Many who still cherish values such as good manners, tradition and appropriateness hold Tom Watson in high esteem.
FRANK TILTON, SAVANNAH
Your article on Tom Watson (Point of View, July 17) evoked a roller coaster of feelings toward this wonderful golfer. From refusing to give an autograph to a Ryder Cup opponent (bad manners) to resigning from his club because of its refusal to admit a Jew (a humanitarian act beyond the call of duty), it seems Watson is trying to carry a good part of this troubled world on his shoulders. Doesn't he know that the humor of the Bill Murrays and Gary McCords is one of the best tonics we mortals can find? Lighten up, fella.
RALPH H. ALEXANDER, Charlotte
I grew up across the street from Tom Watson, went to high school with him and shot baskets with him evenings and weekends. His only offense is too much candor. What I remember best about him is that he had no sense of his own importance. Maybe that's why he doesn't calculate everything he says and does, and why he's catching such heat now. So he's not a diplomat. It's a small flaw when weighed against his integrity, decency and courage.
MARC ROBINSON, Andover, Kans.
Tom Watson is an inspiring role model as a golfer, but he is a hero for the way he lives his values. Your article does a service by reminding us that sportsmanship has many dimensions.
MICHAEL SEELY, Greenwich, Conn.
There will always be those attracted to sophomoric attempts at comedy by the likes of Gary McCord and Bill Murray. Their demeaning acts, though small, chisel away at the bedrock values of our society. Too many do not recognize Sandy Tatum's "clear distinction between public decorum and private fun." Tom Watson is "on course."
WALTER R. ANDERSON, Downers Grove, Ill.
We expect so little from sports performers that we demand and deserve the dross that passes for heroes on the gridirons, diamonds and courts. Nowadays, few athletes permit skill, sportsmanship and service to distinguish them. Watson does.
BRIAN T. MCCARTHY, St. Louis
One cannot help but question your choice of Monica Seles for the cover of the July 17 issue. Seles has not swung a racket in competition in two years. In contrast, by winning his third consecutive Wimbledon, Pete Sampras has just accomplished what no American man had ever done. My cover vote would have been for Sampras swinging rather than Seles sitting.
PAUL A. MOSES, Newport Beach, Calif.
I've grown tired of Monica Seles's critics who wonder why she remains so skittish. Take it from a person who has been attacked by a psycho wielding a butcher knife: Getting over such an incident is not easy. My perpetrator's weapon was stopped short of cutting me, yet even without Seles's injury I battled real fears for many months. Some of my friends mocked my slow comeback, but I was not faking. Seles needs everyone's support, not verbal stabs in the back.
THE REVEREND ALAN MAKI, Darby, Mont.
Recently you wrote that the NCAA has raised its SAT score requirement (SCORECARD, July 17). This is not entirely accurate. On April 1, SAT scores were "recentered," which gives the illusion of an increase in all scores. In reality, scores are not going up. For example, after recentering, a student's combined score of 700 roughly equals 830; however, the test taker's percentile ranking doesn't change. The NCAA has changed its standard to reflect this recentering.
CATHERINE WILSON, Gaithersburg Md.
Two Real Pros
Tony Boselli (First Steps, July 10) is the type of young man that NFL fans will use as a role model.
GEORGE TANSILL, San Jose