In all the years I have been reading sports magazines, including 25 years of SI, I have never seen the equal of the color photography in your Jan. 7 issue—especially the four pictures of the Tampa Bay- Philadelphia playoff game (Turnover in Tampa Bay).
W. BEN JACKSON
The photograph showing the Tampa Bay Bucs' reaction after recovering an Eagles' fumble is the best I have seen in your magazine ever, and I'm a charter subscriber. Photographer Heinz Kluetmeier has brought the viewer right onto the field, almost inside the play—a fabulous shot.
Your other photos in this issue also are tops; they enhance the pleasure of the reader on almost every page.
FRANK N. PIERCE
The only thing missing from that great shot of Tampa Bay's blitzing Lee Roy Selmon is his cape.
San Diego Coach Don Coryell found it hard to believe that Houston would steal San Diego's signals (The Stolen Signals Caper, Jan. 7), but such ploys are to be expected when so many specialized assistant coaches are hired by every team. Through the years, football has become far more technical and complicated than it needs to be. It is a simple sport and should be governed by one simple rule: keep the game on the field of play.
We Kansas City-area residents spent many enjoyable seasons watching Quarterback Len Dawson lead the Chiefs to two AFL championships and one Super Bowl victory while calling his own plays. The lesson of the Houston- San Diego game is obvious: the NFL must bar continual coaching from the sidelines or face the specter of computer play-calling, more signal-stealing and, ultimately, a Watergate-type bugging of opposing locker rooms.
Prairie Village, Kans.
As far as I'm concerned, the Oilers simply outplayed San Diego. Stolen signals don't help you block field goals or execute a 47-yard touchdown pass play.
San Diego lost only a game. Houston lost its honor.
ROBERT S. CAULK
Jack McCallum's tribute to Clair Bee and his legendary Chip Hilton series (A Hero for All Times, Jan. 7) was a fitting accolade for a writer whose influence over a generation of sports-books enthusiasts is not only immeasurable but also without rival.
As both an English teacher and a librarian, I couldn't disagree more with the statement of Grosset & Dunlap's Dave Lande: "Kids don't read sports fiction anymore." It has been my experience in eight years of teaching that students from the fourth grade up devour any reading material even remotely related to sports. I am sure that if books such as Bee's were available, they would be read. I can think of few better gifts to give to my own son when he becomes old enough to read than Bee's stories about Coach Hank Rockwell and Chip Hilton.