YOUNG CAUTHEN (CONT.)
Your 1977 Sportsman of the Year selection (Dec. 19-26) was your best yet. I was at Saratoga during August and saw Steve Cauthen ride. I also saw him in the jockeys' quarters. He never shrugged off an autograph. I think he should be named Man of the Year, too.
Frank Deford's article on Sportsman of the Year Steve Cauthen was a fine work of art. However, it had one flaw. Cauthen was repeatedly referred to as a "child," "little boy," or "little doll-person." At age 17, Cauthen has earned $600,000, more than most people make in a lifetime. Even more remarkable, he has become the premier figure in his field, an achievement that usually requires many years of experience in virtually any profession. Are these the accomplishments of a "little boy"? Hardly! Steve Cauthen must be given the respect he has earned and deserves. At 17, he is a very successful man.
ALAN R. EAGLE
Los Altos Hills, Calif.
Steve Cauthen has had one outstanding season. Willie Shoemaker has had nearly 30. What a shame that when you finally got around to selecting a jockey as your Sportsman you picked the wrong one.
As I recall, you once explained that a Sportsman of the Year was picked because of what that person had done for the sport. Steve Cauthen, the young jockey from Walton, Ky., has done more for racing than most jockeys. Maybe even more than a guy named Shoemaker.
Burnt Hills, N.Y.
It is a disgrace that you chose that little jockey, Steve Cauthen. The horse he rides is more of an athlete than he is. More important, horse racing is not a sport—not the way baseball, football, hockey, basketball and soccer are.
Cherry Hill, N.J.
You can't be serious about Steve Cauthen for Sportsman of the Year. There is no way I can stand Cauthen up beside the athletes who have spent most of their lives working long grueling hours at their sport without pay. When will the world and SI realize that the most outstanding and dedicated sportsman is the amateur athlete?
William Leggett's year-end TV/RADIO article (Dec. 19-26) was very well done and one that regular readers of SI could easily relate to, especially the One More Time and I'll Scream Award. A lot of us watch untold hours of television sports programming, and it's nice to know there is a voice that speaks for those who are not taken in by all of the network hype.
TERRY F. DeCARLIS
Rock Hill, S.C.
For the One More Time and I'll Scream Award my wife's favorite is, "Trim Landry is the only coach Dallas has ever had." According to her, that statement has been repeated on virtually every Dallas telecast for the last six years.
My favorite candidate for the award is, "He is the most underrated player in the NFL." There must be, according to my calculations, about 163 "most underrated" players active in the league.
CLYDE R. WHITE
Two quotes left out under your One More Time and I'll Scream heading are "fine young quarterback" and "big play."
Regarding the Thanks for the Use of the Hall Award, thanks should be granted to the Hartford Civic Center for the filming of The Deadliest Season, not the Los Angeles Forum. I was an extra during the production of that film, and, if I recall correctly, I traveled by bus from my University of Hartford dorm to downtown Hartford. I did not fly 3,000 miles to L.A.
West Hartford, Conn.
I have to disagree with William Leggett's opinion that The World's Strongest Men competition was "the hokiest piece of trash-sport so far." I welcomed the 10-minute segment each Saturday as a break in the monotony of the regular CBS Sports Spectacular presentations. The competition contained many difficult and diversified feats of strength, and each contestant took them seriously. I think that if Leggett polled all those who watched the show, a majority would respond in favor of more competitions like this. After all, how many times do you see two men run 40 yards with 400-pound refrigerators on their backs?
Perhaps young Darryl Dawkins of the Philadelphia 76ers did in fact make up his new battle name of "Zandokahn" (Trouble? Call the Bomb Squad, Dec. 19-26). However, those of us who grew up in Spanish-speaking countries have known of a creature so named since our early youth.
"Sandokan, Tigre de la Malasia" ruled the Indian Ocean, in novels and on the radio. A creation of the prolific writer Emilio Salgari, Sandokan was a kind of Captain Nemo, who did his thing on the ocean's surface and who, it seems, knew swordplay a little better than Dawkins.
I am glad to learn that the intrepid sailor has been reborn as a leaping black giant, trading his deck for the perilous courts of the NBA. I have always had a strong feeling that the 76ers should be known as the Philadelphia Swashbucklers.
Center for International Studies
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-12-0) and the Kansas City Chiefs (2-12-0) tied for the worst record in the NFL. Who gets the first draft pick, and how do they decide who gets it?
•Tampa Bay will pick first. Instead of the arbitrary coin toss used until two years ago to break such ties, the NFL now employs a system that compares the relative strengths of the teams' schedules. The Buccaneers were judged the weaker team because their two victories were against opponents who collectively won 96 games while losing 100 for a .490 won-lost percentage. The Chiefs' two wins came against opponents with an overall record of 119 wins and 77 losses, a .607 percentage.—ED.
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