Frank Deford's article about Jimmy Connors' Open victory thoroughly shocked and angered me. Although I am accustomed to opinionated coverage of tennis by SI, I never expected such unprofessional garbage. How can you congratulate a boorish extrovert and ungracious winner like Connors and at the same time denigrate a quiet and talented player like Ivan Lendl?
DONNA A. WOLF
THE CHANGING TIDE
My brother called long-distance to tell me that if he ever got fired he would wish for the same publicity I've had—ABC Television and SI (The Dawning of a New Day, Sept. 19) in the same week, but still no resulting job offers.
John Underwood's article on Ray Perkins, Paul ( Bear) Bryant's successor at Alabama, was first-class, as Underwood's stories usually are. I believe the first two weeks of the season clearly proved Perkins a worthy successor to The Man, and that 'Bama fans will not have to suffer any painful interregnum.
I grew up in Tuscaloosa—one of my early memories is watching a touchdown pass from Dixie Howell to Don Hutson—so my 30-year association with the Alabama broadcasts was a special treasure for me. However, as I told Ray, I agreed with many changes he made and objected, obviously, to a few. But he has the responsibility for the athletic program, and I firmly believe he has to do what he thinks best for every aspect of it.
Former Play-by-Play Announcer
Alabama Football Network
THE BEAR'S RECORD
The statement in your 1983 College & Pro Football Spectacular (The Top 20, Sept. 1) concerning Alabama Coach Bear Bryant's record of 11-12-2 against non-conference powers was correct but highly misleading.
If you break down that record you will see that Texas, against which the Bear's record was 0-3-1, and Notre Dame (0-4-0) were the only thorns in Bryant's side. The five remaining teams you listed were even at best, with Alabama matching Southern California 2-2-0 and outplaying Nebraska 3-2-0, Penn State 4-1-0, Ohio State 1-0-0 and Oklahoma 1-0-1.
True fans do remember.
Regarding Bear Bryant's Alabama record against quality non-conference opposition, if one includes Arkansas, Baylor, Clemson, Florida State, Houston, Illinois, Miami ( Fla.), Missouri, N.C. State, Rutgers, SMU, Texas A&M, TCU, UCLA and Washington, the record becomes 51-15-3. It seems unfair to expect Ray Perkins or anyone else to improve on that performance.
ERNEST E. ALLEN JR.
Beautiful! Ron Fimrite's article ("I'm the Gehrig of My Time," Sept. 19) on Cecil Cooper made my day. In an era in which athletes are increasingly criticized and rejected as favorable role models, Cooper instills hope. His involvement in community affairs and his selfless attitude are to be lauded. He states in your article, "Always believe in yourself, because if you don't, you're defeated." Don't worry about it, Cecil. You're a winner in the game of life!
THE REV. DAVID D. BRAY
St. John's Lutheran Church
Britton, S. Dak.
Cecil Cooper the " Lou Gehrig of our time"? At the end of last week, the Orioles' Eddie Murray had 197 home runs at age 27 and Cooper had only 193 at age 33. We'll see who's the Gehrig of our time.