I thoroughly enjoyed Curry Kirkpatrick's piece on Steffi Graf (Serving Her Country, June 26), but the references to her nose were disturbing. What's wrong with Graf's nose? As with the beloved Bob Hope, her "appendage" is a wonderfully unique characteristic that helps us identify a great person.
MICHAEL J. MILLER
One reason we cannot claim Graf as our own is clear: She's too good for us. Humility, discipline and family orientation don't seem to mesh with the American athletic ethic these days.
I can't believe that someone could refer to the Chris Evert-Martina Navratilova rivalry as a "lounge act." This has to be one of the most disrespectful and arrogant statements ever printed in SI. These two women have brought professional tennis respectability and dignity. To appreciate Grafs monumental accomplishments, it's not necessary to belittle Evert and Navratilova.
I was happy to see that Kirkpatrick was able to find a tennis player he likes. While I enjoyed the article, I took exception to the implication that Peter Graf and I have a feud going. Many athletes do things on the playing field that they might regret when given time to think over a situation. Parents and coaches often suffer from the same malady. Despite our on-court rivalry, Steffi and I have developed an off-court friendship.
Women's International Tennis Association
Kudos to Alexander Wolff for his review of the great cable-sports war (TELEVISION, June 26). I feel that though ESPN's Chris Berman and Bob Ley are as good as CNN's Nick Charles and Fred Hickman, CNN's entire sports team of Terry Chick, Dennis Dumler, Gary Miller, Dan Hicks, Hannah Storm and Jim Huber gives it an edge. Then again, there's nothing like those great Bermanisms. I'm torn, but isn't this the best kind of war?
Wolff was right on with his comments about ESPN's SportsCenter. I prefer Berman and Ley, but if they're not on the air promptly at 11:30 p.m., I'm gone. ESPN should pull the plug on the junk sports and run SportsCenter on time all the time.
TIMOTHY W. GATES
How could Wolff fail to include other Bermanisms such as Todd (Mercedes) Benzinger, Walt (Three Blind) Weiss and Bert (Be Home) Blyleven?
Your June 26 issue (Man in the Slow Lane and Mailman II) reminded me that although we in Louisiana are proud of our football heritage, our state has received more attention of late for its basketball progeny. Louisiana could put the following team on the floor:
Guard—Joe Dumars ( McNeese State), 1989 NBA playoff MVP, Detroit Pistons.