reilly's subtle tribute to Yogi Berra in Reilly's story on Nick Faldo's Masters victory (True Brit, April 16): "For Faldo, the playoff was dèjà vu. For Faldo, the playoff was dèjà vu."
ROBERT P. MARSHALL JR.
New York City
Thanks to Rick Reilly for the hilarious article about Augusta's 12th hole (The 12th, April 2). I'm curious: In poring over Augusta lore, did Reilly come across any golfers who consistently mastered, if that indeed is the word to use, the hole?
JULIAN TIMOTHY FRIEND
•There is no cumulative tally of the best results on the par-3 12th, but in the Masters tournament the best scores are:
Jimmy Demaret (1958)
Charles Coody (1974)
Lou Graham (1975)
It is nice to know that the world's greatest golfers can turn a 155-yard walk through the park into a complete disaster, just like the rest of us.
Maryland Heights, Mo.
Leigh Montville's story about the great Czechoslovakian distance runner Emil Zatopek (A Bridge to Long Ago, March 26) reminded me of a trip a friend and I made as undergraduates in August 1968. We were hitchhiking through Europe, and while in Prague we looked up Zatopek's name in the telephone book and gave him a call. Thus began a wonderful experience.
Zatopek invited us to his apartment, introduced us to his wife, Dana, showed us his medals, posed for pictures, took us to lunch and, then, finally, to the outskirts of Prague, where we jogged with him at his old training grounds. A more perfect representative of the Prague Spring certainly would have been hard to find. His English was excellent, and his stories of the races he ran all over the world were magic to two young runners from William and Mary college.
The day after we left, the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia, and Zatopek became an outcast in the nation to which he had brought so much glory. Thank you for the update on one of distance running's brightest stars.
OUT OF UNIFORM
In reading your special issue, 35 Years of Covers (March 28), I noticed something odd. The reproduction of your May 8, 1978, cover, featuring Elvin Hayes of the Washington Bullets, shows what appears to be a teammate wearing a peculiar, unnumbered uniform. Has anyone noticed this before? Would you please reprint the cover so that other readers may see this strange occurrence?
•As we explained in the cover story of that 1978 issue, Mike Gale, a guard with the San Antonio Spurs, had to borrow a Washington road uniform and wear it inside out because his own uniform had been lost in a baggage mix-up with the airlines.—ED.
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