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19TH HOLE: THE READERS TAKE OVER
Edited by Gay Flood
June 19, 1978
RUNNING ONSir:After reading Frank Deford's thoughtful appraisal of runners and of the articles and books pertaining to running (VIEWPOINT, June 5), I can only say that his attitude has further convinced me of what I knew all along: SI and its writers are clearly devoted to cars, horses and boats, and inspiring games of poker, bridge and Frisbee, notwithstanding a knee-jerk worship of baseball, basketball and football.
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June 19, 1978

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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RUNNING ON
Sir:
After reading Frank Deford's thoughtful appraisal of runners and of the articles and books pertaining to running (VIEWPOINT, June 5), I can only say that his attitude has further convinced me of what I knew all along: SI and its writers are clearly devoted to cars, horses and boats, and inspiring games of poker, bridge and Frisbee, notwithstanding a knee-jerk worship of baseball, basketball and football.

As for bores, the biggest ones I've ever met are pompous sportswriters who pretend to know what sport is about. I don't claim to have a monopoly on the subject either, but I'm very sure any magazine that considers a horse among the athletes of the year and gives virtually no coverage to a sports event like the Boston Marathon is way out in leftfield in regard to its perception of what athletics is about. I'm sure Deford is most comfortable in leftfield.

You're lucky to have Kenny Moore! See you on the road, Frank.
BILL RODGERS
Boston

Sir:
Running—or jogging—is a sport and just about anyone can participate. That is why it is catching on like wildfire. People who have never thrown a baseball, caught a football or dribbled a basketball are putting on running shoes and becoming participants rather than spectators for the first time in their lives. And you know what, Frank Deford? They love it!

Aside from the exercise, other aspects of running are good. Try to find even a half-serious runner who smokes, drinks in excess or doesn't keep a watchful eye on his diet. I can't find any. May God bless every one of the movie stars, grandmothers, children, women and doctors Deford speaks of so harshly. They are doing something for themselves. Who knows, maybe even editorial writers can conquer fat, laziness and boredom with a pair of running shoes. Try it, Frank; you might just like it.
ANDY L. FRAZIER
Orange, Texas

Sir:
I'd like to know who is twisting Frank Deford's arm to read anything. Has Frank Shorter discovered a way to put subliminal messages into Deford's morning coffee? Is Bill Rodgers whispering down his chimney? The truth is that because of all these articles on running, people are finally doing what they should have been doing all along—taking care of their bodies.

I concur that there are too many articles on running. But isn't it sad that running had to be rediscovered by a nation that otherwise might not be suffering from sedentary habits, obesity and heart disease?
CANDICE C. GILMAN
East Hartford, Conn.

Sir:
Writing about boredom must be the ultimate bore. Just please spare me tales of how bored you are, Frank.
AL MIRMELSTEIN
Charlottesville, Va.

Sir:
Although I am an enthusiastic runner, I agree with Frank Deford. In fact, a running industry has developed whose aim is to convince us that running is more important than it really is. The effects of this running hustle go beyond the mere creation of boredom. They threaten to make work out of play and organization out of spontaneity.
NEAL MILNER
Honolulu

Sir:
Leave it to Frank Deford to put salve on my wounds. He has, I feel, finally put some sorely needed thumbtacks inside this country's collective jogging shoe. He has vented what we all know to be true, viz. a bore is a bore is a bore is a runner. See Erich Segal for references.

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