S.L. Price captured the strength and magic of Tyrone Willingham's
character (The Savior of South Bend, Sept. 30). The man is as
advertised. When I was a student manager in the football program
at Michigan State, I saw this same character displayed on a daily
basis. He was tiny, but he walked on and became our starter at
quarterback. A new coaching staff determined that he was too
small to run a high-powered passing offense, so Ty simply
switched to wide receiver and became a major contributor. As a
Spartans fan I would rather stick needles in my eyes than support
the Golden Domers, but Ty has spoiled the fun of hating Notre
JEFF MINAHAN, Olney, Md.
If just two plays had gone differently, Notre Dame would have
lost to both Michigan and Michigan State. In that case the
Fighting Irish would be 2-2, and no one--outside his immediate
family--would be singing the praises of Coach Willingham. In the
land of Touchdown Jesus, Willingham may turn out to be a savior,
but after four games it is way too early to tell.
RICHARD MCCARTAN, Olympia, Wash.
Please give the rest of the country a break and realize there are
other college football games being played in America.
CHARLES PHILLIPS, Everett, Wash.
Regarding your choice of Alfonso Soriano as the American League
MVP (Value Judgment, Sept. 30), please consider this: Without
Soriano, the Yankees would have finished in first place; without
A-Rod, the Rangers would still be last; but without Miguel
Tejada, the A's might have finished third. That is a true test of
an MVP--not just stats, but leadership and teamwork. Tejada
deserves a closer look.
GAYLE O'HARA, Sonoma, Calif.
How can you not include Magglio Ordonez in the top 10 AL MVP
candidates? He ended the season fifth in batting average, second
in RBIs, sixth in home runs, fourth in doubles, sixth in runs
scored, third in total bases and fifth in slugging percentage.
Without him the White Sox would not have finished second in their
GEORGE P. NASSOS
Disregarding salary issues, is there any player in the league
that a team would not trade straight-up for Alex Rodriguez?
ROGER F. ASSAD, Montebello, N.Y.
The most poignant aspect of your story on Bob Hayes (Sept. 30)
was the photo you ran of Hayes in later life, haggard but still
displaying both his gold medal and Super Bowl ring. Despite his
missteps he obviously had enough self-respect to honor and keep
those tokens of accomplishment.
SCOTT LENZ, Los Angeles
While I like all of Dr. Z's possibilities (Hall Worthy, Sept.
30), until Alex Karras is enshrined, no one else should be.
JOHN A. DOUGLAS, Lebanon, Ind.
Canton's most glaring omission is Billy Wilson, a 1950s standout
49ers receiver. Wilson was All-Pro six times, won the Pro Bowl
MVP award in '55 and, at 6'3", 190 pounds, was one of the NFL's
first true big, fast and agile outside receivers. He retired in
'60 with 407 catches, second only to the incomparable Don Hutson
and well ahead of Hall enshrinees Pete Pihos, Tom Fears, Dante
Lavelli and Elroy Hirsch. And, as a longtime 49ers assistant and
scout, he had a role in drafting Jerry Rice.
LOUIS LAMPSON, Basking Ridge, N.J.
Vince McMahon's response to SI's inquiry on the decline of the
WWE (SCORECARD, Sept. 30) showed exactly what's wrong with
wrestling today: "Why is a sports magazine interested in an
entertainment story?" The day McMahon stopped "pretending" that
professional wrestling is a sport was the day wrestling lost its
mainstream acceptance and started down a long road to alienating
its faithful fans. I watch wrestling for the unique combination
of athletic competition and entertainment. If I want to watch
strictly "entertainment," I'll change the channel to The
Sopranos, full of more-talented actors and far better writing.
JEROD STORY, Yuma, Ariz.
In Praise of Pat
Thank you, Rick Reilly, for pointing out that Pat Summerall was
the brains behind the Fox operation (THE LIFE OF REILLY, Sept.
30). While John Madden was busy explaining football to newcomers,
Summerall kept the attention where it belonged: on the game
MYLES ARNDT JR., Emporia, Kans.
When Summerall announces, he doesn't talk all the time. You can
hear the crowd. You can feel the game. It just feels good to
listen. It feels like Sunday afternoon.
ROBERT O'HALE,Greensboro, N.C.
ABC is on the right track, hiring John Madden and eliminating the
circus in the booth, but they should go one step further: Get rid
of Al Michaels and put the classy Madden-Summerall team back
together. Michaels's nasal intonations and his bias in favor of
anything related to Northern California is annoying at best and
downright repulsive at worst.
CARL BUICE, Macon, Ga.
My thanks to Steve Rushin (AIR AND SPACE, Sept. 30). I have
always wondered why NBA players command such obscene salaries.
Now after reading Rushin I understand. It's to pay their defense
CHARLIE BENSINGER, Louisville
COLOR PHOTO: DAMIAN STROHMEYER