Thank you for Richard Hoffer's fine article on Ty Detmer of BYU (A Ty Vote for the Heisman, Dec. 10). Having known Ty and his family since 1976, when I started teaching at Shenandoah Elementary in San Antonio, I have watched him grow from a shy second-grader into a fine young man. His accomplishments on the football field and his attitude off the field have established him as an outstanding role model.
Ty Detmer won the Heisman? What is the world coming to? If the award didn't go to Notre Dame's Raghib Ismail or Colorado's Eric Bieniemy, then it should have gone to Virginia's Shawn Moore. Moore's interception percentage was better than Detmer's. Of course, if Moore had thrown the ball 50 times a game he might have thrown 28 interceptions, too. Please, Heisman voters, do not give the award for a good performance against one team.
The sportswriters of America should be ashamed of themselves. For the second year in a row, they have rewarded a player, and indirectly his coach and team, for running up scores (and, more important, statistics) against lesser opponents for the sole purpose of winning the Heisman Trophy. As the commentator stated at the award ceremony, "How can you ignore his statistics?"
JOHN F. FUNCK
I enjoyed Richard Hoffer's article on Earvin (Magic) Johnson (Magic's Kingdom, Dec. 3). In an era of overpriced, overexposed athletes, it is nice to see one who has the charisma and dedication to carry the game and himself to new heights. Dr. J was the ambassador of basketball, but since his retirement, Magic has continued to lift the game to new heights. He puts so much energy and commitment into whatever he does that he deserves to have his dreams come true.
While conducting his clinic on Maui for businessmen ($5,500 for each tycoon to participate), Johnson threw in an hour-long clinic for kids from the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters program—no fee, no business tips gleaned or connections made, just some dreams fulfilled, friends made and good advice on clean living and goal-setting passed along. When one five-year-old girl had trouble getting altitude on her layup attempts, Magic hoisted her overhead for her first slam dunk. Magic had a lot of assists that day.
Kihei Maui, Hawaii
Your story about Johnson's off-court business success was excellent, but the cover photo of him with a symbolic cigar in hand was inappropriate. Although it is doubtful Magic really smokes cigars, how may kids who idolize him will understand that? Moreover, he is a major contributor to the American Heart Association, which warns us of the relationship between smoking and heart disease.
RICHARD E. TAYLOR, M.D.
Jim Krumsiek noticed Magic Johnson's reference to himself in the third person. Jim was struck by the quote in which Johnson referred to himself as both Earvin and Magic ("People may know Magic, but they don't know Earvin"), apparently meaning two different people. Jim has not seen this before, and he is curious as to whether this usage should be considered fourth person, sixth person (two times third person) or just plain Earvin-magicjohnson person. Any information would be appreciated by Mr. Krumsiek.
TOM WATSON'S EXAMPLE
I admire Tom Watson's integrity in resigning from the Kansas City Country Club due to the club's anti-Semitism (POINT AFTER, Dec. 10). His skill on the golf course is obvious from his numerous victories, but it is this "act of conscience" for which I will remember him.
The Kansas City Country Club was "exclusive" when Tom Watson "first appeared on its fairways in short pants." The time for Watson's "act of conscience" would have been when he first became old enough to understand the meaning of the word bigot, or at the very least when he married his wife, Linda, who is Jewish.
PATRICIA J. MOSLEY
THE MAGIC MAN
Wasn't it just yesterday that Magic Johnson, subject of your recent story (Magic's Kingdom, Dec. 3), graced your cover wearing a tuxedo as a Michigan State sophomore? As his basketball career reaches its inevitable end (say it ain't so), we should all be savoring his abilities on the court. There will never be another like him. However, I will continue to follow the Magic Man's act even after his retirement—I'll just have to pick up the business section instead of the sports section to do so. For old times' sake, how about reprinting that Nov. 27,1978, cover?