BLOUNT ON BLOUNT
I commend Roy Blount Jr. and SI for the fine portrayal of Pittsburgh Cornerback Mel Blount and his "roots" (This Steeler Is Really a Cowboy, July 25). Rarely have I been so moved and so inspired.
In my estimation, adherence to the work ethic and an independence of spirit are two qualities that abounded in those who originally made this country great. It is heartening to me to discover that there are still Americans like Mel Blount and his family who possess both traits.
DANIEL R. PARTIN
I know why I renewed my subscription. It was because of the article about Mel Blount by Roy Blount Jr.
I thoroughly enjoyed Dan Jenkins' article on Tom Watson's fifth British Open victory (Breaking Clear of the Crowd, July 25), and after reading it I wondered: Is there anyone greater than Watson in golf? Only Jack Nicklaus came to mind. Then, in the same issue, I read Barry McDermott's masterpiece on the astonishing career of Kathy Whitworth (Wrong Image but the Right Touch). To compile 84 triumphs over 24 years and to rise above adversity takes a tremendous amount of perseverance. In my opinion, Whitworth is the best golfer of all.
A few years ago I had the pleasure of playing with Kathy Whitworth in the now defunct Bluegrass Invitational pro-am at Hunting Creek Country Club in Louisville. The following winter during a trip to San Francisco, I noticed, as I left my car in a hotel garage, that I was parked next to Kathy's car. I left her a note written on the back of my business card. At the party preceding the next Bluegrass pro-am, she was kind enough to look me up and reply in person. I've never been surprised at her success.
THE USFL CHAMPIONSHIP
While Ralph Wiley's coverage of the USFL's first Championship Game (The Panthers Are No. 1, Thanks to No. 1, July 25) was very good, I take exception to the fact that you chose not to put one of your high-quality action photographs of that game on the cover. Instead you selected a picture of a person who plays golf, holding a trophy that wasn't even won in this country. I can't believe it! Golf. when you could have had Anthony Carter pulling in a pass or Bobby Hebert poised in the pocket.
Thanks for reporting on the USFL Championship Game. I fell asleep during the first quarter and never found out who won.
Many thanks to Douglas S. Looney for his story on Billy Cannon (In a Rush to Make a Big Gain, July 25). Being a diehard LSU fan, I, like most Louisianans, was surprised and disappointed by Cannon's arrest for counterfeiting. Cannon's exploits on the gridiron are renowned in the state, but he will no longer be thought of almost as a deity. He will be viewed for what he truly is—a human being with as many imperfections and frailties as the rest of us. That Cannon has fully cooperated with government officials and admitted his guilt restores some of my respect for him. Yet, at a time when Tiger football fortunes have never appeared better, it seems strangely inappropriate that our feelings for this Purple and Gold hero should be tarnished. I hope that the National Football Foundation reconsiders its decision not to induct Cannon into the College Football Hall of Fame, because as a college football player, he was one of the best.
JOHN H. FENNER
I can still recall the time when I was nine years old and, after a night of trick-or-treating, huddled with my family and cousins listening to the second half of the LSU-Ole Miss game in 1959. One could scarcely hear the radio announcer over the roar of the crowd as Billy Cannon completed his memorable punt return. What some people forget is that of equal importance to LSU that night was the goal-line stand that followed Cannon's punt return late in the game. I believe Cannon was involved in those heroics as a defensive halfback (playing both ways).
What has happened to him is sad and disappointing. Too often the star athlete believes he has been elevated above the ranks of mere mortals to a level where normal ethics and standards do not apply. Here's hoping that a just punishment is handed out to Cannon, but more important, that the problems in his life are turned around and that he realizes he has, in addition to a loving family, numerous loving fans.