A POW'S VIEW
Thanks to John Underwood for his moving article on Major Neal Jones (Opal Two Is Back, April 23). If any good can come of the ordeals of Major Jones and the other POWs, perhaps it will be to turn us from our petty gripes and grievances toward attaining the kind of faith and courage that can allow a man who has lived through 6� years of hell to say, "I've been lucky. I've been kicky all my life."
Opal Two Is Back ranks as the most inspiring piece of literature I have read. It so thoroughly mixes sport and patriotism. As one who served with the Special Forces for 18 months in Vietnam, I would like John Underwood to know that this is a vastly satisfying work that America should be proud of.
Neal Jones shall have his homecoming present. Tulane will one day defeat LSU.
Cuba, N. Mex.
The article exemplifies two very important points. It shows the great effect sport has on the people of this country, relieving tension, providing a common meeting ground for discussion, providing memories and giving hope. But more important, it says God Bless America and hats off to Neal Jones and the other POWs. We in this country are fortunate to have men such as these protecting us.
THOMAS C. BUTLER
It seems to me you could have had a better cover for your April 23 issue. Instead of a picture of a boxer who is two fights and six years removed from the heavyweight championship, wouldn't it have been better to have had one of George Foreman or Ken Norton, with an article about either or both of them? Let's look to the future of boxing. Also, a picture of one of our POWs throwing out the first ball at an opening baseball game would have made a much better cover than that of a man who refused to serve his country in a time of need.
JOHN R. BOOTH
Your April 23 cover didn't go over too well with me. The picture of Muhammad Ali was sickening. It isn't the most appealing thing to look at some dude with a broken jaw eating mush and slobbering all over the place. Yuk! I think you and Photographer Neil Leifer could have worked out something more suitable to put on the front of your magazine.
Mt. Prospect, Ill.
It was a comfort to read your article on Muhammad Ali (The Month Thai Nearly Roared) and to learn that he does not plan to retire anytime soon. He is a man boxing cannot do without nowadays. If it were not for him, the boxing fans of the United States would get to sec a fight only every 18 months or so, if lucky. When George Foreman beat Joe Frazier I thought we might see some more good fights, but George has turned out to be another Frazier.
Ali is the one with guts. When he was champion, we saw fights regularly. He wasn't afraid of losing, as Foreman and Frazier must be. He's the one who stayed in the ring with a broken jaw. If Foreman wants to keep the title, let's make him fight for it.
ROBERT E. DEAN
St. Matthews, S.C.
Congratulations on the article. I found it entertaining as well as interesting, yet I question Tex Maule's choice of leading man. How long are we expected to accept the word of the world's greatest con man? How many times must we await the knockout punch that will never come? I admit that Muhammad Ali was indeed a great fighter, but I can no longer accept his meaningless promises.
RUDI E. FROESE
Vancouver, British Columbia
I loved your cover. There is nothing better than to see Muhammad Ali with egg on his face.
R. W. RILEY
Lake Arrowhead, Calif.