What we can all learn from The Play is that football needs to be returned to its proper perspective. It is just a game! When this simple fact had finally sunk into my brain, I was able to resign my head coaching position with no remorse. I turned my back on a sport that even at the high school level had become a business: Win at all costs. Alumni at all levels should somehow be made to watch The Play repeatedly, and maybe they would realize that football is not a reflection of a school's prestige but rather a contest between young men who somehow are having a good time.
GREG A. BEALE
Sarah Pileggi's article on John Madden ("Hey, Wait a Minute! I Want to Talk," Sept. 1) is a thoroughly enjoyable portrayal of what today's pro sports world is sorely lacking: genuine, caring people who realize that fun is what sport is essentially about.
However, I do have a question. The author states that Madden "never ties his shoes." But in the pictures of the casually dressed Madden, his shoelaces are tied. Please clarify this. A fine magazine like SI shouldn't leave loose ends untied.
? Madden says, "I used to wear those old tennis shoes with the laces untied all the time, but about a year ago I tripped on a lace and broke my left foot. Since then I've kept the laces loosely done up so that the ends can't get underneath my foot, and still I can just step in and out of the shoes. I never untie and retie them."—ED.
After reading Sarah Pileggi's article on John Madden, I went out and bought a six-pack of Miller Lite! What a guy! Darryl Stingley and Mark Mulvoy's two-part article about Stingley's tragic accident (Where Am I? It Has to Be a Bad Dream, Aug. 29 and Sept. 5) showed what a wonderful man Madden is, and Pileggi's profile confirms it.
KEVIN F. LYNCH
The article on Darryl Stingley was fantastic! It was an inspiration to anyone who has ever felt as though life has cheated him. Darryl could have given up on rehabilitation, or even tried suicide. But he didn't; he hung in and has kept fighting back. His story has helped me to realize that I should be thankful for all the God-given talent I have; but above all, I should be happy just to be alive.
The Darryl Stingley story brought me back to the reality of football. I love the game and enjoy playing it. However, my coaches are always telling us to keep our heads up when we hit or get hit, and this year, for the first time, we were required to watch a film on the causes of injury and the dangers of our sport.
ANOTHER BIG GAME
I have enjoyed many articles in SI, not only for content but also for style of writing. I've marveled at its variety, but was quite unprepared for a perfect J.P. Marquand type of story in REMINISCENCE by Schuyler Bishop in your special football issue. Thank you for a memorable piece of literature. Now if you could only do an Edith Wharton kind of piece on basketball....
West Chester, Pa.
ARMS AND THE MAN
Your 1983 College & Pro Football Spectacular (Sept. 1) was as spectacular as I expected it to be. However, I would like to know whose body belongs to the hands on the cover of the issue.
?The hands, and arm, on the cover (below) belong to Boston College Noseguard Mike Ruth (right). And the hands and arms on the Contents page of that issue belong to Ruth's teammates Tailback Ken Bell and Quarterback Doug Flutie.—ED.