DALLAS VS. L.A.
Because of injuries, Los Angeles played the whole game against Dallas without its top running back ( Lawrence McCutcheon), three quarters without its No. 2 running back (John Cappelletti) and the last quarter without its quarterback ( Pat Haden). Yet the focus of Dan Jenkins' article (Thundering Toward Miami, Jan. 15) appears to be Tom Landry's coaching skill. I think he missed something.
Walnut Creek, Calif.
In recent years the word on the Minnesota Vikings has been that they can't win the big games. My question is when are people going to start saying the same thing about the Rams? The Rams have won their division the last six seasons but have yet to gain a Super Bowl berth.
Parkers Prairie, Minn.
I'm sorry to see SI buttress a false standard of greatness by noting that this year's NFL champion becomes the first team to win three Super Bowls (Pouncing on a Championship, Jan. 15). So what? Has everyone forgotten that the NFL had a championship game for 34 years before the Super Bowl came along? Only when Dallas, Pittsburgh or any other team wins six titles in eight years, as Green Bay did from 1961 to 1968, will it reach the same level of greatness that those Packers achieved.
DAVID L. NICANDRI
The cover photograph ("Splashdown to the Super Bowl") of the Jan. 15 issue is fantastic. Even more fantastic are the photographs accompanying the two articles on the NFL playoff games.
Your double-page photograph of the Oilers and Steelers catches Pittsburgh's Mike Webster throwing one of the sweetest left crosses I've ever seen.
Lake Success, N.Y.
Question: Where would you find 50,000 chanting, pompon-waving, singing fans on a cold Sunday evening following a 34-5 loss? Answer: nowhere else but in the Houston Astrodome.
During the week before the AFC championship game between the Oilers and the Steelers, Houston had Oilermania. Cars were painted with GO, OILERS, GO signs and other slogans. Bank lobbies were decorated with Oiler pennants and balloons.
But, you say, all good things must come to an end, and after a devastating loss such as that one to Pittsburgh you would normally be right—except that Houston Oiler fans are not normal fans.
A local radio station, KILT, in cooperation with the Astrodome front office, decided to hold a pep rally for the Oilers upon their return from Pittsburgh, win or lose. It was to be the largest pep rally ever held, and it became a reality. The huge crowd waited for three hours to see the team enter the Dome at 11 p.m. that night, and then stayed another hour to honor Oiler players and coaches.
The city of Houston obviously has the most loyal fans in the country. I'm just wondering what would have happened if the Oilers had gone on to win the Super Bowl.
MARK D. NIEDERT