HITS VS. RUNS
I could not believe my eyes when I saw the cover of your Oct. 30 issue. The Yankees won the World Series, there were big upsets in pro football and you chose to feature a marathon! How many people do you think are interested in that kind of stuff? I am disappointed in you.
Woodland Hills, Calif.
I could not have been more pleased with your cover on the New York City Marathon, and Kenny Moore's chronicle of Bill Rodgers' glorious triumph (All Around the Town). Perhaps it's a bit premature, but if you can find a more deserving Sportsman of the Year than Rodgers. I'll eat my Etonics.
BRUCE G. HEAREY
New York City
The competition for SI's 1978 Sportsman of the Year award will undoubtedly be intense. Our candidate's credentials may not match those of any other nominees, but his spirit and desire are worthy of the admiration of all sports fans. Why not present the award to Jim Bouton, the man who captured our hearts in 1978?
Mario Andretti beat the world!
THE NORTHWESTERN APPROACH
Jerry Kirshenbaum's article on my favorite college football team, the Northwestern Wildcats (Waa-Mu! Waa-Who? Oct. 30), was like a drink of water to a thirsty man. After reading so many negative stories about the 'Cats, it was a treat to find one expressing a little optimism. The team works hard and deserves encouragement and faith.
I read your article the day after I watched Northwestern play Ohio State. Following the game, I embraced my son—a Northwestern linebacker—whose eyes were still red from tears of pain, fatigue and frustration shed following another gutsy, unrelenting fight-to-the-last effort by him and his underdog teammates.
Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes was generous in his praise of Northwestern's refusal to give up. I am amazed that your article didn't give more credit to the athletes who represent Northwestern. Virtually all of them had opportunities to accept athletic scholarships to schools more noted for their football prowess. They chose Northwestern because they were interested in a good education and in playing major college football. They knew the path to glory would be a struggle, that they would be underdogs, but they would try to change that. It takes far more courage to accept that role than to drift comfortably to a football powerhouse. Week after week this team continues to display the kind of character that makes me proud to be a Northwestern fan.
NORBERT R. BERG
As the mother of a trumpet player in the marching band, I must take exception to your dismissal of the band in one sentence. Indeed, the band, twirler and cheerleaders provide the brightest moments in the stadium.
My husband and I attended the game against Minnesota—it was Parents' Weekend—and the halftime show included a tribute to Northwestern's winning Rose Bowl team of 1949. The theme was "Vanishing Traditions." In any case, the music provided to spur the team on is marvelous. As one student seated behind us said at the end of the show, "Get those football players off the field and suit up the band!"
If Coach Rick Venturi deserves credit for taking on a losing cause, John Paynter, director of Northwestern bands for 28 years, should receive a large bouquet for firing up the band every week in first-class support of that cause.