I, like Dr. Bannister, am a former miler, and I was also in Mexico City for the Games. I saw, heard and felt the pride of the Mexican people in having had the opportunity to host the Olympic Games, and to me this is as much a part of the Games as competing in them. Some may want to deprive such peoples of this great opportunity. I do not.
My heart weeps for the distance runners and cheers for the Mexicans.
How could anyone but Bill Russell be named Sportsman of the Year? He revolutionized the game, led the Celtics to nine world championships, and this year, after they had been counted out, he led the Celtics back from a three-games-to-one deficit to a tenth world championship. Can one man achieve more in the world of sports?
Joe Kuharich is my nomination for Sportsman of the Year. Although his ability as a coach is questioned by some, he has the perseverance of a true sportsman.
I nominate Stan Mikita for Sportsman of the Year. For the last two years Stan has won the National Hockey League's Lady Byng Trophy for most sportsmanlike conduct. Also for the last two years he has been the most valuable player (Hart Trophy) and the leading scorer ( Art Ross Trophy).
I feel that you should very seriously consider the nation's premier male swimmer—Charlie Hickcox—for Sportsman of the Year. He set three American records at the NCAA championships last March at Dartmouth, he beat Mark Spitz in the AAUs in April and he won three golds and one silver medal a few weeks ago in Mexico City. In Long Beach, Calif. last summer, Charlie set world records in the 200-and 400-meter individual medleys. How about giving a little consideration to one of the greatest swimmers of all time?
JAMES E. POOLE II
For the past few weeks you have devoted considerable space in the 19TH HOLE to nominations for Sportsman of the Year. Your contributors have mentioned many noteworthy people; among them were many medal winners from the Summer Olympics. My nomination is still for Winter Olympian Jean-Claude Killy.
After she won two consecutive World Cup championships in skiing and two Olympic medals (including one gold), while at the same time finding time to promote amateur skiing in Canada, it is fairly evident that Nancy Greene deserves the honor.
JOHN A. McDONALD
I nominate George Blanda for Sportsman of the Year. At age 40 he led the American Football League in scoring with 116 points and had a 39.5 completion percentage as Daryle Lamonica's backup man.
I wish to nominate Heidi for Sportswoman of the Year. I do this because NBC seemed to think that Heidi was more important than the final 58 seconds of the Jets-Raiders game. In that period of time Heidi helped all viewers east of the Mississippi River to miss the Raiders' two decisive touchdowns. Heidi should win by a mile, or at least by 58 "second hand" votes.
SCOTT C. ROSS