Hayes' violent antics were not only dangerous and irresponsible but also set a horrible example for players and young viewers. I congratulate Ohio State on firing Hayes. His outstanding record is overshadowed by his behavior at the Gator Bowl.
A great article and a great call for Jack Nicklaus (Still Glittering After All These Years, Dec. 25-Jan. 1)! The honor of Sportsman of the Year is well deserved. I first met Jack when we were both 15 years old. I represented New Jersey and Jack represented Ohio in the Jaycee National Junior Golf Championship at Columbus, Ga. Not only is Jack the best golfer of this era but also he is a total sportsman. Now that he has decided to challenge us in the golf-design field, it will be a lifelong contest. He still has a long way to go to catch up, but we welcome the challenge. The game as a whole will benefit.
ROBERT TRENT JONES JR.
Palo Alto, Calif.
I knew that your selection of Jack Nicklaus as Sportsman of the Year would arouse controversy. However, when Clinton Sundberg of Studio City, Calif. writes, "Golf is not a sport and golfers are not athletes" (19TH HOLE, Jan. 8), I feel I must rebut.
I began to play organized baseball at age 10 and played for six years. I began to fish when I was eight and continued until I was 14, I started hunting small game and white-tailed deer when I was 12 and continue to hunt today at age 26. I played three years of junior high football and three years of high school football. I have played power volleyball since I was in 10th grade and probably hundreds of games of basketball, bowling, racquetball and tennis. And I have golfed regularly since I was 16. Of all those sports, I have no hesitation in saying that golf is far and away the most difficult, the most challenging and the most demanding.
The ultimate challenge in golf comes down to the fact that you play yourself, not an animal, not another team, not an opponent. While I suppose the same could be said about bowling, it is the variety of factors—the number of possible shots, weather conditions, differing courses, etc.—that make golf the more demanding sport. Every golfer has, at one time or another, drilled a 250-yard drive, or nailed a five-iron tight to the stick, or snapped a 70-yard wedge over a pine tree onto the green, or dropped a 30-foot sidewinder of a putt. The trick is in controlling the environment, your equipment, your body and your mind to do it consistently. In no other sport do all these factors come into play on such an individual basis.
Kenny Moore's cautious, tender glimpse of his venerable grandfather (The Good Fight—for 102 Years, Dec. 25-Jan. 1) is the most delightful thing I have read in years.
KENT DAVENPORT, M.D.
I know this man that Kenny Moore writes about. He is my grandfather, too, although my grandfather's name is different—Hans Julius Petersen—and, at 96, he's six years younger than Fred Moore. Nonetheless, he is that same active, crusty old man that Moore so admires. He is a personification of the human spirit and its refusal to become weak or stale. He is a perennial winner in the game of life; he has real staying power.
It really isn't necessary to tell anyone how much we love him, because when you read between the lines of Kenny's story, you can't help but know.
BARBARA ANN PETERSEN
Kenny Moore has done it again. Every reader with his own memories of a very special grandfather is given a chance to share in a moving tribute to the kind of person who helped make our country great.
Maybe Kenny can't box, but he can run and he sure can write. Fantastic story!