SUGAR RAY'S RETIREMENT
Many thanks for that great cover shot of Sugar Ray Leonard (Nov. 15), which, unfortunately, will probably be his last. What a fitting tribute to the best welterweight boxer of this century.
A straightforward account of why the champ retired (I Just Don't Want to Fight Anymore, Nov. 15) is exactly what his fans wanted. After reading his story as told to Pat Putnam, I'm convinced Leonard did the right thing.
MICHAEL A. MADSEN
I never understood why Sugar Ray Leonard was voted SI's 1981 Sportsman of the Year—that is, I didn't understand until now. Thanks to Leonard and Pat Putnam for showing us the meaning of the word champion.
DUNCAN ARMSTRONG JR.
One can't help but admire Sugar Ray Leonard for deciding to retire from boxing despite the monetary temptations. But in determining his place in boxing history, one also can't forget that he never had rematches with his major challengers, such as Wilfred Benitez and Thomas Hearns, and never seemed all that anxious to fight Aaron Pryor, Alexis Arguello or Marvin Hagler. The great champions of the past beat up everybody in their divisions, gave the challengers a second chance and beat them again.
JUNIOR TENNIS LESSONS (CONT.)
I'm 10, and my dad suggested that I read the article on kids' tennis (The Glitter Has Gone, Nov. 8). This is what I think. Some kids have more desire than others. Desire comes from inside. You can't push kids. If you push us and we don't want it, we deteriorate because we lose our desire and will. Let us push, or not push, ourselves. If I say. "Push me to my limits." then push me. But the desire has to come from me. Let kids pace themselves.
If our parents get angry and put us down when we lose, we get scared of losing. If we lose, tell us what we did wrong, but don't forget to talk about what we did right. No kid purposely plays lousy. We're doing the best we can.
Maybe the parents once had a dream and it didn't happen, so they want their kid to fulfill it. But kids have dreams, too. Their own dreams. Maybe if the parents and coaches were happier and more satisfied with their own lives they wouldn't need their kids to win for them. Winning should be a high—not a necessity.
My son, who plays at the national level, is one of the vast majority of the 90,000 or so junior tennis players who have found the sport a rewarding, character-building experience.
Your article was a discredit to the kids, families and people who make the junior tennis program what it is in America. Contrary to your article, the people who are involved with this program are the epitome of sportsmanship. The most damaging comments of all were the ones concerning the pressures of being a winner. If you think that striving to win has its pressure, take a look at the pressures of mediocrity.
Lori Kosten, good luck to you on your comeback—and don't quit!
P.S. My kid hasn't read your article—his choice—because he knows it could affect his most precious gift, his mind.
As a Nebraska football fan, I enjoyed Terry Todd's excellent article on Dave Rimington (A Man of Heft Who's Also Deft, Nov. 8). Rimington's weight and vertical jump numbers reminded me of the power formula given in your Oct. 4 article on Herschel Walker, also by Todd. In his earlier piece Todd noted. "One way to determine the output of physical power: Multiply the subject's weight in kilograms by 2.21, and then multiply that product by the square root of the subject's vertical jump measured in meters. Walker's leap of 40½ inches [1.03 meters] at his body weight of 222 pounds [101 kilos] produced one of the highest power outputs ever recorded—226.5." Calculating this measure of power for Rimington's 290 pounds (131.8 kilos) and 29.5-inch vertical jump (.7493 of a meter), I obtained 252.2.
After a proper warmup, the reader can try a vertical jump and calculate his or her power value. I did, and it's a real eye-opener! I'm 150 pounds, and I jumped 18 inches. That gives me a power output of 101.9.
In your article on Nebraska's Dave Rimington you dwelt on Rimington's poor play in this fall's Penn State game without mentioning probably the worst performance of his career—the 1982 Orange Bowl. Clemson's Bruise Brothers, William (The Refrigerator) Perry and William (Junior) Devane, got the best of Rimington and shut down the Nebraska rushing attack. So weary was Rimington that he was guilty of holding a couple of times and often headed for the oxygen tank between offensive series.
TERRY A. WILLIS, D.M.D.
BUMPING AND HOLDING
Craig Neffs article And This Too Has Come to Pass (Nov. 8) contains two errors concerning the NCAA football playing rules. Neff stated, "Now defenders are permitted just one 'bump' before they become involved in a high speed chase." The 1982 rule permits the defender unlimited legal contact, including bumps and blocks.
The 1981 rule was liberalized to assist defenders by permitting legal contact after the ball is thrown if the receiver is not involved with a catchable forward pass.
Neff also stated, "Officials are reluctant to call holding because the use-of-hands rule is so vague." Rule 9-3-3-c defines holding as grasping, pulling, encircling, lifting, hooking, clamping or otherwise obstructing an opponent. This has been the definition of holding since 1947, and although officials may have problems detecting the violations, I am sure they know holding when they see it and are not handicapped by a vague rule.
DAVID M. NELSON
NCAA Football Rules Committee
CHASING THE SUGAR LAND EXPRESS
We in this area have had more than a casual interest in Ken Hall, who was the subject of a recent SI feature (Whatever Happened to the Sugar Land Express? Sept. 27). Steve Ampey of Gobies (Mich.) High just missed tying Hall's national high school record of having rushed for 100 yards or more in 21 consecutive games. At the end of the 1982 regular season, Ampey, a 5'7", 165-pound senior, had 19 in a row. He then ran for 190 yards against Mendon High in the first round of the state championships, but the Tigers lost 30-22 in overtime, thus ending Ampey's high school career. However, he did end up in second place on the alltime list, ahead of such luminaries as Herschel Walker (15 in a row) and Eric Dickerson (13 straight).
I've had a minor role in assembling and publishing the national records for prep athletes; the major credit belongs to the staff of the National Federation of State High School Associations and to the tireless efforts of sportswriter Doug Huff of Wheeling, W. Va. Your readers might be interested to know that a compilation of these records, more than 200 pages covering 22 different sports, is in a book available from the National Federation (P.O. Box 20626, Kansas City, Mo. 64195, $4.95, including postage and handling).
What bothers me most about the Glenn Allison controversy (Thrice Perfect, Once Scorned, Nov. 15) is that the American Bowling Congress just won't admit that a modern miracle took place on July 1, 1982. What happened that day was never supposed to happen. How could it? But it did, and all those stuffed shirts at the ABC are acting like ignorant children. I bowl occasionally and have always fantasized about the day when some human would throw 36 times and watch 10 pins drop each time. Let the ABC deny Allison on paper; it won't change the facts. Here's to him.
MICHAEL J. KLEINWAKS
To brush aside such an effort that has so many other variables and not give Glenn Allison his place in bowling history is intolerable. If lane dressing is so important, why not have sanctionable record-breaking scores categorized according to lane-dressing data? Heck, Roger Maris' 61 home-run record is asterisked to show it was set in a 162-game season. Let's find a way to recognize Allison's achievement so that posterity may know.
Downers Grove, Ill.
If Jimmy Connors isn't Sportsman of the Year, then I don't know who is. Nobody ever expected him, at age 30, to win the big titles again, but he changed his serve and came back to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and regain the No. 1 ranking, which he hadn't held since 1978. Also, Connors is now a "good guy." He should be the runaway choice.
Alberto Salazar. Never has a runner been as successful as Salazar in such a short period of time. In 1982 Salazar established himself as the premier marathoner in the world by winning the Boston Marathon, the New York City Marathon—for the third year in a row—and other road races. Add to all that his world marathon record time of 2:08:13 set in '81, and there is no doubt that amazing Alberto is the Sportsman of the Year.
With Mary Decker Tabb shattering world and American records in track and field events ranging from 800 meters to the 10,000, and Martina Navratilova winning two major tennis titles and 64 of 65 matches, including 41 straight leading up to the U.S. Open, how can anyone else be close? The choice for Sportswoman of the Year has to be either Tabb or Navratilova—or both!
DAVID W. WEST
KEVIN S. DREWES
Joe Montana, 1982 Super Bowl MVP.
MARTIN E. MARONEY
The Mahre twins—Phil and Steve—deserve the honor for their outstanding accomplishments in international skiing. They have finally taken the U.S. to the top in world-class competition.
Yankton, S. Dak.
The sport: soccer. The man: Italy's Paolo Rossi.
More often than not, the word superstar is incorrectly used. For one very special golfer it isn't. I nominate JoAnne Carner.
I suggest Ralph Sampson, Herschel Walker and other gifted college athletes who have resisted the temptation of turning pro to complete their commitment to their colleges and teammates.
MICHAEL B. MEYERS, D.D.S.
I nominate the Rev. John Lo Schiavo, S.J., president of the University of San Francisco. A more dedicated and truer Sportsman cannot be found anywhere.
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