Dr. Z's Prognosis
Your '92 NFL Preview issue (Sept. 7) contained some of the most revealing football articles I have ever read. Considering the 49ers' great finish last season, Dr. Z was right on the mark in projecting them to go 13-3 this year (Scouting Reports). I also agree with Dr. Z that Dallas will become the dynasty of the 1990s, especially in light of its acquisition of sack-master Charles Haley from San Francisco (The Team of the '90s?).
St. Thomas, Ont.
Last year Dr. Z picked the Eagles to go 8-8 with Randall Cunningham, and they proceeded to finish 10-6 without him. Now he says that the Eagles will go 9-7 in a year when most football experts are predicating that Philadelphia will make the Super Bowl.
With Cunningham back in the lineup, there is no reason that the Eagles won't be better than they were last year. Dr. Z should be sued for malpractice.
It's not often you get to read such a fantastic article about the life of a star. William Nack's story about Redskin receiver Art Monk was spectacular (A Monk's Existence, Sept. 7).
Monk is a living legend as well as an awesome football player.
Here's my Art Monk story: During Monk's senior season at Syracuse, the sports editor of the student newspaper decided to "try out" for the football team, a la George Plimpton. He needed a jersey, and Monk offered his. I was the only electronic-media person to cover the story, and I suppose that's why Monk agreed to come on the air as an "analyst" while I did the play-by-play of the editor's tryout. A typical Monk comment went "Man, he sure is short, but my, oh, my, is he slow!" It was good-natured and a neat experience all around.
East Syracuse, N.Y.
From Abilene to Philadelphia
In his humorous article on NFL place-kickers (The Riddle of the Kicker, Sept. 7), Peter King poked considerable fun at former Eagle Ove Johansson, whom I tried unsuccessfully to succeed in 1977 as the kicker at Abilene Christian University. In Johansson's defense, he did connect on a 69-yard field goal in college, which remains the longest ever at any level of football.
Abilene Christian's other star of 1976, running back Wilbert Montgomery, made a more favorable impression on Eagle coach Dick Vermeil than did Johansson. Montgomery went on to an outstanding eight-year career with Philadelphia.
BRETT A. HAYMAN
Curbing NHL Violence
During a trip to Australia last year, I saw something that might be a more effective way to control the fighting that plagues the NHL than the laughable "get tough" policy adopted by the league (SCORECARD, Sept. 7). I was impressed by the simple way in which Aussie Rules football keeps fighting to a minimum, despite the roughness of the sport. Whenever a fight breaks out, usually between two players, the referees simply ignore the battlers, and the game goes on. No other players enter the fray, because they are too busy trying to score points or prevent the other team from doing so. By prolonging a fight, the fighters are potentially damaging their team's chances of winning, so they tend to separate quickly and return to the action.
I think that the first time an NHL coach saw an opposing team score while his goon was mixing it up rather than playing defense would be the first step toward a return to the excitement of hockey, as opposed to the boxing on skates we see all too often these days.