THE BOZ—AND OTHER WORTHIES
I am a die-hard Oklahoma Sooner fan, and Rick Reilly's article about linebacker Brian Bosworth (The Boz, 1986 College & Pro Football Spectacular, Sept. 3) made me shudder with joy. Bosworth has a talent and a personality to be reckoned with. His confident, crushing style of defensive play sends me into a frenzy whenever I watch OU stop an offense. Some may find No. 44 vulgar and immature, but give the guy a break—he's only the best linebacker ever to play the game.
Whatzis? Spitting a loogie in an opponent's face? Sticking a finger in his eye? Twisting heads? Hurting people on every play? Profanity? What has happened to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED? What is the matter with Brian Bosworth?
BRIAN P. FARLEY
This article has given us a look at all that is wrong with college football, wrapped in a single performer.
PHILIP D. GINOTTI
Union Lake, Mich.
The Boz is a college student?
MARK M. GROSSMAN
Keep him in Oklahoma—please!
I played college football and am a Jet season-ticket holder, but if you think the Boz is "charming" and a serious candidate for the Heisman Trophy, my sons are going to play soccer when they come of age.
As I began reading the profile of Brian Bosworth, I was amused by the obvious creativity, drive and independence of this young man. However, as I read farther, I was appalled by some of his behavior, particularly the glee with which he says he and other workers at the Oklahoma City plant intentionally hung bolts in the crevices of General Motors vehicles.
We at GM pride ourselves on placing the needs of our customers first and foremost in everything we do. Frankly, we don't need an arrogant young man like Bosworth creating extra headaches for the hundreds of people (inspectors, assemblers, salespeople, dealers and so on) who have to correct his childish pranks. Those folks already have enough to do!
KAREN L. HEALY
Public Affairs Staff
The Boz should have his vanity license plates changed. My suggestion: THE JERK.
JACK SMITH JR.
In your special football issue, the stories on the sophomoric posturing of Jim McMahon (Chicago's Easy Rider) and the mindless yahoo viciousness of Brian Bosworth document what most of us have been monitoring in the stands and on the fields for several years: the death of sportsmanship. To devote 20 pages of SI to "players" of this caliber is to give tacit approval to such behavior—your smiling, head-shaking tone notwithstanding. I would like to see SI attempt to resurrect sportsmanship, not shovel more stones on its grave.
M. GILBERT PORTER
Professor of English
University of Missouri
The article in the football issue about Robert Schilken (A Backup Looks Back) was a joy to read. We need to hear more about these athletes—people like Schilken and former Michigan player Stefan Humphries (He Came Out Picture Perfect, June 4, 1984)—and less about the likes of Bosworth and McMahon.
What a strange twist it is that goof-offs like Bosworth garner the spotlight with their crude mouths and small minds while scholar-athletes like Schilken quietly and unpretentiously move on from football to make something of themselves. What better way to show this twist than to run a story about the clown next to one about the class act.
FATHERS & SONS
In your splendid football issue you listed nine UCLA football players who have dads who were outstanding athletes (INSIDE SLANT). YOU overlooked at least one.
Gaston Green, TB, is the son of Gaston Green III, who equaled the junior college 120-yard high-hurdle record while at Los Angeles City College in 1960. Gaston III later went on to star on the outstanding Arizona State track teams of the early '60s.
SHULA & HENNING
Mike Shula (The Tide Roils With A Shula Named Mike, Sept. 8) wasn't the only son of an NFL head coach to lead his college team to victory in its opening game this season. Quarterback Dan Henning of Maryland (son of Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Henning) drove the Terps to a late-fourth-quarter field goal as Maryland beat Pittsburgh, 10-7.
SUGAR RAY'S RETURN
As a longtime fan of Sugar Ray Leonard, I was saddened when he was forced to retire from a great boxing career because of a detached retina. I was even sadder when he decided to return to fight Kevin Howard (For Leonard It Was Down, And Then Out, May 21, 1984) and now I am disgusted that he is planning to come back to fight Marvelous Marvin Hagler ("There Is A Burning Desire In Me," Sept. 8). For Leonard to fight Hagler, the greatest champion I have seen, would be a travesty and unfair to the middleweights who have earned a title shot. Leonard says he has a "burning desire." Would that be a burning desire to fight the Marvelous One, or to bank another $10 million, which we are led to believe he doesn't need?
Glen Burnie, Md.
Oh, Sugar Ray. I suppose it's now up to Hagler to knock some sense into you.
I support Leonard's decision. If I were in his shoes, I would want to fight Hagler, too.
MICHAEL J. MILLER
It is true that the Denver Baseball Commission was approached by the Giants about a temporary move to Denver (Gone With The Wind? Sept. 1). However, that "bizarre" plan actually underscored Giants owner Bob Lurie's overriding desire to stay in the Bay Area. Frankly, I believe the Giants would be much better off in Denver. I hope that when major league baseball finally does come to our city, we will have an owner as committed to Denver as Lurie is to San Francisco.
STEVEN H. KATICH
Denver Baseball Commission
THE STILT & THE LITTLE GUY
In the Sept. 1 issue, reader Charles A. Wade wrote, "The height that Chamberlain has attained over the years has obscured his view of the little guy's troubles below." Wrong!
In the summer of 1980 Wilt brought a junior track team he sponsored for economically disadvantaged youths up to the University of Oregon for a national meet. At one point during the competition I spotted Chamberlain shooting baskets on an outside court, unnoticed, with a couple of young retarded citizens. I wanted to respect Chamberlain's privacy, but when, an hour or two later, I saw the threesome still playing, I couldn't help but shout, "Keep up the good work, Wilt!" Chamberlain just smiled and nodded. I suspect Wilt does a lot for "the little guy," even though we don't hear about it.
In the scouting reports section of your special football issue, Rick Telander calls Northwestern the "Harvard of the Midwest." He somehow missed the national faculty surveys, which year after year have placed the University of Michigan among the Top 10 in the country academically. The enclosed snapshot of a T-shirt may be a bit much, but it does cite academic peers.
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