SPORTSMAN NICKLAUS (CONT.)
Thank you for the splendid Christmas present—naming Jack Nicklaus Sportsman of the Year and giving us Frank Deford's brilliant article about him (Still Glittering After All These Years, Dec. 25-Jan. 1).
I have the good fortune to belong to Jack's Muirfield Village Golf Club, and every time I play there I feel the character of the man coming out of that extraordinary piece of land.
As his pastor, I see Jack Nicklaus not only as the great athlete he is but also as a devoted family man with an intense faith and an attitude of caring for others.
There may be those who had better "athletic" years than Jack but no one else better epitomizes the title Sportsman. You have made a wise selection, and the article by Frank Deford captured the essence of Jack.
THE REV. EARLE RABB
Trinity United Methodist Church
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
You had a tough decision to make and you made a beauty. No other athlete this year has done more to promote American sports, goodwill and the competitive desire. Jack Nicklaus, the golf professional, golf-course architect, father and businessman, is most deserving of this prestigious award.
Your award is Sportsman of the Year, not Sportsman for a Career. For Jack Nicklaus' year to have paralleled Ron Guidry's, he would have had to win the Grand Slam, the Vardon Trophy for lowest stroke average, the World Series of Golf and have been the leading money-winner, which he wasn't in '78. You goofed!
I just don't understand it. Every year I have written a letter imploring you to name Jack Nicklaus Sportsman of the Year and you have picked someone else. This time I called for Nancy Lopez, and you picked Nicklaus.
SHARON L. RAYMOND
Chevy Chase, Md.
It's like giving Liz Taylor an Oscar years after she deserved it.
KEITH D. SMITH JR.
Originally, I had planned to write a strong letter expressing my discontent at your naming Jack Nicklaus Sportsman of the Year. Although Jack is the best golfer in the recorded history of the universe, I equate the athletic ability of golfers with that of race-car drivers, billiards players and bowlers.
Then I read Kenny Moore's article Taking Part: You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet (Dec. 25-Jan. 1), which shows that there's a place in sports for all kinds of people with all kinds of musculature. Somehow he makes it apppear as though Nicklaus is on an athletic par with marathoner Bill Rodgers. I suggest you keep Moore around.