Thanks to Peter Gammons for an exhilarating recapitulation of the sixth game of the 1986 World Series (Game 6, April 6). I read every word and turned every page as if the outcome were unknown. I still get shivers when I see replays of Ray Knight leaping onto home plate with the winning run.
I read the last three paragraphs of the story to see if the outcome had magically changed, or if the pain had at least dulled. No such luck.
Sometime in the future—perhaps after another World Series has passed—I might be able to read the rest of the piece, but not now. Indeed, "there are just some things you never forget," and some hurts that even time may not heal.
ALAN J. DOKSANSKY
THE 64-TEAM QUESTION
I was beginning to believe that I was the only human being left on the planet who felt that the NCAA basketball tournament field is too big at 64 teams—until I read Frank Deford's essay (POINT AFTER, March 30). That at least makes two of us.
Incidentally, I am in no way related to U.S. Senator Roman Hruska, whom Deford mentioned.
New York City
Deford is right about one thing: Mediocrity in sports and in life deserves no special recognition; let the real champions be praised.
ANDREW B. CAMPAGNA
Every college basketball team understands the NCAA tournament system, and the best teams learn to adapt their style of play and their mental toughness to that system. No one should make excuses for teams like Illinois, Purdue and Pittsburgh, who were knocked out of this year's tournament by supposedly lesser opponents. If they can't accept the pressure of single-elimination basketball and beat "Northeast Cupcake Tech" in the first or second round, then they certainly don't deserve to be the NCAA champion.
Cinderella teams will always exist. These are adrenaline-filled college athletes, not predictable NBA businessmen-players. Indiana and Syracuse are examples of teams that survived the onslaught. The cream rises to the top. On paper the winners may not always appear to have been the best, but when it really mattered, they were. They won the tournament.
THE THOMAS TOUCH
Debi Thomas is a miracle (Thou Swell, Thou Witt-y, March 23)!
Figure skating demands so much of our athletes, and at such an early age, that balanced lives have become almost too much to hope for. These young athletes are the products of years of incredibly demanding, time-consuming, wallet-gobbling training. That many of them consequently exhibit limitations similar to those of laboratory animals is no surprise.
But then there is Thomas. Her coach readily admitted that her training for the national and world championships had to take a back seat to her studies at Stanford, where she is premed, no less. Following a magnificent (but second-place) performance at the world championships in Cincinnati, she reacted by cheerily razzing her sorority friends back at college! My goodness, it was refreshing!
Go to it Debi, get it all!
All the fuss about the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry at the NCAA wrestling championships (Stopped Short of the Magic X, March 30) overshadowed an outstanding individual accomplishment by Bloomsburg University senior Rick Bonomo, whose victory in the 118-pound class made him a three-time NCAA wrestling champion. I believe this deserved at least a mention in Douglas S. Looney's account. It didn't have a bearing on the top spot in the team standings, but it helped a small school from Pennsylvania finish fifth, which isn't bad.
Sports Information Director, Bloomsburg University
Bonomo (right) put some winning moves on Jim Martin of Penn State for his third NCAA title.
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