The criterion of the "big year" (and who would want to decide whether McLain's or Gibson's was bigger?) hardly seems sufficient when compared with the far-reaching consequences of the ideas and efforts of such ecologists as Mr. Wingate. Furthermore, the big year has the unfortunate tendency of degenerating into merely a big day or even a lucky moment. On the other hand, the persistent efforts of Mr. Wingate have a way of transcending the present.
The cahow may be a "silly bird," but if SI could help establish it as the human race's equivalent of the miner's canary, the magazine would be joining Mr. Wingate in recognizing the greatest competition it is possible to engage in—the survival of the species. After all, isn't the current Department of the Interior conservation yearbook entitled Man...An Endangered Species?
JOHN T. LAVIA
College Park, Md.
I am writing to second the nomination of Lieut. Arthur Ashe for the Sportsman of the Year award. He certainly fulfills the ideals of your award. His achievement in winning the first U.S. Open Championship as an amateur is unparalleled in tennis but, more important, Arthur Ashe is not only a credit to tennis and his family, he is a credit to America and the human race.
DONALD L. DELL
U.S. Davis Cup team
My nomination for Sportsman of the Year? Who else but George Foreman, boxer supreme and American superb!
DON J. HADLEY
In your deliberations regarding the Sportsman of the Year I hope that you will not overlook Coach Robert (Pappy) Gault and the U.S. Olympic boxing team. In marked contrast with our 200-meter sprinters, these men proved that they knew how gloves should be used. More important, their conduct was exemplary in victory and in defeat, which sometimes resulted from baffling officiating. The magnificent performance of this group would appear to be the embodiment of the Olympic ideal.
I strongly urge the naming of Coach Hank Iba as Sportsman of the Year for his tremendous Olympic effort. Or honor the entire U.S. Olympic basketball team, whose members represent the best of sportmanship and Olympic tradition.
I nominate the former Miss Vera Caslavska as Sportswoman of the Year. Her beauty, grace and charm put her in a class by herself in the gymnastics competition. She performed exercises that few, if any, men could match and totally captivated the audiences. The whole spirit of Czechoslovakia could be summarized by her performance.
Sergeant Clyde Bradford Braughton Jr. should be the Sportsman of the Year. When he died in action in Vietnam on Jan. 31, he left his $10,000 Government insurance policy to the athletic department of Amelia ( Ohio) High School. Since he graduated in 1966, he must have been no older than 20 when he died. It is odd that I have not seen this story in a national publication.
West Union, Ohio