Anyone who doubted the appropriateness of Joe Montana as your Sportsman of the Year will reconsider when they read Leigh Montville's story An American Dream (Dec. 24). Montville has eloquently captured the feeling of being a kid and having a hero. Montana and Montville have successfully permitted this 36-year-old to remember what it was like to be 12.
PHILIP C. DOYLE
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Your article gave me the feeling of being in Montana's shoes. Besides being one of the best ever to play the game, he is willing to spend time with the less fortunate. That is a class act seen not often enough. I am 15 years old and would love to take over Montana's position one day.
You have placed the spotlight on a man whom every young person in America can look up to with pride and dream their dream. I know because, even though I am 62, I still dream of taking the snap from center, running to my right and then throwing the winning touchdown pass to Jerry Rice in the last minute of the game.
Foster City, Calif.
It was a nice article, a nice thought, a nice try, but there was one problem. What about all those Montana fans who aren't, and never have been, boys? I'm 17 and grew up in the San Francisco area, and Montana has always been one of my heroes. He stands for more than a "boyhood dream" and unbelievable statistics. He represents qualities that are admired by more than just half the population: poise, dedication, toughness, humility and many more. Montana is a great guy, which is why his fans include women and men, girls and boys.
Mill Valley, Calif.
Every kid should want to grow up and be sportswriter Leigh Montville. Long after Montana tosses his last football, Montville will still be performing magic with his pen. Those big, beautiful pictures of Montana were unncessary; Montville's prose could have stood alone.
Montville's piece was slightly less than realistic. It seems as if Montana is some sort of superhero from a Saturday morning TV cartoon. The photographs, though, were next to perfect, as usual. They should have been presented by themselves.
CHRISTA S. EDWARDS
Take away Montana's pass protection and his receivers, and he's just an ordinary quarterback. I'll take Denver's John Elway any day to make the game exciting when the going gets tough.
Clay Center, Kans.
At last, an article about Dr. Donna Lopiano, athletic director at the University of Texas (Prima Donna, Dec. 17), who many of us in Austin think is the best thing to have come along since they learned how to pump up basketballs. This is a woman who, in effect, started with a do-it-yourself kit for a gokart and 15 years later presides over a General Motors. Her recognition is long overdue.
I think you devalue the Sportsman of the Year award—and 1990 winner Joe Montana is certainly worthy of full honors—when you do not picture the urn and list the previous winners.
Here they are.