Thanks for another intriguing cover of Muhammad Ali (Sept. 29). He is The Greatest, except for those crumpled boxing shorts! Tell Muhammad that it just won't do.
When next you appear on a cover,
Your pose and expression just right,
Make certain your shorts pass muster,
With no ugly wrinkles in sight.
Mill Valley, Calif.
With a face as beautiful as All's,
And a punch that stings like a bee,
How could you print a cover photo
With the man's trunks so messee?
State College, Pa.
Former Georgia Tech Football Coach Pepper Rodgers' list of perks (SCORECARD, Sept. 29) has opened my eyes to the shabby manner in which Carnegie-Mellon treats me. As a volunteer assistant track coach at CMU last year, my perks amounted to:
My minus total obviously does not compare with Rodgers' plus $146,024, but there were other perks, like a second straight undefeated season and a second straight conference championship. And I didn't get fired.
THOMAS STEPHEN TERPACK
SNAILS AND PUPPY-DOG TALES
I just read your escargot item (SCORECARD. Sept. 22). When I first heard that joke, it was only one paragraph long. Here is another one you can expand: two duck hunters are sitting in a blind, and they are having terrible luck. Finally, one says to the other, "I think I know what we're doing wrong—we aren't throwing the dog high enough."
CATERERS AND CARPETMEN
In regard to your story on slo-pitch softball and Jerry's Caterers of Miami (Teams That Go Bump in the Night, Sept. 1), I'd like to point out that Jerry's was not just "upset" by Campbell's Carpets of Concord, Calif. at the National Slo-Pitch Conference tournament in Birmingham, Ala., it was beaten. The Carpetmen entered the NSPC tournament with a 102-11 record, compared to Jerry's 84-13, and they were ranked first in the country by National Slo-Pitch magazine, an Indiana publication that serves as the sport's official rating service.
Campbell's has now defeated Jerry's six of nine times this season, including their last three meetings. The Carpetmen have also won the slo-pitch triple crown, beating Jerry's 27-16 at the conference tournament, 26-16 at the American Softball Association tournament in Montgomery, Ala. and 20-14 at the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association World Series here in Concord, Calif. Campbell's has 10 Luzinski-sized sluggers who can crank it out of any park. In fact, the Carpetmen have more than 10 Luzinski-sized sluggers, but they all can't play at once.
Not all major slo-pitch softball teams concentrate on power alone. Campbell's Carpets, the most successful team in the country this season, works on defense as much as it does on offense, which helped it to become the first team ever to win all three national titles in the same year.
YOU KNOW, ETC.
For many years I have been driving my wife crazy during the sports segment of the nightly news by counting the number of "you knows" that are uttered by athletes during interviews. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that there was anyone with a like mind. The item in SCORECARD (Sept. 15) on Sportscaster Keith Olbermann was super.
According to my count, Dwight White of the Steelers once came up with 15 "you knows" during an interview on a local sports report, but I don't know how much time was involved. His record was broken last year by Vernon Perry of the Houston Oilers, who made it 18. It's amazing to me that professional athletes who have had some form of higher education can't learn how to talk to the public.
GREGG W. MONTGOMERY
It is a cheap shot to ridicule Mark Aguirre, Mike Easier or any great athlete for his or her lack of articulateness. The people we admire for their athletic ability do not necessarily develop the skills needed to reply to such momentous inquiries as "...you guys in a slump?"
Sportscaster Keith Olbermann has, I presume, spent considerable time and energy learning his profession. Too bad the athletes don't have the opportunity to see Olbermann's stuff on the playing field and then have some way to let everyone know how well—or, you know, poorly—he did.
The answer to anyone who repeatedly says "you know" is: no, I don't know, and I won't know till you quit saying you know and tell me what it is I don't know that you do know so I will know. You know?
Count the times Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek say "I'll tell ya," or "Let me tell ya," or "Tell ya one thing," etc., during one Saturday afternoon baseball telecast. I once arrived at a total of 50 by the sixth inning and got too sick to go on. I'm glad football season is here for that reason alone—I'll tell ya!
Men like Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and George Brett are great, but my vote for Sportsman of the Year goes to a man who never receives the credit he deserves outside of New York: Giorgio Chinaglia of the Cosmos. Once again, the NASL has failed to make Mr. September its MVP, despite the fact that he was tops in the league in scoring with 77 points and led the Cosmos to the season's best point total.
I concede that baseball, football, golf, tennis and basketball, etc., are more popular with the average SI reader than motorcycle racing. However, this summer Kenny Roberts won his third consecutive world championship in the elite division of all motorcycle racing, the 500 cc. class. It would be truly unjust not to select King Kenny as Sportsman of the Year.
DANIEL R. HENRY
I nominate Roberto Duran, the "Panamanian god."
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