There is nothing more satisfying in football than plastering the quarterback. If quarterbacks can't take earning their big money, let them play basketball.
I think you are dead wrong and I think all other guards would agree with me. The "chop block" should not be eliminated in the "clipping zone." I've played football since I was nine, and up to this, my sophomore year in high school, I've been a major user of the chop block in the legal clipping zone. I also think your 11 ways to play "nice" football stink. It sounds like you invented a new game, not football.
La Puente, Calif.
Your discussion of the damaging impact of headfirst tackling techniques brought to mind a concussion I "won" in a one-on-one tackling drill in high school during my sophomore season. Although I had dropped the runner with a shoulder tackle, I repeated the drill, this time sticking my head in the numbers. I guess my concussion proved to the coach that I was a tough guy. As a 15-year-old linebacker, that meant a lot to me. Now as a 25-year-old with recurring neck aches, I realize those tackling techniques were for the birds.
MARK H. MASS�
Although it is obvious from his letter (Aug. 28) that John Blacksher is in favor of using his helmet, it is equally apparent that he has not yet begun to use his head.
MARY JANE RYAN
One need look no further than John Blacksher's letter for sufficient reason to make significant changes in football.
In addition to the proposed rule changes, I would add two borrowed from basketball: 1) keep track of personal fouls—after a certain number a player fouls out; 2) call "technical fouls" for flagrant personal fouls and for abusive language directed at officials. In the latter case, give the other team a free one-point field-goal try from the 40-yard line.
Fining a professional athlete who makes more money than the President for unsportsmanlike conduct would be analogous to slapping the wrist of a criminal in a court of law. It wouldn't carry much weight as a useful deterrent. However, if we believe that good sportsmanship is the coach's responsibility, then I suggest: 1) that fines for bad sportsmanship be increased; and 2) that coaches be made to pay half of them.
I have been following Jimmy Connors' career since he first burst upon the tennis scene, and I'm sure I've read just about everything that's ever been written about him. Frank De-ford's piece Raised by Women to Conquer Men (Aug. 28) is, in my estimation, the finest, most complete and perceptive analysis of Connors—the player and the man—ever written. As Deford astutely points out, Connors is a jumble of contradictions; this, coupled with the fact that he and his mother Gloria mistrust the press, must have made writing the article a demanding, frustrating task for Deford. I hope Jimmy reads it.
Sherman Oaks, Calif.
It was interesting to find out what has made Jimmy Connors tick. But for anyone to say that Jimbo has turned tabby is ridiculous. In '78 he has won nine tournaments and he leads in Grand Prix points. I hope his tiger juices flow at Flushing Meadow.
Your profile of Atlanta's Ted Turner was a delight (Going Real Strawwng, Aug. 21). It was a pleasure to discover that my hometown does not have a monopoly on thoroughly revolting people.
New York City