Pat Dye is a fine football coach (A New Head of State, Oct. 7). He has instilled in Auburn a winning fire. But to say he is "creating a legend that may one day eclipse even that of Alabama's Bear Bryant" is too much. When Dye wins five AP national championships, 13 Southeastern Conference championships and three national and eight SEC Coach of the Year awards, we will talk about eclipse.
Winning football games is not the reason Bear Bryant is a close second to God in Alabama. It is the class he exhibited when he won football games and the dignity he exhibited when he lost. It is the way he and his players carried themselves on and off the field, during and after their football careers. An article on Pat Dye's success at Auburn would have been fine, but do not go overboard and compare him with someone he will never come close to emulating.
I never knew Dye was sacrilegious until I saw the photo of him leaning against the goalpost in the pose that Bear so often struck.
MICHAEL S. TEAL
A Class Act
Amen to the fine article by Rick Reilly about San Francisco 49er quarterback Steve Young (The Young 49ers, Sept. 30). In pro sports, where it is so easy (and, unfortunately, all too common) to be a cheap-shot artist, it is refreshing to see a class act like Steve Young. The comments of Joe Montana and Jerry Rice were self-serving and petty and can only hurt the Niners. I didn't hear Young complain about dropped passes, the shortcomings of his offensive line or the breakdown of the 49ers' defense, although he might have been justified in doing so after San Francisco's first two losses. Thanks for bringing to light the character of one of the best athletes in pro sports.
MICHAEL D. SMITH
I enjoyed reading an objective article about Steve Young. As for Montana, he may be All-Pro on the field, but it appears he's all for himself on the sidelines.
Replacing Montana is like trying to replace John Wooden at UCLA or Bear Bryant at Alabama. No matter who the replacement is or how well he does, the fans and the media will find something to complain about. It's a no-win situation.
JAMES P. SCHWARTZ
Redwood City, Calif.
Too bad Montana can't keep his ego out of this and be supportive of his skilled and classy teammate.
JENNIFER H. O'NEILL
The last thing Montana deserves is to be made to look like he's the bad guy. I think his four Super Bowl victories and his three Super Bowl MVP awards speak for themselves. Now Young, this "great" backup who gets paid better than some starters, demands more playing time. I, too, would thumb my nose at Young if I were Montana. And I really don't see what the big deal is about what Montana said. After all, there is a certain amount of animosity in any job competition.
Young may be a very good quarterback (and the jury is still out on that), but he can't compare with Montana. I don't think anyone can. So spare me the pity for Young.
Still Up North
Just an astrological update on the NHL franchise in Minnesota: We always have been and intend always on being called the North Stars. While it's true that our logo now reflects the nickname Stars, SI's suggestion that the North in our name is headed south after 24 years is misdirected (SCOUTING REPORTS, Oct. 7). No changes are planned, so look for the North Star to remain aloft for some time to come.
Communications and Operations
Minnesota North Stars
When my son was a pitcher on the varsity baseball team at Nogales High, a few years after Cecil Fielder (Big Daddy, Sept. 30) had been a star baseball and basketball player there, Fielder donated baseball equipment to the school. I have never heard an unkind word said about Fielder.
Many of today's baseball players do not deserve the large contracts that they have received, but when Fielder signs his $20 million-plus contract, it will be well deserved.
Grover City, Calif.
In Alabama the goalpost was once the Bear's exclusive prop.
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