WALKER IN STRIDE
As a devoted Generals follower, I read with great interest Douglas S. Looney's May 27 cover story A Runner On A Roll. With national exposure like this, maybe more people will realize that Herschel Walker is the most talented running back in professional football.
I can hardly wait for the fall of '86, when people will further realize that the USFL is the more exciting pro football league. Watch out, Jets and Giants!
RICHARD E. RUGGERI
Many thanks to Doug Looney for the article on Herschel Walker. I, too, thought he was losing it. But I apologize to Herschel, because even though I'm from Boston, Doug Flutie isn't the only General I watch.
I have been one of Herschel Walker's biggest fans since he was a freshman at Georgia, and I'm glad to see that finally his critics are being forced to cat their words. I just hope he eventually does go to the NFL, so he can prove he is bettter than Walter Payton.
If Herschel Walker were having the same kind of season in the NFL that he's having in the USFL, I might be impressed. I have tried to be objective while watching several USFL games this year, but there is no comparison with the NFL in terms of player quality. Until Walker plays against the best, who cares?
I can't believe you put Herschel Walker on the cover. Stories about the Useless Football League shouldn't even be in your fine publication, let alone on the cover.
Ugh. A football cover on Memorial Day weekend. Down with the USFL.
Surf City, N.J.
JIM FIXX'S LEGACY
I congratulate Dan Levin (The Telltale Heart, May 20) for having the courage to determine, conclusively, whether his chest pain was a sign of serious heart trouble. I'm glad it wasn't. For an athlete, it is particularly frightening to think that a doctor might tell him he must curtail an exercise program in order to avoid a heart attack. The quality of life, rather than its length, suddenly becomes even more important.
When our bodies send us distress signals, it is tempting and far too easy to rationalize the signs as insignificant. My father, Jim Fixx, was acutely responsive to his body's minor annoyances, but he tried to ignore chest discomfort. The lesson, at least for me, is that it is better to learn the truth and adjust our lifestyles, than to suffer the anxiety of ambiguity. After all, we can't hide from our bodies.
If Levin or anyone else lives more happily or more sensibly because of my father's tragic experience, my father would be pleased.
About seven or eight years ago I went from my home in Massachusetts to my parents' house in Rye, N.Y. for a visit. I arrived about midnight to find them asleep, and a stranger in the living room watching TV. Knowing that the Westchester Classic was in progress, and that my parents often put up young pros, I assumed that this stranger was just another pro golfer. He was watching The Tonight Show. We introduced ourselves, and I sat down to join him, but within five minutes he was up doing his Johnny Carson imitation. I was in hysterics and thinking, "Who is this guy?" He was Peter Jacobsen (His Career Is Taking Off, May 27).
Since that time, my family and I have followed Peter's career enthusiastically. Thanks for recognizing him as the great golfer and terrific human being he is. He is a character, but by no means a flake. He is also an entertainer, but first and foremost a "golf purist." What a terrific combination!
DAVID S. PINKHAM
Just when sports seem to be falling apart, what with escalating salaries, drugs, etc., along comes a Pied Piper of sorts, in the form of Peter Jacobsen! Eve never really been a golf fan: I think the game is boring, and it lacks team play, which I believe in. But I'll take a shining light, no matter what the source. God bless Jacobsen and all the other athletes who know that life is too serious to take too seriously. I pray that the darkness that now surrounds pro sports is actually the sign that dawn is upon us. I hope this dawn spreads the light of all those brave enough to be like Jacobsen.
EWING—SANS T SHIRT
Your May 20 cover has to be the first time Patrick Ewing has appeared in public without his T shirt—certainly the first time on a national magazine cover. Forget the swimsuit issue—this was worth the wait.
•Actually, Ewing has appeared a number of times without a T shirt, e.g., as a precollege player in the National Sports Festival (Aug. 10, 1981), as a Georgetown freshman (Dec. 28, 1981) and as a member of the U.S. Olympic team (July 23, 1984 and above). Ewing started wearing his trademark shirt during his junior year at Cambridge (Mass.) Rindge and Latin High. He was suffering from a slight cold, and he and his teammates were playing a January 1980 away game on a court that had been installed over an ice rink. Thereafter, it became the custom for Rindge and Latin players to don T shirts whenever a gym was chilly. Ewing resumed the practice during his freshman year at Georgetown.—ED.
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