As a charter subscriber to your fine magazine, let me extend kudos to you for publishing An African Journal, beginning with Miss Mary's Lion in your Dec. 20 issue.
Ernest Hemingway, to my way of thinking, was the greatest user of the English language.
K. M. BENNETT
Granted Ernest Hemingway was an accomplished artist—in my opinion you have done him a grave injustice by printing Miss Mary's Lion. I wager not one out of a thousand of your subscribers who started this article ever condescended to waste the time it would take to finish it.
I consider SI a sports magazine, and this is so foreign to sports I question your staff for its inability to save you the embarrassment of publishing this type of nothingness. How you could publish such a fine magazine and, in this particular issue, do such a wonderful blood-and-guts story on one of the best golfers—no, the best golfer—who has yet to hit the golf world, and then ruin the whole issue with Miss Mary's Lion is inconceivable to me.
JOE B. CRONIN
Plaudits are indeed due you and Ray Cave for publishing Miss Mary's Lion by Ernest Hemingway. The initiative was commendable and the execution superlative. Hats off.
Your choice of Lee Trevino (A Common Man with an Uncommon Touch, Dec. 20) as Sportsman of the Year is ridiculous. This guy reveals his skills a few times a month and then disappears to count his money. What about the real athlete who, day after day, continues to stand out in the sport in which he plays? Such a person would be Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe. It would not be enough to give the statistics Howe compiled in 25 long years of service, although you could fill an entire issue with just those. On or off the ice, Gordie Howe is a great athlete as well as a great person. The word "great" is often misused in the world of sports, or it is used too early in an athlete's life. But not in the case of Gordie. He has already proved his greatness.
Dearborn Heights, Mich.
Vida Blue brought back baseball as our national pastime. During the World Series Roberto Clemente became the god of hitting. Kareem Jabbar dominated a sport of superstars. Joe Frazier made sure that the heavyweight championship was no longer in doubt. Ken Dryden led the Canadiens through a string of startling upsets. These are just a few of the athletes who deserved your award more than a golfer with a good personality.
Choosing the most qualified candidate for the title of Sportsman of the Year is indeed a dubious undertaking. Past controversies over some of your earlier selections bear this out. However, if you receive any criticism this year (and you undoubtedly will), rest assured that it will be entirely unjustified.
Every year there are outstanding sportsmen, and every sport has its share of them. But who can deny the 1971 Sportsman of the Year honor to a man who accomplished so much, overcame so many obstacles and still was able to give back to his sport and to life in general much more than either ever permitted him to start out with? Here's to your choice of Lee Trevino. Remember him when you choose the Sportsman of the Decade.
WILLIAM C. GASSMAN
New Ellenton, S.C.
Congratulations on your selection of Lee Trevino as Sportsman of the Year. He has indeed given the game of golf to all economic and social levels, exactly where it belongs.
Another of Lee's charitable donations was made in June 1970 in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Mad Anthonys of Fort Wayne, a local civic organization that annually sponsors the Hoosier Celebrity Golf Tournament with all proceeds going to charity, invited Lee to be one of the two guest pros for the 1970 golf clinic and exhibition match at the Fort Wayne Country Club. Not only did Lee donate his entire purse to local charities, but he paid his own expenses in and out of Fort Wayne. No other pro golfer in our 14-year history of staging this annual event has done so. It was not asked or suggested that Lee do this. He did it of his own free will, with no thought on his part that he would receive any publicity from it.
Lee Trevino is truly a sportsman in all ways.
The Mad Anthonys
Fort Wayne, Ind.
Your selection of Lee Trevino as Sportsman of the Year is unquestionably accurate. Curry Kirkpatrick's article about Trevino is a refreshing insight and pays due honor to this gifted and extraordinary athlete and person, except in one significant respect: your title should have read An Uncommon Man with the Common Touch. It is both fitting and appropriate that tribute should be given such an uncommon common man in the same issue with a story by Ernest Hemingway.
MICHAEL A. GRANT
Fort Hood, Texas
It was a pleasure to see such refreshing photography as that of Mark Kauffman (Sport Is a Double Exposure, Dec. 20). Being a photographer myself, I have done a lot of double exposures. Because my two main interests are sports and photography, I am able to appreciate both the effort and the results. In future issues I hope you will devote a section to unique photography in sport.
Jerry Kirshenbaum deserves to circle the arena (on a gentle mount, if he prefers) for his coverage of the National Finals Rodeo (And They Laid It on the Lyne at the O.C. Corral, Dec. 20). It was the best piece of recent rodeo reporting I've read in a national publication.
One minor correction: none of the rodeo hands who tucked their winnings into Levi's was paid to endorse the products of "the cowboy's tailor."
Levi Strauss & Co.
Heartiest commendations for Dan Levin's splendid article on rugby (Whiffenpoofs and Wallabies, Dec. 13). It presented well the basic spirit of rugby. American ruggers and fans know that they do not hold the spotlight of American sports interest. We are always pleased to have the word spread on this great gentleman's game. To learn the game is to love it, so hats off to SI for spreading the good word.
Rice University Rugby Club
Thank you for Dan Levin's article on the rugby match between Australia and the Eastern Rugby Union All-Stars. This was not, however, the "first appearance ever in the United States" of a Wallaby team. The Wallabies played at least three games here during the world tour of 1948. I was privileged to be a member of the UCLA team that faced them that spring, and they subsequently played an all-star team in Los Angeles before traveling up to Berkeley to meet Cal. Levin's description of the current Wallabies sounds very much like the 1948 edition. They were very large and tough, superb ruggers, fine sportsmen, prodigious drinkers and darned nice blokes.
DONALD K. MACBETH
Thanks to Tex Maule for his fine article on Greg Landry (Look What's Afoot, Dec. 13). He has truly captured the genius behind this brilliant young superstar. Landry is a master of his art and in complete control of every situation for every second that he is on the field. Not only did Galloping Greg have an outstanding year, he is the one to watch in the future.
I would like to congratulate you on your excellent article of Sept. 9, 1968, Pursuit of a Big Blue Chipper. Jack Mildren is certainly everything you said about him.
The possibility of a national championship was mentioned in the 1968 article as a drawing card to get Jack to enroll at Oklahoma. In my opinion, Jack beat Nebraska's immovable defense this year. I keep expecting a follow-up article on Jack. We here in Oklahoma were amazed at the way he kept coming back Saturday after Saturday, taking a tremendous physical beating yet still showing championship form both on and off the field. This letter is a tribute not only to a fine young man and athlete, but also to a three-year-old forecast by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
J. T. McKINNEY JR.
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