Your recent article on the Giants and Jets, Reaching For Respect (Sept. 29), brought back some terrific memories. Having grown up in Connecticut and spent 13 years working in New York, I can vividly recall the rivalry between the two teams.
After living in the Chicago area for the past seven years, all I can say is that I miss New York football with a passion. Sports in the Big Apple will always have a touch of class, and the Windy City will never come close—despite the Bears' recent Super Bowl win. Given the choice of who I would want my kids to look up to, Joe Namath—or even Phil Simms—will always beat Jim McMahon.
Your story on Ralph Sampson, the most misunderstood figure in professional sports, was excellent ('To Find Out Why I'm Out There", Sept. 22). Sampson and company will win the NBA championship very soon, and then everyone will want to be his friend, maybe even Boston Celtics fans.
Virginia Beach, Va.
Obviously, the University of Virginia has maintained its lofty academic rating by offering a seminar entitled The Psychology of the Gifted Athlete. My question is, was this seminar offered to the general student body?
WALTER J. ANDRASI
?The course is offered to gifted athletes on a pass-fail basis and does not affect their cumulative average. The athletes do, however, receive credit for the course if they pass. No students in Sampson's class failed.—ED.
It is probable that people who know nothing of Montana State University found the football story entertaining (Focus, Sept. 15). To those of us closer to the school it was a missed opportunity to emphasize that academic and athletic success are not mutually exclusive. That is unfortunate in these times of frequent news reports about the lack of academic and moral standards in college athletics. During those three years of fluctuating football fortunes (1983-85), 32 of the 98 academic all-conference players were Bobcats. The championship team included one first-team and one second-team academic All-America and had more players (six) named to the District 6 team than any other school, including Nebraska.
As a fan I'm proud of national championships; as a citizen and a faculty member I'm proud of the academic standards and success of the Bobcats—win or lose. The trite statement that universities exist for academics often appears to be ignored, not only by coaches and fans, but also by many administrators, faculties and national news reporters.
WHO'S ON FIRST
Thanks to Alexander Wolff for conjuring up wonderful memories of personal searches for the autographs of my baseball heroes (Mets Autographs, Sept. 15). I still cherish my Bobby Richardson-signed baseball, which I rubbed for good luck during my Little League career.
The photo of Jerry Grote particularly caught my attention. I noticed he's protecting one of the bases from Mark Belanger—not home plate. Do you have any information as to the circumstances surrounding Grote's excursion from the catcher's box?
MARK H. HAYES
?Here's a look at the play from a different angle. In it, Belanger singled over first, and when the Met first baseman, Donn Clendenon, ran out to field the ball, Grote went to first and took the throw from rightfielder Ron Swoboda. Belanger was safe.—ED.