June 23, 1997
June 23, 1997

Table of Contents
June 23, 1997

Faces In The Crowd


Of all the people Tiger has brought in to help manage his
career, his best choice has been Fluff.
ART PRUETT, Monterey, Calif.

This is an article from the June 23, 1997 issue Original Layout


Thank you for the wonderful piece of Fluff journalism (What a
Trip, May 26). I attended William Penn College with Mike Cowan,
a.k.a. Fluff, and I remember him as an intense competitor on the
golf course (we both played on the team) and a student of the
game. His loyalty to golf has taken him down a rough path, but
it looks as if he may finally reap rewards for his years of
GARY ANDERSON, Cedar Falls, Iowa

Fluff! What a misnomer. This man sounds as though he is rock


While many lamented the retirement of the Minnesota Twins'
All-Star centerfielder Kirby Puckett in the prime of his career,
Puckett expresses nothing but gratitude for having been able to
live a dream (A Bright Outlook, May 26). I look forward to the
day in 2001 when his smiling face appears on a bust in

I remember the 1992 All-Star Game in San Diego. While other
players chatted with each other on the field during warmups,
Puckett fired ball after ball into the upper deck so that fans
who rarely got souvenir balls could go home with one. Puckett is
one of the greatest people, not just one of the greatest
players, to grace the diamond.


It saddens me to see the Pittsburgh Steelers and cornerback Rod
Woodson part ways (Gut Check, May 26). I felt that the
three-year, $9 million contract the Steelers offered Woodson was
fair. As for Woodson's claim that Pittsburgh crowds boo black
players, but not white ones, who sign with other teams, Steelers
fans booed Bubby Brister, who is white, when he returned to
Pittsburgh as quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, and they
will boo Neil O'Donnell, who's also white, when he comes back to
town quarterbacking the New York Jets. To turn this into a race
issue is ridiculous. Steelers fans bleed black and gold, not
black and white.

Rod, we'd love to see you back with the Steelers, but if not,
good luck. We'll miss you.
PAUL SEELMAN, Columbus, Ohio

Woodson has forgotten how the fans roared when he was introduced
at Three Rivers Stadium on Sept. 8, 1996, after he had missed
almost all of the 1995 season because of a torn anterior
cruciate ligament in his right knee. We cheered his
determination and his hard work and his ability as an athlete.
When Woodson returns this autumn in another uniform, we will boo
him. We will boo his lack of loyalty, his attitude, his racial
comments and the contract that he will surely receive. But we
will not boo his color.

If Woodson feels that he has been mistreated by the Steelers,
maybe he should follow Marcus Allen's example, move on quietly
to another team and let his performance on the field show the
Steelers that they made a mistake.


The American Football Coaches Association has already taken
action to prevent injuries during the 15 days of spring drills
(SCORECARD, May 12). This spring Division I-A coaches agreed to
follow this practice schedule: On the first two days of practice
players wore shorts and helmets, with no contact; three other
days, on which players wore so-called half pads (shoulder pads
and helmets), were designated as noncontact; and the remaining
10 practices were full contact. Coaches agreed not to have full
contact practices on consecutive days whenever possible.

If the powers that be reduce the number of contact days to fewer
than 10, as the safeguard committee has suggested, I have a
feeling coaches will then add a couple of hours of scrimmaging
on scheduled contact days.

In the fall we coaches are busy with game preparation and
teaching our players whom to block, but in the spring we
concentrate on techniques and how to block and tackle. A player
who does not know the fundamentals is more likely to suffer or
even cause a catastrophic injury. This is the tragedy we all
want to avoid.
DON NEHLEN, President
American Football Coaches Association
West Virginia University
Morgantown, W.Va.

COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT BECK A college teammate says Fluff the player was intense. [Mike Cowan (Fluff) golfing]