TABBED FOR GREATNESS
Congratulations to Mary Decker Tabb (It Was Just Another Mary Chase, July 26)! Competing in a country where women's sports are subordinated to men's and, furthermore, where the simple grace and beauty of track and field are overshadowed by gaudy, high-priced, "manufactured" sports, she is quietly carving out a niche as one of the world's premier athletes—and not just women athletes, either! Thanks to Kenny Moore and SI for your continuing, thoughtful coverage of track.
New York City
The Mary Decker Tabb cover made my day. In the past year Mary has progressed from the top American female middle-distance runner to perhaps the best in the world. And what a phenomenal range—from 800 to 10,000 meters! By the time Mary finishes charming track audiences, she may need a special page in the record book.
HOWARD M. SCHMERTZ
Wanamaker Millrose Games
New York City
Who needs the swimsuit issue when women athletes who look this good grace your cover?
BARRY C. RUSSELL
BILL WALSH'S PHILOSOPHY
Few articles capture the essence of an individual with the clarity and accuracy of Kenny Moore's piece on San Francisco 49er Coach Bill Walsh (To Baffle and Amaze, July 26). We Cincinnatians weren't thrilled when our Bengals lost Super Bowl XVI to the 49ers, but our disappointment was tempered by the warm spot in our hearts for Walsh, the Bengals' former assistant coach.
EDWARD C. ECKEL
I almost feel I should send SI a check for $25 or $30 as payment for one of the finest "coaching clinics" I've ever experienced: Kenny Moore's brilliant article on Bill Walsh. The Walsh philosophy goes beyond the X's and O's and into something much more crucial. I'm a basketball coach, and I found Walsh's beliefs to be extremely well suited for both coaching and living. The thing that separates Walsh from so many other fine coaches was summed up by his son Steve: "perfectionism without obsession"—a simple statement that takes a lifetime to assimilate. The Bill Bradley article on team cohesiveness (You Can't Buy Heart, Oct. 31, 1977) and Kenny Moore's current masterpiece are articles every coach would profit from.
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
After witnessing the deification of Vince Lombardi, his tactics and philosophy, after believing everything Peter Gent said in North Dallas Forty, after being subjected to Joe Thomas in Baltimore and after being sickened by the meat-packaging inhumanity of pro football, I attempted to avoid the sport. Then along came Bill Walsh and his 49ers. Kenny Moore depicts him as being everything I hoped he would be. The character of Walsh may yet save the character of pro football.
JOHN J. CAMBARDELLA JR.
Church Hill, Md.
The article Seattle: City Life at Its Best (July 19) was cruel and unusual punishment. Only recently, because of a lack of job opportunities, I was forced to forsake the Northwest and journey elsewhere. However, you've rekindled my love for that part of the country. Without a doubt, Seattle is the most beautiful and complete city in America.
Sarah Pileggi's article is only the latest in a series of attempts by outsiders to expose to the world what every upstanding Seattleite has tried to keep secret. Every time one of these features about my beautiful hometown hits the newsstands, curious friends and relatives from the East call me to find out if what they've read is true. I've always been able to brush them off by saying that it was rainy and miserable, but your exquisite photographs have ruined my ploy. What can I tell them now? There goes the neighborhood! Thanks for nothing. SI!
DANIEL M. BRANLEY
Thanks, but no thanks! Will the last person who has moved to Seattle please close the door!
Your report on Seattle was a disservice to your readers. Our major-sport teams range in quality from mediocre to inept, the Sonics' two-year aberration being the exception. It's incorrect to say that almost everybody in town is a Seahawk fan. How could they be, with the quality of play the team has shown under Coach Jack Patera?
No respectable Seattle native would live in a houseboat, the habitat of New York boat people. Jim Zorn and Steve Largent do, as you stated, represent the "new Seattleites": young, moderate, anti-union, in effect. The Seattle Tennis Club may be less stuffy than similar clubs in other cities, but, for the most part, blacks get in the club only through the service entrance. Lake Washington has been cleaned up, but fish caught near downtown in Puget Sound have a high incidence of tumors as a result of pollution.
It rains a lot out here. Without the rain there would be no way to flush away our "big city" air pollution. Unemployment is high and rising. Write about Vancouver, British Columbia or Portland, Ore. That's where you'll find city life at its best. Your Seattle doesn't exist in Seattle.
Sarah Pileggi made brief mention of Seattle's professional teams but failed to comment on what is perhaps Seattle's finest team, the University of Washington's football Huskies.
Your Seattle story—just great we say,
Pacific Northwest life-style is the way,
Not mentioned was a horseman's smile
Enjoying the famous Longacres Mile,
Come and spend the doodah day.
R. TURK WHITEHEAD
Richmond, British Columbia
JENSEN AND ESSEGIAN
Your statement (FOR THE RECORD, July 26) that California's Jackie Jensen is the only man to play on both Rose Bowl and World Series teams isn't accurate. He shares this distinction with Chuck Essegian of archrival Stanford, who opposed Illinois in the 1952 Rose Bowl game and got two pinch-hit home runs for the Dodgers in the 1959 Series against the White Sox.
EDGAR A. MCDOWELL
Palo Alto, Calif.
Letters should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.