MIAMI IS NO.1
I believe the debate about who's No. 1. (Miami Is the One, Jan. 8) has obscured an important fact. At times this year, Miami, Notre Dame, Florida State, Colorado and USC all played like the best in the country. Other schools, e.g., Illinois, Alabama, Tennessee and Michigan, merely had excellent teams. This season fans nationwide had reason to celebrate good football. No team is clearly No. 1, so let's call it a winning season for football and leave it at that.
Los Olivos, Calif.
I am a little confused over your NO DOUBT ABOUT IT cover billing regarding Miami. You have the second-best team from Alabama playing the second-best team from Florida, and the winner is the national champ. One would think the Sugar Bowl should have been, at best, for second place.
WALTER J. REINHART
I would hardly call a 33-25 win a "rout" or a "thrashing." In fact, were it not for two bad fumble calls, both of which led to Miami TDs, Alabama would have won the Sugar Bowl and Miami would have been relegated to a sixth-or seventh-place finish in the polls.
As a young football coach, recently removed from my college playing days, I find your approval of Miami's antics disturbing. The finger-waggling, talking trash and "silly little dances" have no place on the playing field. That's what cheerleaders are for. The Hurricanes are a great football team, but their overall lack of respect for themselves and their opponents lowers my appreciation of their talents.
After watching hours of bowl games and hearing hundreds of statistics on almost every conceivable subject over the recent bowl season, the only question I still have is this: How does the University of Miami afford all that mustard for so many hot dogs?
The inclusion of Southern Cal in your final Top Five ranking of college teams is a joke. Tennessee would beat USC like a drum. Ask UCLA which team it would rather play.
H. BRUCE GUYTON
It is a shame that Douglas S. Looney chose to focus on the negative side of Michigan coach Bo Schembechler's finale in the Rose Bowl (A Most Appropriate Exit, Jan. 8). If a coach ever deserved to win his final game, it was Bo.
Too often he was singled out for his mediocre bowl record and violent temper, but these things are dwarfed by his honesty and his commitment to family, players and university. Bo was a dinosaur in today's world of college athletics because of the fine example of integrity that he set for all people—coaches, players and administrators—associated with college sports. He is a noteworthy exception in an environment of corruption and scandal, a symbol of the positives in college athletics.
East Brunswick, N.J.
What a disgrace to journalism when SI publishes such a disrespectful article on the retirement of football legend Bo Schembechler, the fifth-winningest coach in Division I football, who followed the rules, had one of the highest graduation rates for his athletes, and who at all times demonstrated the utmost integrity. Bo deserves something other than a half page of lambasting.
JOHN S. SATKOWSKI
Michigan Alumni Club
I believe that you took a cheap shot when you stated that Schembechler's "temper tantrum contributed mightily to the [Michigan] loss." I doubt that anyone who watched the game would agree that the unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty called against him had an impact on the final score. USC was the better team that day, and Michigan was flat. Schembechler's outburst may have been intended to light a fire under his team. Bo Schembechler doesn't need any further commentary. Bo is just Bo...and that's the way we'll remember him.
It's too bad you chose to use drawings to illustrate Bill Schwicker's FIRST PERSON about fishing for permit on the flats off Key West (Focus, Dec. 11), because permit are beautiful fish. I thought your readers might like to see what one looks like. This spectacular fish inhabits the same waters as bonefish. I have caught perhaps 200 bonefish, but only three permit. The one I am holding in the photograph is a 17-pounder I caught in flat water in Biscayne Bay off Miami about 10 years ago.
EDWIN M. JOHNSTON JR.
CAPT. BILL CURTIS
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