A player will often downplay an injury. If he doesn't make himself play, he may risk losing his starting position or even his place on the roster. Most young pros are in superb condition and thus would be expected to have a faster recovery period than the average Joe. There are risks in any sport, and while a pro knows these risks, he often thinks that "it can't happen to me." And a surgical repair is generally not "as good as new" and carries a higher risk of reinjury.
Finally, doctors are not infallible. If the physician truly puts forth his best effort with no malicious intent or negligence, how can he be held responsible if a repair is not perfect?
SCOTT KELLER, Bartlett, Tenn.
The concept of a major league team doctor is an anachronism that should be eliminated. Today any major league athlete can easily afford his own physician, who will protect his interests as well as his confidences. Trusting his employer's physician makes as little sense as trusting his employer's lawyer.
ISAAC STEVEN HERSCHKOPF, M.D.
Faculty, N.Y.U. School of Medicine
New York City
There's no accounting for taste, of course, but I disagree with SI's evaluation of the 1976-81 Chicago White Sox uniforms (SCORECARD, Nov. 6). True, the collars were a mistake (as were the shorts once worn as part of that ensemble). Otherwise, these much-maligned outfits re-created an elegant design that dates back to '02. At a time when the Cleveland Indians marred the World Series with their unbalanced uniforms of blue shirts and gray pants, and many uniforms are being designed for their attractiveness as street-gang paraphernalia, it's refreshing to remember when Sox owner Bill Veeck ignored then current fads and paid homage instead to uniform traditions.
TOM BIERBAUM, Erie, Pa.
I was surprised that the list of unbreakable NFL records compiled by your panel of five longtime football observers (INSIDE THE NFL, Nov. 20) omitted Paul Hornung's 35-year-old single-season scoring record of 176 points for the Green Bay Packers. In a display of talents not likely to be seen again, he scored 12 points receiving, 78 points rushing and 86 points kicking.
JERRY E. LYNCH, Port Huron, Mich.