PORTRAIT OF POWER
Neil Leifer has done it again! His photograph of Secretariat winning the Kentucky Derby (It Was Murder, May 14) captures the power, grace and authority of this magnificent animal in a manner unrivaled by literary description.
I never cease to be amazed by Leifer's ability, as well as that of the other fine SPORTS ILLUSTRATED photographers, to consistently catch the essence of an entire event in the flick of a shutter.
I would like to comment on the World Championship Tennis final between Stan Smith and Arthur Ashe (Riding the Crest of a Winning Wave, May 21). I thought the performance, both on and off the court, of these two fine players was outstanding. Smith's victory over Ashe will be remembered by many for a long time to come, but the part I will remember best will be the actions of the two during the presentation of awards following their final game.
As Smith said, the match ended on a rather sour note as a result of a judge's decision that was questioned by many in the crowd. The debate was whether or not Smith hit the ball before the second bounce. (It was later confirmed by television reruns that he had indeed hit it while it was "up," i.e., before the second bounce.) Without benefit of instant replay, however, Ashe responded to the audience's standing ovation by saying that Smith was a very ethical sportsman and individual and that if Stan thought the ball was up, it was up, and that was good enough for him.
Ashe's remark ended a tense moment and displayed a level of sportsmanship that is attained by few and envied by many. He left the WCT tournament with a lot more than his $20,000 second-place check. He also took with him the respect of a great many people. Ashe is a champion in his own right.
William Leggett's article (An Angel Who Makes Turnstiles Sing, May 14) was what I have been waiting for. Nolan Ryan has never gotten serious treatment from any writers. Now that he is with a team that appreciates and takes advantage of a good pitcher, I think he can win 20 and strike out at least 250.
It's about time someone noticed Nolan Ryan's ability to lead a team. He has great potential.
JOHN R. TSCHIDERER
I was very pleased to read Barry McDermott's article (It Was a New Game All Down the Line, May 14) and not find a glowing report on Ernie DiGregorio's play. My faith in SI was renewed because you refused to be thrilled, as so many newspapers were, by Ernie D. and his game-losing yet crowd-pleasing attempt at patriotic recognition.
J. MARC ROSEN
I think Barry McDermott talked too much about the Russians in his recent article. How could he brush by Ernie DiGregorio by just saying his passes brought oohs from the crowd? In my book Ernie D. can do no wrong (even if he did lose the game for us in San Diego). The pros are getting another Pete Maravich. I hope Barry will think a little more about Ernie D. the next time he writes about U.S. vs. U.S.S.R. basketball.
WOMEN IN TRAINING
I commend you for the coverage given in PEOPLE (May 7) to Ms. Kelly Morron, assistant trainer in the men's training room at Johns Hopkins. However, she is not as unusual as you may think. People have begun to recognize the need for female trainers in the rapidly expanding intercollegiate and interscholastic athletic programs for women and girls. As a result, numerous women are now enrolling in athletic training curricula and/or serving apprenticeships in men's training rooms.