I enjoyed the cover of your July 28 issue so much I must compliment photographer Rich Clarkson and, yes, even the Russians for displaying such beautiful pageantry.
Stony Brook, N.Y.
I have supported the Olympic boycott from the start. However, over the past couple of weeks I have had a change of heart, and your article on the Olympics (Only the Bears Were Bullish, July 28) brought my feelings to a head. Now I believe we should have sent our athletes to Moscow and watched them beat the Soviets in front of the whole world.
El Toro, Calif.
Why did you pay homage to the "Soviet Games" with your cover picture of the opening ceremony? A secondary article would have sufficed and would have showed respect for our athletes who did what was asked of them and stayed home.
Your compassion is underwhelming.
MRS. GORDON L. BRUNSELL
Downers Grove, Ill.
Considering the sacrifice of our athletes and of those in other countries who stood by us in the boycott, I could not bring myself to read—or even open—your July 28 issue.
PETER B. NORBERT
My wife's only comment on the opening ceremonies was "It's worse than the halftime show at the Orange Bowl game."
W. A. BANDLE
Although I've never seen a British Open nor had the opportunity to visit beautiful Scotland, Dan Jenkins' lively account of Tom Watson's third Open triumph (Elementary, At Least for Watson, July 28), this time at Muirfield, elegantly described this most difficult course, giving it a character to rival Pebble Beach.
It must be comforting to Watson to have a fine player like Lee Trevino remark, "I finished second to the greatest player in the world." Hooray for a uniquely splendid year for Watson!
After his third British Open and fourth major championship in six years, I feel that golf's most dominant player finally deserves SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S greatest award. Tom Watson for Sportsman of the Year.
Your two-part article on the coaching philosophy of Chuck Noll of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Man Not Myth, July 21; The Teacher, July 28) should be required reading for every present and future coach in every sport in America. Noll's emphasis on teaching the fundamentals of the game and his willingness to leave the "spotlight" to the players should be a lesson for every man or woman who works with athletes.
I think it would be especially helpful to those egotistical coaches who believe that sports are for their personal benefit and glory. Unfortunately, those coaches, should they ever read the article, would probably not understand a word of it.
American Association of College Baseball Coaches
Thanks for the insightful studies of Chuck Noll. As one of his former university professors, I searched both articles for some reference to what I felt was Noll's dominant characteristic: he is a Christian gentleman. He was that rare student who I felt made an intelligent and meaningful contribution by his presence in the classroom.
BARTLETT C. LUBBERS
Although I've been a Steeler fan for many years, I've known next to nothing about Chuck Noll. Now it's easy to see that he's one of the reasons the Steelers are what they are—a super team with a super coach.
What a pleasure it was to read Paul Zimmerman's analysis of Chuck Noll. As a teacher, I especially enjoyed Noll's teaching methods and philosophy. In a world filled with George Aliens, to whom winning is the only concern, it is gratifying to find a coach who cares not only for the player, but also for the person within.
Although I am not a Steeler fan, nor even a staunch pro football fan, I'll look forward to seeing Chuck Noll, the teacher, in action this season.
JAN M. REID
I would like to thank you for finally bringing Chuck Noll to the forefront. We are constantly being told what great coaches Don Shula, Tom Landry, etc. are, but I think it goes without saying that Noll is in a class by himself—if equaled, then only by Vince Lombardi. Thank you for giving credit where credit is undoubtedly due.
As a two-time marathon runner, I read the article on running addiction (Marching to Euphoria, July 14) with great interest. I wonder if the story about a 24-hour race as a follow-up (It's Seven O'Clock in the Morning, July 28) was intended as the great cure for running addicts everywhere.
DENNIS J. SITEK
Grosse Ile, Mich.
James Shapiro has spun a tale of competitive running into a masterpiece. He has taken the ultramarathon and transformed what could have been a boring play-by-play (mile by mile?) account into an epic struggle of athletes forging new frontiers.
Shapiro has set a standard by which "running" literature can gauge itself, and I heartily welcome it.
DARREN S. BILLINGS
I am really pleased to see more ink being given to my sport—long-distance running. The story by James Shapiro was terrific. I have known Jim since he started long-distance running for the Boston Athletic Association, and I was proud to read about his latest achievement. The run was a credit to Jim's training and self-sacrifice, but his well-written story proves he has much more going for him.
JOHN D. (JOCK) SEMPLE
Boston Athletic Association
Having just read James E. Shapiro's article on the 24-hour run, I am overjoyed to see that, finally, the feelings of millions of marathoners and ultramarathoners have been put into an emotional and enjoyable story. I loved it when Shapiro wrote at the end, "The body claims its due."
Lake County Roadrunners
North Perry, Ohio
When I finished my daily three-mile run at my usual eight-minutes-per-mile pace, I sat down to what I felt was a well-deserved rest and read James Shapiro's article.
But just reading the vivid description of his incredible accomplishment left me thoroughly exhausted and feeling totally inadequate as a runner. Although I admit that I could never comprehend the pain involved in running an ultramarathon, I felt every step of his ordeal.
Your recent article about running junkies somehow omitted the most obvious explanation.
As one who has run off and on for 25 or 30 years, I have yet to experience a "second wind," nor have I hit "the wall."
The only pleasure in running occurs when one stops.
H. JOHN ROGERS
New Martinsville. W. Va.
TROUBLE IN PARADISE
Thanks for your story on Mike Ivie (He Has Georgia on His Mind, July 28). Let's hope Jim Lefebvre's attitude doesn't gain too much of a following. Having someone to listen to a problem has prevented many from falling over the edge. It's a long drop and a long trip back.
Hang in, Mike!
TOMMY O. LEE
UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECT
While riding with my mom in the car one day I looked out the window and saw a go-kart with a hang glider on top of it. Well, I wondered and wondered what it was until your issue with the article on ultralights (It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a.... July 21). Thanks for explaining it tome.
CARLETON ON CARLTON
Thanks for putting Steve Carlton on the cover of your July 21 issue. Steve's my favorite pitcher even though he left the "e" out of his last name.
At the moment I'm winning a bet with a college fraternity brother—Tommy John—over which pitcher will win the most games this season. It would have been a three-way race but another friend—Jim Palmer—has already graduated.
Baton Rouge, La.
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, New York, 10020.