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Original Issue


How can you call someone with absolutely no power punch the finest fighter in the world?

In your Oct. 3 SCORECARD you compared the recent winning streak by the North Carolina women's soccer team to other notable streaks. Although the 140 straight dual-meet victories by Indiana's swimmers is outstanding, the Yale men's swim team put together two streaks that were longer. From Jan. 20, 1940, to Feb. 4, 1961, Yale won 201 consecutive dual meets. The Eli also won 163 in a row from March 25, 1924, to March 13, 1937.
MIKE FARO, Bergenfield, N.J.

You failed to mention Southern Cal men's track, which went 16 seasons, from 1946 to '61, without losing a dual meet. Over that span the Trojans had a 92-0-1 record and won nine NCAA titles under three coaches: Dean Cromwell, Jess Hill and Jess Mortensen.
STEVE VANDERPOOL, Marina del Rey, Calif.

During the past 23 years the Reading (Mass.) Memorial High boys' track team has been undefeated in dual meets, putting together a 206-0-1 record.
ZACH EVERSON, Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Best?
Pernell Whitaker, "pound for pound the finest fighter in the world" (In Your Face, Buddy, Oct. 10)? I don't think so. He has rarely demonstrated the power to knock out his opponents. In baseball, if a player demonstrates many offensive and defensive skills—batting for average, stealing bases, great glove, etc.—but can't hit with power, could he be considered, pound for pound, the best baseball player in the world? I think not.
VICTOR M. DAWAHARE, Temple City, Calif.

Pernell Whitaker, a fine boxer, fights a draw with Julio Cèsar Chàvez and then claims to be the best pound-for-pound boxer around, and SI goes along with it. That phrase has been bandied about for eons and is meaningless because it can never be proved. Sugar Ray Robinson was described as the finest "pound for pound" boxer at a time when Joe Louis was doing some notable things in the ring.
JIM EWING, Stuart, Fla.

Duke Football
Somebody please wake me! SI can't possibly be giving credence to Duke, a football team that built a 5-0 record by playing teams with a combined record of 6-15 (Turning Heads, Oct. 10)!
ROBERT LEE, Ann Arbor, Mich.

A 5-0 record is the best you can do after five games, but when a Duke player says, "We can play with anybody, and we can beat anybody," you have to draw the line. If Duke were in the Big Ten, it would be a .500 team at best. The Blue Devils are extremely lucky to be in the Top 25.
BARRY E. BURUD, Minneapolis

Eight Is Enough
It was great to read about Colorado tailback Rashaan Salaam (INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL, Oct. 10) and the eight-man football he played at La Jolla (Calif.) Country Day. Some consider eight-man football a corruption of the sport, but it affords students at small schools an opportunity to play a game from which they otherwise would be excluded. The eight-man game has also produced other talented players, including current and former NFL players Toi Cook and Dean Steinkuhler.

Navy Losses
Thank you for the article about Navy kicker Ryan Bucchianeri (A Time of Trial, Aug. 29). My oldest daughter, Lisa, was one of the three young women who died in the automobile accident after the Army-Navy game last December, and I saw up close Ryan's response to the tragic events of that week. He truly deserves the praise he has received as a result.

In response to the letter from John M. Robb (SI, Sept. 26), a former Army football team captain, I would like to say that during the terrible days of December, it was not just Ryan and the other football players who demonstrated strength of character. The men and women of the Academy rallied around the bereaved families, in spite of the pressures of preparing for exams and enduring grief over the deaths of their friends and schoolmates. They attended funerals and memorials (some even giving up a precious weekend to come to Lisa's funeral in Ohio), called and wrote letters to grieving family members and even planned and raised money for a memorial garden to be planted on a hill overlooking the Academy in the girls' honor.

I am proud my daughter was a member of the Naval Academy's class of '94, and I hope to see her brother Mike accepted as a member of the class of 2000.
BETTY WINSLOW, Bowling Green, Ohio



Bob Kiphuth's '56 Yale swimmers were streakers.

Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.