My friendship with Bobby spans 17 years. He is not only an outstanding athlete but an unassuming man of character and integrity. There are none finer.
RALPH J. TREMAGLIO JR.
Reminiscent of the story Bill Travis told about his officiating debut in a high school football game (SCORECARD, Sept. 23) is an incident one of my colleagues swears happened.
His basketball officiating partner, a neophyte who was positioned near midcourt, alertly raced downcourt with the visiting team's guard as that player intercepted a pass and drove for an uncontested basket. But as the guard went up for the layup, the official leaped high and pinned the ball beautifully against the board. The visiting coach took the startling move quite well, that is to say he didn't die of apoplexy, though surely only my colleague's quick signaling of two points—goaltending—prevented this. Afterward, the official could only mutter dazedly about his "natural instincts."
North Platte, Neb.
WAIT AND SEE
Having been a devoted track fan for nearly 20 years, I read with great interest the article concerning Britain's latest distance-running find, Brendan Foster (Foster Is No Impostor, Sept. 23). I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Foster's running credentials. He has proven in the two years since Munich that he has the talent to become one of the alltime greats.
I also have a great deal of respect for Writer Chris Brasher's running ability. As for his analyzing abilities, I believe the jury is still out. How he can possibly rank Foster as one of the top five distance men in the last 25 years is beyond my imagination. Without too much scratching, two names from Down Under step to the starting line, Murray Halberg and Ron Clarke. These two must certainly rank ahead of Foster at this time.
Halberg won the gold medal in the 5,000 meters at the 1960 Olympics and later held both the two-and three-mile records at the same time. Clarke once simultaneously held six world records at different distances, although he never won an Olympic gold medal. Clarke set most of his records during the European summer, which was off-season for a Southern Hemisphere runner.
Perhaps Mr. Brasher is merely dazzled by Foster's racing tactics, which were used long ago by Vladimir Kuts and Clarke. Nearly two full years lie ahead before we again come to the major testing grounds: the Olympic Games. A great many things can happen in that time.
THOMAS W. FRANCK
You guys really blew it! Eddy Merckx won the World Cycling Championship professional road race in Montreal a few weeks ago and your magazine barely mentioned it in passing. Doesn't the fact that 200,000 North Americans turned out for the two weeks of the championships indicate that bicycle racing is the sleeping giant of American sports?