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Original Issue



Tommy Vardell
Tommy Vardell is the all-American boy next door (Touchdown Tommy, April 20). Not only has he retained values that have largely been lost in the world of athletic competition, but he is also concerned with things away from the football field. I hope he'll have the same success with the Cleveland Browns as he did at Stanford.
Carlsbad, N.Mex.

Vardell sounds too good to be true, but for football fans like me, I hope he's not. Pro football is long overdue for the sort of wholesome heroes it once had—Roger Staubach, Walter Payton and Vince Lombardi, for example.

Thanks for the great story.
Roseburg, Ore.

In your article cataloging Vardell's many sterling qualities, how dare you mention Magic Johnson in the same category as Pete Rose and Mike Tyson when listing fallen heroes. Rose has done prison time for income tax evasion, and Tyson is a convicted rapist. Johnson is guilty only of promiscuity, and he has reacted to his own misfortune by launching a personal crusade against AIDS that may help save lives.

To me, Magic's actions since retiring from basketball have made him a bigger hero than ever.
Arlington, Va.

Duke's Blue Devils
Kudos for your usual fine coverage of the Final Four (Hurley Burly, April 13). Once again, the photographs are outstanding, not only for their beauty but also for their symbolism. In particular, I am referring to the cover photo of Duke guard Bobby Hurley.

Not only did he earn the cover shot, but he also embodied Duke's repeat-title feat by sporting a pair of ones on his chest.
Charlotte, N.C.

Dynasty? Not by a country mile. A very good college basketball team has now won back-to-back championships, but Coach K and Duke sure don't evoke memories of true sports dynasties—John Wooden's UCLA teams or the New York Yankees of Ruth, DiMaggio and Mantle, or even the four outstanding teams of the '80s: the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers.

Alexander Wolff's article about Duke's Bob Hurley (Face Value, April 13) was despicable, an outrageous, unwarranted attack on a fine young man.

His looks have nothing to do with his ability as a player.

Can you imagine how proud he and his parents must have been to see him on the cover of SI, only to be let down by the story inside?
Carteret, N.J.

I am extremely proud of my son Bobby's accomplishments during his athletic career, particularly his role in Duke's back-to-back championships. Wolff's description of Bobby and Michigan freshman Jimmy King's assessment of Bobby's performance seem to be feeble attempts to downplay the fact that Bobby was selected as the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

I think Bobby's playing should have been the focal point of any story about his role in the championship.

I will have your cover framed and displayed in our home and will use the article to wrap up our garbage.
Jersey City

Negro League Greats
In discussing the top third basemen of all time in his article Who's on Third?
(April 6), Tim Kurkjian ignores the existence of Hall of Famers Ray Dandridge and Judy Johnson, two of the greatest ever at the hot corner. The story thus perpetuates the unfortunate point of view that Negro league players were not major league caliber. Certainly Dandridge, Johnson and many other Negro league players were the equals of their white counterparts. It is noteworthy that in 13 games against white all-star teams, Dandridge hit .347 while facing such pitchers as Dizzy Dean, Sal Maglie, Vic Raschi and Allie Reynolds.

It has been difficult enough for a few Negro league players to get to Cooperstown. To ignore them once they are there is a travesty.
Los Angeles



Third baseman Dandridge hit .318 against big leaguers.



Johnson had an 18-year career in the Negro leagues.

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