KISS OF WHAT?
I am led to understand from his article (Who Gets the Oscar? Nov. 10) that Dan Jenkins doesn't think three of Notre Dame's six Heisman Trophy winners deserved their awards. I'm referring to the rap he puts on Bertelli, Huarte and Hornung. I wouldn't try to change Mr. Jenkins' mind—that would take a miracle (something only God and Rockne could pull off)—but I would like to present some information that lends support to why these men were chosen Heisman winners.
Angelo Bertelli (1941-43) was chosen to six All-America teams in 1943. He is ranked fourth on the alltime passing list at ND, and he is No. 6 on the Irish alltime total offense list. John Huarte (1962-64) led the Irish to a 9-1 season in 1964 when he, too, was chosen to six All-America teams. He ranks sixth on the alltime forward-passing list at ND, and he holds the career records for the following: most consecutive passes without an interception; lowest percentage of passes intercepted; and highest average yards gained per play. Paul Hornung (1954-56) was chosen in 1955 to four All-America teams, while in 1956 he was on six All-America teams. He is eighth on the alltime passing list and fourth on the alltime total-offense list.
NORBERT A. SADILEK JR.
Congratulations to Dan Jenkins. Once again he and SIKOD (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Kiss of Death) have worked their magic. Your endorsement of Steve Owens just cost him the Heisman Trophy.
I don't know whether you've noticed or not, but college stars who happen to make the cover of your magazine have a remarkable knack for winning the Heisman Trophy. Now that Steve Owens' grin has been splattered all across the nation, only a total collapse on his part would give Davis of USC or Otis of Ohio State a ghost of a chance of winning the prize. And even a collapse now might not make a difference. Two years ago O. J. Simpson was considered the nation's most spectacular player until you ran that blurb calling Gary Beban "The Great One." It was all over right there. Beban was singularly mediocre for the rest of the season, including his throwing the interception in the USC game which, along with O.J.'s pressure performance, led to UCLA's downfall. Beban was even benched in his last game as a Bruin. Still, your backing was enough to win him the trophy.
I'm not saying that you should not publicize great ballplayers. That is your obvious duty. And I am not saying that Owens and Beban do not deserve acclaim. I am merely saying that being on SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S cover during the campaign gives a candidate too much of a pre-election edge over those with similar credentials but lesser press coverage.
This is from a loyal reader who considers SI to be one of the few consistently impartial publications on the newsstands.
TERRY M. BANKS
I am not too surprised at your vast coverage of Steve Owens, but your almost complete disregard for Missouri University and its football stars (namely Terry McMillan and Joe Moore) is certainly unfair to a football power. Certainly McMillan and Moore deserve some Heisman Trophy mention, especially after their stunning victory over Owens and his Oklahoma playmates (Missouri Waltzes to Victory, Nov. 17).
All Joe Moore did was outrush Steve Owens while he went over the 1,000-yard mark in rushing for the season. Terry McMillan did in the Sooners and Owens with his great passing, over 300 yards for the day and over 1,000 yards for the season.
How can you have the audacity to even suggest that any players other than Steve Owens or Rex Kern have a chance of winning the Heisman Trophy?
After reading Robert F. Jones' article (Eub Weebank's Mother Hens, Nov. 10), I wonder if Mr. Jones has forgotten who the real star of the New York Jets is. Let's congratulate Joe Willie on his excellent signal calling, but who is the guy who is winning the games? It's Jim Turner.
WILLIAM R. CASEY