Are there any more Nolan Ryans left in the world? Is there any more magic left in his arm? I surely hope so. There is no one more deserving of such a remarkable gift.
Fimrite's piece was as masterful as a Ryan one-hitter.
KING OF THE HOT RODDERS
I have been a fan of Don Garlits (The Man Who Would Be Greyhound, Sept. 29) since 1963, when he raced at the Indianapolis Nationals. During the past 23 years I have seen him race down drag strips many times. In these three decades there has not been a better sportsman, competitor or all-around nice guy than Garlits. In the heat of competition he always has time to sign an autograph, acknowledge a well-wisher or just smile and wave to the crowd from his push truck. My 10-year-old son Jason has had the pleasure of watching Don race. Like me and millions of other fans, Jason knows that there is only one Big Daddy. Thanks to Sam Moses for the great article on this living legend.
DAVID L. BAUER
Fort Wayne, Ind.
"Good show" to Hank Hersch for his excellent sidebar "The View From The Chinaberry Tree" on Mississippi football and the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (COLLEGE FOOTBALL, Sept. 29). We're very proud of Southern's football program, though national publicity has heretofore been scarce. I hope the nation will come to realize that the Golden Eagles play a good brand of football and deserve their share of recognition.
Please add to ROSTERS, NFL (besides Louis Lipps, Sammy Winder and Reggie Collier) the Raiders' Ray Guy, the Dolphins' Bud Brown, the Browns' Hanford Dixon and the Oilers' Richard Byrd—all former University of Southern Mississippi greats.
Regarding Hersch's sidebar, there is more to the story. The next weekend Mississippi State's senior quarterback, Don Smith, passed Archie Manning ( Ole Miss) and Walter Lewis ( Alabama) in the Southeastern Conference record books. Against the favored Florida Gators and their outstanding quarterback, Kerwin Bell, Smith passed for 158 yards and ran for an additional 104. During the same game Bell passed for 100 yards and rushed for minus 18.
There is no doubt that Bell is an outstanding quarterback, but Florida coach Galen Hall has called Smith "the best athlete in the SEC." Smith's total offense record has already exceeded those of SEC Heisman winners Bo Jackson, Herschel Walker and Steve Spurrier. The record of another SEC Heisman winner, Pat Sullivan, could be broken within the next four games. Moreover, if Smith continues his 260-yards-per-game average (as of Oct. 6) he will surpass alltime SEC offense leader John Reaves of Florida and still have one game remaining. It should be mentioned that these statistics are being compiled with a team that had a total of only nine victories over the '84 and '85 seasons.
In Austin Murphy's story about the Baltimore Colts Marching Band (SIDELINE, Sept. 29), John Ziemann asked, "What did we ever do to the people of Indiana?" I'd like to ask, "What did we ever do to the people of Baltimore?" We made an offer, Bob Irsay accepted it. He did not have to accept it. We did not force him to sign on the dotted line. If you want to blame someone, blame Irsay. Don't blame the people of Indiana.
To the Baltimore Colts Marching Band: Please do Indiana a big favor and take your Colts, the Irsays and coach Rod Dowhower back. They were fun for two years, but the novelty has worn off and our love affair with the Colts is over. Hoosiers don't like losers.
O.K. WITH THE NCAA
Your SCORECARD item "Military Maneuvers" (Sept. 1) stated that the NCAA was looking into the possibility that Notre Dame "might have violated NCAA rules prohibiting college athletes from promoting commercial ventures" because of the appearance of two of our football players in the Army's "Be All That You Can Be" television spots. In fact, our athletes' appearance in those spots had been approved in advance by the NCAA.
JOHN E. HEISLER
Associate Sports Information Director
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Ind.