Regarding your story about Bronko Nagurski and Don Hutson (The Bronk and the Gazelle, Sept. 11): I played two games against Hutson in 1939, when I was a quarterback, a defensive halfback and a punter for the Detroit Lions. Floyd Cardwell and I double-teamed Hutson every time he left the line of scrimmage, and while he caught two touchdown passes, of 60 and 51 yards, to lead Green Bay to a 26-7 victory in the first game, we held him to only four receptions and 31 yards in the second. ( Green Bay won nonetheless, 12-7.) Hutson's main assets were deceptive speed and wonderful hands. He would be great today, too.
Grosse Pointe, Mich.
I have known Darrel (Mouse) Davis, the Detroit Lions' offensive guru (Building a Better Mouse Trap, Sept. 11), since 1972, when he coached Hillsboro (Ore.) High. His mental agility and his contributions to exciting run-and-shoot football are without question. It amazes me, though, that Davis's ability to motivate players does not receive more attention. He is a dynamic teacher who has made the sport fun for those lucky enough to have played for him.
Athletic Director, Lewis-Clark State College
Thank you for giving Atlanta Falcon running back John Settle the recognition he deserves (Soaring into the '90s, Sept. 11). After he played in last season's Pro Bowl, a reporter asked him how he felt about the fact that he was not earning the big bucks that other top backs were getting. Settle replied, "That's something I don't think of often. The game is what I enjoy."
I went to school with Settle at Appalachian State and was shocked when he wasn't drafted. With all the sophisticated tests the NFL scouts run on prospective players, they forget to measure one thing—heart.
BRIAN K. HOAGLAND
NOT ENOUGH REST?
After reading your article on the increasing number of injuries in major league baseball (Where Have All the Players Gone? Aug. 28), I think you underestimate the impact of scheduling. I compared the 1969 and '89 schedules of the New York Mets. In '89, the schedule was four days longer, which is not significant. What is significant is the difference in the number of scheduled days off. In '69, the Mets had 30 scheduled off-days, including the All-Star break. This year they had only 20. Moreover, 29 of those off-days in '69 fell between May and September can average of six per month), but this year the Mets had only 15 off-days (three per month) during that five-month span. With only half as many days off during the long, hot middle months of the season, more injuries are bound to occur.
The more demanding 1989 schedule was brought about by the elimination of doubleheaders (the Mets had 14 scheduled in '69, none in '89), a change obviously driven by the owners' desire to increase profits. That trend is not likely to change.
New York City
Steve Wulf's POINT AFTER (Sept. 11) was on the mark. As a former high school basketball player who now plays local tennis tournaments, I chuckle at the unwillingness of tennis players at all levels to tolerate distractions that athletes in other sports consider inconsequential. At my club. Frisbee-chasing dogs and bikini-clad sunbathers next to the courts are the norm, and we often have to dodge errant softballs and soccer balls that land on the court during play.
STEVEN B. STEINHARDT
Albany, N. Y.
I would like to ask Steve Wulf one question: When was the last time you saw a Kirk Gibson home run get returned?
Tennis requires an extremely high level of concentration because it requires, in addition to making the hit, thinking ahead three or four moves.
New York City
Thank you for publishing such a comprehensive article on the Kalamazoo River (Of Time and the River, July 24). The story impressed a tremendous number of people in the community who previously had not been concerned. As a result, a coalition of citizens and businesses has decided to add the river to its list of beautification projects.
MARY B. POWERS
Kalamazoo ( Mich.) County Commissioner