I thought my videotape was the treasure of that day at Augusta until I read Rick Reilly's article (Day Of Glory For A Golden Oldie, April 21). His spare, incisive, insightful prose captures the moments, the men, the Masters. Sports journalism for the ages.
Having been a Jack Nicklaus fan during his long and illustrious career, I truly related to Reilly's story. I was one of those Americans who for a few short hours had the weight of the world lifted from our shoulders as we watched the master of golf resume his leadership role. I was one of the arm-pumpers pulling for Jack to come out of hibernation and put the young lions and the foreign invaders where they belong. Whatever it was that helped him win his elusive 20th major tournament, I'm glad it happened.
Jim Thorpe was named the outstanding athlete of the first half of the 20th century by the Associated Press. It may be a bit premature, but I cast my vote for the Golden Bear as the outstanding athlete of the second half.
Rick Reilly started off your April 21 issue with a grand slam on Jack Nicklaus and then duplicated the feat 53 pages later with his magnificent piece on Jim Murray (King Of The Sports Page). Superb writing on two deserving sports legends, and both in the same issue. Outstanding.
GARY A. SUSSMAN
Kiamesha Lake, N.Y.
In 1961, when I was a boarding student at Loyola High School in Los Angeles, some of my classmates and I would pitch in to purchase a copy of the Los Angeles Times. Each morning it was a fight to see who would be first to read the Murray column. Twenty-five years later, I still have to fight—with my 11-year-old son—to read the Murray column.
Over the years, I have laughed at his humor, wondered at his wit, been smitten by his sarcasm and choked back the tears, especially when his wife died. If Jim Murray can't get under your skin, then your skin's on too tight.
Long Beach, Calif.
What continually amazes me is not only Murray's ability to make the reader laugh, cry and cheer (often at the same time), but his unique ability to generate interest in any sport, sporting event or sportsman, regardless of the season or circumstances. My respect for Murray has grown even greater after learning of the personal tragedies that he has endured.
J. ANDREW GEESEN
Murray's "surgical strikes" on my beloved hometown ("Lousy-ville") were demanding tests of my loyalty to him. According to Murray, Louisville was "America's bar rag...the kind of town that should have a tattoo on its bicep—two hearts and the word 'Wanda.' "
Uproarious, even if I laughed through clenched teeth. Jim Murray will always be the John Henry of his profession—a true champion, even with blinkers on.
In Jim Murray's comments about large people, you overlooked the best. During the hoopla leading up to Super Bowl XI in Pasadena, he described then Oakland Raider coach John Madden as looking like "something that should be floating over the Macy's [Thanksgiving Day] Parade."
San Ramon, Calif.
FLO HYMAN'S LEGACY (CONT.)
Thank you—and the parents of Flo Hyman—for informing the public about Marfan syndrome (Marfan Syndrome: A Silent Killer. Feb. 17)! Because of your special report by Richard Demak, my husband and two children were diagnosed as having it, soon enough, we hope, to prevent such a tragedy or even surgery. We know that because of the article many lives will be saved.
I enjoyed Jack McCallum's article (The Spur Of The Moment, April 21) on Alvin Robertson. Other readers might be interested to know that Kenny Robertson, Alvin's younger brother, just finished his basketball career at Barberton High. He was named first-team all-state, and also Akron Beacon Journal District Player of the Year,, joining such past players of the year as Gary Grant (Michigan) and Grady Mateen (formerly of Georgetown).
Rick Reilly's article was excellent in its description of the emotion of the final round of the Masters. His re-creation in words of the atmosphere of that Sunday afternoon is exceptional journalism.
I was most interested, however, in the opening photograph. On the occasion of his first Masters triumph (Young Jack, The Mighty Master, April 15, 1963), you featured a similar picture of Nicklaus at the top of his backswing. It would be interesting to compare the pictures.
ROBERT W. FULL
Parkersburg, W. Va.
•Here they are.—ED.
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.