As I pulled the December 13 copy of SI out of my mailbox and looked at the cover I could not help but smile and feel glad that I am one of those who subscribe to a magazine that is not afraid to publish what it believes. There it was, in bright yellow letters, clearly stating a fact: "TOP PRO RECEIVER: San Diego's Lance Alworth." Not "TOP AFL RECEIVER." Not "TOP PRO RECEIVER FROM ARKANSAS." Not "TOP PRO RECEIVER WEARING NO. 19," just plain, simple "TOP PRO RECEIVER."
I don't care if someone is better than Lance Alworth (although, in my opinion, it was a valid decision). The point that impresses me is that SI has the courage to put such a statement on the cover of a magazine that will be seen by everyone in this country who walks by a newsstand. Congratulations.
ALLAN C. HADLEY
I found your article on Lance Alworth (They All Go Bang! at Bambi, Dec. 13) very distracting. Sure, Alworth is good enough to be great in the AFL, where the name of the game is defense. But the top pro receiver, in my opinion, is not Bambi but the Baron, commonly known to NFL fans as Pete Retzlaff of the Philadelphia Eagles.
If Edwin Shrake really wants a look at pro football's top receiver, send him a few hundred miles north to watch the 49ers' Dave Parks.
If Alworth is Bambi, Johnny Morris is Superbambi.
FRANK J. MUNSCH
Arlington Heights, Ill.
What about Ray Berry, Paul Warfield, Boyd Dowler, Tommy Mason, Max McGee, etc.? All these players are better than Alworth could ever be.
Because Lance Alworth signed with the AFL, he has had an article in his honor, proclaiming him the best wide receiver in football. Had he signed with the NFL, the title would have been But Why Me, Coach? like that story in the same issue about the Giants' tackle who didn't make it, and Lance Alworth would have been in Mike Bundra's place, wondering why he was put on waivers.
Salt Lake City
Yes, Pete Rozelle, there really is an AFL.
SAN THE MAN
All week I've waited to see who would be your Sportsman, and when I saw Sandy Koufax' picture on the cover of your December 20 issue I was real happy.
Beach Lake, Pa.
Don't get me wrong—Sandy Koufax is one heck of a ballplayer. But neither Koufax nor any other athlete on the face of this earth can even begin to approach the ability, humility, dedication and overall greatness of the one man who has given sport more than he has taken from it. If Noah Webster were around today, he would take the definition of "sportsman" and chop it down into two words: Gary Player.
LAWRENCE MARK JR.