Frank Deford's article about San Jose State's Tommie Smith (Built for Chasing Beyondness, May 22) was stuffed with superlatives, and correctly so.
I think now everyone will agree that Tommie is the greatest all-round dash man anyone has ever seen. But please bear one point in mind: there is one man alive who could give Smith a run for his money. It's too bad Henry Carr signed a football contract in 1964, or the 44-second-flat quarter mile might be a reality by now.
New York City
It's about time someone of the press recognized Tommie Smith for what he is, the greatest sprinter track and field has ever seen. Smith up to now has been continuously ignored by the American press, even though he now holds or shares nine world records. Indeed, even SI used to concentrate on the buildup of Jim Ryun, while giving Tommie no more than a footnote in FOR THE RECORD.
We at San Jose State are very proud of Tommie, and we hope that in the future the other news media across the nation will follow your example by finally giving him the recognition he deserves.
San Jose, Calif.
Re your editorial, "Superplan" (SCORECARD, May 15), you have to be kidding. The National Hockey League's new Stanley Cup playoff scheme is ridiculous. Imagine a 70-game regular schedule and a possible 21-game playoff.
Ask any player and he will tell you that he prefers a shorter schedule rather than an expanded one. I don't know which is worse: the NHL's playoff scheme or the NFL's new four-division setup. I believe both leagues missed the boat when they did not set up their divisions geographically.
I prefer baseball's World Series of American League winner vs. National League winner. Why should a second-, third-or fourth-place team get a chance at the championship when they didn't prove best over a 70-game schedule?
I suppose the next plan will be a $600,000 Superderby matching Kentucky Derby finishers 1 and 3 and 2 and 4. For starters, how about Proud Clarion vs. Damascus and Barbs Delight vs. Reason to Hail?
ALBERT T. FULCO
Bravo for Jeannette Bruce's Confessions of a Judo Roll-out (May 22). It's marvelous. Her humor grows out of a true sense of the ridiculous, which she sees in herself first of all. While I haven't an athletic bone in my body, she has started me thinking, and I just may run up to Judo, Inc. and enroll.
Thanks to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for one of the most enjoyable half hours of reading I've ever spent.
NOEL H. BUSTARD
New York City