CRY FOR HELP
I have followed Aaron Pryor's career for quite some time now, and the article (KO'd By His Demons, Sept. 9) by Pat Putnam made the tears roll down my cheeks. Today I was released from Talbot Hall, St. Anthony Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio following treatment for chemical (cocaine and alcohol) abuse. I can relate very well to Pryor's anger, confusion and paranoia. We still love Aaron in Ohio, and wish he would come home so we can help him. There is no way anyone can KO a problem like this alone. Don't hesitate to use my name. I'm not ashamed, just scared.
MICHAEL R. MAYES
Lane Stewart's photographs were enough to tell this sad story.
RONALD G. DZWAKOWSKI
I'm not a tennis buff by any stretch of the imagination, but I drove the mailman crazy while waiting for Part II of Pam Shriver's diary, written with Frank Deford (I'll Tell You About Tennis, Sept. 2 and To Wimbledon And Beyond, Sept. 9). This sexy, witty, 6-foot, 34B lady is a jewel—an outstanding young woman in a tough racket. Her observations are candid, charming, sincere and definitely human. It's hard to believe that she is only 23.
Boulder City, Nev.
MILLION DOLLAR BILL
SI, I love you! I just got my Sept. 9 issue, and who's on the cover but Bill Elliott, the one and only Awesome Bill from Dawsonville. I'm surprised and ecstatic. In his excellent article (Check Him Out—Bill's No. 1) Sam Moses has perfectly captured the best driver in NASCAR today.
Put out the cat! Turn out the lights! Bill Elliott has to be your Sportsman of the Year.
ONE FOR VERPLANK
One quality that sets certain athletes apart is the ability to do the seemingly impossible, and for more than 30 years it appeared impossible for an amateur to win a professional golf tournament. Scott Verplank beat the odds—and the pros—by winning the Western Open (SCORECARD, Aug. 12). If I could cast a vote for Sportsman of the Year, Verplank would get it.
PAEAN FOR PAYTON
I would like Walter Payton (SCORECARD, Sept. 9) to know that this is one football fan who respects him more than any other active running back. His slashing style, his durability, his dependability and his class set him apart from—and above—newer stars. They seem to make more headlines with off-the-field problems than with on-the-field accomplishments. Payton ranks with the greatest.
LITTLE BIG SCHOOL
I want to compliment Jim Kaplan for the SPOTLIGHT (Sept. 2) on the football program at Division Ill's Augustana. It's nice to know that there are coaches at places like Augustana who consider the learning experience as important as donning the pads. It's also good to read about coaches who realize that you don't have to go coast-to-coast to find football players. Sometimes the grass is greener in your own backyard.
Des Plaines, Ill.
I enjoyed greatly this year's College & Pro Football Spectacular (Sept. 4), especially the "Seat On The Team Plane" item in INSIDE SLANT by Rick Reilly. Surely Reilly did not intentionally omit the name of Lawrence Wien when he listed those generous alumni deserving of a seat on the team plane or, in the case of the Ivy League, the team bus. Wien, a Columbia alumnus and Manhattan real-estate man who holds the lease on the Empire State Building, has given $5 million in the past few years to help rebuild Columbia's ancient football stadium, now named in his honor, and $1 million to build a new soccer stadium. Given the recent record of Columbia's gridiron squads, perhaps Wien deserves the whole bus, but his generosity raises the hopes of all Lion alumni.
Falls Church, Va.
THE GALLOPING GHOST (CONT.)
Although this is not in the category of an irate letter, I question John Underwood's statement in the College & Pro Football Spectacular concerning Red Grange's making two inferior movies for Joseph P. Kennedy (Was He The Greatest Of All Time?). The first film Grange made was One Minute To Play. It was rated as the best football film of the silent era. There were no staged plays in the final game, which Grange played against college players from Occidental and Pomona. The players were paid $50 for every tackle they made on Grange.