SI Vault
Edited by Gay Flood
February 18, 1985
MICHEAL RAY'S EXAMPLESir:Thank you for Bill Brubaker's story on Micheal Ray Richardson (Bittersweet, Feb. 4), the best all-around guard in basketball today. I was moved by the concern of the many people who helped Richardson get his career and life back on track. Without their assistance, he might be on skid row.
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February 18, 1985

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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Steve Wulf's article on Doug Flutie's agreeing to sign with the USFL Generals (Mr. Touchdown Scores Again, Feb. 4) shows me once again that the NFL is out to lunch. By its total inaction in the case of Doug Flutie, the NFL proved that it is interested only in profit and not in providing exciting and entertaining football.

Pro scouts and executives from some NFL teams have questioned Flutie's size, his drop-back passing ability, etc. Let's not forget that many of these so-called experts thought Dan Marino and Joe Montana weren't worth first-round draft picks either. Do we really need any more evidence that Flutie will be a great pro quarterback?
Franklin, Mass.

After watching the mediocre play of the NFL this year, I hope that the NFL has the wisdom to seek a merger with the USFL. A truly major league would not pass up three Heisman Trophy winners in a row and still consider itself No. 1.
Gig Harbor, Wash.

I was one of those people who had extremely high hopes for the USFL when it was born three years ago. Now it's just another dying swan. Contract clauses guaranteeing salaries even if the USFL folds tell you all you need to know. It becomes increasingly obvious that the USFL's stars are more interested in money than football.

Call me a dreamer, but I was hoping Doug Flutie was above that.
Appalachia, Va.

In defense of the Buffalo Bills, perhaps their indifference toward Doug Flutie was a message that management is finally going to commit itself to fielding a competitive team. The Bills could have signed Flutie, sold extra tickets for one year and still lost games. However, it appears that in the draft Buffalo is going to seek help where it needs it most: on defense. Remember, even back in the good ol' days when O.J. Simpson and company were among the league leaders in offense, the Bills still often couldn't make the playoffs because their defense was so bad. We fans don't need an overpaid, undersized, untested $7 million man, we need someone who is oversized and can tackle.
St. Marys, Pa.

In FOR THE RECORD (Jan. 21) I noted with sadness the death of Adam Walsh. The heroes and deeds of yesterday are diminished by time, so I am not surprised that you did not observe in a more substantive way the passing of a football giant.

You mentioned Walsh's having been honored as NFL Coach of the Year in 1945, when he was with the Cleveland Rams, and you did explain that he was a college coach for many seasons as well. However, I wonder how many of your readers are aware that in 1924 Walsh was captain of one of Knute Rockne's most outstanding Notre Dame teams; that, as the leader of the Seven Mules, he centered the line that ensured immortality for the Four Horsemen; and that he played throughout that season with the pain of broken bones in both hands, displaying a courage and stamina unknown to today's athletes.

Football was only part of Walsh's life. As a staunch Democrat, he represented the people of Maine in the state legislature. He was appointed a U.S. marshal in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy and again in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Last spring Bowdoin College, where he coached football for 20 years, awarded him an honorary degree.

Walsh was my coach at Bowdoin. I never really got to know him well, and I doubt that any of his other players did either. He was an extremely private person. However, what we did know at the time and what we still remember with great pride is that Walsh was one of those rare men of a long-past era who with courage and daring built the traditions and set the standards that have made football what it is today.
Farmington, Conn.

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