Your cover story on Florida's victory over Miami (See Ya Later, Gators, Sept. 13) has won you a permanent spot in the heart of every fightin' Gator across the country. Whatever the Florida-Miami series lacks in tradition and national prominence, it certainly makes up for in intensity and quality football. These two teams, along with Florida State, are proving to the rest of the country what is already known at home: Football in the state of Florida is a force to be reckoned with.
For years all I've heard is how much better Miami is than Florida. Even this year, my best friend said that the only way Florida could win was if hell froze over. Well, ol' Satan must be getting pretty cold. The final blow for my friend was your excellent article about the game. The camera work on the winning touchdown was superb. However, a picture at the end of the season of Quarterback Wayne Peace holding up a finger indicating Florida is No. 1 would be even better.
Your excellent sequence of pictures clearly showed Florida Fullback James Jones falling on the one-yard line while "scoring" Florida's "winning touchdown." As a Florida State fan, I look forward to seeing the Gators later in the season. Please tell Florida Coach Charley Pell and the SEC game officials that our field is 100-yards long, not 99.
John Papanek's brilliant recounting of past Miami-Florida battles omitted one historic event—the first time the schools met. It was in Gainesville on Oct. 15, 1938, the date on which big-time Florida finally agreed to play little Miami, a 13-year-old school of 900 students. As a Miami freshman, I had to wear BEAT FLORIDA sandwich boards the week before the game. The Hurricanes spotted the Gators a first-half touchdown and then roared back in the second half as Eddie Dunn, a peerless single-wing tailback if ever there was one, scored three touchdowns for a sweet 19-7 victory.
That Miami team, coached by Jack (Spike) Harding out of Pitt, won seven other games, topping off the season with a 13-7 triumph over Georgia. It would be a shame if Florida eased out of this ancient rivalry, but, to tell the truth, it would be a very typical, slithery Gator maneuver.
I'm a Gator fan and, over the past five seasons, I've sat through four-game losing streaks to Florida State, Georgia and Miami. We finally beat Florida State last year, and now with Miami and USC down, I'm confident this is the Year of the Gator.
We don't need Miami on our future schedules. It's tough enough getting fired up for more meaningful rivals, let alone a crybaby program like Miami's. Heck, we don't even consider Miami part of the state.
WEST VIRGINIA'S RETORT
In reply to Kevin D. Dunn's letter (19TH HOLE, Sept. 13) crying about Oklahoma's not being ranked in the Top 20: West Virginia 41, Oklahoma 27—in Norman, no less!
Charleston, W. Va.
MACPHAIL ON THE RULES
I read your SCORECARD item (Sept. 13) on "the wavering waiver system."
What few people understand is that the main objective of the waiver system is the protection of the player—to prevent his being assigned (other than on option during the first three years of his major league career) to the minor leagues if he has major league ability and his services are desired by any major league team. This is the primary reason for the waiver system.
A secondary purpose is to promote competitive balance among the clubs and to give those that are down in the standings precedence over those that are above them in the acquisition of certain player contracts. The rules still perform this limited function.
In the minds of most people, the waiver rules are supposed to enforce the June 15 trading deadline by preventing the assignment to contending teams of better-than-marginal players after that date. This is not the major function of the waiver rules. They have never completely prevented such player moves, as your editorial points out, and because today's player contracts are so complicated and so costly, the waiver rules are even less effective in this area now. It simply does not make sense for any club that is not in the pennant race to claim an older player with a high salary. If the fans and, as a result, baseball institutionally feel Tommy John-Don Sutton-type player transfers are undesirable, baseball will have to find some approach specially designed to restrict them.
L.S. MACPHAIL JR.
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs
New York City
LITTLE LEAGUE SCALE
Steve Wulf certainly captured the excitement of the 1982 Little League World Series championship game in his excellent article (A Big Day for a Little Man, Sept. 6). His account was not only informative, but also educational in that it provided a new definition for xenophobia. By definition, xenophobia is a "fear of strangers." We can assure you that Taiwanese players are not strangers in Little League World Series play.
The intense interest in this year's title game was undoubtedly the result of both superior play by the victorious Kirkland, Wash, team and the ending of Taiwan's 31-game Series winning streak by American youngsters. In addition to SI's excellent reporting, coverage of the Series by television, radio and other print media was unparalleled. And President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Sun Yunsuan of the Republic of China each wired congratulatory messages to the teams after the championship game. All this compares favorably with public reaction to the outcome of other major sporting events—on a smaller scale, of course.
CREIGHTON J. HALE
Little League Baseball
As a New York Yankee fan, I've never had a soft spot in my heart for the Baltimore Orioles or Earl Weaver. After reading Steve Wulf's story (Hoping to Bring in One Last Harvest, Sept. 13) about Weaver and the latest Oriole pennant drive, I'm not about to switch my allegiance, but I have increased respect for Weaver as a manager. The talent Weaver has for getting the most out of his players has never been more apparent. Considering the number of millionaire free agents playing for the Yankees, George Steinbrenner should be embarrassed to see his team 14 games behind Baltimore at this stage of the season. I hope the Orioles win the pennant one more time—for Earl's sake. The American League East just won't be the same without him.
Upper Darby, Pa.
My cowboy hat is off to E.M. Swift for the excellent article (No Guts, No Glory, Sept. 6) on Don Gay and the great American sport of rodeo. He did a fine job of depicting the pulsating world of the professional rodeo cowboy, and Lane Stewart's excellent photographs show that rodeo is a test of a cowboy's skill and stamina and, at times, a fight for his life. I'll be looking forward to your next article on the cowboy, a symbol of America once near extinction but now thriving in rodeo.
TODD C. MCCARTNEY
Your story on bull-rider Don Gay makes a valiant attempt to glorify one of the most inhumane "sports" around. You give only one short paragraph's attention to the cattle prod and dismiss it as "just a means to get them to move through the gates." And although two pictures accompanying the story show the rope that is cinched around the animal to make it buck, no mention is made of the rope.
"I love the bulls," says Gay, who goes on to say, "I'm not physically capable of abusing a bull unless I use a .44 Magnum.... You could hit one with a lead pipe and it wouldn't feel it." I think Gay is confused. Size has nothing to do with ability to experience pain.
Hooray for Charlie Brown, the bull that gave Gay a dose of his own medicine!
Rolling Meadows, Ill.
I had just returned from my annual pilgrimage to Yellowstone National Park and was browsing through my accumulated issues of SI when, to my utter joy, I spotted Robert H. Boyle's article on Jack Gartside (No Fly-by-Night Cabbie, Sept. 13). My brother, Buz, and I met Jack in the park in 1975. After we invited him to our camp for spaghetti and poker—luckily, we didn't have much to lose—he began to share his bountiful fly-fishing knowledge. The next afternoon, Gartside gave me a few flies and we began fishing. Although nervous, I somehow hooked and landed a 17-inch brown trout on Gartside's Filo Fly. I was never prouder as I carefully released the fish, my biggest ever at the time.
Who says there are no more American heroes? Jack Gartside!
DAVID H. THORNTON
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.