Even though the final score of the Super Bowl game, 31-19, is suggestive of the romp Joe Marshall predicted (A Game of Resistible Forces, Jan. 14), it was obvious to anyone who witnessed the contest that the Rams could just as easily have won that game. I've waited for the Rams to get into the Super Bowl for 10 years, and this year, despite all the adversity—injuries, front-office troubles, hostile fans—they came through.
My guess is that Marshall's article was posted in the Ram locker room. The Rams proved Marshall wrong as they showed talent and, above all, courage in going as far as they did.
La Verne, Calif.
The Steelers may have won the Super Bowl, but the Rams proved to most people, including Joe Marshall and Paul Zimmerman (Super? This Time Call It the Crunch Bowl, Jan. 21), that they don't give up.
WALTER F. TATUM III
MacDill AFB, Fla.
Congratulations to Paul Zimmerman and Sandy Huffaker on their great collaboration in your Super Bowl preview. The combination of Zimmerman's writing and Huffaker's imaginative caricatures made it a super article.
The illustration by Sandy Huffaker depicting the Slob Sweep by the Los Angeles Rams is the funniest cartoon I have ever seen in any magazine.
ALAN B. MARKS
ALABAMA & CO.
Alabama finally wins the undisputed national championship in football, and what do I see? The Rose Bowl plastered all over your pages with only a small portion of the article devoted to the country's No. 1 team (A Beautiful Rose, Even for 'Bama, Jan. 14). Come on, SI. Don't you think it's about time 'Bama got the credit it so richly deserves? Let's hear it for Bear Bryant and his Crimson Tide!
Although I am not a Bear Bryant fan, I must admit the Alabama coach is smart. When asked if he would like to play the Rose Bowl winner for the national championship, he replied, "Hell, no!" No doubt he realized that the outcome would have been similar to the last time USC and Alabama played—USC won 24-14—and the Tide would have lost the national title. Douglas S. Looney summed it up best in his account of the Rose Bowl: USC and Ohio State are "the nation's two best teams."
The article on the Rose Bowl was a fine integration of the facts, figures and emotions that typify a college football game. The inserts about the coaches in the press-box booth added an interesting dimension and gave me an even better appreciation of what my husband, Pete Carroll, former Ohio State defensive backfield coach and now defensive coordinator at North Carolina State, goes through on game day. Thanks.
THE GREAT GORDIE
Thanks to' E. M. Swift for topping off a memorable week for the city of Detroit. The week began with the announcement that former Detroit Tiger star Al Kaline would be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Next came a brief return visit by the Magic Man, Earvin Johnson, as the Lakers played the Pistons in the Silverdome. One night later Gordie Howe returned as the Whalers and Red Wings battled in a building named in honor of another Detroit hero, the Joe Louis Sports Arena. The week could not have ended in a better way than to have "Mr. Hockey" featured and portrayed on the cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (He Just Skates On and On and On, Jan. 21). Whether Howe plays for Hartford or Houston or Timbuktu, he will always be Detroit hockey fans' favorite son—or should I say favorite grandfather? Gordie should be SI's Sportsman of the Century.
I figure Gordie Howe has only 18 seasons left in professional hockey. The mandatory retirement age in the U.S. is 70.