Get off your major sports kick and choose the real Sportsman of the Year.
Your Dec. 22 issue was the best that I have come across in years. The article There Were No Greener Pastures exemplified sports illustration at its best. However, I was disappointed that no mention was made of the most popular sport in the world: soccer. Specifically, I was looking for the most popular sport star in the world, the Bobby Hull and Joe Namath of soccer, Brazil's Pelé.
New York City
Don't you remember Mazeroski's mighty wallop that beat the Yankees in the 1960 World Series?
Your article on the greatest sporting events of the '60s was truly great—with one big mistake. While the odds against the Mets winning the pennant were actually 25 to 1, the 1967 Boston Red Sox did beat the insurmountable odds of 75 to 1 and then carried the World Series to seven games. How could you possibly forget the "impossible dream"?
You nearly overlooked the Boston Celtics. The 42-page spread was supposed to be a tribute to the entire 1960s. Ken Venturi's 1964 U.S. Open title was great, but how many other big ones did he ever win? Joe Namath's Super Bowl win was a great accomplishment, and he will go down in football history because of that one electrifying performance.
The so-called experts continually overlooked the Celtics' pride and dedication and picked losers like Chamberlain to knock them off. But the "old men" of Boston always had that little extra that made them so tremendous.
The Olympics are properly considered the most important sporting event in any four-year period. For that reason it would have been a criminal omission if SPORTS ILLUSTRATED had not included Wilma Rudolph and Debbie Meyer, both winners of three gold medals. Only three times since 1900 has any man won four gold medals in a single Olympiad. How could you neglect Don Schollander's performance in the 1964 Olympic Games?
New Haven, Conn.
Notwithstanding the fact that very often the general public is misled by articles it reads in magazines, I feel compelled to comment on Mr. Harry Lancaster (E-Rupption in Wildcat Country, Dec. 22). Mr. Lancaster's antics, which definitely cannot be labeled as colorful, are the sure signs of a man who has played second fiddle for 21 years to a master of his profession such as Adolph Rupp. Although it is a trademark of my generation to put down the Establishment, I must beg to differ in the case of Kentucky. In fact, I'd like to see Adolph Rupp, the grand old man of college athletics, coach forever, and Harry Lancaster, a victim of delayed success, scuttle on down his narrow pathway to nowhere.
As a card-carrying Kentucky grad, I gladly accept Mr. Kirkpatrick's label of "Ruppologist" (if it was kindly meant). In the course of my travels since leaving the blue grass I have discovered that my home state is famous for four things: whiskey, cigarettes, horses and Rupp. The first three are all right, but nothing to carry a card for. The Baron is something else. It was he who, before and after the Bear, provided us with the perennial solace of "Wait until basketball season!"
Though Mr. Kirkpatrick's "E-Rupptions" in last week's article were at times embarrassing, perhaps some good will come of them. Hopefully, somebody will have the courage to shut off the pettiness before it becomes dis-Rupptive to the team. The Big Blue can get a hundred penny pinchers to fill the job of athletic director, but there's only one Adolph Rupp.
WILLIAM B. HORNBACK